Tonight’s Session: What’s Your Story? “This is MY Story!”

This evening is the last chance I have this year to review with my 6th graders so I’m going to make the most of it! Here’s my plan: Big Idea: What’s Your Story? (This is MY Story!) Preliminaries (15 mins) Collect permission forms for Ronald McDonald House Mercy Experience Go over details for the upcoming Mercy Experience Opening procession and prayer ritual Engage (20 mins) Do “What’s Your Story?” ice breaker in which you ask questions […]

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 […]

Help Spread Pope Francis’ Message of Mercy!

Let’s help spread Pope Francis’s message of mercy by getting 100,000 people to order The Church of Mercy by April 25 so that it qualifies as a bestseller! To make that happen, order a copy (and get as many individuals to do the same) through Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or your local bookseller. Pope Francis has captured the world’s attention with his seemingly counterintuitive approach to leadership. In The Church of Mercy, readers get a first-hand look […]

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!

Last evening was delightful session in which we focused on the “flipside” of the Prophets’ message: the proclamation of hope (we previously focused on their “getting in the face” of Israel over injustices). We talked a lot about the experience of the Exile and how those in exile were devastated and how the Prophets brought a message of hope that culminated in the coming of Jesus. The main focus of the session, however, was on […]

Prophets of Hope: The “Flip-Side” of Getting In Your Face

Last week, we focused on how the Prophets “got in the face” of the people of Israel to remind them to be faithful to the Covenant and to live justly. For this week’s session, we will look at the “flip-side” of the Prophets: their efforts to proclaim hope to an exiled people. The Prophets Give Hope Big Idea: We need HOPE to survive and we find HOPE in God’s MERCY Preliminaries (15 mins) Welcome and […]

Lent Resources for Small Faith Groups

As Lent approaches, many parishes and college campuses look to form small faith groups so that people can share the journey of Lent together. Here are some great resources for small faith groups from Loyola Press that I recommend: Online Lenten Opportunities for Small Groups Arts & Faith: Lent – A visual prayer experience for Lent. Each week provides a video commentary about a work of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures. The Ignatian Workout for Lent: […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #5: Preparing to Live in Community

Recently, we began a series here on my blog about the six tasks of catechesis, focusing on the notion that God is calling each of us to fulfill a role that he has planned for us. Just as actors rely on certain strategies to immerse themselves in character, we too rely on certain strategies to “immerse” ourselves in the role that God is calling us to fill: the “best version of ourselves” (to borrow a phrase from […]

The Prophets Give Hope

My lesson for tonight dovetails nicely with last week’s session since we are continuing to talk about the Prophets. Last week, we focused on how the Prophets challenged the People of Israel. This week, we look at how the Prophets spoke words of HOPE to the People when they were in Exile and as they returned to their destroyed homeland. You may recognize the Works of Mercy exercise from a lesson I did a couple […]

Chatting, Cutting, Chatting, Cutting

My goodness, 4th graders can be chatty! 🙂 Last evening, as they worked on their Works of Mercy project, cutting and pasting pictures of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in the correct frames, my young apprentices were extremely chatty! Several of them were singing (or rapping) outloud to themselves as they worked while most of them chatted unceasingly with one another as they diligently performed surgery with their scissors and glue. It was […]

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Here’s my lesson plan for Monday, November 8, 2010 Theme: Jesus Sends the Holy Spirit    Big Idea: The Holy Spirit guides us to serve others (through works of mercy) in Jesus’ name Engage As kids arrive, have them draw a picture of themselves acting as a GUIDE at some location of their choosing (provide crayons/markers). Invite them to share where they chose to be a GUIDE Explain that we rely on GUIDES to show us […]

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