Making a Statement – Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Happy New Year everybody!!! I hope, pray, and trust that this year will be filled with many blessings for you in your role as a catechist! Tonight, when I teach, I plan to wear my Blackhawks jersey, which I’m wearing here in this picture at last night’s Hawks’ victory (my daughter Amy’s first Hawks game). I want to point out that we make a statement by what we wear. I’ll then ask the kids to […]

On the Other Hand…

Yesterday, I provided a rather glowing summary of Monday evening’s Confirmation Intensive. Indeed, the evening overall went very well and was a positive experience. On the other hand, there are always a few moments that provide sobering reminders of the troubles that some of these kids have. The Confirmation Intensives allows me the opportunity to catch a glimpse, so to speak, of each of the five 8th grade classes. For the most part, each of […]

My Crystal Ball

I began class last night by inviting the kids to join me in another room that I had set up with my “crystal ball!” I have a light fixture – a globe – that is tinted white and I placed a battery operated flickering candle inside of it and wrapped a purple cloth around the base of it. All of the lights in the room were turned off and I had a CD playing in […]

Images of the Holy Spirit

Tonight, as we begin our first of five Confirmation Intensives (class will be for 2 hours instead of 75 minutes, comprised of 5 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 […]

Setting the Stage for Jesus

For tonight’s class, my plan is to continue walking the young people through the story of salvation history in the Bible, setting the stage for the unit on Jesus that we are beginning. You may recall that 2 weeks ago (we were off last week for Columbus Day), I began walking them through the story of salvation history in the Bible and, because of a few interruptions (fire drill, etc.) only got as far as […]

Update on My OWN Classes

I realize that, in the midst of providing my 40 Lenten activities in 40 days, I’ve not updated you on my own Monday evening classes. Actually, last night was the first time I saw my 8th graders in 3 weeks! Last week, I was doing a parish mission at another parish and needed a sub. The week before that was a day off (Pulaski Day in Illinois). So last night was an opportunity to get […]

"I Became, Kicking and Screaming, a Catechist"

The above quote is from the blog of author Robert Hutchinson. I love his January 26, 2009, post about becoming a catechist. He really captures the feeling that many catechist have when thrust in front of a group of kids. Enjoy his account! I have to say, it

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Declaration of DEpendence – Photos and Directions

Today’s idea is something that catechists of every grade level can take advantage of – I call it the Declaration of DEpendence. I originally came up with this idea when teaching about the Lord’s Prayer. It occurred to me that, with its seven petitions, the Our Father is clearly a prayer that expresses our complete dependence upon God. This is, of course, in stark contrast to the independence that we all strive for in our […]

Successful Assessment

I was very pleased with the results of the Confirmation exam given last night! This was the best that my students have done in recent years. First, I had provided the young people with a study sheet 2 weeks ago, telling them precisely what would be included on the exam. I believe this made a big difference because some of them actually studied! One young man (who has a minor learning disability and has a […]

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