Spiritual Mentoring – Free Online Resources

Since the days of the early church, Christians have realized that the spiritual journey is not meant to be walked alone. We find our way by walking with others who are guided by the same vision. A person who has a sense of direction and who can assist others in learning how to incorporate spiritual practices into daily life is called a mentor. Spiritual mentors can walk with others on the journey, whether informally or […]

More About Pretzels

In my 40 Ideas for 40 Days of Lent calendar, Monday, March 14 is an activity titled “What’s with the Pretzels?” which goes into the meaning of the pretzel as a traditional lenten food. I received an email from a 6th grade catechist named Marie who had quite a bit to say about the topic. Thanks, Marie! Enjoy! Joe, I’ve been on your mail list for about three months and have enjoyed the information and […]

Nice Thoughts About Honoring Parents

I came across some nice thoughts about parents of children in religious education from Lisa Mladinich. She relates how many catechists lament the fact the some parents take little interest in their children’s faith formation. She then goes on to offer some positive advice for honoring them instead of critizing them and provides some practical ideas for catchists to reach out to parents. Good article. Honor Their Fathers and Their Mothers I do have a […]

A Language of Mystery

Funny how a segue I had planned for my class this past Monday turned out to be one of the most significant moments of the entire session, thanks to one of my students and the Holy Spirit. I was seeking to introduce the concept of SIGNS and how we encounter Jesus through the signs we call the Sacraments. I invited 3 volunteers to come forward for a “contest.” I had 3 clear plastic cups on a […]

We Encounter Jesus through Signs

Here’s my lesson plan for Monday, November 15, 2010 Big Idea: We encounter Jesus through SIGNS (the Church and the Sacraments) Engage As the kids enter, hand them the Signs and Symbols worksheet and have them get busy with it. When all have gathered, do opening prayer ritual and then review correct answers for worksheet Explain that today we will be learning about signs and symbols of our faith Invite 3 volunteers to come forward for […]

A Tour of the Church Student Worksheet

One activity that many catechists include in their repertoire is taking the students on a tour of the Church. This is an excellent way to provide a hands-on experience for kids, introducing them to the sacred spaces and objects that are a part of our Catholic worship and inviting them to develop their Catholic vocabulary. I’m a firm believer in always putting the responsibility on the students to show comprehension. I rarely show a video […]

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 […]

Good Voices & Bad Voices

The most successful part of yesterday’s class was our discussion of which voices we should listen to in order to shape a good conscience and which voices we need to avoid or “erase” in order to avoid temptation. First, I brought in a mini-cassette recorder and passed it around so that each child could say something which they really enjoyed. I played it back and they all got a kick out of listening to themselves […]

Remembering Why I Drive 30 Minutes to Go to Mass on Sunday

Recently, my wife and I got in the car to drive to church for Sunday Mass. We typically make this half-hour journey each week even though we have a half-dozen parishes within 10 minutes of our home! Why? Because we’re liturgical snobs! Seriously though, our experience of the local parishes has been mediocre at best, with liturgy celebrated (I hesitate to even use that word) in a very perfunctory manner. We typically seek 3 things: […]

Teaching Church Behavior

Last night, we had our end-of-the-year grade level meeting with Arlene, our DRE, and we talked about how things went this year and what we can do better next year. One of the main issues that came up was our concern over the kids’ behavior in Church when we go over for prayer services or Mass. Each year, we go to the Church probably 5 or 6 times: opening prayer for the year, Advent Reconciliation, […]

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