Grandparents and Grandchildren Go to Faith Camp

Grandparents can play a unique and important role in family faith formation. The General Directory of Catechesis describes the family as the primary place where catechesis takes place: “In this family catechesis, the role of grandparents is of growing importance. Their wisdom and sense of the religious is often times decisive in creating a true Christian climate.” (236) Pope Francis echoed a similar message in a tweet about grandparents: How important grandparents are for family life, […]

Lifting Hearts and Eyes to Mary with a Living Rosary and Balloon Release

There’s no doubt that St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in San Antonio, Texas has a passion for Mary and her discipleship. Lessons about the Rosary are incorporated in religious instruction at all grade levels and focus especially on Mary during the Month of the Rosary in October. Fifteen years ago, St. Gregory’s seventh-grade students started asking questions about Marian apparitions and how they connected to the Mysteries of the Rosary. The students were asked […]

Facebook Followers Share about Activities in the Classroom

What’s your most creative idea for the Catholic classroom? We asked this question on our Catholic Faith Formation Facebook page and received a list of creative responses. From a jumbo Rosary to hashtags about holiness, catechists shared about activities for multiple grade levels, parents, and families. Saint Strips Catechist Kathleen Horrigan Butler from Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., shared a first-grade activity that helps children pray with the saints, using art from Happy […]

Seeing the Wonder

Kathy MacKenzie has been involved in youth faith formation for the past 12 years, most recently as Director of Religious Education at St. Timothy Parish in Norwood, MA. We asked her to tell us about a favorite moment in the faith-formation year. Any moment at which I see the bright light of understanding dawning on young faces, an expression of wonder and awe at the beauty that is God’s grace, is an instant of pure […]

Special Needs Ministry on Both Sides of the Border

It’s hard to ignore the enthusiasm that radiates from Kathy Hagan, a retired school teacher working in Catholic religious education for 30 years. Hagan is involved in Confirmation preparation and special needs ministry at St. Luke Catholic Church in Irving, Texas. St. Luke’s is a vibrant community with parishioners from Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Vietnam. English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Filipino are spoken in the pews and classrooms. There is one more language—that of […]

Kindness Angels

What’s your favorite project to work on with students in your group? We asked this question on our Catholic Faith Formation Facebook page and received a variety of creative ideas. Today we’re highlighting one lesson called “Kindness Angels.” This lesson is ideal for the Advent season as an alternative to the Elf on the Shelf. It can also be used throughout the year for busy families who are looking to engage in a meaningful way. […]

One Parish’s Initiative to Be More Welcoming

Just over a year ago, Steven Serafin and his pastor were the new people at St. Mary’s Parish in Dover, NJ. This gave them the opportunity to approach faith formation with fresh eyes. As Pastoral Associate and Director of Faith Formation, Steven shared about a parish initiative called the “theology of welcome” in an interview with Loyola Press. Following the message put forth by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI with the New Evangelization, St. Mary’s is […]

Faith Tweets and Bible Trivia to Teach Salvation History

Mary Dillman has served as a catechist for 13 years at St. Magdalen de Pazzi Church, in Flemington, NJ (Diocese of Metuchen). The parish is a large one with more than 3,000 families. Mary teaches sixth-grade religious education and has served as the lead instructional designer for the Salvation History curriculum the parish uses for sixth-grade youth. Here she shares several activities that worked best in her faith-formation classes this past year, as part of […]

Stealth Catechesis: Teaching without Teaching

One evening, my 10th-grade Confirmation class revolted. “We do not want to use the book anymore,” said their leader. “Why not?” I asked. “We’ve been in school all day, and we’re tired of sitting around listening and reading. This is supposed to be church, not school.” I could see her point. After all, I had been working all day, had gone straight to the church from the train, and I had yet to eat dinner. […]

The 1% Prayer Challenge

What would happen if you gave 15 minutes of your day completely to God? That’s what Mike Lorenzo is asking the community at St. John the Evangelist Parish in St. John, Indiana. Mike is the Pastoral Associate for Evangelization at the parish. He works closely with the pastor and his colleagues to instill a desire to be closer to God and strengthen their prayer lives. Over the Lenten and Easter seasons they launched an initiative […]

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