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Completing My Participation in the Living School

Two years goes by fast. In that time I began and am now close to completing my participation in the Living School – a course on contemplative reflection and practice that involves both on-site and...Read more

Celebrating Saints and Mystics: Saint Ignatius Loyola

You might call it “Ignatian Imagination” – the meditative exercise developed by Saint Ignatius Loyola that draws us into a Scripture passage through our five senses. The process involves immersion...Read more

Celebrating Saints and Mystics: Benedict of Nursia

A young man grows tired of the hustle and bustle of urban life so he seeks a place in nature where he can live in quieter fashion. The silence in such a beautiful setting feeds his soul and he begins...Read more

Celebrating Our Freedom to Advocate and Care for Others

It isn’t exactly summer reading, but I just finished Blaine Harden’s Escape from Camp 14. It tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only known person to have been born and raised in a North Korean...Read more

The Freedom of Limitations

It has been over thirty years since my husband, Ron, ran his first Pikes Peak Ascent – a race to the top of a 14,000-foot mountain. At the time, the Olympic games were playing themselves out on...Read more

Seminarian Letter Project: Catholic School Children Send Their Support and Encouragement

“May your life be filled with love, hope, and happiness as you continue your training. Thank you for your service, and good luck.”This message, addressed to a seminarian named Christopher, is signed...Read more

Celebrating Saints and Mystics During the Liturgical Year

My Little Lives of the Saints booklets were precious possessions. As a child I pored over each account and studied the accompanying pictures. Each saint looked so serene and perfect. None were old,...Read more

A Memorial Day Reflection

When my husband and I set off on a cross-country trip four years ago, we knew we would visit numerous historical sites. We did not think so many of them would include graveyards. On our first...Read more

Flowers for the Blessed Mother

What do you think the following flowers have in common: rose, thistle, violet, marigold, carnation, lily, and forget-me-not? Each one has a legend that associates the flower with the Blessed...Read more

Arbor Day; A Precious Reminder of the Gift and Wonder of Creation

We don’t make much of Arbor Day any more. It has been overshadowed, perhaps, by the flashier Earth Day which precedes it. Nevertheless, I am going to mark the day by recalling the poem "Trees" by...Read more

Earth Day and the Joy of God’s Creation

“Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power; contemplation of its magnificence imparts peace and serenity. The Bible speaks again and again of the beauty of creation, which is called...Read more

Holy Week Resources for Families

It’s almost Holy Week, a time-honored rite that celebrates life arising from death and the brilliance emerging from places of desolation and despair. Use these Holy Week resources to prepare for and...Read more

Immerse Yourself in the Mystery of the Triduum

If you have celebrated Triduum even once, you know why it’s consider the most sacred time in the Church year. The flow of these three days shifts dramatically with each liturgy’s readings, symbols,...Read more

How to Enhance Your Lenten Practices So They're More Meaningful

“Lent is a time of spring cleaning through intensifying our prayer life, fasting from food or bad habits, and performing acts of charity and justice.” This is how I described the three traditional...Read more

The Value of Humilty

It’s taken a long time to straighten out my understanding of humility. As a child I was taught that to say anything positive about yourself was vanity and a display of pride, one of the seven capital...Read more

15+ FREE Resources for Lent You Will Love

Lent is a season of simple living. As the entire Church prepares for the great celebration of Christ’s Paschal Mystery in the Easter Triduum, Catholics make special efforts to pray, do penance, and...Read more

Discerning Our Vocation

“O that today you would hear his voice harden not your hearts…” Psalm 95:7-8 The reminder to listen for the voice of God runs deep in the Scriptures. Such admonitions are usually partnered with the...Read more

A Printable Reflection and Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, a day of prayer and fasting, marks the beginning of Lent. I often marvel at how many people are drawn to services on Ash Wednesday. After all, it's not a holy day of obligation and it...Read more

Family Spirituality: What Makes a Marriage?

