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 […]

The Engaged Catechist: Forming Catechist Enrichment Groups

In his book, Growing An Engaged Church (Gallup Press), Albert L. Winseman explains that, without true engagement, volunteers burn out quickly. He identifies 3 ways to make an immediate impact on the level of engagement of church members: clarify the expectations of membership help your members discover what they do best create small groups I think these can (and should) be easily applied to catechists, who, without engagement, do indeed burnout quickly. Those catechists who […]

Why Does God Refer to Himself as a “Jealous God?”

Not too long ago, there was a TV commercial for a mobile phone that showed a young couple about to enjoy a romantic dinner at a restaurant. As the woman is talking, she sees her date look down toward his lap. “Did you just check the game on your phone?” she asks. He quickly denies it saying, “What am I, like some kind of ‘summoner’ who can just summon footage to his phone like that? C’mon.” […]

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, […]

Finding God in the Ordinary – Seinfeld’s “Show About Nothing”

The comedy Seinfeld was often known for being a show about “nothing.” When you think about it, the episodes rarely had a story line and yet, somehow, the series touched on some of the most recognizable human moments and experiences that occur in ordinary everyday life and caused us to laugh for 9 seasons. While so many TV shows “jump the shark” in search of profound story lines to engage the audience, Seinfeld’s genius was […]

“We’re Learning About Jesus in World History!”

Last evening’s session was very enjoyable on a number of levels. First and foremost, I had an opportunity to once again teach an entire class and I think the kids enjoyed getting back to a sense of normalcy after all of the special events they were a part of over the last six weeks. We spent the evening focusing one more time on the Bible. The activity with this Bible worksheet (Session 23 Bible Worksheet […]

Encountering God in the Bible

After what seemed like an endless string of interruptions (days off, practices for Seder Meal, Lenten and Holy Week prayer services, etc.) in our regular teaching schedule, I finally get to teach a lesson this coming Monday! With only 3 classes left for teaching, I am going to do one more session on the Bible this Monday before sending their Bibles home with them. Here’s my plan: Session 23 – Encountering God in the Bible  Session […]

Prophets Rock!

We had a wonderful time last night learning about the Old Testament Prophets! Three of my most rambunctious students were absent last night and while I was disappointed they missed the experience, it certainly made for a very calm evening! After welcoming the young people back from the holidays, we did a little review about the Ark of the Covenant and I showed them how I placed many of their prayer symbols in our own […]

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