Simple Tips for Leading a Simple Prayer

While it is true that we can pray simply and spontaneously, at more formal gatherings, our prayer is to resemble how we pray at Mass. In other words, the prayer is meant to be liturgical, which means that it should have a basic structure. This means including parts for the assembly, including Scripture, and including […]

Celebrating the Canonization of Mother Teresa

In just a few short weeks (September 4, 2016), we will be celebrating the canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta—a saint who personifies and embodies the humble mercy we are focusing on during this Year of Mercy. This celebration is so timely and fitting as we find ourselves in the midst of a long and […]

Celebrating Catechetical Sunday: How Do You Pray the Faith?

How do you pray? What is your favorite form of prayer? When was the last time you thought about your personal prayer life and the way you pray in the classroom? The theme for this year’s Catechetical Sunday, which falls on September 18, is “Prayer: The Faith Prayed.” The USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis […]

New DVDs for Sacramental Preparation: God’s Gift

I am very excited to tell you about a new DVD series for sacramental preparation—a project that I was privileged to be intimately involved with from writing scripts to hosting segments! This new video series enhances instruction and parent involvement in sacramental preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. As part of the God’s Gift […]

Hearts to Love and Hands to Serve: Celebrating the Life of Mother Teresa

Blessed Mother Teresa will be officially recognized as a saint on September 4, 2016. Her life’s work with the poorest of the poor in Calcutta and throughout the world inspires those of us who hear Christ’s call to spread the love of God to each person we meet. Mother Teresa’s upcoming canonization is a great […]

Stealth Catechesis: Teaching without Teaching

One evening, my 10th-grade Confirmation class revolted. “We do not want to use the book anymore,” said their leader. “Why not?” I asked. “We’ve been in school all day, and we’re tired of sitting around listening and reading. This is supposed to be church, not school.” I could see her point. After all, I had […]

Saint Anthony of Padua

I was sitting in a meeting at my parish, and in the corner of the room sat a life-size statue of Saint Anthony of Padua. Several years ago, the statue was moved up from a basement storage room, and there he now sits, with the baby Jesus in his arms. Our image of St. Anthony […]

Evaluating Your Catholic School/Religious Education Liturgies

Recently, I was invited by a pastor to observe his parish’s weekly Catholic school liturgy, which leads me to this post suggesting that it would be a good idea for every Catholic school and parish religious education program to evaluate the liturgical experiences they invite their young people to participate in. Before I go any […]

Introducing Catholics to the Bible: Free Parent-Child Session

Host a hands-on, engaging session to introduce children (fifth grade or higher) and their parents to how the Bible is arranged. The Bible is like a library—God’s Library—made up of 73 books, and the best way to get to know the layout of the Bible is to break it down into smaller pieces, eight sections […]

Sacraments of Initiation Learning Stations Used with Seventh Graders

In the next-to-last session for the year, I used the Sacraments of Initiation learning stations with my group of seventh graders. As the download page for the learning stations explains, the activity gets young people “out of their seats and moving around doing simple tasks to learn about the symbols and signs used in each […]