A Catechist’s Litany of Thanks

According to St. Ignatius Loyola, a healthy spirituality begins and ends with gratitude. On this Thanksgiving Day, we catechists have so much to be grateful for! Below is a catechist’s litany of thanks, which I invite you to add to. As a catechist, what are you most thankful for? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Happy Thanksgiving! To each of the following, we pray, “Thank you, Lord!” For my vocation as a catechist… […]

Thanksgiving Poems

My school celebrates Thanksgiving with a huge food drive for a local food pantry. Classrooms of older students are paired up with classrooms of younger students. This food drive really ignites our school as the pairs of classrooms compete to bring in the most food and win a pizza lunch. My classroom celebrates Thanksgiving by sharing stories. I have the children write a poem called “A Story of Thanks,” that gives thanks using each of […]

The Fourth of July in Assisi

If you’ve ever been out of the country on one of our major patriotic holidays, you might have felt a little homesick. This happened to me and a group of teenagers and their families several years ago when we were in Assisi on the Fourth of July. I’ve been leading pilgrimages to Italy for about 20 years now, and people tell me I’m a good planner. Before we left the United States, I had purchased […]

A Mother’s Gaze

One of the advantages of being a grandparent in the digital age is receiving a constant stream of pictures of our granddaughter Olivia (born 3/11/18) from our daughter-in-law Sarah. It seems that Sarah is capable of catching every mood on Olivia’s face, whether she is sleeping like an angel, screaming like a banshee, or everything in between. What impresses me most is that, in order to do this, Sarah needs to have her gaze constantly […]

Age Spots and Polka Dots

As a mother of three young children, I am grateful for daily opportunities to look with fresh eyes on the wonder that unfolds in every day. Peering into the bathroom mirror one evening, my three-year-old daughter Ava asked what I was doing. “Mommy is looking at some spots on her skin,” I said to her. “Show me them,” she asked. And so, I kneeled on the floor and pointed out some of the age spots […]

Thanksgiving Prayer Placemat

Set the atmosphere for a faith-filled Thanksgiving by sending children home with a Thanksgiving prayer placemat. Fun for kids of all ages (even adults!), the center of the placemat includes a child’s prayer of gratitude next to a cornucopia to color. Surrounding the prayer are several activities for children to do in the classroom during a discussion on the holiday or while waiting for the family to sit down to dinner: a question to prompt […]

Gratitude for the Little Things

It’s so easy to be annoyed by the little things. How hard can it be, then, to allow ourselves to be thankful for the little things? The other day, I was on the verge of being completely annoyed by the traffic that made me miss my usual train. Instead, realizing that I was now “early” for the next train, I strolled at a leisurely pace from my parking spot to the train station. I took […]

Memorial Day: What it Means to “Lay Down Your Life” for Others

On this Memorial Day, we pause to honor all of those military personnel who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to defend the freedom of others. May they rest in peace and may we always remember and be inspired by their selfless actions. This holiday also gives us an opportunity to reflect on what it means to “lay down your life” for others. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay […]

Using Father’s Day to Mobilize Men for Mission

In just a few short weeks, we will be celebrating Father’s Day in the United States. In many ways, we seem to be at a loss as to how to honor dads on Father’s Day in our parishes. On Mother’s Day, we might present a rose to moms as they enter, do a special blessing, and perhaps have some moms offer reflections on motherhood at Mass. For Father’s Day, we tend to take a parallel […]

Veronica: True Icon—A Tribute to My Mom

One of the great things about getting together as family is either being reminded of or noticing for the first time family resemblances. Oh, there are obvious facial resemblances. But there are also resemblances as far as personalities go. Some resemblances we inherit. Others we choose. Well, when it comes to my mom, Veronica, she no doubt inherited a physical resemblance to her mother Wanda. She had no choice in that matter. But when it came […]

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