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Enlightened by Faith, Enriched by Education

Catechist Resources

This page is for the use of our dedicated, amazing catechists.  Here you will find information useful in your catechizing and evangelization.  You will also find information and websites that we, collectively, have found helpful in enriching our own faith and lives.  Please also check out the pages on the Religious Ed side of the website — especially info for parents.  Many of these resources can also be used with your various age groups!

 

Religious Education, and our sessions, should feel more like going to Mass than going to school.

Liturgy is our primary theology, our primary learning tool about Catholicism.  Liturgy is the first place/time that we encounter Christ.  Liturgy forms us!!

 

Trust the past to God’s mercy,

the present to God’s love,

and the future to God’s providence.

                               ~ St. Augustine
 

How are we being called to live?  What are we to do?  To put it simply, we are called to be Tabernacles with feet!

 

What is the new ministry of catechist that Pope Francis declared? — Catholic News Agency (CNA) explains

Pope Francis Announces Major Recognition of Lay Catechists — Catechists Journey

 

Click here to go to the website (Catechist's Journey) dedicated to catechists.  Catechist's Journey has areas that help catechists in their unique role within the Church.  The site is run by Joe Paprocki, DMin.  Joe is a nationally recognized author, catechist, and trainer of catechists.  Joe Paprocki's  Master of Divinity degree is from St. Mary of the Lake University in Mundelein, Illinois.

Preparing Hearts and Minds series, Summer 2020 — Catechist's Journey, Joe Paprocki, DMin.  9 Simple ways for Catechists to cultivate a Living Faith.

 

RESOURCES

Here you will find some resources you may find helpful with your groups.

There is a lot of information on the RESOURCES FOR PARENTS - MAKING FAITH ALIVE IN OUR HOME page of this website.

Resources For Catechists — Diocese of St. Augustine

Make No Mistake: Disciples Make Disciples! — Catechist's Journey

Recruiting and Retaining Catechists Who Evangelize with GIFTS — Catechist's Journey

Videos on Various Catholic topics — Catholic Central — EnterForming* Insights on All Things Catholic (* Entertaining and Informative)  “Catholic Central” offers entertaining and authoritative answers to your questions about Catholic thought, spirituality and practice. To do that, we’ve assembled a team of witty writers, appealing hosts and learned theologians to produce a collection of videos that entertain, enlighten and inspire. Catholic Central is a project of Family Theater Productions based on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

Formation Resources on The Archdiocese website — Discover free-of-charge resources to supplement or enhance your lessonsVideos, lesson plans and other resources have been vetted by our review team, and are listed by general topic and by age group.  Visit: https://www.archmil.org/Catechesis/Technology/Formation-Resources.htm

What's Catholic? — Catholic Central — What does it mean to be Catholic?  Is it following a set of rules?  Practicing cultural traditions?  Or something more?  Kai and Libby serve up an overview of some of the things that Catholicism entails, both in church and in daily life.  From Family Theater Productions in Hollywood.

Catholicmom.com — Catholic Gospel Coloring Pages and Worksheets for Sunday Mass

Catholickidsbulletin.com — Resources to help teachers & parents educate their kids about the Catholic faith.  Free weekly Mass bulletins for kids, along with ideas and resources to teach kids, Some items are free, some have a nominal fee.

First day of School/Religious Ed worksheets & printables — The Religion Teacher.  The first day is a great day for you to get to know the kids and for them to get to know each other. You also want to introduce them to the group and the items in it as quickly as possible. There are so many printable templates available online to help you get to know your students. Here are a few that I liked the most as I did some searching.  Joe Dees also created two Catholic first day worksheets that you can download and print.

FREE Weekly Mass Activities from HolyHeros.com.  Sign up for Catholic Holy Heroes Sunday Mass Prep. If you're like most of us right now, going to Mass is not an option. With our Mass Prep, you can bring a bit of Mass home to your kids with a weekly Gospel video, coloring page and quiz. Sign up for FREE, and we'll send you a reminder email each week to access the new activities. GOOD FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN!

