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 […]

Mary, Mother of Catechists

The Blessed Virgin Mary is so many things to us: she is our mother, our help, our comfort, and our joy. She is our model disciple; she is the “untier of knots.” She is also our model catechist. Here are three ways we can be more like Mary as catechists. 1. Say “Yes.” When I […]

Four Ways to Teach About the Saints

I once had a student ask why we spent so much time talking about the saints; did he not attend faith formation classes to learn about Jesus? I told him that this is precisely why we learned about the saints: “our communion with the saints joins us to Christ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 957). […]

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the Catholic Way

Having grown up in Ireland for the first 23 years of my life, I have a simple request: Stop the St. Patrick’s Day madness! For the love of St. Patrick, it is not Paddy’s Day (or Patty’s Day, which is even worse), but Saint Patrick’s Day. Some of the traditions that I see today associated […]

Who Ya Gonna Call?

We Catholics mark the first day of the secular calendar by celebrating the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. As Bishop Robert Barron often reminds us, Marian feast days are ultimately about Jesus. Today, of course, is no exception. While we celebrate the great honor bestowed upon Mary as the Mother of God, the […]

Say Yes to God

How can you convey a love of and devotion to Mary with all the necessary background knowledge in just one class period? The simple answer is that you can’t. You have to select the greatest message you want the class to absorb, focus on it for the class, and then add more about Mother Mary […]

All Saints/All Souls PowerPoint Presentations and More

Several years ago, I made available a PowerPoint presentation on the topic of All Saints and All Souls Day. Don’t forget to take advantage of this free download, which is also available in Spanish! This presentation includes a script (in Note Pages view) to assist you in effectively leading your students to a deeper understanding of […]

Celebrating the Saints: Four Ways to Be a Catholic Superhero

As a child I always thought of the saints as Catholic superheroes. While they may have started out as normal people like you and me, I imagined that they received their super powers of holiness after being bitten by a radioactive, grace-infused spider or by falling into a chemical pit of sacred ooze. The fact […]

Which American Saint Are You?—Free Lesson Plan

When we learn about the saints, we must remember that they were ordinary people just like us. Like us, the saints had to figure out who they were in the eyes of God and then live out that vision. They give us examples of how people dedicate their lives to God. Learning from them, we […]

Happy Feast Day of St. Augustine!

Other than my patron saint, Joseph, and St. Ignatius of Loyola, few saints have inspired me as much as St. Augustine, whose feast we celebrate today. When I was a student at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, I studied Latin for four years and also took an elective on The Confessions of St. Augustine. The […]