Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 3: First-Aid (The Works of Mercy)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 3:  First-Aid (The Works of Mercy) What would you expect to find in a typcial first-aid kit? No doubt bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, burn ointment, and so on. What would you include in a spiritual first-aid kit? The fact is, we provide first aid for people when they have an urgent physical need. Some physical needs that people have are ongoing and are not the result of a medical emergency. […]

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 […]

Catechists in Action – Meet Steve Lascola

Welcome to another edition of Catechists in Action where we have an opportunity to watch real-life catechists teaching their weekly religious education sessions. Today, we meet Steve Lascola, a 3rd grade catechist at Most Holy Redeemer parish in Evergreen Park, IL. Steve’s “day job” is coaching so we have another opportunity to see how a guy with a coaching mentality translates that into catechetical ministry. It is especially unique to see a guy like Steve […]

Chatting, Cutting, Chatting, Cutting

My goodness, 4th graders can be chatty! 🙂 Last evening, as they worked on their Works of Mercy project, cutting and pasting pictures of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in the correct frames, my young apprentices were extremely chatty! Several of them were singing (or rapping) outloud to themselves as they worked while most of them chatted unceasingly with one another as they diligently performed surgery with their scissors and glue. It was […]

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Here’s my lesson plan for Monday, November 8, 2010 Theme: Jesus Sends the Holy Spirit    Big Idea: The Holy Spirit guides us to serve others (through works of mercy) in Jesus’ name Engage As kids arrive, have them draw a picture of themselves acting as a GUIDE at some location of their choosing (provide crayons/markers). Invite them to share where they chose to be a GUIDE Explain that we rely on GUIDES to show us […]

Poverty Quiz Struck a Nerve

At the end of Monday evening’s session, I asked each of the kids to share one thing they learned that evening: spiritual and corporal works of mercy, social justice, service, and living the Beatitudes. I was struck by how many of the young people referred to the poverty quiz that they took in the social justice session with Chris. Many of them pulled the quiz out and quoted a fact or figure about poverty in […]

Works of Mercy Booklet

For last night’s session, we had the kids assemble Works of Mercy mini-booklets as you see pictured here. Depending on the time available, you can either have the kids assemble the pages of their booklets or you can do this ahead of time. Given the short time that I have for the mini-sessions, I chose to assemble the (blank) pages of the booklets at home. I made 60 of them in about a half-hour while listening to […]

Making a Statement – Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Happy New Year everybody!!! I hope, pray, and trust that this year will be filled with many blessings for you in your role as a catechist! Tonight, when I teach, I plan to wear my Blackhawks jersey, which I’m wearing here in this picture at last night’s Hawks’ victory (my daughter Amy’s first Hawks game). I want to point out that we make a statement by what we wear. I’ll then ask the kids to […]

Highlights (Thankfully, Very Few Lowlights!)

Last night was our second Confirmation intensive (a 2-hour session made up of five 10-minute mini-sessions sandwiched in between an opening and closing session in their “homerooms.”) Thank God, things went pretty well once again. Here are the highlights: half of the kids forgot it was an intensive. When I clarified that they were staying till 9 o’clock, a half-dozen cell phones were promptly whipped out to call home to re-arrange pick-up times! the kids […]

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