Bible Lessons and Sermons4Kids — With Sermons4Kids, you get tons of free children’s sermons with object lessons, children’s activities, Bible coloring pages, games, and crafts. Use these fun children’s sermons for kids in children’s church, Sunday school, children’s ministry, and family ministry! Available in English and Spanish!

Catholicmom.com — Stories, podcasts, prayers, resources for Catholic parents and working with children.

Resources for Catholic Educators — Religious clip art, Saints, Christology, Sacraments, Moral Issues, the Bible Church documents, Church history, Sacraments, Creeds, Theology, Beatitudes, and more!

THAT RESOURCE SITE — That Resource Site has been producing Catholic Activities for Children and Teachers since 2008.  Some items are free, some require payment.  "We teach the basics of the Catholic Faith with a variety of learning styles and resource layouts, which allows us to meet the educational needs of almost any student. Our goal is to help you deliver solid and enjoyable religious education lessons in your classroom or home. Because our printables and materials encourage creativity and fun learning, many teachers report better retention of lessons and materials."

TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS — Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers and catechists buy and sell original educational materials.  THIS SITE IS NOT A CATHOLIC SITE.  YOU MUST BE CAREFUL.  RUN ANYTHING YOU WANT TO USE PAST THE DRE!!

LOOK TO HIM AND BE RADIANTTHIS IS A CATHOLIC SITE.  All content and documents copyright Katherine Bogner © 2011-2020.  "You are free to use these ideas and printables for personal use or in your classroom. Please do not distribute, transmit or sell them in any form. Posts and images may be pinned on Pinterest. If you would like to share posts, images, or printables, please link directly back to the posts on this blog, and be sure to leave comments! Thanks!"

The Pastoral CenterTHIS IS A CATHOLIC SITE.  Pastoral ministers helping pastoral ministers.  Some items are free, many items have a small fee.

traci-smith.com — THIS SITE IS CHRISTIAN, NOT CATHOLIC.  YOU MUST BE CAREFUL.  RUN ANYTHING YOU WANT TO USE PAST THE DRE!!  Traci Smith is an ordained minister, mother of three, and author. Traci’s passion is helping families find times for connection and spiritual nourishment amid the hustle and bustle of daily life. What began as a quest to help her own family has provided valuable insight for thousands of others. Traci believes faith practices should be fun, easy to fit into daily life, and accessible to all. Site has reproducible items and many ideas.

Building Faith — THIS SITE IS CHRISTIAN, NOT CATHOLIC.  YOU MUST BE CAREFUL.  RUN ANYTHING YOU WANT TO USE PAST THE DRE!!  A ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary.  Equip. Teach. Form. Resources for disciples of all ages.  There are seasonal resources, articles, games, etc. available.

 

The Holy Habits Challenge — (Introductory Video) The Holy Habits Challenge is a means to teach those who attend weekend Masses at least once a month, and families with children in a Catholic school or religious education program, some of the basic Catholic habits that come to us from the traditions and piety of the Church.  The goal is to instill daily routines that revolve around prayer, the virtues, and the works of mercy so that the average Catholic can deepen his or her relationship with Christ and with the Church.  The materials are designed to be a challenge that participants agree to do and incorporate into their lives. 

Joe's Pop-Up CatechesisCatholic Master Catechist and Author, Joe Paprocki, presents short videos on a variety of subjects.  This is a new series, borne out of the COVID-19 crisis, of one-minute videos with bite-size suggestions for how to make faith alive in the home. These will appear on Catechist’s Journey every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for the foreseeable future.  A partial list of videos are on: Meal time Prayers, May Crowning, Reading the Bible, The Liturgical Calendar, Saints, etc.

Washington County Crisis Intervention Team — for confidential mental health assistance call 1-866-906-6565 Toll Free — 24 hours a day/7 days a week - run by Washington County Human Services Department.

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE 1-800-TALK (8255)

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION WEBSITE

Positive Image Center of Washington County Website — Contains helpful information about teen and family support groups and activities in Washington County.  They have a teen support group that meets at Perc Place (Coffee Shop Side) in Hartford, every Wednesday from 4:30 – 5:30 pm.  For more information, or to register, please contact Rebekah at 262.338.1323 or 262.339.1235, or Rebekah.namiwashington@gmail.com.

