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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

Posts for Church History

Tour of Sacred Places

October 31, 2019

St. Mary Magdalene

June 24, 2016

Pope Francis has raised the liturgical memorial of St. Mary Magdalene, the woman from the Gospels who, according to the pope, "so loved Christ and was so greatly loved by Christ, to a feast day.

Annual Fortnight for Religious Freedom Announced

April 29, 2016

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the dates for the annual Fornight for Freedom, an occasion to pray, promote, and work for religious liberty. The year, the Fornight for Freedom will be held from June 21--the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More--to July 4, Independence Day.

Black History Month: Fr. Augustus Tolton

February 05, 2016

The child of slaves, Fr. Augustus Tolton (1854-1897) was the first African American priest ordained to serve the Church in the United States.

The Congregation of Holy Cross Celebrates Two Anniversaries in 2015

November 23, 2015

As the days and weeks of 2015 near the end, you might consider joining with the city of South Bend, Indiana, the nearby home of Ave Maria Press, on the celebration of the city's 150 year anniversary. Similarly, 2015 is the 150 year anniversary of Ave Maria Press as well.

Canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra

September 02, 2015

This post contains resources about Blessed Junipero Serra, the Spanish Franciscan missionary who evangelized Indians and established twenty-one missions in California. Serra will be canonized by Pope Francis on his trip to the United States later this month. 

Lessons on Religious Liberty for the Theology Classroom

April 06, 2015

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the watershed Vatican II declaration on religious freedom Dignitatis Humanae: On the Right of the Person and of Communities to Social and Civil Freedom in Matters Religious, promulgated by Blessed Pope Paul VI on December 7, 1965. Within these last fifty years, there has been some notable progress, yet likewise significant setbacks, in terms of religious liberty both in the United States and throughout the world.

Christianity in China?

February 06, 2015

There are quite a few question marks about Catholicism and Christianity in China today. Have your students research the answers to these questions

Pope Francis to Canonize Bl. Junipero Serra

January 15, 2015

Pope Francis announced today that he will canonize Bl. Junipero Serra (1713-1784), the Franciscan priest who carried on extensive missionary work in California in the eighteenth century. This post contains some methods to help your student learn about the life and work of thie soon-to-be saint.

Meeting the New Cardinals

January 08, 2015

Pope Francis announced his intention to create twenty new cardinals at the upcoming consistory (an assembly of cardinals called together by the pope) on February 14, 2015.

Summary of Pope Francis' Visit to the Holy Land

May 27, 2014

Pope Francis historic visit to the Holy Land is over. The Catholic bishops of the region have prepared and maintained a webpage with images, articles, and video of the trip. Included in this detailed reference is an article of other papal visists to the Holy Land.

Welcome to World Youth Day 2016!

August 05, 2013

World Youth Day 2013 has finished but it's not too soon to prepare teens to begin planning a pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland.

St. Ignatius and the Jesuits

July 29, 2013

Wednesday, July 31, is the Feast Day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The day is more significant this year because of Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope in the history of the Church. Encourage your students to learn more about St. Ignatius and other important Jesuits using the assignments in this post.

The Shepherd in Combat Boots: Father Emil J. Kapaun

April 15, 2013

It is not every day that a man who is a candidate for sainthood in the Catholic Church also receives the nation’s highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor. Fr. Kapaun received this medal posthumously on April 11 for his service to soldiers in the Korean War. You can use Father Kapaun's story to help your students to consider how to serve their faith during times of war or conflict.

New, Free Resource on Religious Liberty and Church in the USA

October 08, 2012

Ave Maria Press is pleased to announce release of a NEW, FREE, RESOURCE perfect for use in Catholic high schools and parish religious education and youth ministry programs.

Challenges for the Church in the United States

November 29, 2011

Listed below are ten challenges facing the Church in the United States for the twenty-first century.

Three Different Feasts

October 31, 2011

Halloween, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day are often linked together as would make sense since they fall on consecutive days.

10 Challenges for the Church of the Twenty-First Century

September 17, 2010

How can you help teens have handle on some of the large issues facing the Church today while also considering ways to participate in some solutions for change? Share with them these 10 Challenges for the Church of the Twenty-First Century.

Teaching with the Early Church Fathers

September 01, 2010

Many teachers like to use Patristic “sound bytes” in lectures and lessons. Try using these websites as resources.

Catholic Saints Research Projects

July 07, 2010

One of the most popular projects assigned in religious education programs is a research project on the saints. Consider the following resources to provide students with their research.

Feast of St. Catherine of Siena Prayers and Activity

April 23, 2010

April 29th is the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church.

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes Lesson Plan Ideas

February 04, 2010

February 11 is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes who appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in on February 11, 1858 in Lourdes, France.

Lesson Plan: Development of the New Testament Canon

January 29, 2010

This lesson plan is useful for anyone teaching a course on the Introduction to the New Testament.

Remembering the Church from Before Vatican II

September 30, 2009

Invite a person who was an adult at the time of Vatican II and who remains active in the same parish to speak to your class about his or her remembrances of the Council and the changes it brought to parish life.

Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas

January 27, 2009

January 28 is the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the Church's great theologians and history's true geniuses.

American Saints and Blesseds

January 05, 2009

In honor of St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, the first American born saint whose feast day was Sunday, January 4, share with your students the complete list of American saints and blesseds.

Learning More about Marriage

October 24, 2008

How well do you and your students know the history of the Sacrament of Matrimony?

Catholics, Freedom, and the U.S.A.

July 01, 2008

At the nation's founding and in other periods of history since, Catholics were not afforded the same rights as Protestants.

Fielding Questions About the Pope

April 07, 2008

Why is the pope’s visit such big news?

Birthday Blessings for the Pope

April 03, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate his 81st birthday next week, on April 16, when he visits the United States.

The Church In America Icebreaker

January 11, 2008

With presidential politics and primaries in full swing and the feast day of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American born saint recently celebrated, consider the following lesson icebreaker on the theme of the Catholic Church in America.

Patrick: The Terrified Teen Who Learned to Trust

March 14, 2007

A well documented portrait of a strong and courageous saint whose story should connect well with teens.

History of the Chosen People in 90 Seconds

January 03, 2007

Tired of needing days and weeks to teach the history of God's chosen people? Of course you are. Unfortunately, you'll probably need to keep doing that, but here is an extremely helpful aid when doing that.

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