How Marian Feasts Teach Us About Jesus

As we approach the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, it is important to remind ourselves that Marian feasts are not primarily about Mary! In fact, the Blessed Virgin Mary would be the first to resist our efforts to draw attention to her. Her great Magnificat prayer proclaims that it is the Lord who is to be magnified. Like all Marian feasts, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is ultimately about Mary’s Son, […]

Marian Devotions for the Classroom

I love Our Blessed Mother! My devotion to Mary is easily shared with my third graders. In my classroom there is a print of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a statue of Our Lady of Grace, and a poster of Mary, Undoer of Knots. Even more images of Mary can be easily shown on an interactive whiteboard. When we celebrated the Queenship of Mary, I found 20 different […]

Marian Art, Advent, and Learning Stations

With both the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (a holy day of obligation) and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December, and the readings in the second half of Advent telling Mary’s story in the days before Jesus’ birth, this is the perfect time to teach the children in our classes about Mary. I realized in my planning my Advent arc of activities this year that the Finding God art prints […]

Three Lessons from Mary, the First and Best Catechist

For any dedicated catechist, having a devotion to the Blessed Mother should be part and parcel of our spiritual lives. Mary, as the first and best catechist, provides a model for our own ministry of catechesis. Three aspects of the life of Mary, drawn from Evangelii Gaudium, serve as a guide for our ministries: 1. Finding God in All Things 2. Pointing to Jesus 3. Seeking Out Help Finding God in All Things St. Ignatius […]

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 […]

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