Eight Kinds of Smart - from RCL - Resources for Christian Living

Special Needs Teaching Tips — RCL Benziger

A list of various resources via websites.

ABC’s of the Catholic Faith Coloring Pages — catholicsprouts.com

Advent Resources — RCL Benziger (our textbook publisher)

Advent in the Classroom — Catechist's Journey

Advent Resouces — Catechist's Journey

Advent/Christmas RE Lesson — Children's Ministry Magazine

An Icebreaker for Remote Learning Sessions: The One-Minute Challenge — Catechist's Journey

Christmas Resources — RCL Benziger (our textbook publisher)

Christmas Resources — Catechist's Journey

Learning about the Last Supper - Catechist's Journey

Lent Resources — Catechist's Journey

Lenten Resources for Catechists — Catechist's Journey

Easter Resources — Loyola Press

Easter Resources — Catechist's Journey

The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist: Basic Questions and Answers — USCCB

Sacraments of Initiation Learning Stations  — Catechist's Journey

            Sacraments of Initiation Learning Stations Catechist Instructions

             Posters for Sacraments of Initiation Learning Stations

Lifelong Faith

Faith Formation Learning Exchange

 

20 Tips for Catechists celebrating Joe Paprocki's release of his 20th book, "Living the Sacraments: Finding God at the Intersection of Heaven and Earth." 

1.Make your sessions resemble Mass more than class. Incorporate a language of mystery (sign, symbol, and ritual) that creates a climate of prayer as opposed to an academic environment.

2.Take the spotlight off yourself. When planning your sessions, focus less on what you are going to do and more on what your participants will be doing.

3.Enter through their door, but be sure to leave through your door. Engage participants with something from their lived experience that connects with the topic you are covering.

4.Include a prayer experience in your session. Prayer must be more than the perfunctory bookends of a lesson. Engage participants in meaningful reflective prayer in which they can spend time with Jesus.


Explore these topics further:

Sacramental Preparation Should Rely on a Language of Mystery

Shining the Spotlight on Those We Teach

An Openness to the World

Introducing Children to the Gift of Prayer

 

5.Always over-plan. It is better to have material leftover than to run out of material with time to spare.

6.Engage participants the moment they enter the room. Keep participants on task from the moment they step foot in the door.

7.Avoid stopping your lesson to discipline. Correct bad behavior by walking over to the spot where it is occurring while you continue to teach.

8.Vary the activities. Think in 10-minute segments of activities such as reading, discussion, video, craft, or music, so that your participants are kept engaged and on their toes.


Explore these topics further:

Finding Activities That Fit

10 Tips for Maintaining Discipline

Enjoy Joe Paprocki explaining each of the above 10 tips in audio format.

Engaging Young People with Active Learning Strategies

 

9. Remember that you are not teaching a subject. Jesus Christ is not a subject to be taught. You are not the teacher of a subject but the facilitator of an encounter.

10. Include assessment as part of your overall approach. Use formal and informal assessment to determine if participants are embracing the concepts being taught.

11. Pay attention to various learning styles. Not everyone learns the same way. Some learners are inclined to the spoken word while others are inclined to visual, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, and other forms of learning.

12. Don’t panic when you don’t know an answer. You model good learning techniques when you admit that you don’t know something but will research it further.


Explore these topics further:

How to Be a More Evangelizing Catechist: Proclaim That Jesus Is Alive!

Assessment in Catechesis: Introduction

Learning by "Talking Things Out"—Interpersonal Learning

How Introverts Learn: Intrapersonal Learning

 

13. Set up a prayer center. Make your space a sacred space by setting up a table with a prayer cloth, an enthroned Bible, a candle, holy water, a crucifix, and so on.

14. Use open-ended questions when leading discussions. Don’t rely on questions that can be answered yes or no or that rely on simple recall. Challenge participants to go deeper.

15. Never stop learning. To be a disciple is to be always learning from the Master. Jesus is not a concept to be mastered but a Person to encounter and to know more deeply.

16. Include music and singing. The Gospel is Good News, and few things lift hearts more effectively than music.


Explore these topics further:

Does Your Faith Formation Space "Speak Catholic"?

Nine Tips for Asking Questions

There’s a Hymnal in My Bible!

