Corporal Works of Mercy Movie Trailers

Growing up my family made the corporal works of mercy a common practice. When my siblings and I participated in a food drive at school, my mom would remind us that we were feeding the hungry. When I would gather my too-small clothes to donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, I was clothing the naked. Even as an adult my parents would remind me that they were still practicing the corporal works of […]

Let’s Make a Deal…and Learn about Making Choices

Group games tend to be a hit with faith formation classes, but we cannot add a game to the lesson plan just to play a game—games should enhance the lesson in some way. That said, there are many great options for student games, many of which are inspired by television game shows. I recently decided to try a game inspired by Let’s Make a Deal with my seventh graders. As in the show, the students—the […]

Simon Says Pray

It’s spring! We all look forward to this glorious time of year, especially after a long, dreary winter. But spring also makes it difficult for children to fight the wiggles and sit still during religious education class. They would much rather run and play and enjoy the sunshine like the rest of us. Rather than fight to make my wiggly third graders sit still on one particularly pretty spring day, I decided to take them outside […]

A Culture of Service

Joking with my students one day I said, “Jesus didn’t gather his apostles around him and say, ‘Lets do a service project!’” Jesus gave us an example of how to serve one another, and I like to encourage a culture of service in my classroom. Teaching service as a way of life can be challenging with younger children. Our students are very empathetic, and I find that having many service projects throughout the year uses […]

A Creative Way to Look Up Scripture Verses

Do you remember learning how to locate passages in the Bible? Those of us who teach religious education to children realize that we have to teach this every year. We must create opportunities in class for kids to find Scripture verses on their own. One day when I realized we would have a short class, I decided to use the opportunity to reinforce how to find chapter and verse in the Bible. But I wanted […]

A Lenten Family Day

Cyndi from Louisville, KY, shares the following. Great job, Cyndi! Hi Joe Just wanted to share how our Sunday Religious Program has used one of your 40 ideas for Lent. We took the Declaration of Dependence you proposed for the class and expanded it to be for the entire program and all the families. At our Lenten Family Day we baked Pretzels (also one of your ideas) and while the pretzels were baking every person […]

More About Meekness

Back when the Beatles were in business, they occasionally wrote songs that they themselves thought of as “throwaways,” meaning that they didn’t really think much of the songs themselves and yet, often these songs turned out to be hits, resonating with their fans. I have to admit that occasionally, I consider some of my posts  to be “throwaways” – something that I post because I can’t think of anything else at the moment and, it […]

Artistic Beauty Can Lead the Human Heart to God

In a general audience in August, 2011, Pope Benedict spoke of the importance of art in the life of faith, saying that artistic beauty can lead the human heart to God. “Art is capable of making visible our need to go beyond what we see and it reveals our thirst for infinite beauty, for God,” said the Holy Father. Whether you consider yourself an artist or not, we are all drawn to beauty. In fact, […]

May Crowning Update

Last week, I posted about the beautiful Catholic tradition of May Crowning and my quest to find out how to either acquire or make a small “crown” for my backyard Mary Statue. As it turns out, the miniature floral crown that I ordered was WAY too mini! So, instead, I went to Michaels and found resources to make my own which I placed on Mary on Mother’s Day! I’m just a regular Martha Stewart!   […]

Lenten Family Mission – Mary, Seat of Wisdom Parish, Park Ridge, IL

This week, I have had the privilege of preaching a Lenten Family Mission at Mary, Seat of Wisdom parish in Park Ridge, IL, on the theme of the Mass (drawing from my book, Living the Mass). It has been an extraordinary experience of grace and I thank the good people of the parish for their strong turnout each evening of the Mission. Last night, I focused on the Liturgy of the Word and how it […]

1 2 3 4 11