Hosting Parish Small Faith Groups—Free Discussion Materials for Lent

Jesus was often surrounded by large crowds, clamoring to hear the Teacher speak. But Jesus first was only known to a small group, the Apostles. After the Resurrection, the Disciples continued spreading Jesus’ message to other small groups—the Philippians, the Ephesians, the Corinthians—and the tradition of small groups of devoted followers continues to this day. […]

The Advent Prayer Grab Bag

Traditional Advent activities include Advent wreaths, calendars, and Jesse trees. While these are all great ways to help children celebrate the season, I like using something different: the Advent prayer grab bag. The prayer grab bag takes its inspiration from the popular party game of grab bags. I ask my group if anyone has ever […]

Advent in the Classroom

Advent is one of my favorite liturgical seasons. I really enjoy the many activities that the parish, the school, and my classroom use to prepare children for the birth of Jesus. Our parish has a “giving tree.” We have a large Christmas tree near the altar. The tree is decorated with paper ornaments that list […]

Waiting Is a Lesson in Advent

The liturgical calendar offers us two seasons of waiting: Advent and Lent. The Advent season of waiting in joyful hope for the birth of our Lord Jesus often gets overlooked in the rush to prepare for Christmas. Children are notoriously impatient (as are many adults), so Advent is a good opportunity to teach the value […]

The Manger and the Message: The Real Story of Christmas in Less Than Two Minutes

Here’s a resource from a friend of mine that I know you will like. Bret Nicholas worked with me at Loyola Press for a number of years and contributed greatly to the titling and marketing of many of my books and for that, I am eternally grateful. He runs his own publishing business and has […]

Free Advent Resources

As you know, Advent begins on Sunday, November 30, 2014. Last year, I created an Advent PowerPoint that was very popular. This presentation includes a script (in Notes Pages view) to assist you in effectively leading your students to a deeper understanding of this wonderful season. When you download the presentation from authorSTREAM, you can […]

Keeping Advent from Getting Lost in the Holiday Shuffle

The parish is abuzz with questions already: “Have you started your baking, shopping, planning, list-making, wrapping…?” No sooner has Halloween moved on than we find Christmas bursting onto the scene in every grocery store, department store, catalog, and flyer. It is a cycle that encourages us to be always thinking of and preparing for “the […]

Actively Waiting for Advent—Free Prayer Packet

We wait at the doctor’s office. We wait in traffic. We wait in line at the coffee shop. We wait our turn. We wait for a sign from God. We wait to be heard. We wait. Advent is waiting, also, but not in the listless, zoned-out way like we might wait at the local coffee […]

Pentecost: A Renewable Source of Abundance

Imagine how you would feel if someone stepped into your life, paid off all of your debts, and set up a line of credit for you to draw from for the rest of your life! I know one thing…I’d like this person’s business card! This scenario may sound far-fetched, but in essence, this is what […]

Preparing for Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday is less than a month away! As we look forward to this wonderful feast, I thought I would share with you an excerpt from my book, Under the Influence of Jesus: The Transforming Experience of Encountering Christ, that explores what happened on that first Christian Pentecost! As recorded in Acts of the Apostles, […]