Every morning my husband, Ron, leaves a piece of dark chocolate by my computer. I savor its bitter-sweetness in small bites throughout the day. Recently Ron went on a week-long camping trip and,...Read more

A Valentine for God

Valentine’s Day may be two weeks away, but I don’t think it’s too soon to start reflecting on its lovely themes and associations. My affection for the holiday stretches back to childhood. Every year...Read more

A Catechetical Pick-Me-Up

I think I am one of the few people who like the month of January. I don’t mind snow, which is a helpful attribute for a resident of Colorado. For teachers the month is blessedly free of holiday...Read more

The Ministry and Vocation of Teaching

During a “gap year” in which I was discerning the direction to go with my studies, I served as a volunteer with Head Start. It’s there that I met Mrs. Cranmer and learned how teaching can be both a...Read more

January Psalm Reflections

My mother used to wait to take the Christmas tree down once my siblings and I were back in school because she thought it would make us sad. In truth, she was the one who mourned the passing of the...Read more

Virtue Series: Wellness and the New Year

Long before the term “holistic medicine” came into use, Hildegard of Bingen was putting it into practice. This twelfth century figure had a resume that could rival Leonardo da Vinci. She was not only...Read more

Celebrating Epiphany: 5 Ways to Mark Three Kings Day

My husband, Ron, and I needed a trip to the mountains. Faced with some major changes in our lives, we needed to clear our heads by getting away from all that was familiar. There is nothing like the...Read more

8 Printable Catholic Christmas Prayers

The Catholic Christmas season begins on December 25th and ends in January on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. During this season, we celebrate the birth of Christ, the Son of God, God with us,...Read more

Advent Joy; Lighting the Pink Candle on the Advent Wreath

This Sunday we light the odd candle on the Advent wreath. Long before pink became a symbol of breast cancer awareness, it took prominence in the third week of Advent as a sign of joy. “Guadete”...Read more

Virtues Series: Prudence and the Problem of Christmas Excess

I still remember the Christmas we gave our children bogus plush toys. The craze at that time was for stuffed bears emblazoned with rainbows, shamrocks, and other colorful symbols. Their retail price,...Read more

The Season of Advent

My favorite season of the year is approaching. Setting out familiar symbols puts me in the mood for a time of joyous expectation. Advent is about to begin. Years ago I started a practice of beginning...Read more

Advent Prayers for Families

The liturgical year begins with Advent, the four weeks prior to Christmas. It is a season of preparation, waiting, and anticipation. Download and print these free Advent prayers for families to...Read more

Closing the Jubilee Year of Mercy | Catechesis

Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog about the Jubilee Year of Mercy. It included an explanation of the opening of the Holy Door in the Vatican and in basilicas around the world. Now those great...Read more

Free Thanksgiving Prayers & Reflections for Catholic Families

As families gather to share a meal and express gratitude for their many blessings this Thanksgiving, they have the opportunity to pray. With these prayers of thanksgiving, printable activities, and...Read more

Thanksgiving and the Grace of Gratitude

“Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks…” (1Thessalonians 5:17). Was Paul for real? Is it even possible to pray without ceasing? To give thanks for everything? I believe he was deeply...Read more

Catholic Virtues Series: Prayer for Integrity

My fascination with Abraham Lincoln started at a young age. I pulled a hefty tome about his assassination off my parent’s bookshelf while in fourth grade and immediately immersed myself in the story....Read more

Prayer for All Saints

All Saints’ Day is a solemn holy day celebrated annually on November 1st. On All Saints' Day, we honor those saints, known and unknown, who inspire us with their generous and faith-filled lives....Read more

Living as Faithful Citizens: Download a Prayer for the Election

I wish I knew how to contact Mrs. Andrews. I would love to send her a much-belated thank-you the Civics class she taught when I was a junior in high school. In addition to learning about the...Read more

A Halloween Prayer for Families

The neighborhood is starting to light up. Orange lights are strung across porch railings and pumpkins, scarecrows, and witches are perched along curbsides. One household erected a fake cemetery in...Read more

Teresa of Avila and the Interior Castle

It sounds like something out of a fairy tale – a crystal castle with a spiraling set of rooms leading to a center point of beauty and mystery. This is the Interior Castle of Teresa of Avila. It is...Read more

The Joyful Mystic, Saint Teresa of Avila Prayer Reflections

I read a story recently about a study of the happiest countries on five different continents. Results showed that it wasn’t a surplus of money or goods that equated happiness. Rather it was the...Read more

