Introducing Children to the Blessed Mother

Throughout the faith formation year, I devote part of my lessons to introducing the children to the Blessed Mother. Whenever I teach about Mary, my goal is for the children to know that: Mary is our mother; Mary is our best model of faith; and Mary said yes to God, and we can say yes to God too. My lessons on Mary are based on the liturgical year. I begin in October, which is dedicated […]

Mary, a Model for the Ministry of Catechesis (Video)

Mary, as the first and best catechist, provides a model for the ministry of catechesis. Julianne Stanz, author of Developing Disciples of Christ, says that three aspects of the life of Mary, drawn from Evangelii Gaudium, serve as a guide for our ministries. Read the complete post that inspired this video: Three Lessons from Mary, the First and Best Catechist. Find Marian resources here to help you honor Mary during May or throughout the year.

A May Crowning Acrostic

We end our program year with a May Crowning celebration, presided over by our pastor. Generally we can expect opening and closing songs, a reading about Mary from Scripture, a few words from the priest, some prayers, and an eighth-grader crowning the statue of Mary. The statue then keeps the crown for the rest of the month, serving as a reminder to the entire parish of the special evening the religious education students shared. Today […]

Celebrating the Annunciation: Finding Reassurance in Mary

March 25 is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, when we recall and celebrate the day that the angel announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the Mother of our Lord (Luke 1:26–38). As I’ve mentioned here before, Marian feasts are ultimately about Jesus, since Mary seeks to draw attention, not to herself, but to her Son, Jesus, who brings us the Good News of rescue, restoration, and reassurance. Mary participates in […]

Lent with the Saints

Spend Lent with the saints this year, with the aid of our downloadable handout featuring 40 holy men and women. Let their lives inspire you to courage, service, surrender, and fidelity. They will help you, as you journey with your family and faith community, to grow with them in faith, hope, and love. The saints are divided into four groups: those who changed Church or society; strong women; martyrs; and little-known holy ones. Through the […]

How Marian Feasts Teach Us About Jesus

As we approach the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, it is important to remind ourselves that Marian feasts are not primarily about Mary! In fact, the Blessed Virgin Mary would be the first to resist our efforts to draw attention to her. Her great Magnificat prayer proclaims that it is the Lord who is to be magnified. Like all Marian feasts, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is ultimately about Mary’s Son, […]

The Saints and Election Day

The Feast of All Saints, falling on November 1 of each year, is celebrated on the doorstep of Election Day in the United States. This annual coincidence provides us with an opportunity to make a connection between the lives of the saints and our civic duties. Pope Francis explained that “an authentic faith…always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it….If indeed ‘the just […]

The Saints: Our Catholic Heroes

When I was a young boy, I collected baseball and football cards. I traded for my favorites and found ways to pass on those I didn’t care for to other individuals. As an impressionable child, I saw these athletes as my heroes. They were famous, rich, and able to bring their teams to victory even when defeat seemed imminent. I cannot imagine the hours I must have spent over the span of my life memorizing […]

Archbishop Romero, Paul VI “Headline” Canonizations October 14, 2018

At major concert events, it is customary to announce which performers are headlining. On October 14, 2018, the Catholic Church will canonize seven Blesseds, but there is no doubt who is “headlining” the event: Archbishop Óscar Romero and Pope Paul VI. Here is the lineup: Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini), Supreme Pontiff; Óscar Arnulfo Romero, archbishop of San Salvador, martyr; Francesco Spinelli, priest, founder of the Institute of the Sisters Adorers of the Most Holy Sacrament; […]

Marian Devotions for the Classroom

I love Our Blessed Mother! My devotion to Mary is easily shared with my third graders. In my classroom there is a print of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a statue of Our Lady of Grace, and a poster of Mary, Undoer of Knots. Even more images of Mary can be easily shown on an interactive whiteboard. When we celebrated the Queenship of Mary, I found 20 different […]

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