Here’s a great story from Tim: During Lent this past year I planned a guided meditation for my seventh and eighth graders. I was really impressed with the responses I got back from the students, as I only received one negative response! Unfortunately the meditation did not last as long as I would have wanted it to. Thankfully, my DRE had our Living Stations props nearby – so we each took turns carrying the cross […]

Beatification of Pope John Paul II

In just a few weeks (May 1, 2011), the Church will celebrate the Beatification of Pope John Paul II. To celebrate this event, Loyola Press has put together some resources that you’ll want to take a look at. http://www.loyolapress.com/pope-john-paul-ii-1920-2005.htm

Catholicism and Baseball

As a baseball fan, I had to share the following with you. Thanks to Lee Nagel (NCCL Executive Director) for sharing this in his weekly update: A Match Made in Heaven – Catholicism and Baseball according to John Allen On April 1st, John Allen, the capstone speaker at our conference in Houston in 2008, had a particularly long column but he ended it by noting that “Yesterday marked the opening of the 2011 campaign, so in […]

Keeping Time the Catholic Way

In my new book, Practice Makes Catholic: Moving from a Learned Faith to a Lived Faith (Loyola Press), I talk about keeping time the Catholic way. In other words, by paying attention to the liturgical calendar, we remind ourselves that time itself is sacramental, revealing the presence of God in each moment. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase that a person “is living on borrowed time.” We use this peculiar phrase when referring to someone […]

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 […]

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