Magazine article Momentum

Handbook of Sacraments for Today's Catechist

Magazine article Momentum

Handbook of Sacraments for Today's Catechist

Article excerpt

Handbook of Sacraments for Today's Catechist Joyce Springer Ligouri Publications, Ligouri, Missouri 2011, 112 pages, $6.99 (paperback) ISBN 978-0-7648-1946-9

Are you looking for something for your catechists? Something that is both theologically sound for their own learning and yet is filled with ideas for their teaching? Do your catechists need help in understanding the sacraments, especially those who are not sacramental-year teachers of reconciliation, Eucharist or confirmation? Is there a resource that a religion teacher needs that is easy to read, that is filled with suggestions for family activities, that is usable across grade levels, that is inexpensive and that is appropriate for parish or school programs? If your answer is "yes" to any of these questions, then Joyce Springer's "Handbook of Sacraments for Today's Catechist" is a book that you might consider for your parish or school library or as a catechist gift.

"Handbook of Sacraments for Today's Catechist" is a small (5 1/8 ? 7 3/8), 112-page paperback book. At a modest $6.99 price it would be an excellent resource to distribute to religion teachers at the beginning of the school year. The book is divided into short readable chapters on each of the seven sacraments. Each chapter opens with an overview of the sacrament; the theology, which includes some historical background: the catechetical perspective, which includes some reminders for teaching; the family connection that is so important for today's church; and catechetical activities with age-appropriate suggestions.

Chapter 1 is an overview of sacraments as God's special gifts to us. I think that this chapter would be helpful to anyone seeking a brief but clear understanding of what the church means by sacrament. RCIA catechists might find this a helpful summary for a presentation to catechumens or candidates. Springer touches on the importance of ritual in the lives of adults and children in the opening chapter and encourages the use of rituals in the classroom to help make connections between teaching and liturgy. We all know that teaching the sacraments is an important part of any religion program. As suggested in this first chapter, our teaching "will influence how close the children will stay aligned to the Catholic Church."

Chapter 2 is an overview of the initiation sacraments and reconciliation for children in grades four through eight. …

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