12 Books of Christmas: A Respite from Screen Time

Parents and children are no doubt eager to catch a break from all of the screen time that comes with working and schooling from home during the pandemic. The Christmas holidays provide just the kind of respite that is so needed—an opportunity for families to gather around something other than a computer screen! I’d like to suggest reading books as a family as the perfect option for the Christmas holidays. Loyola Press is making that […]

Laying the Foundations for Bible Literacy

Talk about the impact a book can have on a child: my wife and I (who were a grade-level apart from one another) both recall a set of Bible storybooks that the grade school we attended used over 50 years ago! It was a two-volume set—Old Testament and New Testament—with the story on one side of the spread and a color picture on the opposite side of the spread. Unfortunately, neither of us saved a […]

Experiencing Screen Fatigue? Engage Children with Books This Fall!

Let’s face it: as a result of social distancing, many of us and our children are spending a lot more time sitting in front of a screen these past few months! While convenient, it does indeed result in a kind of fatigue. Do yourself and your children a favor this fall, and get your hands on some great books in hard-copy form. One of my favorites, and a book that my wife and I read to […]

Confronting Racism: Everyone Belongs

I’ve always found John 4:4 to be a strangely intriguing passage. The passage tells us that Jesus left Judea and returned to Galilee and that, to do so, “he had to go through Samaria.” The reason it is intriguing is because he did not have to go through Samaria. There were, in fact, other ways to get from Judea to Galilee. While passing through Samaria was the shortest route, it was a route that many Jews avoided, because […]

Bringing Sports and Faith Together: “All In” by Coach Porter Moser

Early on in my career, I was once gently criticized by a colleague for using too many sports metaphors in my writing and speaking. Having taught religion for a decade in an all-boys high school, I found that references to sports resonated with my students, and so I relied on them quite often. My colleague suggested that sports references were “masculine” and excluded the girls. Perhaps there was a time when this was true, but we […]

Books Make for Wonderful Christmas Gifts!

According to Pew Research, roughly a quarter of U.S. adults (27%) indicate that they haven’t read a book in the past year. A great way to remedy that is to gift those you love with books this Christmas! There are many benefits to reading books, including mental stimulation, stress reduction, exposure to knowledge, inspiration, escape, vocabulary expansion, memory improvement, and more! Loyola Press is happy to provide you with a Christmas Gift Guide to help you […]

Celebrating the Wisdom of Elders

Encourage the children, youth, and families in your parish or school to acknowledge, celebrate, and learn from the wisdom of the generations in your community. Download resources inspired by Sharing the Wisdom of Time by Pope Francis and Friends, including: An Intergenerational Event to gather families together to recognize and honor the gifts and wisdom of the generations. Family Prayer Box activity for any classroom. Family Stories and Family Faith, a handout perfect for parents […]

$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 […]

Creating the “Aroma of the Gospel” Through Stories

In order to introduce people to Jesus Christ, it is incumbent on us catechists to tell the stories of Jesus’ amazing deeds, beginning with the stories we have in Scripture in which he opens the eyes of the blind, heals the sick, changes water into wine, calms the storm, and raises people from the dead. Too often, we rush to teach doctrinal concepts while those we’re teaching don’t even know the story of Jesus Christ! As catechists, […]

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 […]

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