Looking Over My Teaching Space

I had the opportunity today to get into the room in which I’ll be teaching 6th grade religious education this year! It is on the 2nd floor of St. Cajetan school…a nice spacious room with carpeted floor and dry erase boards! I’m looking forward to my first session this Tuesday evening!

Beautiful Feet!

Scripture says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! (Is 52:7). That was the first reading today at the opening Mass for the Religious Education Institute for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where I had the pleasure of giving a couple of presentations. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the “beautiful feet” attending my first workshop!

Help For “New” Catechetical Leaders: Through the Year with the DRE

Back in the day, when I was a “baby” DRE (Director of Religious Education), I turned to a nifty book for help. It was written by Gail McKenna and it was titled Through the Year with the DRE: A Seasonal Guide for Christian Educators (Paulist Press). The book is long out of print, however, the idea stayed with me and inspired me to create a chart a few years ago outlining the “typical” responsibilities that […]

Ends With a Whimper, Not a Bang

Alas, the catechetical year with my 6th graders ended with more of a whimper than a bang last evening! Suffice it to say that their eagerness to be done with Monday night religious education sessions outweighed any anguish they were feeling about not seeing Mr. Paprocki any more! ūüôā Part of the problem stemmed from the usual shenanigans that one encounters when supervising a large group of pre-adolescents attending Mass on a Monday evening after […]

Reaching Out to the Lost Sheep – Assessment and Redemption

I have long been an advocate of assessment in catechesis. At the same time, I have always made it clear that assessment in catechesis is to be used as a tool to address needs (both individual and corporate) and to address deficiencies in the catechetical program. I don’t advocate using assessments to assign report card grades to kids in religious education and certainly not to determine if they are to “pass or fail” or to […]

End of the Year Assessment

This coming Monday, I will do a formal assessment to see to what extent my 6th graders have grasped the BIG ideas I attempted to teach them this year in religious education! First, we will do a Jeopardy-like review using a Powerpoint version of the game that I found online a couple of years ago. You can manipulate this according to your own needs, changing categories, questions, and answers and hyperlinking from the “game board” […]

Where Have You Gone, Thomas Groome? The Role of Experience in Catechesis

When I was a mere “babe” in the catechetical ministry (early 1980s), I was introduced to the notion of the catechetical process. At the time, those 2 words could not be spoken without also mentioning the name of Dr. Thomas Groome and his groundbreaking work, Christian Religious Education: Sharing Our Story and Vision . At the heart of Groome’s approach is an unmistakable connection between lived experience and the faith Tradition of the Catholic Church. […]

Opening Mass Tonight; Thinking Ahead to Next Week

Tonight, our religious education program celebrates our Opening Mass in the Church which means that I will primarily be supervising my 6th graders as they gather for Mass and then throughout the Mass. This afternoon, I plan to go over their names so that this evening I will be able to greet them and talk to them by name. As we wait for Mass to begin, I thought I would do some Q & A […]

More From Los Angeles Religious Education Conference 2012

I had a great experience delivering a presentation on Practice Makes Catholic yesterday to about 1000 people here at the L.A. Religious Education Conference! It was very exciting to speak to a crowd that big! Thanks to all who came out to make this such a wonderful experience. Here’s a pic of HALF the room before it filled up with folks. After my presentation, I had an encounter with¬†someone¬†who made the “soup nazi” (from Seinfeld)¬†¬†look […]

I Love L.A.!

I’m celebrating Catholicism California style at the annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress which draws about 40,000 people over 4 days! It is always an exciting experience. I’m thrilled to be giving a talk this afternoon and I’ve met so many wonderful people in just the few hours I’ve been here. I’ll tell you more about it as the weekend goes along. Here are a couple of pics. Here I am enjoying dinner in Downtown […]

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