What’s in Store for 2016?

“Practical resources for religious educators.”

That has always been the focus of The Religion Teacher. When a catechist or religion teacher shows up at this website, they are going to find something practical, something immediately usable and effective in the classroom.

It is my hope that with each resource you find and use here, you are able to make a lasting impact on the students you serve.

I have a lofty vision for this website. I want it to be the first place that every Catholic religious educator goes to find resources to help teach their lessons. Once they are here, I want them to find the resources they were looking for or didn’t even know they needed. To do that, I’m on a mission to create, collect, and curate the activities, worksheets, videos, prayers, and lesson plans for every topic possible. We’re still a long way off, but in almost seven years we have made plenty of progress.

Last year was a great year:

It still amazes me how popular the website has become. We had more than one million visits last year and more than 8,000 new people subscribe to the email list. When I travel and speak, I constantly get to meet subscribers like you whose kind words inspire me to get back to work and creating even better more practical resources.

Thank you for everyone who has been offering their support and especially for your prayers this year.

A Look Ahead to 2016

I am so excited about the year ahead. We have some incredible opportunities to make an impact on young people in our Church this year. In a particular way, I beleive we are being called, through the inspiration of Pope Francis, to get beyond catechesis and start offering the mercy and love that is required by the evangelizing ministries we lead.

Here’s what I have in store for the next few months:

The Year of Mercy

The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy continues! The Year of Mercy is such a fitting focus for our Church today. Dedicated Catholics and fallen-away members of our Church alike need to experience God’s endless mercy. What a great opportunity we have this year to welcome God’s healing mercy into our lives.

Last month, I released a new collection of printables called the Works of Mercy Worksheets. In it you will find a worksheet for each of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. You won’t find any word searches or crossword puzzles among them. Each worksheet challenges students young and old to reflect personally on the works of mercy and commit to carrying them out in their lives today.

As I created this resource, I wanted to do something more than I’ve done in the past. I wanted to do match a work of mercy to the worksheet sales. So, each month a new charity will receive half of the proceeds from the sales of this collection of worksheets. Each of these charities will have a focus on carrying out a wide variety of corporal works of mercy. I hope that this is just a small way I can practice what I preach so to speak and live what I’m trying to teach.

Get Your Copy of the Works of Mercy Worksheets >

The Religion Teacher Premium Membership

Hundreds of people have joined our ranks of premium members. I add new, practical resources for members every week. This year we continue with the three-year plan of creating a worksheet for the readings of every Sunday in the liturgical year.

What else?

In addition, new classroom videos for students and other engaging worksheets will be added periodically throughout the year.

Plus, members can always take advantage of the professional development courses and spiritual formation opportunities as well.

Learn more about becoming a member >

To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach is Almost Here!

Heal_Proclaim_Teach 3DFor more than two years now I’ve been working on a project that I believe is going to be a game-changer in Catholic evangelization. It is centered on a book titled, To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach. The book officially releases on March 25, 2016 (Good Friday).

It is a guide to catechesis and evangelization based upon the threefold ministry of Jesus to heal the sick and marginalized, proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, and teach his devoted disciples.

Pre-order Offer: 

The book is available for pre-order now. I’m offering some exclusive bonus opportunities for anyone who is interested in pre-ordering the book:

Pre-order one copy and . . .

Buy one copy now and you will receive more than a dozen interview transcripts with experienced evangelizing ministers. You will also be invited to a private online event where you will be able to ask questions about evangelization to me and to a group of special guests.

Learn more >

Pre-order ten or more copies and . . . 

Order ten copies now and I will schedule a private, workshop with you and your team. I’m only offering this to the first 20 groups that sign up, so if you are planning on purchasing multiple copies for your colleagues, staff, volunteers, parish counsel, or team, now is the time to do it.

Learn more >

Special Discount

Ave Maria Press is kindly offering an additional discount to The Religion Teacher subscribers. Use the promo code THERELIGIONTEACHER at checkout to get fre shipping and $3 off each book you purchase. That’s just $14 per book and free shipping as soon as it comes out.

> Pre-order from Ave

Along with the launch of this book, I will be offering all kinds of tools, training, and events to help with evangelization. As a catechist or religion teacher, you are going to find incredible results from what I have in store.

Easter & Evangelization

I know Christmas just ended, but I’m eagerly looking forward to Easter. I have something planned that I can’t wait to invite you to. I’ll share more about that soon.

I don’t have anything to share yet, but get ready.

It’s going to be big.

Stay tuned.

Time to Take Action

I want to close by sharing this. I’m a big believer in four core principles to religious education:

  1. Make disciples, not theologians.
  2. Teach with testimony.
  3. Plan with purpose.
  4. Invite families.

I firmly believe in these four principles. They guide me and I hope they will guide you too. I truly believe that following them, we will make a lasting impact on our students’ lives.

Here are some popular and relevant resources to check out right now:

Go, make disciples!

God bless,

Jared Dees


Free eBook on Lesson Planning

Have you signed up to receive the free eBook, The Religion Teacher's Guide to Lesson Planning? Whether you are a veteran teacher or in your first year, this guide provides a step by step process to effective lesson planning and provides 250 suggestions for activities and teaching strategies.

About Jared Dees

Jared Dees is the creator of The Religion Teacher. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Ave Maria Press and the author of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator, To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach, and Praying the Angelus.


  1. Rachel Kimble says:

    Dear Jared,

    Thanks so much for autographing the Lenten prayer book for me. I was at the Gulf Coast Faith Formation Conference this past weekend with two of my fellow friends in Christ. We went to your booth and I was so happy to see you. I (loudly) vocalized how great you were as a speaker (I had seen you before.) and bragged on the 31 days to be a great Religion Educator book. Many started to purchase it on my exclamation of how great the book was. My friends had bought books and you autographed them….I had your stuff so there was nothing for me to purchase….they secretly went behind me and you autographed a Lenten prayer book. I was happy when they presented it to me the next day. Jared, you are an inspiration to us….keep up the good work. Your material is so right on for my second and third graders.

    Many blessings to you and your family,
    Rachel Kimble