This time of social distancing has reminded me of how much I thrive when I am able to spend intentional time with others. Although it has certainly taken some creativity, I’ve been surprised at how I’ve been able to maintain relationships with friends and family and spend quality time at a distance. Game nights over Zoom and phone calls over walks have proved to be two essential foundations.
Over the past several weeks, we’ve received a number of requests from people looking for resources to assist them in different ways as they meet the challenges presented by stay-at-home orders and social distancing restrictions. In response, we’ve begun curating online resources in this weekly series, including links in each of the following categories: Prayer for the Home, Educational Opportunities, Resources (for ministers, educators, parents, etc.), and Flourishing and Fun.
Here are several that caught our attention for this week:
“I desperately need guidance as a catechist. I'm being told by my DRE . . . to 'send home lessons.'
I'm not a professional educator. I don't have back up or tools or tech support. Just a mandate to do it.”
—Recent comment from a blog reader
Planning lessons as a catechist can be challenging. Planning lessons to send home for parents to complete with their children can be even more difficult! Whether you find yourself as a catechist in a religious education program that is dividing its time between classroom instruction on the church campus and family instruction at home or you’re experiencing a global pandemic and suddenly need to prepare lessons to send home for several weeks, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
Usually, the experiences that linger prominently in our memories have a special significance. Often, they are associated with an emotionally-charged encounter or an event that profoundly influenced us at the time. But many of these experiences, when revisited through contemplation across the years, continue to affect us and contribute to the person we are becoming.
One of the defining marks of a Catholic school is the communal celebration of the Sacraments. Growing up as a student in a Catholic school, I remember having all-school Masses once each quarter. When I began teaching at St. Paul Catholic School in St. Petersburg, Florida, I was delighted to learn that our school gathered every week to celebrate Mass. As the middle school religion teacher, I had the opportunity to coordinate these weekly all-school Masses and facilitate student involvement. Here are a few of the best practices I learned along the way: