How to Make a Portable Labyrinth

One of the mistakes we make in adult catechesis when it comes to prayer—one of the six tasks of catechesis—is that we talk about prayer instead of simply engaging people in experiences of prayer and then unpacking those experiences later. I have learned that a very effective tool for engaging people, especially beginners, in the life of prayer is the labyrinth. A labyrinth is a circular pattern with a cross at its center, and a person […]

Celebrating the Month of the Holy Rosary

As we celebrate this month of the Holy Rosary, I am happy to once again make available my free PowerPoint presentation on October: The Month of the Holy Rosary. To download the Rosary slideshow, click on the link above or the images below (also in Spanish).   Also see these other resources on the Rosary: Rosary Activity Center Rosary Prayer Cloths Praying the Rosary (Loyola Learning Tools™) The Rosary: A Path into Prayer The Complete Rosary

Best Practices for Leading Group Prayer

This is the second article in a series about leading prayer. Whenever Catholics pray before group activities—whether a staff, catechist, or parent meeting or a gathering of the parish youth group—we offer all our efforts to the Father. We acknowledge that when we are gathered, Jesus is present with us. We invoke the Holy Spirit to guide us. Group prayers sanctify the activity, reminding us that the ultimate goal is to glorify God. Yet how […]

Setting the Stage: Creating the Space for Prayer

This is the first article in a series about leading prayer. When Catholics pray, we are often surrounded by reminders of who we are. At Mass, we can easily identify the current liturgical season or feast from how the sanctuary is decorated, the color of the priest’s vestments, the hymns we sing, and sometimes from the aroma of incense. We are accompanied in our liturgical prayers by statues of the saints, Scripture stories in stained […]

Teaching Young Adults to Pray

When I look back on my faith journey as a young adult, I am extremely grateful for the older adults in my life who took the time to teach me how to pray. Their gifts of sharing their wisdom and teaching me the practical tools of our faith serve me well as I journey through the transitions of young adulthood. The young adults I have worked with on retreats hunger for methods of prayer that […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 4: Intercessory Prayer

This is the fourth article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. In the Universal Prayer or Prayer of the Faithful at Mass (formerly called the General Intercessions), the people claim their baptismal priesthood “by offering prayers for the salvation of all.” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 69) How can we help children and youth growing up in a culture that focuses on “me first” to understand and join […]

Share Prayer: Breaking the Culture of Silence

Pope Francis has spoken many times of the value and power of intercessory prayer in Christian life. “When evangelizers rise from prayer, their hearts are more open; freed of self-absorption, they are desirous of doing good and sharing their lives with others.” (The Joy of the Gospel #28) Have you ever run into someone who asked you to pray for him or her? Did you take the time at that moment to stop what you […]

End of the Year Guided Reflection for Catechists

Several years ago, I put together a guided reflection for catechists to reflect on the catechetical year in a prayerful manner. This can be done alone or in a group setting. For your convenience, I’m re-posting it here. We often tell our learners to use their imaginations. Now it’s your turn. Use your imagination to reflect on this past year as a catechist. (Pause.) First, find a position that feels most comfortable to you. (Pause.) […]

How to Lead Spontaneous Prayer – As Easy as Ber-a-khah!

For many Catholics, the thought of being called upon to lead a spontaneous prayer can darn near bring on a panic attack! Never fear! Our Judeo-Christian heritage provides us with a simple formula to follow that will guide you in organizing your thoughts into a cohesive, intelligent, and heart-felt spontaneous prayer. First, take a look at his prayer offered by King Solomon (2Chronicles 6:14-17). At first, it looks like a lot of words, however, we’re […]

3-Minute Retreat: A Heart Seeking Goodness

Happy Catechetical Sunday! Now before another busy week begins, take a quiet moment to pray for your ministry and for your fellow catechists. A former high school teacher of mine enjoys reminding me and my best friend that, when we were students in his class, we tried so hard to be bad and failed so miserably! It just wasn’t in us to be bad. We came from good families who instilled the love of God […]

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