In preparation for each session, the catechist should take the time to create a prayerful learning environment. Catechists should arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the session.
After checking in with the office for announcements, mail, resources, etc.
1) Place the tables, chairs, desks, etc. in an organized arrangement.
2) Create a seating arrangment by placing names (eg. name tents) on tables or desks.
3) Write the schedule on the board. Include the main idea of the lesson
4) Have all supplies, textbooks, Bibles, and resources available for immediate use.
5) Arrange the prayer space
6) If there is a snack, prepare it ahead of tme and have it ready to be distributed at a specific time.
7) Welcome children as they arrive. Ask them to begin their first learning activity.
Beginning Monday, September 19
Facilitated by Kathleen Sullivan
Please register by September 12
In collaboration with eCatechist.com the Catholic Information Center, Grand Rapids, MI is offering a six-week, online course designed with the busy pilgrim in mind. Weekly readings, discussions, and reflections are completed online at the participant's convenience. Instructions and login information will be emailed to you after registration.
Whether you are a life-long Bible reader or simply one who knows the basic stories and teachings as heard at Mass, this course is for you! Using, The Catechist's Guide to Reading Your Bible - A Catholic View, by Steve Mueller, PhD as the text, this course will both inform you about the Bible and equip you with the skills needed to read and understand its message.
Kathleen has a master's degree in religious studies from Aquinas College, Grand Rapids. After a career in many aspects of adult education, she leads Bible studies in her parish, St. Robert of Newminster, Ada, MI.
For more information or to register call 616-459-7267 or visit Catholic Information Center
If you are looking for a painless way to boost your spiritual energy, you might consider the handy little booklet from All Saints Press called Words of Grace.
A quarterly booklet of Daily Reflections and Prayers for Catholics, it connects the daily Scripture readings from the Mass with the treasury of wisdom found in the Church’s rich spiritual tradition.
Besides offering a brief daily reflection related to the Mass readings with a thought-provoking prayer or discussion starter question, this easy-to-use booklet also offers a variety of other engaging daily features such as Bible backgrounds explaining aspects of the readings, what happened on this day in catholic history, quotations offering food for thought, occasional prayers from the saints, and brief explanations of various terms related to Catholic liturgy, theology and spirituality.
It is a helpful resource for anyone looking to deepen his or her spiritual life. It is especially helpful for catechists, parish ministers, lectors and prayer groups. Another neat thing is that its convenient 4 by 6 inch size makes it fit easily into your pocket, purse or car so you can use it anywhere or anytime.
Image from On Our Way Series, Grade 2. William H. Sadlier. 1964
It’s that time of year and you may still need a few more catechists. Here is a sample “Announcement” that you can include in the parish bulletin, website, email, post card. Please include www.eCatechist.com in the announcement.
St. Fabian Parish
Eight reasons why you may want to be a catechist:
Is God calling you to be a catechist?
Call ___________, meet and discuss what being a catechist is all about. Pray!
For more information about being a catechist, please visit www.eCatechist.com.
The Diocese of Saint Cloud, in it’s effort to encourage reflection on the Year of Mercy, is providing a monthly online "Work of Mercy" catechetical lesson. It’s purpose is to offer an online learning resource for small faith-sharing groups, parishes, schools, and families. It serves as one model of how catechesis can be done simply online simply.
It follows the Msgr. Francis Kelly’s familiar Ecclesial Method:
1. Preparation - Each lesson starts with a prayer and a general Works of Mercy video, with a reflection question(s)
2. Proclamation - Each lesson will repeat the Works of Mercy each month, each linking to it’s lesson as it is released
3. Explanation - This step addresses a specific Work of Mercy with links to other resources as well as text and embedded video
4. Application and appropriation - Reflection questions and suggested activities for families, groups, parishes and schools
5. Celebration - Closing prayer
Cash Value. A century ago the American psychologist and philosopher William James said that even religious ideas need some practical importance or cash value. In our economically driven society, everything is evaluated by its cash value. Time is money, Beanie Babies are worth whatever someone will pay for them, and people are evaluated according to the money they earn. In a consumer society like ours, everything and everyone eventually becomes a consumer product which is evaluated by its cash value.
Together with the entire Church, Catholic Relief Services celebrates the canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. We assisted Mother Teresa before her work was well known and have been a friend of the Missionaries of Charity, religious sisters devoted to "wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor," for nearly 50 years.
Hearing the voice of God while traveling from Calcutta to Darjeerling, Mother Teresa was moved to reach out to Calcutta's poorest citizens. Her ministry blossomed into the formation of the Missionaries of Charity who operate today in countries around the world.
Mother Teresa's tireless efforts on behalf of God’s most vulnerable children made her the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and an example for millions worldwide devoted to the struggle for human life and dignity.
On September 4, 2016, Blessed Mother Teresa becomes Saint Teresa of Calcutta, as the Church celebrates her profound legacy and declares with joy her sainthood before the world.
