Dear Pope Francis covers in English and Spanish
Books

Instead of Giving Money as a Gift for First Holy Communion

I’ve touched on this issue before: the strange tradition we Catholics have of giving children money as a First Holy Communion gift. While a well-intentioned gesture, it makes little sense: “You’ve received the Body of Christ; now go out and buy something for yourself!” Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox, but not before suggesting an alternative gift idea. I suggest the wonderful Dear Pope Francis book (also available in Spanish) as a most fitting First […]

Resurrection
Easter

Teaching About the Resurrection

Not long ago during class, a student said, “But Jesus was just a ghost.” I immediately explained that Jesus wasn’t a ghost, but that he had truly risen from the dead. This experience reminded me that we can’t assume our students understand what the Resurrection really means. I want them to understand that Jesus was truly dead and rose to life again. I begin by using a picture book that combines the Gospel accounts of […]

boy praying
Junior High

Not Done with Prayer Yet

We had just finished a silence challenge, and I called the young people to our regular opening prayer when I was disheartened to hear one boy mumble, “What, we’re not done with prayer yet?” Prayer time is usually not met with such resistance in my classroom. In fact, I think many of the young people enjoy the quiet and reflective experiences built in to our time together, whether they are able to vocalize it or […]

Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter
Easter

Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter: #1 See Yourself as You Really Are

Welcome to the first installment of our Easter series, “Grow Your Soul: 7 Ways to Experience New Life During Easter,” drawing from my book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness. We begin by looking at the notion of “seeing yourself as you really are.” So much of the Resurrection narrative has to do with sight and perception. Mary Magdalene did not recognize the Risen Christ at first. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus did not […]

Holy Thursday icon
Lent

The Triduum Is to the Liturgical Year as Sunday Is to the Week

One of the early inspirations in my ministerial career was Gabe Huck, a wonderful liturgist and warrior for social justice. At a workshop he gave years ago about the Triduum, he said, “The Triduum is to the liturgical year as Sunday is to the week.” Of course, Sunday, in Christian tradition, is a day “set apart” from the rest of the week, dedicated to worship, rest, and works of mercy. What Gabe Huck is suggesting, […]

Primary

Intermediate

Junior High