Making Our Faith Simple-Yet-Not-Simplistic: The Creed

I have often said that, if a non-Catholic asked you to explain the Catholic faith to him or her, and you responded by reciting the Creed, listing and describing the seven sacraments, listing and describing the Ten Commandments, and reciting the Our Father, you would deserve a passing grade! Creed, Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer are the four pillars of our Catholic faith. The goal of catechesis should always be to make those four pillars accessible, which […]

Three Ways to Teach the Creed to Younger Children

I was teaching a class of second graders the Nicene Creed when I started reciting it phrase by phrase. I asked them to repeat the lines after me. A group of children who attended Mass regularly realized they knew what came next and excitedly continued on without waiting for my prompts. I let them go, curious to see how far they would get. They spoke the words very quickly; whenever they paused or thought about […]

Taking to Heart the Apostles’ Creed

Each year, the Archdiocese of Omaha requires all third-grade Catholic-school teachers to teach the Apostles’ Creed. Teaching young children to memorize a prayer involves some traditional and non-traditional methods. I am always looking for new methods to help my students since every class is different. What worked with one class may not work with another. I dedicate two weeks to teaching my class the Creed before giving them a test. During the first week, I […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 1, Day 5: You’ve Got the Network (Church, Mary, Saints, and Eternity)

WEEK ONE: The Creed DAY 5: You’ve Got the Network (Church, Mary, Saints, and Eternity) I’m sure you recall the Verizon ad with the message “It’s the Network,” showing people on Verizon wireless phones backed up by a huge crowd of Verizon workers who represent their support network. The message is clear: wherever you go, the network is there with you and you are never on your own. A huge part of our Catholic faith is our […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 1, Day 3: A Family Resemblance to God (The Trinity)

WEEK ONE: The Creed DAY 3: A Family Resemblance to God (The Trinity) To whom do you bear a family resemblance? It can be a physical resemblance or a personality trait that you share.  As baptized Catholics, we are members of God’s family, made in his image and likeness. The question for us today is, “do we bear a family resemblance to our God?” Of course, we are not talking about a physical resemblance, because God […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 1, Day 1: God’s Revealing Moments

Welcome to our online summer retreat, Preparing for a Year of Faith! Take  a few minutes each day at your convenience to “gather” here on my blog as we seek to add some flavor to our faith lives by deepening our understanding of the truths of our faith as given to us in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Learn more about the Year of Faith. Watch a brief video explaining what this online retreat is […]

Thank You Jesus – Success Teaching Roman Missal Changes to Children

Last night, I had a surprisingly good experience teaching the Roman Missal changes to ALL of the children in the religious education program at Most Holy Redeemer parish in Evergreen Park, IL, where I serve as a catechist. Here are the details: I did the presentation twice: first session (5:30 – 6:45 pm) for 1st – 4th graders and their parents (about 250 total, kids and parents); 2nd session (7:00 – 8:15 pm) for 5th – […]

The Four Pillars of Our Faith: the Creed

This week, I’m featuring short excerpts from my book, A Well-Built Faith, focusing on the 4 pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here’s a brief look at the first pillar: the Creed. Believing is something that we do, not only with our heads, but with our hearts. The following story illustrates this. A stunt man was thrilling crowds gathered at the Niagara Falls, making his way across a tightrope that stretched from one […]

God Reveals Himself Through His Son, Jesus Christ

Here’s my plan for tonight, the 2nd session of the year. I was away for a few days, so I didn’t get to plan for this session as early as I usually hope to. But don’t we all face this from time to time? Anyway, here’s the plan: The theme (BIG idea) is “God Reveals Himself to us through his Son, Jesus Christ.” I will emphasize the notion that Jesus reveals to us who God […]