Confidence, Generosity, Joy, and Fearlessness: Four Ways Mary Inspires Catechists

Lord, give me Mary’s confidence and generosity of spirit. I ask not only to listen to your voice and do your will but also to do these things joyfully and fearlessly. Let me answer your call with an exultant “Yes!” because I know that my journey into the unknown will be made radiant by your transfiguring presence. —Sacred Space: A Little Book of Encouragement This extraordinary quote inspires me as a catechist. There is no […]

Feeling Peace on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary

I moved to Maryland on August 14, 1989. I left my home in California to attend grad school at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and I was so excited to get started on this adventure. As I look back, I’m amazed at my lack of apprehension about leaving my family and friends and flying across the country. Ah, youth. Since I knew I had to find an apartment quickly, I had made a reservation at a […]

Helping Young People Understand Feasts and Holy Days of the Liturgical Year

As we prepare to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption (August 15), I thought it would be a good opportunity to take a closer look at what holy days are all about and to help young people understand them. A good way to start is to ask young people where they may have gone on vacation and if anyone did any sightseeing at places such as the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, or an art gallery […]

The Magnificat and Devotion to Our Lady

This reflection is part of the Spirituality of the Catechist Online Retreat. The parish of Notre Dame in New Hyde Park, New York has a diverse Catholic community united in their strong devotion to the Virgin Mary. The original Italian community has organized two prayer groups devoted to Our Lady; the largest devotional group here is dedicated to Our Lady Queen of Peace. Our Lady of Guadalupe is certainly the most prominent cultural experience for […]

The Spirituality of the Catechist: Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Online Retreat Week 7)

Welcome once more to our online retreat, the Spirituality of the Catechist. This week, we focus on the sixth aspect of a catechist’s spirituality: Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. If you’re just joining us, you can go back and catch up on earlier weeks at any time. If you haven’t already, share some thoughts about the retreat in the comments of any post in the series that inspires you in your vocation as a […]

Celebrating Mary

May brings us to a special month to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. Does your parish host a May Crowning in recognition of her role as Queen of All Saints? Such events are often special memories for Catholics, as author Elizabeth M. Kelly shares in May Crowning: A Reflection on a Marian Celebration. Maybe your school or parish prays a Living Rosary. Read how one parish incorporated lessons on the Rosary and Marian apparitions with a […]

Lifting Hearts and Eyes to Mary with a Living Rosary and Balloon Release

There’s no doubt that St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in San Antonio, Texas has a passion for Mary and her discipleship. Lessons about the Rosary are incorporated in religious instruction at all grade levels and focus especially on Mary during the Month of the Rosary in October. Fifteen years ago, St. Gregory’s seventh-grade students started asking questions about Marian apparitions and how they connected to the Mysteries of the Rosary. The students were asked […]

10 Tips for Catechists from the Blessed Virgin Mary

Editor’s note: We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of Catechist’s Journey this week by sharing catechetical top-10 lists each day and giving away Loyola Press prize packages. Enter for your chance to win the Ignatian Inspiration pack today; details below. I’m always looking for help to become a better catechist. Since I often turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary for help in other areas of my life, I asked her to help me in this ministry. […]

Creative Ways to Pray the Rosary

Teaching children to pray the Rosary does not have to be monotonous and painful. Since every child interacts with the world around him or her differently, Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences can help catechists make praying the Rosary a positive experience. Here are some creative ways to engage the eight “signs” of intelligence proposed by Gardner. Try praying the Rosary using a different technique each month, or offer several choices for the class as […]

Mary, Mother of Catechists

The Blessed Virgin Mary is so many things to us: she is our mother, our help, our comfort, and our joy. She is our model disciple; she is the “untier of knots.” She is also our model catechist. Here are three ways we can be more like Mary as catechists. 1. Say “Yes.” When I invite parishioners to prayerfully consider becoming a catechist, their first response is often “Who, me?” followed by expressions of doubt, […]

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