Catholic Educators Newsletter - September 2007



Catechists Networks

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.

bullet 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.

Members: 926

bullet 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.

Members: 528

bullet catholicfaitheducation : Catholic Faith Education Description

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.

Members: 228


bullet Catechist’s Journey


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 © .



Blogs (continued)

bullet eCatechist


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.

bullet love2learnblog


"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"

The blog does not focus only on religious education, but there is an extensive index of postings specifically about faith education resources: Religion Index

bullet 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.

cross line


Other Web Sites Worth Exploring


bullet 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.

bullet Photos for Faith Education (no longer online) — 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. There are close to 300 images at this time and new images are added on a regular basis.



bullet 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. can make that task a little easier. It provides a search engine specifically for posting on Catholic Blogs:

bullet features photographs and descriptions of sites in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Greece with an emphasis on biblical archaeology, geography and history.


cross line

Online Articles


bullet Trust In God, by Rev. Mark Connolly, Spirituality for Today, August 2007

bullet Blessed Are the Meek: Quotations to stir heart and mind, compiled by Richard A. Kauffman, Christianity Today magazine, August 7, 2007

bullet Blessed Are Those Who Mourn, Quotations to stir heart and mind, compiled by Richard A. Kauffman, Christianity Today magazine, July, 2007

bullet Poor in Spirit: Quotations to stir heart and mind, compiled by Richard A. Kauffman, Christianity Today magazine, June, 2007

More Online Articles arrow


In Review


The Catechist's Toolbox
by Joe Paprocki
LoyolaPress, 2007

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 Teacherxx . 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.

Child's Guide to Holy Days

Child's Guide to the Holy Daysx by Kathy Dellatorre O'Keefe
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."

A Time to Smile


(c) Copyright by Jason Kotecki.

More Humor arrow