Downloadable Worksheet: Find the Signs and Symbols in Your Church

When children visit a church, they may see sculptures, paintings, objects, and gestures new to them but steeped in Church tradition. Help children begin to understand the Catholic imagery around them with this month’s downloadable activity, “Find the Signs and Symbols in Your Church.” Use the worksheet in the context of a classroom visit to the parish church, or invite children to complete it independently on Sunday. If children visit different churches throughout the year, […]

Reconciliation Resources: A Story of Reconciliation and an Examination of Conscience

If you’re preparing children to receive First Reconciliation or planning a Reconciliation service for your school or parish, here are two resources to help. A Story of Reconciliation is a readers’ theater script presenting the story of the prodigal son/forgiving father, as found in Luke 15:11–32. Use it with children preparing for First Reconciliation, or present the story as part of a lesson on the parables. You may want to invite parents to—or involve them […]

Sacraments Matching Game

Our celebrations of the sacraments are signs of Christ’s presence in our lives and a means for receiving his grace. Help children identify the Seven Sacraments by playing a fun matching game. This downloadable game can be printed out and played in sacramental preparation sessions or as a review for children of all ages learning more about the sacraments. Even catechists or teachers can enjoy playing after reading my Living the Sacraments: Finding God at […]

Discovering the Nearness of God: Holy Orders: Oh, to Be Thin!

Welcome to the final installment of my series “Discovering the Nearness of God: An Eight-Week Series on the Catholic Sacramental Vision.” This week we will explore the Sacrament of Holy Orders, with the theme of “Oh, to Be Thin!” If you’re not an ordained priest, you may be tempted to skip this post about the Sacrament of Holy Orders. I wouldn’t advise it! The truth is, everyone who is baptized into Christ is called to share […]

Discovering the Nearness of God: Matrimony: Who Loves You?

Welcome to the seventh installment of my series “Discovering the Nearness of God: An Eight-Week Series on the Catholic Sacramental Vision.” This week we will explore the Sacrament of Matrimony, with the theme of “Who Loves You?” Any Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons fans out there? Here’s a blast from the past, 1975 to be exact, of the original “Jersey Boys” singing their hit, “Who Loves You?” (Gotta love those mid-70s styles!) The lyrics of the song […]

Living the Sacraments Prayer Cards

If you’ve been following my “Discovering the Nearness of God” series on the Catholic sacramental vision, you’ll know that my newest book is Living the Sacraments: Finding God at the Intersection of Heaven and Earth. Each chapter includes a prayer, and I’m happy to share today a set of prayer cards with these prayers for each of the seven sacraments. These colorful cards can be shared with a reading group that’s discussing Living the Sacraments, […]

Discovering the Nearness of God: Anointing of the Sick: Healing as God’s M.O.

Welcome to the sixth installment of my series “Discovering the Nearness of God: An Eight-Week Series on the Catholic Sacramental Vision.” This week we will explore the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, with the theme of “Healing as God’s M.O.” When we talk about “thin places” or “thin moments”—when the veil between heaven and earth seems very thin—we tend to think of places of great beauty or experiences of joy or accomplishment. But […]

Discovering the Nearness of God: Reconciliation: Rescue Me!

Welcome to the fifth installment of my series “Discovering the Nearness of God: An Eight-Week Series on the Catholic Sacramental Vision.” This week we will explore the Sacrament of Reconciliation, with the theme of “Rescue Me!” All of us can recall watching footage on TV of heroic rescues as a victim finds himself or herself in swirling flood waters. The rescuer enters the swirling torrents and extricates the flailing victim, carrying him or her to […]

Discovering the Nearness of God: Eucharist: What Do You Crave?

Welcome to the fourth installment of my series “Discovering the Nearness of God: An Eight-Week Series on the Catholic Sacramental Vision.” This week we will explore the Sacrament of the Eucharist, with the theme of “What Do You Crave?” Researchers tell us that the majority of us experience regular cravings for specific foods. It’s important to remember that hunger and cravings are not synonymous. The former is driven by the body, while the latter is driven […]

Discovering the Nearness of God: Confirmation: What’s Come Over You?

Welcome to the third installment of my series “Discovering the Nearness of God: An Eight-Week Series on the Catholic Sacramental Vision.” This week we will explore the Sacrament of Confirmation, with the theme of “What’s Come Over You?” We use the phrase, “What’s come over you?” when someone appears to be affected by something. The phrase captures our belief that it is possible for something outside ourselves to affect us within and transform the way we […]

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