 

17. Work on your presence. Move around as you teach, vary your voice, make sure your facial expression and body language communicate enthusiasm, and make eye contact.

18. Use your textbook as an anchor. Textbooks are critical in transmitting our faith heritage faithfully and comprehensively, but remember to use them as an anchor, not as the be-all-and-end-all of your approach.

19. Incorporate technology. Today’s learners are accustomed to the digital world. Take advantage of opportunities to incorporate technology into your sessions.

20. Instigate as much as you indoctrinate. Create opportunities for your participants to practice their faith through works of mercy. The Gospel is a way of life, not just a set of beliefs to memorize.


Explore these topics further:

Three Essential Presentation Skills for Catechists

Creative Approaches to Reading from a Textbook: Clue Cards

10 Ways to Integrate Technology into the Classroom

Works of Mercy Prayers and Activities—Free Resource Packet

 


The books that are used in our sessions also have websites with an amazing amount of information available to you!

 

Grades 4K through 8 — Blest Are We: Faith in Action Edition from RCL Benziger.  RCL Benziger’s main website, https://www.rclbenziger.com/ offers an overview of our materials and a wide variety of resources. 

Free Catholic Resources, available at https://www.rclbenziger.com/catholic-resources include prayers and activities for use in the home.

OurFamilyFaith.com Features downloadable faith formation models that guide parents, families, catechists, and directors of religious education programs in using our resources in the home.

As spring arrives and as the celebration of Earth Day nears, take time to revisit and reflect on Laudato Si’, in which Pope Francis calls us all to take responsibility for the care of our common home. Resources for children and families are available at https://www.rclbenziger.com/catholic-resources and at https://www.rclbenziger.com/laudato-si-on-care-for-our-common-home.

 

Reconciliation: Pardon and Peace has a number of resources that go along with the book.

  ~ There is an online family guide.  Click here for younger grades (Primary) in English, or here GUÍA FAMILIAR en línea.

  ~ There is also an online family guide for those in older grades (Intermediate).  Click here, unfortunately it is in English only.

  ~ There are also additional worksheets for the younger grades.  Click here.

  ~ Additional activities for families, click here.

  ~ Chapter-by-chapter guide for the younger grades (Primary), click here.

  ~ Chapter-by-chapter guide for the older grades (Intermediate), click here.

The 10 Commandments and the Beatitudes

 

Eucharist: We Give Thanks and Praise has a number of resources that go along with the book.

  ~ One is an online family guide.  Click here for younger grades (Primary) in English, or here GUÍA FAMILIAR en línea

  ~ There is also an online family guide for those in older grades (Intermediate).  Click here, unfortunately it is in English only.

  ~ There are also additional work sheets available for both the younger and older grades.  Click here.

 

The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth Resources

 

Confirmation: Filled with the Holy Spirit, they proclaimed the Lord Jesus has a number of resources that go along with the book.

  ~ Faith-sharing ideas for Candidates and Sponsors.  Click here.

  ~ Activities and reflection for Confirmation: Filled with the Holy Spirit.  Click here.

  ~ Candidate/Sponsor Conversations.  Click here.

 

SAFEGUARDING INFORMATION

Safeguarding Grade Level Class Curriculum Sheets for use by Catechists from The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

 

EVALUATION FORMS

4K & 5K  Evaluation Form

Grades 1 – 8 Evaluation Form

Grades 9 — Confirmation Evaluation Form

 

MATERIALS ON WORKING WITH PARENTS

Whiteboard Wednesday: Partnering With Parents — youthministry.com

 

HELP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media Guidelines — United States Conference f Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

Social Netwoking Policy and Guidelines — Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Digital Catechesis is a global network of faith-based ministries created by Sr. Caroline Cerveny, SSJ.  It is a worldwide community for advancing the effective use of technology in all areas of faith formation.  Here you can find videos useful in faith formation.  You are also encouraged to upload videos that you have used in faith formation to share with others.

Movie clips that illustrate and inspire — Wingclips.  View ideas for inspirational movie clips from many of your favorite films.  Along the left side of the website, you can see a list of ideas of movie clips on a particular theme, genre, or scripture passage.

 

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