My "Last Lecture" (No, I’m Not Dying)

This coming Monday evening is the last session that I will be teaching this current 8th grade class (the following week is a closing Mass and awards ceremony). As part of my plan for this Monday, I’ve put together my own “last lecture.” By now, I’m sure you’re familiar with the YouTube phenomenon, Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture” that he gave to his class as the Carnegie Mellon University after he had been diagnosed with pancreatic […]

A Summary of Last Evening's Class

I was very pleased with last evening’s class, for a variety of reasons. Here’s a summary of what transpired: A number of 8th grade students were in church rehearsing for the Living Stations of the Cross (next Monday). I was missing 4 of my students but picked up 4 from my colleague Jim’s class since he had taken the night off to do a college visit with his son. His other students went to another […]

For the Love of Neighbor

This is a follow-up to my March 19 post – For the Love of God – in which I shared a handout comprised of numerous examples of actions that either violate the first three commandments or represent virtuous acts done in the spirit of these commandments. Here is the student worksheet that I am using tonight which covers the 4th, 5th, and 6th commandments. Likewise, here is the answer key. One example that I feel […]

Their Little Wheels Were Turning

Last night’s class was very gratifying. We are looking at morality and focusing on the Ten Commandments. Last night we focused on the first 3 Commandments that call us to love of God. As the evening went on, it was interesting to see their “little wheels” begin turning as they grappled with some moral dilemmas. Here’s a summary: I began with a “song of the week” – this time playing a song by Shakira called RULES. […]

For the Love of God

I’m preparing for my next week’s class when we will be exploring the first 3 Commandments which focus on love of God. I’ve put together a worksheet that I’ll invite them to work on in small groups. The worksheet includes numerous examples of actions that “violate” these 3 Commandments as well as virtuous actions that are done in the spirit of these 3 Commandments. In their small groups, the young people will work together to […]

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 […]

Rite of Confirmation: The Bishop’s Homily

For our next (and final) Confirmation Intensive, we are focusing on the Rite of Confirmation, which includes the following: the Presentation of the Candidates the Bishop’s Homily the Renewal of Baptismal Promises the Laying on of Hands and the Anointing with Chrism the General Intercessions I’m currently sharing with you what I’m developing for each of these 5 elements of the Rite (the kids will exerience five, 15-minute mini-sessions, one on each of the 5 elements). We […]

First Confirmation Intensive

Whenever he is told of good news, Fr. George Lane, S.J. (President of Loyola Press) immediately responds by saying, “Thank you, Jesus!” What a great example he sets! So, having been blessed with a successful evening for our first Confirmation intensive last night, my first response is just that: “Thank you, Jesus!” Attendance was almost perfect (the kids know by now that if they miss, there’s a make-up, and it’s usually not much fun!). The […]

My (Our) Struggles – Not to Be Confused with Mein Kampf

What a shame that an idiot like Hitler ruined such a good phrase: “my struggle” (of course you know that is the translation of Mein Kampf, his notorious autobiography/statement of his twisted ideology). I bring this up because I am always amazed and also amused (and of course, touched) at the fact that I get more feedback on my blog posts in which I share my struggles or moments of weakness as a catechist than […]

Just a Little Off

You know how it is when you go bowling and you’re just a little off? I’m not talking about throwing lots of gutter balls. I’m talking about attempts that start off looking fine but before long you realize that it’s gonna miss the sweet spot and leave you with a split. That sums up my class last night! Just a little off. It was one of those nights when I just felt like the words […]

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