First Holy Communion Novena

Encourage families preparing a child to receive First Eucharist with a novena-style prayer to pray at home. Download the First Holy Communion Novena and make copies for parents, instructing them to begin praying 10 days before the day of First Holy Communion. Each day’s prayer time includes parts for children and parents, as well as a suggestion for a family practice for the next day. The text for the novena is from Christ Our Life, […]

Come to the Table: A First Communion Retreat (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second of two articles about hosting a retreat for children preparing for their First Holy Communion and their parents. This article provides the outline and schedule for the retreat. The preparations, planning, and materials needed for the retreat were described in the first article. Registration and Gathering The retreat begins with snacks and registration. At registration, hand out a welcome kit to each family. Ask each family member to write their names […]

Come to the Table: A First Communion Retreat (Part 1 of 2)

This is the first of two articles about hosting a retreat for children preparing for their First Holy Communion and their parents. This article covers the preparations, planning, and materials needed for the retreat. An outline for the retreat will be provided in the second article. One of my favorite activities to do with the children is Come to the Table, our First Communion Retreat. This retreat has become an opportunity for family catechesis, when […]

Sharing Stories of Family Faith

As I reflect on how my religion class has gone so far this year, I’m struck by how often my third graders tie the concepts they learn back to their families and their relationships with one another. With each concept taught, we share stories about our experiences with our families. Building a comfortable relationship within the class that leads to students sharing family traditions is my favorite part of teaching our Catholic faith. For example, […]

How to Host a Parish Advent Wreath-Making Workshop

The Advent Wreath Workshop is an event I happily inherited from my predecessor at the Church of St. Clare in Staten Island, NY, where I serve as Pastoral Associate and Director of Religious Education. Every year, we invite parishioners on the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent to gather and make an Advent wreath for their home. This event is a popular activity in our parish. I have met parishioners who have been doing this for many years as […]

Helping Parents Model Catholicism (Video)

Because children are so strongly influenced by their parents, we need to do all we can to equip parents with what they need to model Catholicism for their children. Enjoy the below overview video of how we can help parents do this. Read the post that inspired this video: Helping Parents Model Catholicism for Their Children.

40 Ways to Foster Prayer in Your Home

Our lives offer many opportunities to pray, and we can share those opportunities with the children in our care. Find inspiration for different ways to pray in the home by downloading Tom McGrath’s suggestions for 40 Ways to Foster Prayer in Your Home—in English or in Spanish. Share the booklet with families in your school or parish. These suggestions are excerpted from Tom’s book Raising Faith-Filled Kids: Ordinary Opportunities to Nurture Spirituality at Home. Fill […]

Retreat Ministry: Encounters with Christ

Discipleship is a way of life and is not bound by the constraints of programs or processes. It progresses at a pace willed by the Holy Spirit. Time and trust are the currencies of discipleship, but when the time we spend with our students is limited to one hour a week between September and May, our ability to be present in their lives is challenged. Finding ways to connect outside the classroom with students and […]

Book Club Bonus: Family Prayer Card

Jane Knuth discovered that the best way to pray with your family is the way that works best for your family. But sometimes a little encouragement for how to start is welcome. Today, download a family prayer card that invites you to ask God’s help in recognizing the ordinary, daily ways that your family can grow closer to God. This prayer card is offered to you as this week’s Book Club Bonus. We continue to […]

Book Club Bonus: Blessings in the Home

Editor’s note: In our online book club, we’re reading Jane Knuth’s The Prayer List…and Other True Stories of How Families Pray. Each Tuesday through August 7, 2018, we’ll bring you Book Club Bonus Days—sharing additional stories of family prayer, continuing the weekly conversation, and more. Find all the book club posts here. Blessing Before Bed A few years ago, my brother married a widow. Her husband died in a car crash—a crash that two of […]

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