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Halloween and All Saints' Day

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

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

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

Labor Day Reflections: Work and Christian Spirituality

There is a beautiful golf club down the hill from us. Because so many of its members live in houses on its perimeter, it’s not unusual to see people riding to and fro in their golf carts. For many,...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

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. 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

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 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

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

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

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. 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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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, 2016. 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 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. 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

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

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

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

Catholic Virtues Series: Meek and Humble of Heart

Of all the Beatitudes, the one calling for meekness might seem the most puzzling. Isn’t it the strong and most forceful who conquer lands and acquire power? Meekness is for the weak, the naïve, or...Read more

Caring for Our Common Home: Pope Francis and the Environment

“We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature.” Laudoto Si, 44 Read more

Catholic Virtues: Image of Mercy from a Catholic Family

Growing up in a Catholic family, I was used to seeing images around our house reminding us of our faith tradition. One of the most memorable was the framed picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that...Read more

Papal Encyclical on Climate Change- Living Simply

Our house is a wreck. Boxes are everywhere and furniture is in complete disarray. Relocating to a new house should be old hat by now since this is the sixteenth move Ron and I have made since our...Read more

Special Needs Families

When our daughter, Jenny, was born, Ron and I had never heard of the term “special needs”. Nor did we understand what Down Syndrome meant. We only knew our daughter would require an extra bit of TLC...Read more

A Prayer for Easter Eyes

Some of us are old enough to remember a song about the Boston subway system called the “M.T.A.” It bemoaned the fate of Charlie, who didn’t have the correct fare in order to exit the train. I knew...Read more


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