We invite your communities of faith to use these resources to learn about and celebrate her witness of faith:
“The study of sacred Scriptures must be a door opened to every believer.”
- Pope Francis. The Joy of the Gospel #175
All dioceses throughout the United States offer opportunities for the education, formation, and certification of catechists.
Such training is offered in a variety of formats for individual study, small group study, classes and conferences.
To assist diocesan directors and parish catechetical leaders, eCatechist.com introduces a process to educate catechists and other adults using three books by Steve Mueller.
The Catechist’s Guide to Reading Your Bible: A Catholic View
Who Do You Say That I Am? The Catechist’s Guide to Jesus in the Gospels
So What"s the Good News? The Catechist's Guide to Reading the Gospels
This is simple, low tech, and easy to facilitate.
To download a copy of the “Catechist’s Learning Page.”
As you can see, this process of reading, understanding and application is simple and low tech. It can be used individually or is easily facilitated in small and large groups. Furthermore, eCatechist.com will recommend additional titles specifically selected for the education and formation of catechists in coming months.
This process of reading, studying, and using the “Catechist Learning Page” will be used with additional titles specifically selected for education and formation of catechists.
Please contact Dan Pierson with questions or for ideas about implementation in your diocese or parish. email@example.com or 616.956.5044
One of the first questions any new catechist asks is, “What’s my role?”
In 2005 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published the National Directory for Catecheses to help answer that question by outlining six important tasks for the catechists.
So in this helpful book about the catechist’s role, the chapters highlight those tasks. The reader is encouraged to reflect on each task and to dialogue with other catechists about the contents of the book. Each chapter is written by a leader or practitioner in the catechetical field who is or has been engaged in catechist formation.
Catechesis: Sources, Nature and Purpose by Sue Grenough
Promoting Knowledge of the Faith by Rose L. Bennett
Liturgy and Sacraments by Joyce Ann Zimmerman, C.PP.S.
Moral Formation in Christ by Patrick R. Guentert
Praying with Christ by Leisa Anslinger
Life and Mission of the Church by Martin Arsenault
Christians in Society by LaVerne E. Bertin
The Role of the Catechist is an ideal book for introducing catechists to the catechetical mission of the Church. After each chapter there are questions for understanding and application.
Many dioceses will offer two (2) clock hours of certification certification credit for independent reading and the completion of a Catechist's Learning Page on this book.
“It is the child who leads us to the gospel,” writes Eberhard Arnold. In children’s generosity and helpfulness, in their natural happiness, and even in their naughtiness, we can experience a freedom to be ourselves. And children often possess an unshakable faith. Jesus is quite forthright about the role children play in his kingdom: “Unless you become like a child, you cannot enter the kingdom” (Matt. 18:3). We too easily forget this, or worse, resist it. The disciples got upset that so many children were being brought to Jesus. If we’re honest, we too, under the guise of serving Christ’s cause, often make ourselves too busy to pay attention to children.
“When Jamie gets to that age, you’re going to help me, right?”
“How can I get my kids to turn out like yours?”
“Why aren’t you writing all of this down?”
As a mom of three spectacular daughters, I get asked these questions on a regular basis, as if I’ve come up with some magic formula for parenting teenagers. All of my parenting comes with a lot of love, respect, and heavy doses of honesty. And, God.
So, to begin to write it down, I asked my girls what they thought held our family together. Here’s what we came up with:
The Feast of our founder St Ignatius is celebrated on 31st July by Jesuits and our friends all over the world.
This year we invite you to honour the feast by joining 31 Days of St Ignatius – a series of 31 daily messages of Ignatian inspiration and reflection throughout July.
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
Luke 10:1-2. NRSV
Research indicates that people volunteer for a variety of reasons.
"I enjoy sharing faith with children and enriching my own spirituality. It was a way of giving back what I received from my parents and 16 years of Catholic education."
"Jesus challenged us to go forth and teach. Since I wasn’t comfortable doing it from a street corner, it was ideal for me to do it with a small group of children."
"I was looking for an opportunity to meet people from the parish. Volunteering connects me to others and benefits both me and the parish."
"I want to learn more about my Catholic faith. As a catechist, I can now learn what I teach."
With these reasons in mind the parish catechetical leader and the recruitment team can now proceed to personally invite parishoners to explore the role and responsibilities of being a catechist.
Why Do People Volunteer
Summer is upon us and parents everywhere are getting ready. Families are scheduling their getaways, camps for kids, Vacation Bible Schools. Soon they will be pulling out last year’s swim suits, checking to see if their outdoor grills still work and planning their gardens.
Now is the perfect time for parish catechetical leaders to introduce families to Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home; University of Georgia Action Plan for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
This guide explains how families can put Pope Francis’ vision of caring for the earth into practice. The easy to read Action Plan discusses the beauty of God’s gift of creation and the important role we play as stewards. It has loads of environmental information, prayers and practical ideas for families to share faith and nurture the earth at the same time.
