Articles Under: Catechizing Children

Because of the pandemic, instead of working directly with children, many parish catechists are helping parents gain confidence in preparing their children for sacraments without traditional classes. I believe this new process can ennoble families to better assume their role in society. “Ennoble,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means to “make noble or elevate.” [1] Kings and queens elevate or “ennoble” a “commoner” to the status of “noble.” One cannot ennoble himself. He receives his nobility either through family inheritance, marriage, or as a gift bestowed by the proper authority. As Catholics, our ennoblement begins at Baptism when we become... Read more
Important Announcement Regarding the Future of Today’s Catholic Teacher Magazine Dear Today’s Catholic Teacher Reader, We are proud of the significant contribution Today’s Catholic Teacher has made to Catholic education since its founding 50 years ago, growing to become one of the leading resources for teachers in the United States. We hope that as a magazine exclusively published for Catholic school teachers and administrators, it has contributed to help you succeed in the classroom. Despite the fact that Today’s Catholic Teacher has always been supported by a loyal and engaged readership, it has faced many of the same challenges that... Read more
Ellos no conforman mis “historias de gloria”. Son los niños en los que pienso a las 3:17 A.M. Los rostros de los niños que, según mi mejor entendimiento, no logré alcanzar. En medio de la noche, las cosas que dije e hice – a veces con la mejor de las intenciones y a veces desde un punto de frustración y desesperanza absolutas – vuelven a reproducirse en mi cabeza. ¿Qué fue lo que yo había hecho que parece haber provocado que el niño se cerrara de manera contundente al mensaje de Cristo – mensaje que yo quería urgentemente compartir con... Read more
They are not my “glory stories.” They are the children that I think about at 3:17 a.m. The faces of children that, to the best of my knowledge, I failed to reach. In the middle of the night things I said and did—sometimes with the best of intentions and sometimes from a place of absolute frustration and desperation—replay in my head. What had I done that seemed to completely close a child off to the message of Christ that I desperately wanted to share with them? Hope and the Sacrament of Confession mercifully keeps me from dwelling on these moments... Read more
La familia tiene un lugar privilegiado en la catequesis. El Catecismo declara que “los padres han recibido la responsabilidad y el privilegio de evangelizar a sus hijos”, refiriéndose a ellos como los “primeros heraldos de la fe” (2225). La familia es llamada “iglesia doméstica” – la iglesia del hogar (CEC 2224). Por esta razón, los padres son los primeros y más importantes maestros de la fe para sus hijos. En décadas recientes, sin embargo, ha sido difícil para las parroquias y escuelas católicas cambiarse a prácticas consistentes con esta comprensión. Los padres de familia han llegado a pensar en la... Read more
The family has a privileged place in catechesis. The Catechism states that “parents receive the responsibility of evangelizing their children” and calls them the “first heralds” of the faith (2225). The family is called “domestic church”—the church of the home ( CCC 2224). For this reason, parents are the first and most important teachers of the faith for their children. In recent decades, however, it has been difficult for parishes and Catholic schools to make the shift to practices that are consistent with this understanding. Parents have come to think of the parish and school as the places where children... Read more
Recently, I spoke with a graduate student in one of my courses on Catholic schools. Because she is not a religion teacher, she struggled to understand how she could carry out the mission of Catholic education. This faith-filled woman knew she was serving the Lord by fulfilling her duties conscientiously, but she did not recognize how her work could foster her students’ spiritual lives. She needed a vision for carrying out her educational activities in a way that leads her students to God. I illustrated for her how she could teach her subject area so that her students learned from... Read more
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Trusting God to Take the Lead A couple years ago, I volunteered as a first-grade catechist for my parish’s religious education program. This was before I was taking any classes or working in ministry, and I often struggled with how to present material to such a young age. The program we followed wasn’t much help; the kids I taught did not seem to connect to the content at all. I modified what I could and tried to make it fun, but often I felt my efforts were inadequate. One Sunday morning, I was teaching on the parable of the workers... Read more
A few months past, I had the rare privilege of observing our three youngest grandchildren at play in a Houston park burying treasure (rocks) and marking the spot with a flag made of a stick and a carefully curated large leaf. Their lively play, contagious joy, and the delightful way they encouraged one another in their imaginative play made for one of those transcendent experiences we wish would never end. These moments drew me to think more deeply about what I was witnessing. What was it that made their play so compelling? The components were simple and rooted in ordinary... Read more