Pop-Up Catechesis: Praying the Angelus

We live in a world of notifications! A notification is an icon, a vibration, a ding, or some other sound that pops up on an electronic device to let us know that something new has happened or to remind us about something. Before the world of electronic devices, one notification that Catholics relied on was church bells, which would ring, not only when Mass was beginning on Sunday, but also daily at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 […]

The Glorious Mysteries: The Coronation of Mary and Conversion

We reflect this Easter season on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. As the Blessed Virgin Mary was near and dear to St. Francis of Assisi, he wrote a Salutation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This prayer comes to mind when I ponder Mary’s coronation as Queen of Heaven. In the salutation, Francis uses several titles for Mary that are familiar to us, such as Mother of God. He also uses titles that may sound […]

The Glorious Mysteries: The Assumption of Mary

We reflect this Easter season on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. One of my favorite stained-glass windows is in St. Nicholas Cathedral in County Galway, Ireland and echoes the words of Pope John Paul II, who declared that “the future of humanity passes by way of the family” (On the Family, 86). Entitled The Window of the Holy Family, it beautifully depicts Jesus, Joseph, and Mary in a very ordinary way. Joseph is depicted […]

Marian Treasure Hunt

Explore the highlights of Mary’s life with a fun treasure hunt. Designed to be used as a family activity at home, the clues lead children to think about the Annunciation, the Visitation, and more, as they follow directions to get to a final prize. The prize may include a book of Bible stories, a book on Mary, a plush figure of Mary, or anything else appropriate. Prepare children for the hunt by discussing the stories […]

You. Look. Great: A Marian Reflection for Catechists

Pregnant with twins and in her third trimester, Sarah—a catechist on maternity leave—settled into the chair next to me at the café. She let out a huge sigh and closed her eyes. “Yes, I’m quite pregnant,” she said. “Whenever I encounter another person there are just three words that I’m interested in hearing: You. Look. Great.” After sharing a good laugh, she continued, “Seriously, though, I’m not looking for compliments. ‘My soul proclaims the greatness […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Make a Wish and Blow Out the Candles

Among the many traditions that are part of a birthday celebration is that of the celebrant making a wish and blowing out the candles. This tradition most likely has its roots in ancient Greece, when people would offer cakes and candles as an offering to the gods. It was believed that the smoke rising from the blown-out candles carried the offering to the gods. On September 8, we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Celebrating the Queenship of Mary

One of the traditional characteristics of royalty is someone who leads an army into battle. Before Israel had a king, they would go into battle led by the Ark of the Covenant, which represented the presence of Almighty God in their midst. Eventually, the Ark of the Covenant was lost to history. However, Christians see Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as the new “Ark of the Covenant”—one who bears within her the presence of the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Feast of the Assumption

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the significance of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15). The feast reminds us of the seamless connection between body and soul, as Mary was assumed into heaven body and soul. Catholicism is not a dualistic faith that ignores the physical in favor of the spiritual. Rather, we see the two realities as intertwined. The Feast of the Assumption calls us to appreciate more deeply […]

Facing New and Uncertain Situations Like Mary: A Family Faith-Sharing Guide

May is traditionally a time to honor Mary in special ways, such as with May Crowning celebrations. This year, we can look to Mary as a model for facing uncertain times. When faced with the news that she would be the Mother of God, Mary had questions but accepted God’s plan for her with complete trust. Explore Mary’s faith and trust in God with the help of our family faith-sharing guide. Excerpted from 52 Simple […]

Introducing Children to the Blessed Mother

Throughout the faith formation year, I devote part of my lessons to introducing the children to the Blessed Mother. Whenever I teach about Mary, my goal is for the children to know that: Mary is our mother; Mary is our best model of faith; and Mary said yes to God, and we can say yes to God too. My lessons on Mary are based on the liturgical year. I begin in October, which is dedicated […]

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