A Pastoral Approach to Talking About Missing Mass

I recently received an e-mail from a diocesan catechetical minister who was contacted by a concerned DRE, struggling to address the following problem: A sixth-grade catechist, in teaching about mortal sin, told her students that if Mass is missed, then it is a mortal sin and the sinners will go to hell. Yes, she used those words. The student went home crying because her parents miss Mass frequently. We know these situations are coming up […]

The Spiritual Life of Catechists, Part 6: Participation in the Community

This is the sixth article in a series about the spiritual life of catechists, inspired by the list of characteristics in the National Directory for Catechesis. Catechists and catechetical leaders generally don’t sit in ivory towers reading theology in their spare time (thankfully!) Theirs is a lived faith, and nothing indicates that more than active involvement in the parish community. Their reputation and appearance as a regular part of parish life is proportional to the […]

Preparing for Our Mercy Experience – Permission Forms, etc.

Tonight, before taking the kids to church for their monthly Mass, we will focus on our upcoming Mercy Experience (formerly known as service projects!). On April 21, we will be going to the Ronald McDonald House near Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL, to prepare and serve supper for about 30 people currently residing there. Kudos to my DRE, Deb, and to St. Cajetan for strongly suggesting that EVERY grade of religious education be […]

Great New Liturgy Apps!

Here’s some information about some great new Apps on the Liturgy! The first is the My Picture Missal App from Loyola Press. This App, available in the iTunes store at this link: My Picture Missal App, was developed for children with special needs and  for young children. The intent of this interactive app is to help children learn, understand, and fully experience the Mass. Children with special needs have spiritual lives and, with communication assistance, can […]

An Introduction to Lent

Tomorrow’s lesson is going to be an overview of the upcoming season of Lent which is just over a week away (Ash Wednesday is March 5)! For this lesson, I will be using my FREE Lent PowerPoint. As with the previous PowerPoints I’ve made available, this presentation includes a script (in Note Pages view) to assist you in effectively leading your students to a deeper understanding of this season. To download the Lent PowerPoint from authorSTREAM, […]

Session Ten (11/26/13) – Getting Ready for Advent

Last evening was our scheduled monthly Mass in church which was moved from 6:15 to 6:45 PM to give us one solid block of teaching before Mass (6:00 – 6:40) rather than a brief one before Mass (6:00 – 6:10) and another short segment after Mass (7:10 – 7:30). This worked out very well because Mass still went about an hour but didn’t take away from class time! I don’t think parents minded that the […]

Religious Education Family Mass

Yesterday, St. Cajetan’s hosted a Religious Education Family Mass to celebrate what God is doing in the lives of those involved in the RE program. All of the catechists were asked to make displays and we set them up in the back of the church. Before and after Mass, many people browsed the displays and had a chance to meet and talk to the catechists and enjoy refreshments (after Mass!) I had a chance to […]

Mass, Parent Meeting, and All Saints/All Souls

Last night was a busy night for us in religious education since it was our monthly mass (the last Tuesday of each month) as well as the evening that I invited parents to attend so that I could meet them and spend some time with them. I really like the idea of the kids going to Mass once per month…they are learning more about the Mass and developing more familiarity with our liturgical life. The […]

VIRTUAL Pilgrimage to Italy, Day 6: The Tomb of St. Peter

After all of the VIRTUAL walking we did on the first several days of our VIRTUAL pilgrimage to Italy, my VIRTUAL feet were a tad tired! It was nice to sit yesterday at the International Conference for Catechists and to soak up so much wisdom concerning the catechetical ministry. Wasn’t Pope Francis wonderful? I love his comment about not keeping Jesus to ourselves lest we become like statues in a wax museum “and we have […]

Summary of Session Two (9/24/13) – Mass and Bible Basics

First of all, thanks to those folks who were concerned because they thought I actually flew home from Italy to teach my class and then fly back! I guess a few folks missed my emphasis on the word VIRTUAL in reference to the pilgrimage to Italy! I’m not on the actual pilgrimage but am conducting a VIRTUAL pilgrimage so that we can, in some small way, share in the experience of those pilgrims who actually […]

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