Returning to the Virtue of Modesty

Pope Francis has served for over three years now and we still are still getting used to his humble demeanor and actions. I can still picture him riding back to his hotel on the bus, garbed in his...Read more

Growing Gracefully

When I grow up, I want to be like Aunt Julia. After a brief visit with her in Orlando this past weekend, I feel warmed by her spirit, her easy laugh, and her generous heart. As the only surviving...Read more

Reflection on St Francis of Assisi

Is there any other saint who enjoys as much popularity as Francis of Assisi? Google his name and over 7 million results become accessible. Likenesses of him stand in gardens, parks, and churches,...Read more

Our Lady of Sorrows Feast Day

I saw them as I entered the supermarket parking lot. A family of four crouched in the shade of a small tree. Two young boys sat with their mother and waved at passing cars. The father held a sign...Read more

People of Faith Remember: September 11, 2001

I can’t say I gave much thought to flying on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. My mind was more focused on the talks I had just given in Tucson, Arizona, as part of a catechetical...Read more

Making Time for Friendship

Paul Simon, in one of his early songs, described old friends as “bookends.” The image didn’t mean much to me until this past weekend when I drove to Taos, New Mexico, to reunite with two friends from...Read more

Catholic Virtues Series: Uncovering Virtue

Much as I love the season of fall, I am going to miss my mornings on the front porch. I start most summer days there, reading from a book of reflections and writing in my journal. The birds have...Read more

Holy Labor Day

It’s been a few years since I wrote the “Ripples” reflection for my online column, From My Home to Yours. Nevertheless, I remember the story well. I popped into a convenience store on my way to give...Read more

Catechetical Sunday 2016: Learning to Pray

“I know how to say prayers but I’m not sure I know how to pray.” I have heard this from catechists, teachers, and parents over the years. Distinguishing between prayers and praying is at least a...Read more

Cultivating the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

“What if this year we were to let the Holy Spirit turn us into people of overflowing fullness?” Brother Roger of Taizé I celebrated Confirmation in fifth grade. The thing I remember most about it was...Read more

The Grace in Grief

As mid-July approaches I remember my daughter, Jenny, and my father, Albert. The anniversaries of their deaths fall two days apart and wrap me in a paradoxical shroud of both grief and gratitude....Read more

Gifts of the Holy Spirit– Understanding

Of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, understanding seems to be the most multi-leveled. It brings to mind a Russian nesting doll in which each one opens into another and another until we reach the...Read more

The Joy of Summer

“…The important thing is not to think much, but to love much…” Teresa of Avila Summer seems to be a good season in which to take Teresa’s words to heart. Lazing around on a summer day allows one’s...Read more

Celebrating Freedom

The more media I am exposed to, the more I appreciate the Cardinal Virtues. While justice is always a timely pursuit, the other three virtues – prudence, temperance, and fortitude - sound stodgy and...Read more

Getting Ready for a Summer Catechetical Program

I once visited a church that was getting ready for a summer catechetical program. The air of excitement was palpable as volunteers bustled around getting classrooms ready for the two-week event. The...Read more

School’s Out– This Summer Reconnect with God's Creation

Yesterday I set up an “anti-gravity” chair on our deck. It reminds me of patio furniture from my childhood that my parents referred to as “bar-wise chairs.” I have no idea what that meant, but I do...Read more

Summertime Resources for Catholic Catechists & Families

The printable resources below can be used throughout the summer months to revitalize faith with an open and adventurous spirit! 3 Greening Practices for Summertime Spirituality Hildegard of...Read more

Celebrate Father's Day with a Reflection on the Our Father

For years I have been getting up early to accompany Ron to his races. When our children were small, this entailed bundling them into the car and driving off, sometimes before dawn, to make it to the...Read more

Spiritual Practices: Keeping a Gratitude Journal

“What a grueling two days it’s been… Can I even give thanks for the pain and struggle?” Even now, almost twenty years after writing those words, the difficulty of that time comes back to me. It felt...Read more

Spiritual Practices: Visio Divina

A few months ago, our children gave Ron and me a weekend at the beautiful Broadmoor hotel. Located at the base of the foothills in Colorado Springs, this five-star resort is a little paradise on...Read more

Lectio Divina Catholic Practice; The Spiritual Art of Sacred Listening

“For haphazard reading, constantly varied and as if lighted on by chance does not edify but makes the mind unstable; taken into the memory lightly, it goes out from it even more lightly.” ~ William...Read more

Not just words: Life!

