Articles Under: Catechizing Children

Because the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity “is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life” [1] it is nearly impossible to exaggerate its importance in all catechesis, including that of children. But how can we possibly convey to children this holy mystery, which even well-educated theologians admit is beyond human understanding? Trinitarian Beginnings Asking how we can best teach children about the Trinity is akin to asking how we ought to teach children about their mother and father and siblings. Ideally, children are born into a family and welcomed into the pre-existing communion of love... Read more
When my kids were little, I had the privilege of serving as a catechist at my parish. My experience as a catechist and then later as a DRE and a diocesan leader convinced me that something more was needed in the process of faith formation to help children make their faith real. Year after year, I witnessed children completing their lessons and receiving the sacraments, without any visible sign of conversion or attachment to the person of Jesus Christ. It was like pouring water on a rock; nothing seemed to stick. My experience is not uncommon. In my role as... Read more
Master of the St. Lucy Legend, c. 1485/1500 To view the art on a smartboard, click here . "The ultimate end of the whole divine economy is the entry of God’s creatures into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity…even now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity," teaches the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (Par. 260) The one creature who most uniquely entered into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity was the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. From the moment of her Immaculate Conception to her Assumption and Coronation as Queen of... Read more
Un día hace como 6 años, mientras trabajaba como Director de Formación Religiosa en una parroquia católica rural, estaba en mi oficina echando un vistazo a Facebook . Vi la imagen de un evangelista católico en un malecón público evangelizando a un hombre que portaba un casco de Darth Vader y montado en un monociclo. Por supuesto que tuve que darle clic al link para leer la historia acerca de St. Paul Street Evangelization (Evangelización Callejera San Pablo). Me puse en contacto con el apostolado y eché a andar un equipo en mi parroquia. Admito que en realidad no me... Read more
One day about 6 years ago, when I worked as a Director of Religious Education for a rural Catholic parish, I was in my office browsing Facebook . I saw an image of a Catholic evangelist on a boardwalk out in public evangelizing a man wearing a Darth Vader helmet and riding a unicycle. Of course, I had to click through the link to read the story about St. Paul Street Evangelization. I contacted the ministry and started a team at my parish. I admit that I didn’t actually expect that direct evangelization would be fruitful, at least I didn’t... Read more
Introduction In previous articles for this series, I have confined myself to authors who have written from a Catholic perspective. While it may be true that some contemporary educational practices are seriously at odds with the teaching of the Church, one should avoid the temptation to be dismissive of all contemporary educational theories. The General Directory for Catechesis makes it clear that the Church “assumes those methods not contrary to the Gospel and places them at its service… Catechetical methodology has the simple objective of education in the faith. It avails of the pedagogical sciences and of communication, as applied... Read more
On May 29, 2012, it was announced that Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota was returning to his home diocese of Denver to become its fifth archbishop. Many archdiocesan leaders had an immediate hunch: Restored Order Confirmation was coming to the archdiocese. Bishop Aquila had already restored the order of the sacraments of initiation in Fargo, and even received public praise for it from Pope Benedict XVI during an ad limina visit to Rome. These expectations proved true when in the fall of 2013 the archdiocese began internal preparations to move toward Restored Order Confirmation, becoming the first archdiocese... Read more
To view and enlarge this image on a smart board click here. Norwegian painter, Carl Frithjof Smith, is not a well-known artist today. Despite his lack of fame, his art is beautiful and worthy of recognition and study. Smith lived and worked for all of his adult life in Germany, until his death in 1917. After studying at the then thriving Academy of Fine Art in Munich, Smith took a teaching position in Weimer, Germany, where he remained for most of his life. His work consists mainly of portraits and genre paintings. Genre painting explores the sphere of a person’s... Read more
El Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica se refiere a los Sacramentos como, “‘las obras maestras de Dios’ en la nueva y eterna Alianza” (1116). Los Sacramentos nos confieren una gracia especial que nos auxilia para llegar a ser el pueblo para el cual Dios nos creó. Desafortunadamente, muy a menudo se acercan a la primera celebración de los Sacramentos en la niñez como si fuera un hito único en el desarrollo del niño o de la niña, en lugar del comienzo de una celebración de por vida o un paso más adelante en la conversión constante de la persona. Tanto... Read more
The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the sacraments, “the masterworks of God in the new and everlasting covenant” (1116). The sacraments confer upon us a special grace that assists us in becoming the people God created us to be. Unfortunately, too often the first celebration of the sacraments in childhood is approached as if it were a one-time developmental milestone, rather than the beginning of a lifelong celebration or a further step down the path of continuing conversion. Both experience and research have shown us that the period of preparation for the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist is a... Read more