Becoming an Adaptive Teacher/Catechist and Including Those with Disabilities

Whenever I go out to eat with a group of people, I quickly scan the seating arrangements at the table and select a location that will be acceptable to me. No, I’m not looking for a place of honor at the head of the table! I’m looking for a location that will enable me to most effectively hear and enter into the conversation taking place. Why? Because I am hearing impaired. I have profound hearing loss in […]

Why We Have Processions: We Are to Be a Church on the Move!

Many things are associated with Catholicism: novenas, rosaries, statues, holy water, scapulars, and so on. We call these “things” sacramentals. They are symbolic words or actions that remind us of the presence of God in our lives and draw us to the sacraments. One of my favorite sacramentals is the act of walking in procession. When our non-Catholic friends attend Mass with us, they very often comment on the amount of movement required of the […]

Every Symbolic Action Tells a Story: Living the Sacraments

Every symbolic action invokes a narrative—it tells a story. When a child falls down and scrapes a knee, he or she goes to Mommy or Daddy and asks her or him to “kiss it and make it better.” Now, we know that this act is symbolic and does not heal damaged cells at the molecular level, but we do it because we know that it does make it better! The symbolic act transports the child from a […]

$5 Children’s Books This June

I’ve talked before about populating the imaginations of young children with stories and images that help develop a positive worldview. If you’re looking for such stories, stock the shelves of your classroom or parish library with children’s books from Loyola Press. During June, selected children’s books are available for only $5 each when you order 10 or more in any combination. I particularly recommend Our Father: The Prayer Jesus Taught for its line-by-line exploration of […]

Instead of Giving Money as a Gift for First Holy Communion

I’ve touched on this issue before: the strange tradition we Catholics have of giving children money as a First Holy Communion gift. While a well-intentioned gesture, it makes little sense: “You’ve received the Body of Christ; now go out and buy something for yourself!” Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox, but not before suggesting an alternative gift idea. I suggest the wonderful Dear Pope Francis book (also available in Spanish) as a most fitting First […]

Teaching Children a Language of Mystery—Resource for Catechists and Parents

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you know that I have previously talked about the concept of a language of mystery. What is a language of mystery? It is a language that transcends words and relies on sign, symbol, ritual, song and music, silence, gesture, and movement. It is the language that God uses to communicate with his people. Think of how, in Scripture, God’s presence is manifested through a burning bush, a mighty […]

Living the Sacraments Now Available in Spanish!

I was excited when my book, Living the Sacraments: Finding God at the Intersection of Heaven and Earth, was published last year, and I was excited again when I learned that the book had received an award. Now, I’m excited yet again to announce that the book is available in Spanish! Introducing: Vivir los sacramentos: Encontrar a Dios en la intersección de cielo y tierra Here’s the description in Spanish: Demasiados católicos ven los sacramentos […]

Helping Catechetical Leaders to Be More Effective

One of the most powerful lines in the General Directory for Catechesis can be found in paragraph 234: “the quality of any form of pastoral activity is placed at risk if it does not rely on truly competent and trained personnel.” Unfortunately, because of inadequate funding and lack of human resources at the diocesan level, catechetical leaders too often go without the training and formation that they need and deserve. To remedy this situation, Loyola Press has teamed with […]

The Importance of Kindergarten

Among my earliest memories are the assassination of President Kennedy, the Beatles appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, and my first day of Kindergarten. I think that says something about the significance of Kindergarten! I know that we sometimes can overdo these things, as if our children will not get into the prestigious college of their choice later on unless we get them into a world-class Kindergarten program now. On the other hand, studies continue […]

Populating the Imaginations of Preschool Children

When speaking about the roles of parents, godparents, grandparents, catechists, and teachers in forming the faith of children, my friend and colleague, Tom McGrath, often emphasizes the need to “populate the imaginations” of young children with stories, images, signs, and symbols of our Catholic faith. At a very young age, children develop a “worldview”—a way of seeing the world. Some develop a positive worldview that recognizes truth, beauty, and goodness as more potent than that which […]

1 2 3 10