Parents can plan easy and fun activities such as biking instead of driving, or visits to state parks, botanical gardens, zoos and aquariums. These are things families would probably do during the summer anyway, but now they can do them with an added appreciation for the sacredness of nature, as well as for the sacredness of the time they spend together.
So while they are cleaning out closets, planting flowers, spending time outdoors relaxing or just conserving energy and water (which also saves money) let parents and children know God is in their midst and what they are doing is holy!
For free copies in both English and Spanish of Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home; University of Georgia Action Plan for the Archdiocese of Atlanta go to http://archatl.com/catholic-life/refreshatl/
Patrice Spirou serves as assistant director of religious education in the office of formation and discipleship in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
“So how long is Pentecost season supposed to last?” I asked my husband the other day. Since he is a professor of worship, I figured he would know the answer.
“Well, Pentecost isn’t really a season. It’s a feast day,” he replied.
“So you mean everything after Pentecost is actually ordinary time, all the way to Advent.”
“Well, yeah, officially.”
This was news to me, since at our church we have fashioned for ourselves a several-week period after Pentecost that we handle with nearly as much seasonal fanfare as Advent or Lent. We bring out the flame-themed liturgical art, we string up banners with Galatians 5:22-23 written out in numerous languages, and we sing through our repertoire of songs about the Spirit.
Maybe we are kidding ourselves. That outburst of Spirit-energy we managed to whump up on Pentecost is tough to maintain, especially for an average, mild-mannered Reformed congregation like mine. Maybe we should admit that what we’re really facing starting the Monday after Pentecost is ordinary time, the long slog of the liturgical year.
I’ve been thinking about long slogs lately, mostly because of my elderly parents and their incremental but recently accelerated decline. Some of us experience long slogs at work, when we’re overloaded and underappreciated and there’s no end in sight. Church communities have their tough times, too, when conflicts plague us and we wonder what unity in Christ might look like because we sure haven’t seen it around here for a long while. Probably everyone experiences private long-slogs in their spiritual life, times of dryness and absence when the path feels lonely and the burden heavy.
We seem to associate the Spirit either with giddy excitement, miraculous power, and sudden change—or with the gentle breath of God, the still small voice, blessed assurance. Those are all actions of the Spirit, of course, but when Paul writes that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, I think he is talking about what the Spirit does in those long stretches of ordinary time that make up most of our lives.
When I was a kid, I made a cute little banner of the fruits of the Spirit. It was colorful and neat and cheerful. I realize now, however, that there’s nothing cute or tidy about receiving the fruits of the Spirit. They demand of us, instead, a long, painful, and messy process of self-emptying, the kind of self-emptying that is the necessary preparation for Spirit-filling.
With that in mind, I wonder if Galatians 5:22-23 is a trail map for that sanctification process. And I wonder if the Apostle Paul—who understood a thing or two about ego-stripping—has given us the map in backwards order. Because it seems to me that self-control is a first and necessary step, and in its own way the easiest, being as it is about deeds and words rather than inner states. Self-control is what enables us to turn aside from unfaithfulness, quell the angry retort of the wounded ego, bite the nasty tongue, count to ten, and do the good deed even when the warm feeling isn’t there, just because it’s right. Daily repetitions of kind deeds and gentle words sooner or later add up to patterns, and patterns eventually mature into qualities—gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, kindness. All that tough spiritual labor, in turn, develops patience as surely as months of regular training develop endurance.
The last three fruits, I suspect, are the most advanced because they describe not just choices or qualities but inner states. Who of us can claim more than fleeting moments of deep, divine peace? Or joy, for that matter? Or perfect love: who can claim that? Yet peace is the necessary prerequisite for joy, and joy makes up the largest portion of the fullness of love. And love is the fullest expression of God’s presence, by the Spirit, in the human soul.
This is advanced spiritual stuff for sure, and those few people who get that far on the path tend to radiate with God-power and we tend to call them saints. Yes, I know: we don’t achieve or work for the fruits of the Spirit. They are gifts. But I think they come, when they come, not so much in the rush of mighty wind and flame, nor in the serenity of a Taizé chant or a quiet moment—but through thousands of small and ordinary Spirit-promptings in the long slog of our ordinary days.
Follow Debra Rienstra at The 12
From: The Management Tip of the Day
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 4 p.m. EDT
Learn more at www.Sadlier.com/ReligionWebinars
Open the virtual doors to effective catechesis. Effective catechists engage their students. Today, engaging students requires opening the virtual doors to our digital world. Join Don Kurre for a webinar on the benefits, opportunities, and tools available only when you open those virtual doors. You’ll leave ready to implement these digital strategies right away to enrich your ministry.
Don Kurre has served as a Director of Religious Education in parishes in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Diocese of Grand Island, as well as Supervisor of the North Platte Catholic Offices. Past President of NCCL and an author of many articles, Don was the 2013 recipient of the F. Sadlier Dinger Award for outstanding leadership and achievements in catechetical ministry. He earned his MA in religious studies from Indiana University.