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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

Posts for Church Year

Two Great Teachers of the Faith: St. Nicholas of Myra (December 6) and St. Ambrose (December 7)

December 05, 2016

As Christmas approaches, remember to tell your students not only that Santa Claus is “real,” but that the saintly figure behind the legend is even more of an inspiration than the jolly perennial visitor of mythical renown! On December 6, the Catholic Church celebrates the Memorial of St. Nicholas of Myra (ca. AD 270 – 343), and on December 7, the Memorial of St. Ambrose (ca. 340 – 397).

All Saints’ Day Lesson

October 21, 2016

Here’s a refresher on the role of saints in the Church, in lieu of the coming of All Saints’ Day on November 1.

Two Letters of St. Thérèse of Lisieux to Abbe Belliere

September 26, 2016

The feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux is October 1. The following is an excerpt from The Catholic Spirit: An Anthology for Discovering Faith Through Literature, Art, Film, and Music of two letters wrote to a missionary priest near the end of her life.

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.

All Souls’ Day and Why Catholics Pray for the Dead: A November Exercise

November 02, 2015

November 1 and November 2 are two very special days in the liturgical life of the Church. On the one hand, we prayerfully ask the saints to intercede to God for us in a special way on All Saints’ Day (November 1), while on the other hand, we commemorate and pray for the souls of all of our faithful departed on All Souls’ Day (November 2).

The theology teacher has the ability to rely on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day as key opportunities to explain to students why (and how) the Catholic Church advocates for both asking for the intercession of the saints and praying for the dead (whose souls could be in Purgatory)

Ten Assignments for All Saints' Week

October 25, 2015

Whereas All Saints Day, celebrated on November 1, is a feast established by the Church to honor all the saints in heaven who do not have a special day on one of the other 364 days of the year, this is also a good season to emphasize Church teachings on canonized sainthood as well. This post lists 10 easy assignments that allow your students to reflect on sainthood and any saints that may be special to them.

The Assumption of Mary to Heaven: Meaning and Prayer

August 04, 2015

August 15, a Holy Day of Obligation, celebrates the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Heaven. This is a dogma of the Church, declared on November 1, 1950 by Pope Pius XII, though it had been believed and celebrated in the Church throughout history that Mary was taken directly to heaven after her time on earth had ended.

Memory Game: Names, Titles, and Symbols of the Holy Spirit

April 24, 2015

The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly outlines how the Holy Spirit is represented in names, titles, and symbols:

Mary: Queen of Heaven

August 16, 2013

Pope Pius closed a year-long Marian year in October of 1954 with the encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam recognizing the Queenship of Mary. The encyclical was unique too because it was the first time a pope had spoken on Mary's role in sharing in the work of Redemption. This post offers some ways to encourage your students to reflect on Mary's life and her faith.

Five Opportunities for Evangelization During Lent

February 08, 2013

During the season of Lent, Catholics visibly practice their faith in unique ways that can catch the attention of non-Catholics. These practices then become opportunities for evangelization. Students should be ready to explain why they do what they do during Lent for their own sakes and for the sakes of those who want to learn about Catholicism.

Honoring Mary in the Month of May

May 01, 2012

Your students likely know that May is the month of Mary.

Do they also know that Mary also has her own day dedicated to her in each and every week throughout the year? The tradition of honoring Mary on Saturdays goes back to the very first Holy Saturday, the day that Jesus lay in the tomb.

Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God

December 30, 2009

Irish Trumpets - University of Notre Dame

How Does the Church Decide Who Becomes a Saint?

October 29, 2009

In anticipation of All Saints' Day on November 1, share the following question and answer with your students.

St. Maria Goretti and Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha

July 28, 2009

In a society and culture obsessed with outward bodily appearance and sex outside of marriage, Maria Goretti and Kateri Tekawitha represent the importance of inner beauty and moral decision-making.

Project Idea: Investigating the Infancy Narratives

December 15, 2008

Have the students read the following passages from the infancy narratives and write their hypothesis to each question.

Patronness of the Americas

December 09, 2008

Friday, December 12, is the annual Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the "Patronness of the Americas."

Share Lesson Plans on the Year of St. Paul!

August 06, 2008

As you begin a new semester, the Church is celebrating a special jubilee year dedicated to St. Paul.

Peter and Paul: United by A Common Feast

June 25, 2008

Community can be formed and people can come together even in death. This happened to two of the greatest saints in the Church—Peter and Paul—who share a feast day on June 29.

Pentecost: A Very Important Feast

May 05, 2008

In a ranking, Pentecost would be the second most important Church feast day.

Ash Wednesday “Kicks off” Lent

February 04, 2008

Just three days after “Super Bowl Sunday,” on February 6, the Christian world tunes in for another kind of “kick-off.” Ash Wednesday “kicks off” Lent.

The Presentation of the Lord

January 30, 2008

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is traditionally celebrated on February 2, forty days after Christmas.

Choosing Your "Birthday Scripture Verse"

November 29, 2007

To help celebrate the start of Advent and the birth of a new Church Year, have the students search the Bible for a specific Scripture verse they can make their own.

Giving Thanks

November 19, 2007

In our Church, with the celebration of Eucharist (Greek for “thanksgiving”), every day is a day of thanks.

Another New Years' Day

November 13, 2007

On the Church calendar (also called the liturgical year or Roman calendar), “New Year’s” is the Sunday closest to November 30.

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