Accompanying Children Back to the Classroom

“In his proclamation of the Kingdom, Jesus seeks, encounters, and welcomes people in their concrete life situations.” Directory for Catechesis #198 While the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, many states have seen the easing of restrictions around larger gatherings, and there has been an increasing sense that life is returning to some sense of normalcy. This fall, parishes and schools will find themselves welcoming students back to class after a much-needed summer of rest and […]

Five Ideas for Accompanying Catechists Back to the Classroom

“But, really, is there such a thing as a catechist who is not creative? Creativity is what sustains us as catechists.” (Pope Francis at the International Congress on Catechesis, September 27, 2013) Catechists and catechetical leaders have certainly proved themselves to be flexible and creative during this past year and a half of upheaval. Many catechists and catechetical leaders exercised great creativity and “stick-with-it-ness” in reaching out to their students and families with great enthusiasm and […]

The First Class of the Year

What is your goal for the first day of faith formation? My goal is to set the tone for the year, build community, and inspire everyone to come back for week two. Each week my lesson plan has a theme. My theme for our first class is “Connected by God’s Love.” In some sense, this is our theme for our whole year. God is at the center of why we all are there. God is […]

Calling Children by Name

“I have called you by name, you are mine,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 43:1) This intimate connection we have with God is a gift to be celebrated. Being named Kathleen, I’ve gone through life with people automatically assuming I want to be called “Kathy” or “Kate.” I don’t want to be called something else; my name is Kathleen. When I meet my religious education students, the first thing I do is ask them their names […]

Inspiration for a Worried Teacher

If you’re feeling nervous about the approaching new catechetical year, you’re not alone. Read and pray with this excerpt from A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days by Amy Welborn. And let’s pray for each other as we prepare to meet our students. “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of […]

A Plan for the First Session of Seventh Grade

I’m never sure what to expect on the first day of religious education. How many students will show up? What will they be like? How long will the opening prayer service and send-off to classrooms take? A catechist always needs to be flexible, but the first day of sessions makes that quality even more important. This year I had 14 young people on my roster, 13 of whom attended the first session. I expect the […]

Transitions and Expectations: Facing a New Catechetical Year

The start of the new catechetical year has always brought me much excitement for the graces that will come; it has also brought a little anxiety as I think about the ways that God will stretch me as I strive to serve my students. These feelings are magnified for me this year, as this new catechetical year also marks the start of a new chapter in my life. I recently left my position as the […]

Starting the Catechetical Year

In the next few weeks, many of us will be starting the new catechetical year. Before walking into the classroom to meet your group, find advice and inspiration with some of our favorite starting-the-year posts. Getting Started as a Catechist Webinars Our blog host Joe Paprocki helps new catechists get acclimated to the ministry in a series of recorded webinars. Select the group you’re working with for age-level specific advice. Five Tips for Working with […]

Feeling Like a First-Year Catechist

Despite having 15 years of experience, I feel like a first-year catechist in many ways this year. Our parish has a new catechetical leader. I will be in a different classroom on a different floor of the school building. My room has tables instead of individual desks. The religious education office moved to different location within the parish space. Things are changing, and I’m hoping the changes bring positive effects for our program. On the […]

And Away We Go!

I’m old enough to remember how Jackie Gleason would say, “And awaaaay we go!” at the beginning of his TV show every week. Those words popped into my mind as we kicked off the catechetical year at St. Cajetan Parish last week. We began with a prayer service in church, which included blessings of the parents, children, catechists, and Finding God textbooks. After some inspiring words from the pastor, Fr. Frank Kurucz, the young people were […]

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