Welcome to our guest blogger, Sr. Maureen Sullivan, OP. The following article is an excerpt from a presentation she will be giving at the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) in...Read more

The Ascension of the Lord

“When Jesus ascended into heaven, where, exactly, did he go?” This question, posed by a friend in a bible study group, took me off guard. Because we associate “heaven” with the sky, it is natural to...Read more

Prayers & Activities for the Feast of Pentecost

When the risen Jesus visited the disciples before he returned to his Father in Heaven, he promised to send the Holy Spirit to be with the Church always.  The Holy Spirit came to the disciples on...Read more

The Importance of Catholic Signs and Symbols in the Home

Welcome to our guest blogger, John Collins. John is a National Religion Consultant for Sadlier and a popular speaker at conferences and workshops around the country. He and I will be presenting...Read more

Spirituality Practice: Keeping a Journal

I have been journaling for a long time – since 5th grade, in fact. My best friend, Stephanie, and I were each given little diaries with those flimsy little locks. It amuses me now to think of anyone...Read more

Keep the Easter Season Momentum with Calendar Cards

I re-discovered this year why Easter is a feast. There was such abundance in my celebration, starting with the rich symbols and rituals of the Vigil service on Saturday night. It began outside with a...Read more

Practicing Spirituality– Download a Spiritual Practices List to Get Started

“You haven’t practiced, have you?” I can still hear Mrs. Baumann’s stern voice, calling me to task for showing up unprepared for my weekly piano lesson. After reprimanding me for wasting her time and...Read more

Catholic Reflections: Forgive to Forget

“Forgive and forget.” Anyone who has labored with a massive load of hurt and injury understand how difficult this advice is. How does one forget sustained abuse, genocide, or the denial of one’s very...Read more

Reflections from the Road: Meeting with Catholic Catechists & Pastoral Ministers

I had six days at home this past month. Some were only a few hours in length – enough time to do a load of laundry, repack my bags, and then set off again. I crisscrossed the country, going from...Read more

Prayer of the Week: St Patrick's Day Prayer

On March 17, people all over the world celebrate Saint Patrick with parades, parties, and the wearing of green. A Printable St Patrick's Day Prayer ...Read more

Pope Francis in Mexico: Build Bridges of Compassion, Mercy, and Hope

It’s a shame that a single quote seems overshadow Pope Francis’ recent visit to Mexico. His comments about the folly of building walls versus bridges were reduced to a single sound-bite and touted...Read more

Lent and the Year of Mercy

Welcome to our guest blogger, Carole Eipers, National Catechetical Advisor for Sadlier. Carole will be speaking at the NCEA Convention and Expo in San Diego. If you are attending the convention stop...Read more

Catholic Virtue Series: Wellness and Spirituality

There is nothing like a head cold to remind me of the blessing of good health. Each time I come down with one, I am once again taken by surprise at how awful I can feel. It makes the day-by-day...Read more

Soul-Nourishing Practices for Lent

As a child I learned to “give something up” for Lent. My meager efforts at abstaining from candy or from teasing my little brother pale in comparison to the regimen of a forty-day desert fast. As a...Read more

Stations of the Cross Meditations

The origins of the Stations of the Cross stretch back to the Crusades when, as a result of the conquering of the Holy Land, Christians began making pilgrimages to the sacred sites where Jesus lived,...Read more

The Human Search for Meaning

Welcome to our guest blogger, Sr. Maureen Sullivan, OP. The following article is an excerpt from a presentation she will be giving at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress on February 28,...Read more

Catholic Virtues Series: Unity in Christ

"So that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” John 17:21 There is a deep longing in this prayer of...Read more

Catholic Schools Week Reflection: The Joy of Knowledge

When I was teaching second grade, I sometimes felt sorry for my colleagues in the upper levels. They didn’t receive the kind of love notes that appeared on my desk each morning. One of the most...Read more

Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a Prayer for Peacemakers

“…Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Oslo, 1964. While many...Read more

