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 […]

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 […]

Honoring Mary in the Classroom or Parish

Each May, Catholics across the globe celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary, holy mother to us all. Through parish and classroom celebrations, we can show our love and respect for Mary and share her importance with those we teach. There are a variety of traditional activities that parishes use to celebrate Mary, such as the May […]

Learning about the Apostles

During the Easter season, I like to spend some time talking with the young people about what happened to the disciples after the Resurrection. We cover the post-Resurrection appearances of Christ, but I also use the time to introduce the stories of the Apostles and where they went after the Ascension and Pentecost. Christ Our […]

May Crowning Marks a “New Spiritual Season”

One of the most beautiful traditions in Catholicism is that of May Crowning. In her book, May Crowning, Mass, and Merton: 50 Reasons I Love Being Catholic, Liz Kelly recalls her childhood experience of May Crownings: I still remember the aroma of the flowers, the coolness of the spring air, the lightness of spirit that […]

Three Lessons Catechists Can Learn from St. Joseph

St. Francis of Assisi is often attributed as saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” This quote is very fitting for the life of another saint whose actions spoke louder than his words: St. Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus. In fact, St. Joseph does not say one word in the Gospels. […]

St. Patrick’s Day for Grown Ups

At the risk of alienating some folks, I have to admit that I have never much gotten into the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day as it is celebrated in the United States. Perhaps it’s because I’m Polish and the day really celebrates all things Irish, not the saint per se. But that’s not even the […]

Holy Patrons for the New Year

A few years back, I read about a tradition that St. Faustina had with the sisters of her convent. On New Year’s Day, they would gather to pick a holy patron for the new year. Here is an excerpt from her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul. There is a custom among us of drawing […]

Called to Be Saints

We are all called by God to be saints. Every year, I strive to teach the children in my parish third grade religious education class that they are included in that call. I explain that the saints were not perfect; they were regular people who sometimes messed up. The difference is that saints changed their lives […]

Marian Devotions—Free Poster

Our Lady. Blessed Virgin. Queen of Heaven. Madonna. Maria. Mary. The mother of Jesus and the Church is known by many names, which reflect just how revered she is all over the world. The importance of Mary as Mother of God lies not only in that Mary was the woman who gave birth to Jesus, […]