Finding God in Beauty: Visio Divina

Over the Church’s history, it was known—long before anyone had heard of multiple intelligences—that some people learned better through visuals. This was especially true during times when average folks were illiterate. Today, even though most people are literate, many people (including yours truly) consider themselves visual learners. For some people, visuals are also helpful for prayer experiences. For this reason, the Church has a tradition that parallels lectio divina (“divine reading” or reflection on the […]

Daily Examen Journal

The daily Examen is way to pray through the events and emotions of the day to find God with us. When practiced regularly, the Examen can help those who pray it identify God in all aspects of the day and see the patterns of God’s presence over time. It is a key way to pray in Ignatian spirituality. Introduce teens and adults to the Examen with our daily Examen journal—printable and foldable as a booklet. […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Letting God’s Word Sink In (Lectio Divina)

When giving directions to young people for completing a task, catechists and teachers have grown accustomed to hearing at least one participant respond with, “Wait, what?” Experienced educators know that, when giving directions to young people, we have to repeat several times and check for comprehension. We can’t assume that the first time we say something, it has been heard and received! The same holds true with the Word of God. Often, upon first hearing, […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Praying the Daily Examen

I’m fond of saying that God is most often recognized in the rearview mirror. In other words, we seem to be more capable of recognizing God in past events than in the present. St. Ignatius of Loyola thought along those same lines, which is why he promoted a simple prayer called the Daily Examen. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the practice of praying the Examen in order to recognize God’s presence in […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Praying a Novena

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we take a look at the practice of praying a novena and how this Catholic tradition is grounded in Scripture and connects us with the Apostles, Mary, and the Holy Spirit.  For more information about praying a novena, check out the following: First Holy Communion Novena Ascension to Pentecost: The First Novena (free poster and booklet) What Is a Novena? Novenas: Prayers of Intercession and Devotion Waiting for the […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: “I’ll Light a Candle for You”

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the notion of intercessory prayer (praying for the needs of others) and how, for Catholics, it often involves the outward sign of lighting a candle for the person for whom we are praying. For more information about intercessory prayer, check out the following: Forming Children and Youth for Mass: Intercessory Prayer Drafting Prayers of Intercession Helping Young People Write Intercessions Faithful Uphold the Quiet Tradition of […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Praying at Mealtime

In today’s episode of Pop-up Catechesis, we look at the notion of eating meals together (rather than in front of the TV) and praying before meals. For more about the importance of sharing family meals, see the following: The Power of Family Meals by Tom McGrath Prayer and the Family Meal: 7 Fresh Ideas for Mealtime Prayer

Prayer Cubes for Lent

There are many opportunities to engage children during the season of Lent. I like to use this season to encourage the children in my class to develop a new prayer habit, especially a habit that they can bring home to their families. Last year my class used Lenten prayer sticks, which were very popular. I wondered why, and it dawned on me that having something tangible made prayer time hard to ignore. Parents could more […]

Prayer Sticks

Last winter, a teacher friend of mine posted a photo of her classroom showing her “task sticks” for her students. On each stick was written a specific task for the student who held it, such as “line leader,” “pencil patrol,” and “librarian.” I was trying to think of a way to engage my class in prayerful habits during Lent when I saw her task sticks. I thought I could borrow her idea and make “prayer […]

40 Ways to Foster Prayer in Your Home

Our lives offer many opportunities to pray, and we can share those opportunities with the children in our care. Find inspiration for different ways to pray in the home by downloading Tom McGrath’s suggestions for 40 Ways to Foster Prayer in Your Home—in English or in Spanish. Share the booklet with families in your school or parish. These suggestions are excerpted from Tom’s book Raising Faith-Filled Kids: Ordinary Opportunities to Nurture Spirituality at Home. Learn […]

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