Independence Day: Revisiting How to Create a Declaration of DEpendence

As we celebrate Independence Day, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit an idea from a lesson I taught several years ago about the Lord’s Prayer as our Declaration of DEpendence. Through the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, we express our dependence on what God provides for us: his name, kingdom, […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 2: Song and Praise

This is the second article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. Catechists can encourage children and youth to participate in the Mass by helping them become comfortable with singing and sung prayer and praise. Age-appropriate music should be a regular element in every catechetical session. Most textbook series come […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 1: Silence and Reverence

This is the first article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. Do your catechists complain that students don’t know how to behave in church? The sad truth is many families do not go to Mass. Catechesis without Mass, however, is not going to “make them Catholic.” One way to […]

Works of Mercy Prayers and Activities—Free Resource Packet Perfect for the Year of Mercy

Mercy is a virtue that influences a person’s compassion for another. Mercy inspires the will to ease another’s misfortunes or suffering in either body or soul. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy are charitable actions that extend God’s compassion and mercy to those in need. However, the works of mercy are more than gestures […]

Share Prayer: Breaking the Culture of Silence

Pope Francis has spoken many times of the value and power of intercessory prayer in Christian life. “When evangelizers rise from prayer, their hearts are more open; freed of self-absorption, they are desirous of doing good and sharing their lives with others.” (The Joy of the Gospel #28) Have you ever run into someone who […]

St. Paul, Conversion, and Mission

As the year winds down, we’re taking a session to talk about St. Paul and his conversion and missionary journeys. Our guide is Finding God, Grade 7, Chapter 23, but as usual, I’m using that as a jumping off point rather than following the book’s lesson plan word for word. We are all called to […]

A Great Video for Baptismal Prep: Ritual Matters

One area of adult faith formation that is always in need of more attention is baptismal preparation, especially when it comes to helping young parents recognize how they can help their family to grow in faith. A great resource to keep in mind is something that has been around for a few years: the “Ritual Matters” video that […]

Communion Cash: A Child’s First Experience of Stewardship

One of the strange realities of the experience of First Holy Communion is the fact that relatives and friends shower the First Communicant with gifts of cash. While it is done with the best of intentions, it is simply a strange notion to give someone money for receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. The unintended result […]

Conversing with Mary, Colloquy-Style

There is a wonderful gem hidden within the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius that has been a grace-filled gift to my prayer life. Early in the Exercises, Ignatius recommends a creative type of prayer known as the colloquy. A colloquy, as Ignatius describes, is a conversation that, “is made, properly speaking, as one friend speaks […]

Explaining the Holy Trinity

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”—these are words we use every time we pray the Sign of the Cross. Even young children know them. The prayer expresses the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, that God reveals himself in Three Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This […]