This Christmas, Light Up a Room as Mary Did

The Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Advent provides us with a key for how to enter into Christmas. We hear of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth. Mary enters and Elizabeth is filled with joy. Why? Because Mary is carrying Jesus within her. She is bringing Good News into Elizabeth’s home. She is bringing the nearness of God to Elizabeth. Mary knows how to light up a room! As we gather with family and friends […]

Abraham: Get With the Plan!

Here is my lesson for this coming Monday, October 29, 2012. The session focuses on Abraham! BIG IDEA: God is setting things right and we need to “get with the plan.” Abraham shows us how. Preliminaries (15 mins) welcome and introductions kids write their prayer intentions opening procession to set up prayer center opening prayer Engage (10 mins) Bring in a “home plate” (from baseball…I have a rubber one) to show the young people and […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 1, Day 5: You’ve Got the Network (Church, Mary, Saints, and Eternity)

WEEK ONE: The Creed DAY 5: You’ve Got the Network (Church, Mary, Saints, and Eternity) I’m sure you recall the Verizon ad with the message “It’s the Network,” showing people on Verizon wireless phones backed up by a huge crowd of Verizon workers who represent their support network. The message is clear: wherever you go, the network is there with you and you are never on your own. A huge part of our Catholic faith is our […]

Mother’s Day – Trusting that God Knows Best

In honor of Mother’s Day, I share with you the following brief reflection from Amy Welborn’s A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days: There is no way I could have imagined, at the beginning of any of my pregnancies, who the child within me would turn out to be. Oh, I had my hopes and dreams, but in more than twenty years of watching the fruit of my womb grow, I have found, without exception, that […]

Joseph Shows the Way for this Last Week of Advent

Sometimes, our head is telling us one thing but our heart and our gut are telling us something else. This past Sunday’s Gospel tells us that St. Joseph was experiencing this inner turmoil. His betrothed, Mary, is pregnant…and he’s not the father. According to Jewish Law, she should be stoned. At the very least, he decides to quietly divorce her…it would be the righteous thing to do. And yet, something within him continues to question […]

Thinking of the Immaculate Conception on the Feast of All Saints

We catechists are always thinking and planning ahead, right? I recently received a comment from Joyce asking for ideas for a children’s liturgy for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I’m wondering if some of you have some suggestions! Hi Joe… do you have any ideas for celebrating a Mass with children on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Looking for something new… we’ve done the Gospel drama for years, but hoping for something new… […]

Teaching About Mary on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Here is an idea for teaching about Mary on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It’s from The Sunday Connection: Tell the young people that some people benefit from having connections in high places. Invite them to imagine to whom they wish they had a connection. Distribute index cards to the young people and have them complete the following sentence: I wish I knew someone who… (Example: I wish I knew someone who could get […]

A Day with the IHMs

On Friday, I had the privilege and pleasure of spending the day with about 30 IHM Sisters who are the DREs and CREs of IHM parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It was a wonderful opportunity to interact with some ladies who have and continue to make a profound impact on the faith formation of so many people, young and old. The event took place at the Villa Maria House of Studies at Immaculata University. […]

Repetition – The Rosary

What do all of the following have in common? “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” Repetition, of course. We human beings tend to repeat ourselves whenever we feel strongly about something, are excited about something, or want to convince […]

How to Pray a Living Rosary

October, of course, is the month of the Holy Rosary, a great opportunity to introduce young people to the devotion of praying the Rosary. Many parish schools and religious education programs have a “living Rosary” during October and the question often comes up, “How do you pray the living Rosary?” Here are sites that offer explanations and descriptions of praying a Living Rosary: The Living Rosary: Bring the Rosary to life for your Students Catholic […]

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