Making Our Faith Simple-Yet-Not-Simplistic: The Moral Life

As we continue looking at the four pillars of our Catholic Faith (Creed, Sacraments, Moral Life, and Prayer) through the lens of my book, A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe, we now move on to the third pillar, the Moral Life. Our goal, once again, is to make our Catholic faith simple-yet-not-simplistic. So, how do we make the moral life “simple-yet-not-simplistic”? We need to be especially cautious in this […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #3: Moral Formation, or Living Out Our Faith

The third of the Six Tasks of Catechesis is moral formation, or in terms of the remembering phrase HELP ME, living out our faith. Read what the bishops say: Jesus’ moral teaching is an integral part of his message. Catechesis must transmit both the content of Christ’s moral teachings as well as their implications for Christian living. Moral catechesis aims to conform the believer to Christ—to bring about personal transformation and conversion. It should encourage […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #3: Promoting Moral Formation

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 […]


Tonight is the last session that I will be teaching for my 6th graders this year (next week is our closing Mass). I’ll reflect soon on what this experience has been like for me (in brief, it’s been wonderful!) but for now I’d just like to offer a glimpse of what I’ll be doing tonight. Preliminaries (15 mins) Gather, attendance, misc. – young people write prayer intentions Opening prayer ritual/procession Engage (10 mins) I plan […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 1: Before They Were Famous (Human Dignity, Sin, and Mercy)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 1: Before They Were Famous  (Human Dignity, Sin, and Mercy) httpv:// Every so often, on the Internet, you come across these fun features that show pictures of celebrities when they were young – before they were famous – and ask you to guess their identity. Try your hand at some of these. Recognizing someone’s true identity can be challenging. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a parable […]

Big News! I’m Moving to 4th Grade!!!

I let the cat out of the bag during my last Webinar but it is true…I am moving from 8th grade to 4th grade this year! I saw in our DRE’s spring newsletter that she was in search of a 4th grade catechist. I became intrigued by the idea of teaching a new grade (I’ve never taught 4th graders in my life!) and a new topic (the focus of 4th grade is on Morality and […]

The 4 Pillars of Our Faith: the Moral Life

This week, I’m featuring short excerpts from my book, A Well-Built Faith, focusing on the 4 pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here’s a brief look at the third pillar: the Moral Life. Country and Western songs tend to be filled with heart ache, telling tales of good loving gone bad. Two people in love are supposed to treat each other in a certain way and when that doesn’t happen, relationships faith. Just […]

Ten Commandments – Two-Minute Drills

I’m pretty excited about this one! I want to do something to reinforce the Ten Commandments as we move in to this last unit on Morality. I also want to place more responsibility on the kids now that they are confirmed, so that they sense a difference between how I taught them before Confirmation and how they are learning now. As a result, I’ve come up with something I call The Ten Commandments Two-Minute Drills! […]

A Summary of Last Evening's Class

I was very pleased with last evening’s class, for a variety of reasons. Here’s a summary of what transpired: A number of 8th grade students were in church rehearsing for the Living Stations of the Cross (next Monday). I was missing 4 of my students but picked up 4 from my colleague Jim’s class since he had taken the night off to do a college visit with his son. His other students went to another […]

Their Little Wheels Were Turning

Last night’s class was very gratifying. We are looking at morality and focusing on the Ten Commandments. Last night we focused on the first 3 Commandments that call us to love of God. As the evening went on, it was interesting to see their “little wheels” begin turning as they grappled with some moral dilemmas. Here’s a summary: I began with a “song of the week” – this time playing a song by Shakira called RULES. […]

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