Learning by Imitation: Why Kids Need Saints

None of us is purely original. The fact is, we human beings learn by imitation. As infants, we begin making sounds that imitate the sounds made by those around us. Before long, we are shaping words with those sounds, achieving the ability to communicate with others. Our imitation doesn’t stop there, however. Scientists have shown that imitation cannot be dismissed as some sort of lower form of learning but is a quite sophisticated intellectual activity. […]

Three Lessons for Catechists from St. Luke the Evangelist

St. Luke the Evangelist left us great treasures by writing the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. We as Christians have learned so much about Jesus and the faith of the Church from his writings. Luke was a master at sharing the Gospel, and catechists can learn from both what he wrote and how he wrote it. Know Your Audience Luke wrote his Gospel for believers who came from a Gentile background rather than […]

Praying with Families in the Classroom

Prayer is essential for a relationship with Jesus Christ. One of the most important responsibilities we have as catechists is to help our students develop a life of prayer. I encourage my students to find ways to pray with their families, and to facilitate that I invite parents and younger siblings to be part of our prayer circle at the end of each class. While children haven’t yet learned to be self-conscious about prayer, parents […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: Abraham, Our Father in Faith

This is the second article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. Every catechist is probably familiar with some of the stories about the patriarch Abraham. Abraham—originally known as Abram—was a wealthy man in the ancient city of Ur. God called Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, […]

Rosary Craft Activities

October 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and October and May are the two months especially devoted to Mary. Plan a special activity for either of these months with the help of our free Rosary Craft Activities. Invite families to string their own rosaries, and encourage them to make this treasured prayer a family event. Or work on a poster with children to help them as they learn to pray the […]

A Good Vocation Video

I began my career in ministry back in 1981, teaching in a high-school seminary in Chicago. It was always my quest to find a good video on priestly vocations to show to the young men in my classes; however the options were usually slim. Since that time, there have been a number of videos produced on the topic of priestly vocations—some better than others—but they still tend to exhibit one of the following shortcomings: They […]

On the Road to Sainthood

For many of us, the stories of the saints—while inspiring and often dramatic—always seemed to be about people from far away places who lived long, long ago. Paintings and statues of saints clearly depicted them as belonging to another century, if not another millennium. That’s why it is so exciting these days to be able to see color photographs and even video of saints such as St. Pope John Paul II and Saint Teresa of […]

Biblical Literacy for Catechists: Adam and Eve

This is the first article in a series about figures in Salvation history and their relevance for catechists. Every catechist should be able to tell the timeline of Salvation history, because it is so important to understanding Jesus, the Bible, and Catholic doctrine. Salvation history is the story of our faith. Familiarity with important characters from this story helps us form a foundation of our belief in Christ. Jesus associated himself with major figures from […]

Little Video Lessons from the Saints

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me she was going to use one of the videos I filmed for my book Little Lessons from the Saints at her next RCIA session. “Really?” “Yep. I’m leading a lesson on the communion of saints, so it’s perfect. Besides, I think they would get a kick out of seeing you on video.” “Either that or a good laugh.” “Probably both,” she said. A few days […]

Feeling Peace on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary

I moved to Maryland on August 14, 1989. I left my home in California to attend grad school at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and I was so excited to get started on this adventure. As I look back, I’m amazed at my lack of apprehension about leaving my family and friends and flying across the country. Ah, youth. Since I knew I had to find an apartment quickly, I had made a reservation at a […]

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