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, […]

Who Ya Gonna Call?

We Catholics mark the first day of the secular calendar by celebrating the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. As Bishop Robert Barron often reminds us, Marian feast days are ultimately about Jesus. Today, of course, is no exception. While we celebrate the great honor bestowed upon Mary as the Mother of God, the ultimate message of this day is that her child—Jesus—is God. Not just like God, but “God from God, Light from […]

Say Yes to God

How can you convey a love of and devotion to Mary with all the necessary background knowledge in just one class period? The simple answer is that you can’t. You have to select the greatest message you want the class to absorb, focus on it for the class, and then add more about Mother Mary throughout the year as you teach other lessons. Just as you invite her to be with you daily, you must […]

Happy Birthday to My Mom—Born on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary

A couple of years ago, I was wishing my mom a happy birthday when she said, “To be born on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary—what an honor!” This weekend, we celebrate this wonderful feast (August 22) as my family and I also celebrate my mom’s 88th birthday. Catholics know that anything we say about Mary is a reflection of what we believe about her Son, Jesus. In essence, we celebrate Mary’s Queenship as […]

The Feast of the Assumption—A Blessing of the Body

As we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, we are reminded of the importance of the body in our spirituality. Our belief that Mary was assumed body and soul is a reinforcement of our belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is a bodily Resurrection. We Catholics do not belief that death results in an eternity of floating around as a disembodied spirit. Rather, we look forward to the resurrection of the […]

Conversing with Mary, Colloquy-Style

There is a wonderful gem hidden within the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius that has been a grace-filled gift to my prayer life. Early in the Exercises, Ignatius recommends a creative type of prayer known as the colloquy. A colloquy, as Ignatius describes, is a conversation that, “is made, properly speaking, as one friend speaks to another” (SE 54). At times this involves a series of three conversations beginning with Mary, continuing with Jesus, and […]

Honoring Mary in the Classroom or Parish

Each May, Catholics across the globe celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary, holy mother to us all. Through parish and classroom celebrations, we can show our love and respect for Mary and share her importance with those we teach. There are a variety of traditional activities that parishes use to celebrate Mary, such as the May Crowning or a special Rosary, novena, or prayer service. These are all good, but if you are looking for some […]

May Crowning Marks a “New Spiritual Season”

One of the most beautiful traditions in Catholicism is that of May Crowning. In her book, May Crowning, Mass, and Merton: 50 Reasons I Love Being Catholic, Liz Kelly recalls her childhood experience of May Crownings: I still remember the aroma of the flowers, the coolness of the spring air, the lightness of spirit that lingered. The promise of everything made new. May Crowning marked a new spiritual season. Our Mary, queen of heaven and […]

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