Catechists in Action – Chris Brett Talks About Spiritual Nourishment

In this segment of Catechists in Action, 8th grade catechist Chris Brett talks to his recently confirmed class about spiritual nourishment. Watch for the following: Chris talks about how we need, not only physical food, but also spiritual food Chris asks what we mean by spiritual nourishment The kids offer various good answers about what spiritual nourishment is Chris talks about Scripture as God’s food for us. a phone goes off! Chris doesn’t skip a beat! […]

A More Robust Liturgy – More Discussion

Last week, I posted a link to my recently published article, 7 Steps to a More Robust Liturgy, in Ministry and Liturgy Magazine. I received an excellent response from Jeffrey Pinyan, author of Praying the Mass. The reason I consider it excellent is not because he agrees with everything I said (in fact, he disagrees with me on a variety of points) but because he furthers the discussion, contributes to it with well-thought-out ideas, and […]

Catechists in Action – Dan Ward Reflects on His Experience

We’ve had the privilege of watching 7th grade catechist Dan Ward in action over the past week or so…thanks Dan for inviting us into your classroom! Listen now as Dan reflects on his experience, especially… his frustration with kids not going to Mass his goal of doing the Mass Flip-books and his frustration at not being able to do it because of a change of schedule running out of time to do a mock confession […]

Spiritual but not Religious – Love Jesus but Hate Religion

More and more today, we hear people saying that they are spiritual but not religious, meaning that they believe in God but choose not to encounter him within the context of the institutional church. One young man has chosen to post a video on YouTube in which he recites a poem about how he loves Jesus, but hates religion. I applaud him for taking the initiative to talk publicly about his faith. I couldn’t disagree more […]

Studying the Gospel of Mark

As we hear the Gospel of Mark proclaimed during this Year B of the Lectionary cycle, I’d like to point out a few resources that are available for your own enrichment or for use in a group. First, a new resource offered by the Archdiocese of Chicago is a website called The Word Made Clear featuring a course study on the Gospel of Mark led by Fr. James McIlhone, the Director of Biblical Formation for […]

3-Minute Retreats

You’ve probably heard me make reference to the very popular 3-Minute Retreat that Loyola Press offers. These retreats provide you with an opportunity to spend some quiet time each day reflecting on a Scripture passage. You can receive the retreat on your mobile device which is something that I do, especially when I’m on the train each morning. You can also receive an e-mail reminder each day with a link to a new 3-Minute Retreat. Here […]

Teaching the Bible to 6th Graders Last Night

As one of my “catechist-at-large” responsibilities, I did an introduction to the Bible last evening with the 6th graders at Most Holy Redeemer parish in Evergreen Park, IL. It was a very enjoyable experience. Here are the details: There were about 30-35 kids present along with their 3 catechists and 3 aides. Each child had a New American Bible (although there were 2 different editions which precluded me from relying on page numbers. I don’t mind, […]

Catechists in Action – Nick Begins Class with Prayer

As we continue viewing 5th grade catechist Nick Yonto’s session, we now reach the point where class is formally beginning with prayer. Watch for the following: Nick’s aide arrives with the prayer cloth and they re-arrange the prayer table. The children gather around the prayer table for announcements and prayer (remember, I’m not showing children’s faces in order to protect their privacy) The prayer is led over the PA…the children’s responsorial response is printed on […]

An Interesting Update

Some time ago, a catechetical leader shared her comments here about the total revamping of the catechetical program at her parish. I invited her to update us which she has done. Some interesting and innovative approaches: Dear Joe,  I shared with you how we completely revamped our religious ed. program.  You invited me to share more, so “here goes.”   I had been a catechist for about 16 years before I became the Director of Faith […]

Yesterday’s Class – Concern About Those Who Are Homeless

Last evening’s session went very nicely as we looked at Jesus’ Law of Love (Love one another as I have loved you) and learned about how we are called to imitate Jesus’ love for others. Here’s a summary: We had a nice review of our last session which was 2 weeks ago. I held up a can of Play-Doh and asked, “Anyone remember what we learned?” and one girl said, “That we can shape our […]

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