There are several venues online for catechists and DRE's who are seeking support from their peers and who wish to locate resources, to share ideas, to learn from each other. Here is a short list for you to explore.
Yahoo Groups: These are mailing lists on which subscribers (joining a group is free and a simple process) can post and receive emails to and from the entire group. These are usually moderated to filter out spam and/or inappropriate postings.
catechist : Catholic catechists
This list is for Catholic catechists (religion teachers) to share lesson plans, hints, ideas and activities. It is not a place to debate (or even too deeply discuss) theology or doctrine.It is a list for teachers, by teachers, about teaching.
dre-talk : Catholic Catechetical Leaders
This is a list for Catholic Parish Directors of Religious Education and Catechetical Leaders to share visions, hopes, ideas and struggles. It was created by NPCD, the National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors, part of the Religious Education Dept. of NCEA. The NPCD Executive Board members manage the list.
catholicfaitheducation : Catholic Faith Education
The purpose of this group is to post information on resources available for the faith education of Catholics of all ages. It is meant as a place to share information with others who are involved in catechesis, RCIA, CCD program, Catholic school teachers, Sunday School, homeschooling, adult faith programs... or any other form of faith formation. You may also request help in locating resources on a specific topic for a specific occasion.
This blog is "the place for conversations about teaching the Catholic faith. I'll talk about my experiences as a catechist, and together we can explore ideas to meet the challenges and rewards of this ministry in which we are privileged to serve."
It was created and is maintained by Joe Paprocki, a veteran catechist with more than 25 years of experience as a high school teacher, a DRE, and a consultant for catechist formation at the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is now working for Loyola Press and has recently published a book: The Catechist's Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher © .
Ideas, books and resources for catechists and parish catechetical leaders. This is the blog of Daniel J. Pierson who has been in catechetical ministry and education all of his adult life – Catholic school teacher, parish director of religious education and diocesan director of religious education.
"We are a group of Catholic homeschoolers, faithful to the Holy Father and the Magisterium of the Church, blogging about books, children, education, family life and the Catholic faith. Our primary homepage is Love2learn.net"
The blog does not focus only on religious education, but there is an extensive index of postings specifically about faith education resources: Religion Index
Catholic Faith Education
Reviews of resources available online for those involved in Catholic faith education.
This is my blog. Over the years, I have also been involved in faith education in various ways as a elementary school and high school teacher and at the parish level and in the larger community. I taught grades 7 through 12 for 23 years in Catholic schools. I was Religious Education Coordinator for a number of years in a Catholic High school. I was also involved in confirmation preparation classes, in RCIA as a catechist, in Baptism preparation sessions for parents, as facilitator in a faith sharing group, and as a member of a parish pastoral council. I was active in the Cursillo movement as a leader. As part of a COR team I also organized several weekend retreats for young adults.
Other Web Sites Worth Exploring
Cornerstone Media offers a page of free resources for teachers, youth ministers, parents, and other adults who work with young people. These resources help you incorporate today's music and other elements of youth culture into your program or teen conversations. These resources include: reflections; a list of current hit song ideal for prayer that can be used during your weekly meetings, lessons, retreats, prayer services, or simply for personal reflection; a free collection of activities that use current music as a tool to spark meaningful discussion and fun.
Photos for Faith Education — The AREF (Association des Responsables de l'Éducation de la Foi en milieu scolaire catholique franco-ontarien) offers an online bank of photos that can be used for non-commercial projects and presentations related to faith education. The photos are organized by key words to facilitate locating what you are looking for. These keywords are in French, but you can easily make out the meanings of most of these. For words you cannot make out, click here for a translation of the site generated by Babel Fish. There are close to 300 images at this time and new images are added on a regular basis.
The AREF Web site is also worth exploring in French or in English (translation generated by Babel Fish). It contains lesson plans and excellent background information for catechists. Look under Enseignement religieux ("Religious Teaching") .
