Friends, Not Statues: Three Ways to Teach About the Saints

There are many ways we can teach about the saints. We can ask young people to write a report about their favorite saints. We can have the class choose a patron saint. We can include facts about saints in our weekly lessons. But when I think about the way I talk about my friends, I don’t talk about them as if they were a collection of facts from a Wikipedia page. I don’t say what […]

Catechists In Action – Meet Dan Ward!

It’s time to get back to our Catechists in Action series where we get to be a fly on the wall, observing everyday catechists performing their ministry. I’d like you to meet Dan Ward, a 7th grade catechist at Most Holy Redeemer parish in Evergreen Park, IL. Dan is a high school teacher and coach in the Chicago Public School system. I’ve been talking recently about the image of the catechist as coach and Dan personifies […]

Recording Now Available for Getting Started – Catechists of Intermediate Age Children

You can now access the recording of the Getting Started as a Catechist Webinar for Catechists of Intermediate Age Children which took place on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. The recording of the Webinar for Catechists of Primary Age children is also available. Click the following: Getting Started as a Catechist – Primary Age Children Getting Started as a Catechist – Intermediate Age Children A recording of the Webinar for catechists of Junior High and High […]

Thanks for Participating in the Getting Started Webinar!

A great big THANK YOU to all the folks who participated in tonight’s Webinar, Getting Started as a Catechist – Junior High and High School Youth!!! As always, it was wonderful to be able to spend time with you looking more closely at how we can grow in our effectiveness as catechists. Good luck to all you junior high and high school catechists! Next up is my Webinar for catechists of adults on Tuesday, September […]

Free Webinar! Getting Started as a Catechist of Junior High & High School Youth

This Tuesday, August 30, 2011, I will be hosting a Getting Started as a Catechist Webinar for those who teach Junior High or High School youth. There’s still time to register for this free opportunity! To register, click here. In anticipation of this Wednesday’s Webinar for Catechists of Junior High and High School youth, here is a Note-Taking Handout you can download and use during the webinar. If you’re unable to participate at the scheduled time, […]

Teaching Jr High & High School Youth – What’s Your Advice?

Here’s what Bernie has to say about teaching junior high and high school youth: I am starting my sixth year of teaching 7th graders and last year I was surprised to realize how much my students enjoyed a bit of quiet time to encounter God. With their heavy schedules of school, sports, choir, and other extra curriculars, some of these children are constantly on the run. Towards the end of class, I tried to incorporate […]

Next Up: Advice for Catechists of Jr High/High School Youth

Thanks to everyone for sharing such great advice for catechists of intermediate age children. Now, we move on to the next group which is catechists of junior high and high school youth (grades 7 through12). Let’s hear from the army of intrepid catechists out there who labor in the vineyard with these unique creatures we call pre-adolescents and adolescents! What advice, wisdom, and strategies do you have to offer? Just type in your comments below…I’ll […]

Getting Started as a Catechist – Free Webinars!

As the new catechetical year approaches, catechists are focusing their attention on how to best engage their students in faith formation. In the United States alone, roughly 150,000 catechists are new to the job each year!  With that in mind, I will once again be hosting a series of free Webinars through Loyola Press called “Getting Started as a Catechist.” This year, I’m offering a new twist: I will be hosting four webinars in the series, each focused on […]

Getting to Know the Age Level You Teach

One of my favorite cartoons shows a professorial-looking catechist or Sunday school teacher in a classroom full of pre-school children and saying to them, “I’m new to teaching your age group. How much do you know about systematic theology?” The truth is, if we’re not familiar with the developmental characteristics (emotional, psychological, spiritual, physical, mental) of the age group we teach, we can find ourselves facing some real challenges. Here are links to some very […]