Three Ways to Teach the Saints According to St. Teresa of Ávila

I hate to admit this, but I often give the saints short shrift in my faith-formation classes. Since I am helping ninth-graders prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation, my focus is usually on having them pick a Confirmation name. To that end, I ask them to write a paper, produce a video, or perform a skit about a saint. If I can find the time, I will set aside a lesson in which I give […]

Kindness Angels

What’s your favorite project to work on with students in your group? We asked this question on our Catholic Faith Formation Facebook page and received a variety of creative ideas. Today we’re highlighting one lesson called “Kindness Angels.” This lesson is ideal for the Advent season as an alternative to the Elf on the Shelf. It can also be used throughout the year for busy families who are looking to engage in a meaningful way. […]

Ignatian Spirituality: An Introduction—Free Poster and Booklet

St. Ignatius of Loyola founded a school of spirituality that is continued today by his community, the Jesuits, along with many others. Ignatian spirituality focuses on creating a deep bond with Jesus, as well as working to promote God’s plan and action in the world. Most important, Ignatian spirituality concentrates on “finding God in all things,” which integrates prayer and service, meditation and action, emotion and reason. Let our free poster and booklet introduce you […]

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 is a bit chipped and the paint has faded, but it’s always nice to know that he’s around. Maybe some […]

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). The saints reveal much to us about God, and they give us an example of how to live as followers […]

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 with St. Patrick’s Day are so devoid of meaning to be almost comical. In Ireland, we do not celebrate St. […]

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 case. The day doesn’t really celebrate all things Irish—it often tends to celebrate a caricature of what it means to […]

Loving Students as St. John Bosco Did

There is one in every class: the challenging student who saps up your last ounce of patience. Several years ago as a student teacher, I pledged to myself to find one thing that I could love about this child in my class and found several: his fascinating knowledge of war history, his intricate creations of forts with building blocks, and how he would get so excited when someone showed interest in his make-believe wars that […]

A Little Help Brainstorming: Saints and Blesseds

I could use your help! I am trying to think of saints and blesseds who fit the following 3 characteristics:   Saints and blesseds known for their undying enthusiasm and determination Saints and blesseds known for innovation in proclaiming God’s Word Saints and blesseds (especially lay people) who founded movements in the Church Please send me names and brief descriptions of which category they fit and why (see Leave a Reply below). Thanks!

Good Discussion Questions for Catechist Grade Level Breakout Sessions

As I mentioned in a previous post, I enjoyed a day in the Diocese of Peoria, in particular, participating in a grade-level breakout session for 5th and 6th grade catechists. Some of these grade level sessions can grow tedious if not facilitated well. I like the fact that for these breakouts, the Diocese provided questions to guide the discussions. Here they are: Bringing Prayer into the classroom. Are there any regular prayers you use and […]

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