A Prayer for Catechists: Build My Lessons

This prayer originally appeared in my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. Give your catechists this book or others in the Toolbox series for only $6 each when you buy 15 or more copies. See details here. For more resources on planning and preparation, start with some of these Catechist’s Journey articles: 11 Tips for Catechists Planning Your Adult Faith Formation […]

Prayer for Class Preparation

This prayer originally appeared as part of the post The Power of Prayer: Three Ways to Model Discipleship. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. Take a moment and ask yourself: does every activity in my parish point more deeply to Jesus? Julianne Stanz wants to help you and your parish community make sure the answer to this question is a resounding, “Yes!” Preorder Julianne’s new book, Start with Jesus: How Everyday Disciples Will […]

How to Prepare for Class

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success,” said Alexander Graham Bell—and so says any catechist who wants to be effective. But how do we prepare for class, especially when we might have just a few minutes before each session? I’m not talking here about planning the session in terms of what to teach and what techniques to use, but the immediate preparation on class day before the young people arrive. Here are five […]

Four Ideas for Setting Up the Classroom Environment as Sacred Space

Setting up a prayer center in the faith-formation classroom is a key element in establishing an environment of prayer. The visual reminders of our Catholic faith invite young people to remember to quiet themselves in the presence of the holy. While we all know that God is everywhere and we can pray at any time, a dedicated prayer center is a special place where young people can gather in the presence of God. But beyond […]

How Much Time Should a Catechist Spend Preparing Lessons?

I recently received an e-mail from a veteran catechist asking how much time catechists should put into planning their lessons. She had been using a textbook from another publisher for 10 years but was now using Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts from Loyola Press and was struck by the realization that she was being asked, not just to transmit information, but to facilitate a transformation of those she teaches. Here’s my reply to […]

What’s Inside My Catechist’s Bag

I teach in a classroom that is in a school that closed a few years ago. While this means I can leave some things at the school, the room is still shared space among two sessions of religious education and a few other groups that use the building during the week. I also like to have my textbook, worksheets, and other learning materials with me when I plan sessions, so aside from the prayer table […]

Beyond Backpacks: Preparing for a New Year

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the God’s Gift sacramental preparation series. It’s back-to-school time for my children. We’ve spent weeks buying new clothes, backpacks, and school supplies. They went to school orientations, they met their teachers, and they even attended a pre-school pep rally. On the first day of school, our prep work paid off. They all knew where they were going and what to expect, and they were open […]

How to Prepare Catechists for the New Year

As a parent, I know that pleas for volunteers come fast and furious in the fall. These pleas arrive just as we are trying to get our own children to practices, lessons, and school activities on time. When homework, dinner, laundry, and outside job responsibilities are added to this seemingly endless list, I am reminded that my catechists are under a lot of pressure. I ask a lot of these volunteers. As DREs, we must […]

Confident Catechists: How to Prepare for the New Year

During Advent and Lent, the Church prepares for the feasts of Christmas and Easter. Similarly, summer is the season when catechists prepare for the upcoming catechetical year. The more time we take to prepare, the more comfortable and confident we will be echoing the Word of God in our classrooms. Prayer, Prayer, and More Prayer The most important thing we can do to prepare for the new catechetical year is to pray. Through prayer, the […]

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