Catholic Blogs Search — There is a huge amount of information to be gleaned from the ever increasing number of Catholic blogs. While many of these blogs present opinions and information that is, to say the least biased and of doubtful value, enough of them were created and are maintained by people who have much to share that can be useful to those involved in Catholic Faith Education. Finding these pearls amid an ocean of blog postings can, however, be a daunting task.
CatholicBlogs.com can make that task a little easier. It provides a search engine specifically for posting on Catholic Blogs:
BiblePlaces.com features photographs and descriptions of sites in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Greece with an emphasis on biblical archaeology, geography and history.
Three new articles in the Catholic Update series from American Catholic:
Also from americancatholic.org the series Catechism for US :
- Love, Respect and Justice for All by Joan McKamey
- Love and Respect in Family by Gerard F. Baumbach
- Loving God With Whole Mind and Heart by Joan McKamey
From the same publishers the series of articles Every Day Catholic - Inspiration for Catholic living is also worth exploring.
The power of story — by Elizabeth Pike: Proclaiming the Kingdom . God’s message to the world in and through his Son is the focus of the third Mystery of Light.
Madonna, July/August 2007
Soul Matters — by Chris Gleeson SJ : Words with feeling . Through words, we tell our stories. Through the Word, we become part of God’s story.
Trust In God, by Rev. Mark Connolly, Spirituality for Today, August 2007
Knowing Mary Through the Bible: The Original Mary: Our Lady's Life Before the Annunciation, by
Edward P. Sri, Holy Spirit Interactive
Blessed Are the Meek: Quotations to stir heart and mind, compiled by Richard A. Kauffman, Christianity Today magazine, August 7, 2007
Blessed Are Those Who Mourn,
Quotations to stir heart and mind, compiled by Richard A. Kauffman, Christianity Today magazine, July, 2007
Poor in Spirit: Quotations to stir heart and mind,
compiled by Richard A. Kauffman, Christianity Today magazine, June, 2007
More Online Articles
|| The Catechist's Toolbox
by Joe Paprocki
Joe Paprocki is a seasoned catechist with over 25 years of of experience. He has
recently published a book called The Catechist's Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher . Here is an excerpt from the write-up on the publisher's Web site:
"The Catechist’s Toolbox is an invaluable collection of techniques, tips, methodologies, and
advice for all inexperienced catechists who must learn on the job...
Employing the metaphor of a homeowner’s toolbox, Paprocki
explains how a new catechist is like a do-it-yourself builder who needs
the right collection of tools to do the job; throughout the book,
Paprocki explains what the tools are, what they can do, and how to use
them skillfully and effectively."
Joe Poproski also has a wonderful blog (Catechist's Journey) in which he shares some of these very practical and helpful catechist's tools.
A Simple Mass - music and lyrics are by Val Goldsack
Music, notations, and lyrics for the songs on this CD are available on Val's Web site and "may
be downloaded freely for both private use and also for choir &
congregation during mass."
Val is a liturgical composer of
contemporary psalm settings, canticles, sacred songs, a singer &
guitarist and a member of the JHN Group who produce a series of CDs of
Morning & Evening Prayer - the prayer of the church.
Details of several CD's featuring Val Goldsack with excerpts from a number of songs can be found at http://www.valgoldsack.co.uk/music.htm .
worked as a pastoral musician in the Roman Catholic Diocese of
Middlesbrough since the 1970's - encouraging both young musicians and
singers in their parish music groups and also, assisting with
liturgical music for the mass in various parishes around the
Middlesbrough Diocese . She is currently involved in creating a
Middlesbrough (UK) Taize Choir interested in singing the beautiful
Taize chants and songs.
My thanks to Sr. Anne Murphy for making me aware of this wonderful resource.
Child's Guide to the Holy Days by Kathy Dellatorre
Paulist Press, 2007
"This colorful book explains, in simple language, the sometimes confusing matter of Holy Days of Obligation. It discusses each of the holy days and gives the scriptural basis for each. Children will gain a better understanding of why and how the Catholic Church celebrates these days, as they become involved in the actual stories of how these days evolved."
Comments. Suggestions. Submit resources, or information.
Write to Gilles Côté at
Resources for Catholic Educators - http://www.silk.net/RelEd
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