David the Shepherd – Instant Costume

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Tonight’s lesson is going to focus on David – shepherd and king – who points the way to Jesus, the Good Shepherd and Christ the King. With that in mind, I quickly assembled a shepherd’s costume to bring tonight which I am modeling below. I don’t intend to wear this myself (although many catechists effectively teach in costume) but instead plan to invite one of the students […]

October 29 Session Summary – Part II: God Reveals His Plan of Salvation

Here’s the next installment of a summary of this past Monday’s session on Abraham and God’s plan for salvation. After we finished reviewing the stories from the previous week and answering gobs of questions, we then talked about how all of these stories describe how God created us to live with him but then human kind sinned and distanced ourselves from God. I said that, “Today, we’re going to see how God revealed a plan […]

Off to a Good Start!

I was very pleased with my first session of 6th grade religious education last evening! 🙂 Here’s a rundown of highlights and lowlights: Since I teach in the later session and someone is in the room before me, I don’t have much time to set up (15 mins…if I’m lucky) so it is a real whirlwind trying to get things ready. I have this notion that the kids will walk into this very serene and prayerful […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 4, Day 5: Cat Got Your Tongue? (The Lord’s Prayer)

WEEK FOUR: Prayer DAY 5:  Cat Got Your Tongue? (The Lord’s Prayer) Who is a famous person that you wish you could meet? Often, when the occasion arises and we have an opportunity to actually meet someone who is famous, we find ourselves at a loss for words. I remember when my brothers and I were kids, we had an opportunity to meet one of the Chicago Blackhawks’ hockey players. My brother Ron, nervous as anything, went up […]

Hey Catholics! Public Relations is NOT a Dirty “Word!”

When discussing catechesis and evangelization, I am very comfortable using the phrases such as  “public relations” (PR) or marketing, and find that I often encounter push back. “The Church is not trying to win a public relations battle!” “Proclaiming the Gospel is not a popularity contest!” “The Church is not about public relations!” The conclusion that many people draw is that public relations and marketing necessitate altering the content of your core beliefs. That is a […]

The Jesus Approach to Evangelization

While at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, I had the pleasure of listening to a keynote delivered by Rev. Anthony Gittins, CSSp on the Urgency of Discipleship and Evangelization. In his talk, Fr. Gittins made some excellent points about evangelization. First, he identified 4 requirements for evangelization: Proclamation Witness (which he says is “proclamation with our mouths shut!” – I love it!) Dialogue (with an emphasis on listening) Liberation He also went on to explain […]

Catechists in Action – Steve Lascola Tells the Story of the Prodigal Son

In this segment of Catechists in Action, 3rd grade catechist Steve Lascola tells the story of the Prodigal Son in preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Watch for the following: Steve introduces the story of the Prodigal Son as a love story To keep their attention from wavering, Steve continually pauses to add his own thoughts, to restate things in his own words, and to ask questions of the children. Steve summarizes the story and […]

Learning the New Nicene Creed By Heart

One of my Lenten promises this year is to learn by heart (memorize) the new Nicene Creed. Of all the Roman Missal changes (people’s parts), the changes to the Nicene Creed (and the Gloria) are by far the most significant. I think it’s important to be able to recite the Creed from memory so I am attempting to learn it by heart this Lent. I spent time on the train this morning working on it […]

Spiritual but not Religious – Love Jesus but Hate Religion

More and more today, we hear people saying that they are spiritual but not religious, meaning that they believe in God but choose not to encounter him within the context of the institutional church. One young man has chosen to post a video on YouTube in which he recites a poem about how he loves Jesus, but hates religion. I applaud him for taking the initiative to talk publicly about his faith. I couldn’t disagree more […]

3-Minute Retreats

You’ve probably heard me make reference to the very popular 3-Minute Retreat that Loyola Press offers. These retreats provide you with an opportunity to spend some quiet time each day reflecting on a Scripture passage. You can receive the retreat on your mobile device which is something that I do, especially when I’m on the train each morning. You can also receive an e-mail reminder each day with a link to a new 3-Minute Retreat. Here […]

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