New Roman Missal – What You Need to Know

As you probably already know, we will be preparing to implement the new Roman Missal one year from now, in Advent, 2011. This will be an issue of critical importance to catechists who will be on the front lines of teaching others about how to adapt to the changes in the texts of the prayers we say at Mass. The time between now and then is to be used for catechesis on the liturgy and […]

When Putting Together a Prayer Service

I was just working with my DRE, Arlene, to put together an Advent Prayer service and it occurred to me that it would be good to share a few resources you might want to check whenever you’re putting together a prayer service. One rule of thumb to follow is to seek to make your prayer service bear a “family resemblance” to the Mass, our central form of prayer. In other words, select elements from the […]

A Tour of the Church Student Worksheet

One activity that many catechists include in their repertoire is taking the students on a tour of the Church. This is an excellent way to provide a hands-on experience for kids, introducing them to the sacred spaces and objects that are a part of our Catholic worship and inviting them to develop their Catholic vocabulary. I’m a firm believer in always putting the responsibility on the students to show comprehension. I rarely show a video […]

A Visit From the Associate Pastor

Last night, we had a very nice visit from our Associate Pastor, Fr. Matthew Nemchausky. Fr. Matt dropped in last week and asked if he could arrange for a time to meet the kids so I invited him to visit this week. We planned on perhaps 10-15 mins, however, the kids were so interested in him that the visit lasted a half-hour! I thought it was an excellent experience for the kids and I was […]

Q & A from Yesterday’s Webinar

A number of people sent in some excellent questions during our Webinar last night. Here’s a sampling along with my responses. You’re most welcome to chime in on the discussion. _______________________________________________________________ ‑­Steven Q: ­What are the biggest differences between teaching religion in a five day school and as a catechist once a week.  For the first time in almost 30 years I am doing both at the same time.­ A: Steven, the most obvious of […]

We Have Our Work Cut Out for Us

This is nothing that we didn’t already know, but a new 2010 survey (8000 respondents) compiled for the strategic planning process of the Archdiocese of Chicago identifies some key challenges that we face in the areas of evangelization and catechesis. Here are just a few findings (a complete summary is forthcoming)… Most Catholics who leave the faith do so by age 24. Further, in our survey, the one factor that correlated by far the most […]

Teaching Church Behavior

Last night, we had our end-of-the-year grade level meeting with Arlene, our DRE, and we talked about how things went this year and what we can do better next year. One of the main issues that came up was our concern over the kids’ behavior in Church when we go over for prayer services or Mass. Each year, we go to the Church probably 5 or 6 times: opening prayer for the year, Advent Reconciliation, […]

This is the Day the Lord Has Made…

You may recall from some of my previous posts, that this year, I began each religious education class by inviting the 8th graders to stand and respond “Let us rejoice and be glad!” to my invocation of “This is the day the Lord has made.” This became a very joyful part of our class and the kids routinely responded with great enthusiasm and vigor. Lo and behold, at our end-of-the-year Mass on Monday evening, the […]

Helping Kids Write General Intercessions

From time to time, we invite kids to compose General Intercessions for a Mass or prayer service. Here’s a little something that can help get the wheels turning so that their intercessions are coming from their deepest desires. We’ll be using this in our upcoming Confirmation Intensive this Monday evening to have the kids compose General Intercessions for the Confirmation Mass. The activity begins by asking the kids to imagine that they have been granted 3 wishes […]

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