I’m always interested in finding short videos that I can use in my teaching or to pass on to catechists.  This video was created by  I thought they did a great job. If you have not already seen it, it’s a worthwhile 4 minutes.

Last week I hosted a number of DRE’s at my parish to discuss how to use technology and media within ones religious education program.  Many of the participants wanted to know where to find resources to use in the classroom and how I go about choosing certain media clips that I found on the internet.  We had some good conversation about using technology in the classroom as a tool.  I stressed that it is only a tool and that the catechist is the linchpin and the heart of transmitting the Gospel.  The textbook, the video, music, art, etc each are tools and instruments but it is the catechist who pulls it all together and helps their students be engaged and drawn to a relationship with God.  Nothing is more important than the catechist — even in the third millennium.

Also, I provided the DRE’s with some resources I’ve used in the classroom: Website Resources for DRE Mtg Feb. 2012.  Some of them are video links and others are good places to go for information on catechesis.  Overall it was a really good meeting and many of the DRE’s were grateful for the discussion on the topic.

Does anyone have some good video clips you use for younger children?  How about other resources that you’ve found helpful?  Please share!

In ministry we are always trying to find ways to show others how to respond to serving others.  Here is a great video clip to help illustrate serving Jesus in others.  I’m going to be using this soon to a group of 1st -6th graders and their parents.

This video is very inspirational!  Consider showing it to your class regarding the following topics:

Hope, Courage, living a joy-filled life, perseverance, redemptive suffering, loving like Jesus.  These are just a few themes you could use this video to further your teaching objectives. Our 7th graders just watched this regarding the sanctity of life. This guy really gets peoples attention. Enjoy!

Mary Byrne Hoffman recently came out with  new book entitled: Catechesis in a Multimedia World.  She asks some good questions that I would like to dialogue with you on.

1. Are media and Gospel in competition for the hearts and souls of the twenty-first-century audience?

2. How does the catechist make the Gospel relevant to the digital” generations?

3.Can media be an effective tool for catechesis? And I would add, How?

4. What is the role of the catechist in the media culture?

Let the commenting begin…

I stumbled across a really neat website by Cory Heimann who produced this great video clip about Easter. Check it out. It would be a great clip to show in a 5th – 8th grade class.

I found this great video about a teen realizing that it’s more than just going through the motions each week at Mass.  Check it out:

I can’t help but share this youtube video that someone sent me.  It is only 1:48 long but it is powerful.  May the words others hear (and see) be a catalyst for change.



“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”  ~ Matthew 6:14

I recently watched the movie Amish Grace and was struck profoundly by the power of forgiveness.  My wife rented it and I read the brief description about the movie and didn’t think it would be a great movie, but I was completely wrong.

I can’t remember seeing a movie with such a profound message of forgiveness and hope.  As a follower of Christ I am called to forgive.  There are many clips catechists could us in this film to help teach forgiveness, charity and compassion.  There is so much I could say about the movie and the characters.  Suffice it to say – the Gospel calls us to forgive.  Hate and anger choke love; forgiveness makes room for more love.

Recently I found to great video links that last between 2 and 3 minutes teaching kids the meaning of the The Sanctuary Lamp and the Stations of the Cross. Click on the two links and you’ll find two great explanations from a child about the meaning behind the sanctuary lamp and the Stations of the Cross.  I hope to use these in our religious education program this coming year.  Did you find them helpful?

I found two clips from the movie “Letters to God” which gives a wonderful illustration of how Tyler, who has cancer, can lead or show others to God even when people are not kind or merciful.  This would be a great clip when speaking about living our faith when we are suffering – suffering from persecution, from being different, from not being like everyone else. It is also a good clip to use when talking about witnessing our faith in Christ to others.   Or you could view it from my list of videos on the right side of my blog page.

Here is a second video from the same movie “Letters to God” about Tyler asking his Mom if the birth of a friends baby was born to replace him.  This clip illustrates wonderfully how no one is replaceable.   Or you could view it from my list of videos on the right side of my blog page.

The following scene from Jesus of Nazareth is great to show during this Easter season in your religious education class.  I thought the scribe summed it up well when he said:  “Now it begins…It all begins”.  The Resurrection is truly a beginning.

I had the opportunity just recently to be part of an an interview about blogging on the Catechetical Leader Posdcast with Jonathan Sullivan and Jared Dees.  Jonathan, was the host and is a member of the technology committee for the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) and is currently the Director of Catechetical Ministries for the Diocese of Springfield, IL.  Jared is the Adolescent Catechetical Specialist at Ave Maria Press. He develops high school religion textbooks and other catechetical materials for teens and teachers in Catholic schools and youth groups.  Jonathan blogs at and Jared blogs at

Discussion Highlights:

  • The advantages and challenges of blogging.
  • How catechists can use blogging and the websites as a resources to them and those they teach.

Play it here or download it at

Recently I had the opportunity to give a presentation at our Archdiocesan Catechetical Day (Pillars of Faith) on Using Media and Art in the Classroom.  I have included the notes from my talk below.  I began by defining media, then sharing some profound statistics, quotes from Church documents and then giving reasons why and how to use media in the classroom.  I concluded with on how to use Art in class to catechize.  In addition to this presentation I showed my audience examples of how to use media, how to use music as well as art.  It was a great day! Praise God!

Using Media-Pillars of Faith

reconciliationAt every parish I’ve worked at there has been a day of reflection for the children preparing for First Penance/Reconciliation.  Often a video is shown regarding a child preparing for the Sacrament of Reconcilaition  There are a number of 2nd grade videos out there, however the ones I’ve seen are all dated.  Does anyone know of a First Penance/Reconciliation video that is good and has come out in the last couple of years?  We, as Catholics, have a great need to improve our media resources especially in the area of sacramental preparation.