ECHO

A Monthly Resource for Teaching the Faith 2.22

LOVE GOD, SERVE GOD: Everything is in that!

St. Clare of Assisi


Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Creating an Environment of Acceptance and Respect

We all know that we live in a world that is rampant with division and disrespect in many settings right now. Unfortunately, that can sometimes filter right down to our classroom and program settings because not all children have experienced a loving and welcoming world. It's important to create an environment where all children feel respected and witness the love of Christ. Even though you may not see students daily, make it a point to learn their names quickly and get to know something about them and their parents. Let all students know that you expect an environment where kindness rules and that they can expect patience from you. Try to see yourself as your students see you: what is your body language, your tone of voice and your actions telling them about how Christ loves them? Sometimes the most important thing we can do as Catechists is reveal Christ to our students through OUR actions and not just the lessons we prepare. Our ultimate goal is for our children to fall in love with the person of Jesus Christ.

Praying All Ways and ALWAYS!

The Bishops of our country have created CIVILIZE IT! An effort to promote charity, clarity and creativity in the 2022 political year. This prayer for civility is a wonderful prayer for us to recite often, in an effort to bring more kindness and less division into our communities. We offer it as this month's prayer, as you may choose to share it with the families you serve, and to pray with your students to insure a respectful and kind catechetical environment that will permeate out into the world. For more information, visit https://www.usccb.org/civilizeit


Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace: A Prayer for Civility

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where uncivil words prevail, show me how to model love.
Help me remember the God-given dignity of all and invite others to do the same.
Show me how to build bridges and not walls
and see first what unites us rather than how we diverge.
Let me seek to understand before asking to be understood.
Give me a listening heart filled with empathy and compassion.
May I be clear in sharing my own position and respectful and civil in describing those of others.
Let me never tolerate hateful ideas.
May I invite all to charity and love.
Lord, help me to imitate your compassion and mercy.
Make me an instrument of your peace.

Family Connection

The environment you wish to create in your classroom can also be reinforced at home. It is important for kids to hear, again and again, that kindness and respect are the best way to live, both at faith formation and in every setting. A great resource to suggest for family learning is the story is The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. Though this is an older story, it gives a rich story for discussion about mistreatment of others. It's a great example of how families can begin a faith-sharing conversation at home with the simple tool of a storybook! Maybe you'd like to create a book study shared between your program and home where you are discussing this book or another together! Here are some questions for conversation:



  • How would you feel if you were Wanda when the girls teased her about her dresses?
  • Why did Wanda tell everyone she had 100 dresses?
  • Do kids sometimes pick on others because of the names they have? How do you think boys and girls feel about the names they cannot change?
  • Why do you think Maddie went along with Peggy's teasing?
  • Have you ever seen a classmate left out of all the fun happening in the room? Have you tried to make that classmate feel included?
  • Why do you think some boys and girls choose to pick on kids because they are different?
  • How did you feel when you found out about the sketches?
  • Maddie wanted to change her behavior. God is happy when we want to do this. How have you changed a behavior for the better?
  • How did you feel about the way Wanda acted in the end?
  • How did you feel about the way Peggy acted?
  • How do you think God feels about teasing and bullying?

Keep Learning!

Classroom of Compassion

Continue the thinking on your classroom environment with this article from Catechist Magazine. What other steps could you take! Brainstorm great ways to share the love of Christ in your class!

February Catechetical Highlights

Demonstrations for visual learners
Are you in need of additional catechetical material?

Click this button for access to our GOOGLE DRIVE LESSON HELPERS FOR CATECHISTS If you are reading a paper copy, you can access our google drive at https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/1FdofDF6MAr9aT3vD7k7Cb0l0OnIp_u-P

The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis


The Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession