Handling Sensitive Conversations

I will never forget a moment in my tenth-grade classroom when the students were sharing all the different ways that our parish family and our own families have helped us to grow in faith. During the conversation one of my students tearfully burst out, “You all keep talking about your mother and father! But my mother is in jail, and I have never met my father. The Church isn’t a family; it doesn’t care about […]

Creative Approaches to Reading from a Textbook: Listen to the Sound of My Voice

Welcome to part two of a four-part series on creative approaches to reading from a textbook in your faith formation sessions. As I mentioned in part one, I have always been an advocate of teaching “beyond the book,” which means that we use the book as a critical resource but not as the be-all-and-end-all of a faith formation session. Since it is our job as catechists to present Catholic teachings fully and faithfully, we rely on […]

Listening

From time to time I find it helpful to stop what I am doing and listen. I mean really listen. My family has learned to recognize when I am no longer hearing what they are saying to me. I am completely honest when this happens and no longer feel guilty when I say to my spouse or child, “You know, I’m just not listening to you anymore.” We know that any further attempts to convey […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 3: Listening to the Word

This is the third article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. To help children listen well to the Word of God at Mass, catechists should provide experiences of Scripture that allow young people to respect the Word, to become aware that Jesus speaks to them through it, and to engage in holy listening.* Respect for the Word From early childhood, students should learn that a reading from the Bible […]