Pop-Up Catechesis with Joe Paprocki
Catechetical Issues & Topics

Pop-Up Catechesis: Speaking God’s Language Through Signs and Symbols

Throughout Scripture, God’s presence is manifested symbolically, in a burning bush, a pillar of fire, a column of smoke, clouds on a mountaintop, a mighty wind, a whispering sound, a dove, or tongues of fire. God did not reveal himself as a hologram in the same fashion as Princess Leia appeared to Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kanobi in Star Wars. Instead, God chose to reveal his mysterious, transcendent, invisible, and intangible presence through tangible, […]

Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs & Symbols by Amy Welborn

Teaching Children a Language of Mystery—Resource for Catechists and Parents

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you know that I have previously talked about the concept of a language of mystery. What is a language of mystery? It is a language that transcends words and relies on sign, symbol, ritual, song and music, silence, gesture, and movement. It is the language that God uses to communicate with his people. Think of how, in Scripture, God’s presence is manifested through a burning bush, a mighty […]

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Liturgy and Sacraments

More About Receiving From the Cup

First, I’d like to thank the many people who engaged in such a healthy and respectful conversation about the issue of receiving the Precious Blood at Mass (in response to the actions taken by bishops in Phoenix and Madision to limit the reception of the Cup).  I read too many blogs where Catholics speak disrespectfully to one another and I’m happen that doesn’t happen here. The heartfelt comments that came in represent both sides of the […]

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Intermediate Grades

This is the Day the Lord Has Made!

Monday evening was my last class of the year with my 4th graders. I’m gonna miss these little guys…they were a very sweet class and we had a good experience together. We began with a closing Mass in church and, for the second year in a row, the organist chose to sing “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad” as the responsorial and for the 2nd year in […]

Confirmation Preparation Class
Junior High

Images of the Holy Spirit

Tonight, as we begin our first of five Confirmation Intensives (class will be for two hours instead of 75 minutes, comprised of five different mini-sessions), I will be teaching about images of the Holy Spirit: water, anointing, fire, and a dove. To introduce this concept, I am bringing in a blank red octagon that I cut out of construction paper and afixed to a stick. I plan to show it to the kids and to […]

Lenten Activities

40 Ideas for 40 Days—Lenten Activities: Sacred Art/Budding Artists

This Lenten activity is designed to help catechists engage those young people who are more visual and perhaps even artistically inclined. Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University, developed the theory of multiple intelligences in 1983. Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences or ways of learning: linguistic (word smart) logical/mathematical (number smart) visual/spatial (picture smart) bodily-kinestheticl (body smart) musical (music smart) interpersonal (people smart) intrapersonal (self smart) naturalist (nature smart) Quite often, our […]

Lenten Activities

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Making a Paschal Candle

OK catechists, today we continue with another Lenten activity… Making a Paschal Candle Ask if any of the young people have experienced a power outage during a storm at night time Talk about how frightening it can be to be surrounded by darkness and how we rely on flashlights and candles to provide light for us at these moments. Explain that we use the image of “darkness” to talk about the bad things that are […]

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Joys and Frustrations

A Lot Can Happen in 75 Minutes! (part 4)

One last thing to share about Monday evening’s class. I was sharing some ideas with the young people about how they can share their faith in practical ways. (I posted about this earlier). One of the suggestions I offered was to wear a sacramental such as a medal, a cross, a pin, or a scapular. As I was saying this, I glanced over at my aide, Ben, who is a high school sophomore. He started […]