Sacraments Learning Stations at St. Gabriel’s in Riverdale, the Bronx

As they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery so I am indeed flattered to learn that a parish in the Bronx – St. Gabriel – adapted my Sacraments of Initiation Learning Stations for use with their Family Faith Day, an intergenerational event. I’ll let Marie Gwertzman, the Sacramental Coordinator, fill you in and then you can enjoy the pics she sent along! Hats off to Marie and her DRE Glenn McCarthy! November 14, […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 2, Day 3: “I Just Melted” (The Sacraments of Initiation)

WEEK TWO: Sacraments (Celebrating the Christian Mystery) DAY 3: “I Just Melted” (The Sacraments of Initiation) I remember asking my Dad before he passed away how it is that he and Mom never fought throughout their nearly 50 years of marriage. He said that, when they were dating, Mom once stood him up because she was unable to get back in time from another outing. He said he was all set to ream her out the […]

Catechists in Action – Len Astrowski Teaches About the Sacraments of Initiation

In this segment of Catechists in Action, 7th grade catechist Len Astrowski discusses the Sacraments of Initiation with his class. Watch for the following: Len asks if anyone can recall the 3 Sacraments of Initiation a student responds correctly Len joyfully and enthusiastically affirms her correct answer!!! Len reviews other important points from the chapter, explains them in his own words, and asks students to explain their understanding. This is a good example of informal […]

“Please, Mr. Paprocki! Pleeeaase!!!”

I had planned to be a “Grinch” last evening and skip taking my class to the Christmas pageant that the first-graders were putting on. I figured that my kids wouldn’t know about the pageant since I hadn’t said anything about it and I would have one more full session before Christmas break to complete the seven Sacraments. I forgot that many of my students have younger siblings! The first girl that came in asked, “Are we […]

A Mixed Bag

Last evening’s session went well for the most part but was a mixed bag. Here’s what I’m talking about: Because of frigid wind chills, I expected low attendance. Instead, I had perfect attendance! While it’s great that they all showed up, I was thrown off…but that’s my own fault for having low expectations. Whenever I have low expectations, the adrenalin isn’t flowin’ so I felt like I was just not hitting the nail on the […]

Keeping it Simple

I plan on keeping things very simple for today’s class for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, we are experiencing brutally cold weather with wind chills of -20 so I have a feeling I’ll be missing a few students tonight. Secondly, we need time to process last weeks’ learning stations on the Sacraments of Initiation, so I intend to just gather with them on the floor and talk through each of the sacraments, asking […]

Success with Learning Stations (Sacraments of Initiation)

Last evening’s session featuring Learning Stations on the Sacraments of Initiation was a great success! The kids were highly engaged in an activity that invited them to explore the rich symbols of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. I have a complete summary with more pictures below, but I might add here that the only real drawback I experienced was a lack of time (is that any surprise for a catechist?) to be able […]

Learning Stations Tonight – Gettin’ There Early!

I’m excited about tonight’s class: doing Sacraments of Initiation LEARNING STATIONS as I mentioned last week. I did my shopping over the weekend to get the supplies I needed and have them neatly packed into one bag. I called my DRE, Arlene, to ask about getting into the building a little earlier than usual. I think I’ll need about 45 minutes to get everything organized. I look forward to giving you a full and detailed […]

Learning Stations for the Sacraments of Initiation

This one’s a doozy, folks! Sometimes in my planning, I get carried away and this is one of those times. I’ve put together a lesson on the Sacraments of Initiation that involves Learning Stations for the kids. The lesson requires a lot of preparation on the part of the catechist (and a few expenses) but ends up being an activity in which the kids do all the work which is the way it’s supposed to be! […]

First Communion "Wars"

From time to time, I do a presentation at a Parent’s Meeting for First Communion. Usually, I go up first and offer a catechetical approach to the Eucharist. When I’m done, the DRE usually follows with specific details about the First Communion Day. It never fails – folks politely sit through my presentation and I get a few nods and smiles but relatively little reaction. THEN…folks amazingly come to life when all the details are […]

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