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 […]

The Spiritual Life of Catechists, Part 7: Devotion to Mary and the Eucharist

This is the seventh and final article in a series about the spiritual life of catechists, inspired by the list of characteristics in the National Directory for Catechesis. Did you know that the Virgin Mary is known as “mother and model of catechists?” Catechists are called to a special devotion to her because “[t]hrough her own special vocation, Mary saw the Son of God ‛grow in wisdom, in age and in grace’ (Lk 2:52). She […]

According to Your Word

In the life of a parish, there are going to be good days and bad days. The good days include sacramental events such as First Communions and Confirmations. Bad days might force us to deal with troubled children, angry parents, or upset pastors. If we want to celebrate the good things and rise above the negative, the Virgin Mary might be an example for us to pattern ourselves after. Throughout her life, Mary no doubt […]

Marian Devotions—Free Poster

Our Lady. Blessed Virgin. Queen of Heaven. Madonna. Maria. Mary. The mother of Jesus and the Church is known by many names, which reflect just how revered she is all over the world. The importance of Mary as Mother of God lies not only in that Mary was the woman who gave birth to Jesus, but in that she was the one who had faith in God and freely said yes to participate in God’s […]

The Engaged Catechist: Forming Catechist Enrichment Groups

In his book, Growing An Engaged Church (Gallup Press), Albert L. Winseman explains that, without true engagement, volunteers burn out quickly. He identifies 3 ways to make an immediate impact on the level of engagement of church members: clarify the expectations of membership help your members discover what they do best create small groups I think these can (and should) be easily applied to catechists, who, without engagement, do indeed burnout quickly. Those catechists who […]

The Visitation: Model for the New Evangelization

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. In this great story, we find a model for evangelization: fresh from her encounter with God, Mary swings into action (she went “in haste”), joyfully carrying (literally) the Word of God to others and being of service to someone in need. Mary’s visit to Elizabeth was not to brag about her new-found status as the Mother of the Savior. Mary did […]

May Crowning Update

Last week, I posted about the beautiful Catholic tradition of May Crowning and my quest to find out how to either acquire or make a small “crown” for my backyard Mary Statue. As it turns out, the miniature floral crown that I ordered was WAY too mini! So, instead, I went to Michaels and found resources to make my own which I placed on Mary on Mother’s Day! I’m just a regular Martha Stewart!   […]

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