A New Beginning This Advent

As Christmas approaches, life becomes hectic, overbooked, and our prayer time can shrink. But if we take intentional steps, Advent can become a period of deepening our relationship with our Savior. The word advent means “coming or arrival”—the coming of Christ into the world. Advent is a time of preparation. During this season, we direct […]

Advent: Of Elves or Angels?

Advent is a time of expectation and excitement as we prepare for the birth of Christ. Within Advent is the unfolding of beautiful readings that build from one week to another, along with complimentary music, colors, and the rituals surrounding this liminal time. The opening of Advent calendars or the many other creative ways of […]

Jesse Trees Aren’t Just for Advent

The theme for a recent session was “Jesus fulfills the Revelation of God found in the history of the Chosen People.” I realized I could make the connection this week by adapting an activity typically reserved for Advent—the Jesse tree. As the young people entered the room, I invited them to work on a worksheet […]

Advent Is Just Around the Corner!

With Advent being just around the corner, I want to let you know about a number of great resources at your fingertips to enhance your faith community’s experience of this wonderful season! Advent Moments of Mercy This Advent coincides with the beginning of the Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has declared. What greater act […]

Happy Birthday to My Mom—Born on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary

A couple of years ago, I was wishing my mom a happy birthday when she said, “To be born on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary—what an honor!” This weekend, we celebrate this wonderful feast (August 22) as my family and I also celebrate my mom’s 88th birthday. Catholics know that anything we say […]

The Feast of the Assumption—A Blessing of the Body

As we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, we are reminded of the importance of the body in our spirituality. Our belief that Mary was assumed body and soul is a reinforcement of our belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is a bodily Resurrection. We Catholics do not belief that death […]

Four Ideas for Celebrating Pentecost

Pentecost has long been one of my favorite feasts in the liturgical year. Who doesn’t love a story with fire, wind, speaking in tongues, and a bold proclamation of the Gospel? Unfortunately, though, by the time Pentecost rolls around in the calendar, many of our religious education programs have ended and our creative energy switches […]

Eight Ways to Teach Ascension and Pentecost

Ascension and Pentecost—the two great feasts that signal the end of the Easter season—often occur at the end of the school year. They may even occur after religious education programs have ended. We can easily forget about them. But understanding Ascension and Pentecost is essential if our young people are going to grow into what Pope […]

Three Questions at the Heart of the Celebration of the Ascension

Next week, we will be celebrating the Ascension of the Lord, a feast that often seems to lack the “punch” of other aspects of the Paschal Mystery. We tend to “get” the Incarnation, the suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. But why is it important to know that Jesus ascended into heaven? Does this feast simply […]

Ascension to Pentecost: The First Novena—Free Poster and Booklet

During the Easter season, we look at the Gospel stories of Jesus Christ’s appearances after the Resurrection. At the end of 40 days, Jesus ascended into heaven, promising to send a helper to the disciples as they took on their mission of spreading the Good News. That helper—the Holy Spirit—came 10 days later on the […]