Yesterday’s Class – Concern About Those Who Are Homeless

Last evening’s session went very nicely as we looked at Jesus’ Law of Love (Love one another as I have loved you) and learned about how we are called to imitate Jesus’ love for others. Here’s a summary: We had a nice review of our last session which was 2 weeks ago. I held up a can of Play-Doh and asked, “Anyone remember what we learned?” and one girl said, “That we can shape our […]

Jesus’ Law of Love

I’ve had a few ideas for my next class kind of percolating for a while but haven’t had a chance to sit down and create an actual lesson plan until now. Here’s what I have planned for this Monday (Oct. 18), Session 5: Theme: Jesus’ Law of Love Big Idea: We imitate Jesus’ love Review last session Show can of Play-Doh and ask what we learned last session (God can shape us into holy people; God […]

Good Voices & Bad Voices

The most successful part of yesterday’s class was our discussion of which voices we should listen to in order to shape a good conscience and which voices we need to avoid or “erase” in order to avoid temptation. First, I brought in a mini-cassette recorder and passed it around so that each child could say something which they really enjoyed. I played it back and they all got a kick out of listening to themselves […]

Calling an Audible

If you know anything about football, you know that sometimes, after a play is designed in the huddle and the team lines up to snap the ball, the quarterback may see something he didn’t expect and doesn’t like. At that point, he calls an audible…he changes the play on the fly. This is something that can only be done if the team has prepared well and knows what the alternative plays are. In religious education, […]

Teaching About the Kingdom

My lesson tonight includes the concept of God as king and of how we pray for the coming of the Kingdom. In American society, we sometimes have trouble teaching about the concept of the Kingdom of God – afterall, we won our independence from the “tyranny” of the King of England. Our present day understanding of a king is someone who is rich, powerful, self-centered,tyrannical, and arrogant. (In fact, once, on the Feast of Christ the […]

9 Tips for Asking Questions

As catechists, one of the most effective tools we have is asking questions. Jesus was, of course, a master at this skill. Often in the Gospels, we find Jesus utilizing questions to challenge his followers and stimulate their thinking: “But who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29) “Whose image is this and whose inscription?” (Matthew 22:20) “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49) “Which is easier, […]

What the DREs Are Saying

I spent a very enjoyable and productive day today with about 45 DREs in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, talking about caring for our catechists. We looked specifically at how we can offer them formation in the areas of being, knowing, and doing, as outlined in the General Directory for Catechesis. In the course of our day, the folks offered lots of thoughts and comments. Here is a summary of just a few thoughts […]

Spy Wednesday

On Monday night, I was telling my class about the Triduum and one of the boys asked, “what are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday called?” in light of the fact that we have Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. I told him that those 3 days don’t really have a name other than being part of Holy Week. I forgot that Wednesday of Holy Week is known as Spy Wednesday! As a kid, […]

What it Means to Pick Up Your Cross

I had the pleasure of attending an evening of reflection at the McDonough Chapel of Saint Xavier University last night to listen to Dr. Barbara Reid, OP, Professor of New Testament Studies, Vice President, and Academic Dean at the Catholic Theological Union at Chicago. Barbara did a wonderful job of helping us to reflect on the meaning of the Cross of Jesus, very appropriate for the Lenten season. She talked about how most people will respond to […]

First Sunday of Lent – Needs vs. Wants

Here is an outline from the Sunday Connection for reflecting on this Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 4:1-13, Jesus’ Temptation) with intermediate age kids (grades 4, 5, 6). Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6) Older children are learning to distinguish between the things they need and the things they want. We can help them to resist negative temptations by teaching them to distinguish between needs and wants. Materials Needed (Grades 4, 5, and 6) Poster […]

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