Asking Questions About Our Faith

Questions are important, but I have never been someone who asked questions. Rather, I have always been eager to answer questions. Whether in a classroom as a child, in college, or as an adult, I readily raise my hand to answer an instructor’s question. I am always ready to answer Jeopardy questions aloud to my television, respond to questions in Facebook groups, or join my friends on most Tuesdays for our weekly trivia quiz night. By […]

Cherishing the Wisdom of Our Elders

One of the things that I love about the Jesuits is that they never “retire.” When a Jesuit becomes elderly or infirm, he is given a new assignment by his Provincial, namely, to pray for the success of the mission and ministries of the Society of Jesus at one of the Jesuit assisted-living facilities. The message is clear: every member of the Jesuits, no matter what age, is still valued and considered an integral member of […]

Honoring (and Learning from) Our Elders

When I began in parish ministry, I inherited an RCIA team that included one very unique member, Theresa, who was 85 years old. I was told that Theresa’s job was to bake and bring the snacks for every session—something that she was renowned for. (Her cookies were to die for!) But Theresa did more than just bring homemade cookies and pastries to our sessions. She sat in on every session and added her two cents. […]

Three Ways to Make Hope Real

Our world needs to hear the message of Christian hope. This hope is not mere optimism; rather Christian hope finds its source in a person, Jesus of Nazareth. St. Thomas Aquinas said hope is, “infused in us by God alone.” The universal call of the Church is to be a missionary disciple, to live as one who understands that we are sent forth to make hope real in our world today by sharing the Good […]

Happy Fifth Anniversary Papa Francesco!

I remember just five years ago, sitting at my desk here at Loyola Press, and excitedly watching along with the rest of the world as we were introduced to our new Pope, Francis, who humbly asked us to pray for him. In these five short years, we have come to know this great man as a truly holy follower of Jesus Christ. As a Jesuit ministry, Loyola Press is particularly proud to be associated with our […]

Hope Is Not a Feeling; It’s a Practice

As much as Facebook can sometimes be annoying and frustrating, with people venting and over-sharing, I also find a number of gems along the way. One person I can count on for that is my friend Bob Burnham, who recently posted the following phrase: “Hope is not a feeling; it’s a practice.” He then generously shared a link to a very nice article he wrote for Busted Halo: “3 Ways to Practice Hope,” in which he […]

Free Prayer Cards Inspired by the Letters of Pope Francis

As we near the end of the catechetical year, you might be thinking how you might mark the occasion with a special keepsake for your students. Encourage children to keep up a practice of prayer throughout the summer break by giving them a prayer card (or three!), free for you to download this month, in English or in Spanish. Inspired by the letters of Pope Francis in the book Dear Pope Francis, the cards each […]

Allow God’s Gaze to Rest on You

Recently I led a half-day retreat for Directors of Religious Education at a nearby parish. These are the men and women who work hard all year through, helping to care for the faith of others. They are nearly always “on duty,” organizing, running, and problem-solving within their parish faith formation programs. The weather had finally, finally come around to spring qualities. We were at an expansive retreat center with lawns and water and trees and […]

Dear Pope Francis in the Classroom

As we were finishing up faith formation class the other day, I showed my class a new book: Dear Pope Francis. It is a hardcover, colorful book of letters and drawings from children around the world to Pope Francis. The best part of the book is that Pope Francis answered each of the letters. His answers are not one- or two-line answers, but thoughtful, multi-paragraph answers that an elementary-age student can understand. I fell in […]

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