Holding the Doors of Mercy Open

As the New Year dawns, I’m expecting an uptick in new members at our local fitness center - those making resolutions to lose weight and get in shape. The intention is good; keeping up the motivation...Read more

World Day of Peace

It was the song that always ended our concerts, sometimes as an encore after receiving a rousing response from our parents and classmates. To this day I associate “Let There Be Peace on Earth” with...Read more

The Hope of Christmas

It hasn’t been an easy Advent in which to hope. As the shadow of the bombings in Beirut and Paris continued to hover over us, the shootings in Colorado Springs and San Bernardino reminded us that...Read more

Christmas Whole Community Catechesis Handouts

Sadlier offers whole community catechesis seasonal events that can be used with the entire parish community or all the students in a school community or religious education program. The Christmas...Read more

Praying the “O Antiphons”

The “O Antiphons” are a tradition of prayer during a period of time known as the Octave of Advent. Thus, they begin on December 17th and continue through the 23rd. The seven antiphons are...Read more

Catholic Christmas Traditions

When I speak to groups about how faith grows in the family, I ask them to name a favorite tradition. Responses almost always include something about the Christmas holidays. While standard traditions...Read more

Prayer for Setting Up the Crèche

Setting up the crèche is a beloved tradition in both homes and parishes. I have seen a number of beautiful Nativity sets over the years. Many of them reflect cultural traditions and customs, thus...Read more

Printable Saint Nicholas Prayer Cards

The candy cane is a treat often associated with Saint Nicholas, the patron and protector of children. The crook symbolizes the gentle image of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Celebrate Saint Nicholas Day...Read more

How Mercy and Love Can Heal Our Wounded World

After learning the news about the horrific terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris, I could distinctly hear my grandmother’s voice. “Have mercy!” she used to exclaim when presented with some kind of...Read more

Feast of Christ the King 2015 Reflection

I confess to not quite getting the image of Christ as king. Perhaps it’s because royalty in my lifetime have been primarily figureheads and, at times, models of bad behavior. The one king I feel an...Read more

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

I used to love Thanksgiving. Helping my mother stuff a gigantic turkey, one that barely fed our large family, was always a treat. I’d set the table for her as well, putting out the good china and...Read more

Celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy

“I have decided to announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its centre the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord: ‘Be merciful,...Read more

Prayer for Kindness Prayer Cards

These days, that dark side is on display far too often. Incivility has risen to new levels as political compromise and honest debate fade into oblivion. The hideous comments posted to news articles...Read more

Saints Louis and Zelie Martin

The recent canonization of Louis and Zelie Martin, parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, is an extraordinary event. It is the first time the Church has bestowed sainthood on a married couple within...Read more

Family Faith: Home as the Domestic Church

You can tell a lot about a family by looking at their refrigerator door. Photos tell stories about relationships and rituals. Schedules and appointment reminders highlight favorite activities and...Read more

Psalm 23 Reflection: Surely Goodness and Mercy Will Follow Me

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…” Psalm 23:6 Of all the psalms, the twenty-third is certainly the most familiar. Each verse is worthy of deep reflection and...Read more

The World Meeting of Families: Afterthoughts

“Here comes everybody.” This is how James Joyce described the Catholic Church in his book, Finnegan’s Wake. It’s a perfect way to describe the scene at the World Meeting of Families last week. The...Read more

How My Family Plans to Take Action After Pope Francis' Visit to Philadelphia

Hard to believe it’s been a week since the start of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) Congress, and two days since Pope Francis set Philadelphia on fire. And less than a day since we’ve been back...Read more

Takeaways from World Meeting of Families: Waste Time on Your Kids & Stress Less

The World Meeting of Families (WMOF) wrapped up today in Philadelphia, and our first reaction is, "Wow." It's been an overwhelming four days of workshops, keynotes, conversations, and every now and...Read more

The Devlin Family's Day Two Reflections from the World Meeting of Families

On the drive to the hotel last night, we were talking about how for three days, we've only seen one person from our corner of the world, but thousands from every other corner.  This morning, we...Read more

A Rocky Start & Prayerful Reflections of the First Full Day of WMOF

The first full day of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) got off to a rocky start for the Devlins. Our hotel is in Newark, DE, which looked so much closer to Philadelphia on the map. It seemed...Read more

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