Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Welcoming the Seasons of Advent and Christmas

Our next monthly session for our Finding God Family Catechesis program at St. Barnabas will take place on Sunday, December 3, the First Sunday of Advent, which means that our focus for the adult session will be on the seasons of Advent and Christmas, with a particular emphasis on the theme of God’s Promise: The Covenant. Here is the plan for that session: Our opening prayer ritual will reflect the season of Advent as we […]

Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Parents Talk About How Home Sessions Are Going

Yesterday marked the first time that we gathered for family catechesis after the parents have had a month to do faith formation sessions at home with their children. It was also the day that we introduced the Finding God unit on Jesus. Here is a summary of the proceedings. Attendance was very good this month; we even picked up a few new families! After our opening prayer ritual (setting up the prayer center with sacred […]

Next Up for Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Jesus

Our next session of Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas will take place on Sunday, October 29, as we venture into the second unit of Finding God, which focuses on Jesus. Specifically, our theme will be, “To Whom Can I Turn? Jesus: Fully Human, Fully Divine.” After our setting up of the prayer space and opening prayer, the session will begin by inviting families to discuss examples of unexpected problems or challenges that their families faced […]

Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Introducing the Unit on God

Our journey into Finding God Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas Parish took its next step on Sunday, October 1, as we welcomed families to the first unit of study in Finding God, which focuses on God’s invitation and our response. Here is a summary of how things went: Once again, I arrived at 7:15 a.m. to set up my stuff for the 8 a.m. start. Patrick, the catechetical leader, had already seen to the set up […]

Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Looking Forward to Our First Session

I’m eagerly looking forward to the first session of Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas Parish in Chicago on September 17! As I mentioned in a previous post, I will be assisting the Director of Religious Education, Patrick McGowan, and the Pastoral Associate, Deacon Andy Neu, at the monthly gatherings at the parish. The focus of this first session will be simply “An Introduction to Finding God Family Catechesis.” Here are some particulars with regards to […]

I’m Back in the Trenches Again: Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas Parish

Over the years that I’ve been writing this blog, Catechist’s Journey, I have served as a catechist for different age groups: intermediate (fourth and sixth grade) and junior high (eighth grade). I also have enjoyed sharing my experiences with you! Typically, I have posted my plans for upcoming sessions followed by summaries of what really happened. Eventually, my travel commitments made it too difficult to teach a weekly session, and then, of course, the pandemic […]

Celebrating Easter All Season Long

By our conviction of heart and mind, we can be witnesses to the Resurrection just as Mary Magdalene was, not just at Easter but every day. Here are some simple ways to evangelize and keep our Easter joy all season long! Read. Read the Acts of the Apostles between Easter and Pentecost. Immerse yourself in the excitement of the disciples trying to become the Church community that Jesus intended them to become. Marvel at the […]

Celebrating Holy Week as a Family

Holy Week is a feast for the senses. It is important to mimic the rhythm of what is happening at church in the home. For example, the songs heard in church during this week can be played at home, and the practices that happen at church can be explained to children beforehand. Here are some ways to celebrate the high points of this sacred time. Palm Sunday Turn palms into works of art by creating […]

First Holy Communion Novena

Encourage families preparing a child to receive First Eucharist with a novena-style prayer to pray at home. Download the First Holy Communion Novena and make copies for parents, instructing them to begin praying 10 days before the day of First Holy Communion. Each day’s prayer time includes parts for children and parents, as well as a suggestion for a family practice for the next day. The text for the novena is from Christ Our Life, […]

Practical Ways to Observe Lent at Home with Children

As catechists and parents, we are keenly aware that there are a lot of ideas competing for our attention during Lent. When deciding on a focused Lenten practice, there are three questions to ask: Is this practice focused on God, others, or myself? Does this practice help me fast from something that I truly struggle with? Do I give, pray, and serve out of love or out of my own selfishness? After speaking with parents […]

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