Saints Among Us Retreat

One of my favorite activities with my third graders is a simple retreat designed to help them recognize and appreciate the saints, not only those in heaven, but those in our homes and those we are called to be. It is great for family catechesis as well. We include children from both the school and the parish religious education program and require at least one parent to attend. The retreat usually takes place on the Saturday […]

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 […]

Saints in the Classroom

My classroom is filled with statues, icons, and pictures of saints. These holy men and women who lived heroic lives of virtue and great charity constantly inspire me. I hope they inspire my students too. I am always looking for ways to help my students learn about the saints. Our school celebrates All Saints Day with a kindergarten parade. They dress up as their favorite saint or as a saint who shares their name. (The […]

Learning by Imitation: Why Kids Need Saints

None of us is purely original. The fact is, we human beings learn by imitation. As infants, we begin making sounds that imitate the sounds made by those around us. Before long, we are shaping words with those sounds, achieving the ability to communicate with others. Our imitation doesn’t stop there, however. Scientists have shown that imitation cannot be dismissed as some sort of lower form of learning but is a quite sophisticated intellectual activity. […]

Halloween, All Souls, Purgatory, and the Communion of Saints

“I see dead people!” Remember that famous line from the 1999 movie The Sixth Sense, in which a boy, played by Haley Joel Osment, reveals to the character played by Bruce Willis that he sees dead people? For many years now, I’ve been facetiously telling people that, if you see or talk to dead people, you’re not crazy, you’re Catholic! An important part of our belief system—our Catholic vision of reality or our cosmology—is our belief in […]

A Litany of Saints for All Saints Day

As you know, All Saints Day—November 1—is just a couple of weeks away! With that in mind, here is a Litany of Saints that you can use for any age group. What I like about this particular version (by John Becker) is that the people’s responses are so easy to sing. This video also provides some nice images of the saints. Check out All Saints Day resources from Loyola Press, including lesson plans, videos, and activities.

All Saints/All Souls PowerPoint Presentations and More

Several years ago, I made available a PowerPoint presentation on the topic of All Saints and All Souls Day. Don’t forget to take advantage of this free download, which is also available in Spanish! This presentation includes a script (in Note Pages view) to assist you in effectively leading your students to a deeper understanding of these feasts. To download the All Saints and All Souls slideshow from authorSTREAM, click on the link or the image below. […]

Which American Saint Are You?—Free Lesson Plan

When we learn about the saints, we must remember that they were ordinary people just like us. Like us, the saints had to figure out who they were in the eyes of God and then live out that vision. They give us examples of how people dedicate their lives to God. Learning from them, we can figure out how to dedicate our lives to God, each in our own way. We can use each saint’s […]

Getting Ready for All Saints and All Souls

This coming weekend is shaping up to be a saintly one with lots of soul! This Saturday, November 1, is All Saints Day. Normally, All Saints Day is a holy day of obligation, however, since it falls on a Saturday this year, that obligation is lifted in the United States and some other countries. This Sunday, November 2, is All Souls Day. Don’t forget to take advantage of some FREE resources for both of these important […]

1 2