“I Pray for All Those Affected by the Government Shutdown.” – 6th Grader Prayer Intention

Who says that kids don’t know how to pray? Not me! Last evening, as part of our usual opening prayer, we shared prayer intentions (which I usually have the kids write down as soon as they enter the room). One young man shared the following:  “I pray for all those affected by the government shutdown.” Wow. There’s someone who is not only in touch with current events, but also knows that these are the kinds […]

Session 3 (10/1/13) – Bible Boot Camp and Intro to the Rosary

For this evening’s session, I have 2 main things planned: complete the “Bible Basics Learning Stations” that we started last week introduce the Rosary as we begin the Month of the Holy Rosary (using the PowerPoint on the Month of the Holy Rosary that I’ve made available for FREE here on my blog!) I’ve created a Mysteries of the Rosary Note-Taking Sheet for the young people to use during the PowerPoint presentation…it’s always a good idea […]

Pics from Bible Basics Learning Stations

Here are some pics from Monday’s Bible Basics Learning Stations (notice how there’s one boy in each group: divide and conquer!). Also, as much as possible, I avoid having kids sit at desks so it doesn’t feel like school. They are still carpet-crawlers at heart!  

Summary of Session Two (9/24/13) – Mass and Bible Basics

First of all, thanks to those folks who were concerned because they thought I actually flew home from Italy to teach my class and then fly back! I guess a few folks missed my emphasis on the word VIRTUAL in reference to the pilgrimage to Italy! I’m not on the actual pilgrimage but am conducting a VIRTUAL pilgrimage so that we can, in some small way, share in the experience of those pilgrims who actually […]

Session Two – September 24, 2013: Mass and Bible Basics

Wow! I had to rush home from my VIRTUAL Pilgrimage to Italy to get ready for my class tonight! Thankfully, cyberspace was pretty clear so I made good time! This evening will be my 2nd class with the 6th graders at St. Cajetan. One new feature that the parish is trying this year is to bring the young people to church once per month for Mass. This is a wonderful way to initiate young people […]

First Session for 2013-14: Off to a Great Start!

I couldn’t be happier with how my first session went last evening, thanks to a great group of kids, a highly organized DRE, and a wonderful aide (my wife!) I ended up with 9 students having lost one boy and gaining one girl, so now, I have 6 girls and 3 boys. They come from 5 different schools but have “traveled” together through religious education at St. Cajetan for 6 years and have a great […]

Session 1: God Keeps No Secrets (9/17/13)

After being postponed for one week due to excessive heat in Chicago, our first session of religious education for the 2013-14 catechetical year takes place tomorrow evening! Thank goodness temps are back where they belong for September in Chicago! The focus of 6th grade religious education is primarily on the Old Testament so, with that in mind, this first session will serve as an introduction to the Bible as one of the most important ways […]

Nik Wallenda, the Grand Canyon, and Faith in Jesus Christ

This is strictly an opinion piece and therefore open to debate which I invite, but as always, be charitable in your comments to me, to one another, and to Nik Wallenda! So last night, daredevil Nik Wallenda made his historic walk across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope with no tether and no safety net, gluing countless numbers of viewers like myself to the live broadcast. In addition to the drama of the stunt itself, […]

A Summer of Faith During the Year of Faith

The Year of Faith that we have been celebrating continues through November, 2013. The summer months present an excellent time for marking the Year of Faith, perhaps in a more leisurely manner such as over the course of several weeks. Here’s a resource that can help your parish do just that:                     Days of Faith conveniently provides everything you need to host a mini-retreat or faith-formation […]

Having Students Set Goals – Developing New Habits

I’ve been talking the last few posts about helping those we teach to develop new habits, inspired by a book titled The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. One of the things the author talks about is the importance of people taking ownership of the process of developing new habits, beginning with the notion of setting goals for themselves. By setting goals for yourself, you internalize motivation (as opposed to all of the motivation having […]

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