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 […]

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 […]

Encountering God in the Silence—Shhh!

In my years of experience as a catechist, I have always sought to provide those I teach with experiences of silence which, according to St. John of the Cross, and, more recently, Fr. Thomas Keating, is God’s “primary language.” At first, the young people are often uncomfortable with silence, because they experience so little of it in our society. Gradually, however, with some coaching, they can learn to view silence, not just as empty space, but as […]

40 Ways to Foster Prayer in Your Home

Our lives offer many opportunities to pray, and we can share those opportunities with the children in our care. Find inspiration for different ways to pray in the home by downloading Tom McGrath’s suggestions for 40 Ways to Foster Prayer in Your Home—in English or in Spanish. Share the booklet with families in your school or parish. These suggestions are excerpted from Tom’s book Raising Faith-Filled Kids: Ordinary Opportunities to Nurture Spirituality at Home. Fill […]

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 […]

Fostering a Healthy Conversation Around Faith and Science

That young people are leaving the Catholic faith doesn’t seem to be “news” anymore as surveys continue to record diminishing attendance among the younger generations. What is news, however, is the age at which young people decide to leave the Catholic faith and the role that science plays in their decision to leave. According to surveys conducted by CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate), the typical age for a young person to leave […]

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 […]

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