Catholic Educators Newsletter - March 2006


In the Footsteps of Jesus

bullet Excellent articles from the series Scripture from Scratch published by St. Anthony Messenger Press: Geography of the New Testament: Walk the Walk - by Marianne Race, C.S.J. - Jerusalem at the Time of Jesus - by Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, O.P. - Jesus:
The Man From Nazareth by Elizabeth McNamer - The Land of Jesus Today by Stephen C. Doyle, O.F.M. - Jesus in His Middle-Eastern Cultural World by John J. Pilch

bullet Bible and Archaeology - " Dedicated to delivering the latest news, features, editorials, commentary, archaeological interpretation and excavations relevant to the study of the Bible for the public and biblical scholars."

bullet The BibleTutor™: Places - " Knowing something about the places mentioned in the Bible can help you follow and appreciate the Biblical story. Each item ... is linked to a page that gives a brief description of the place and a summary of its importance in the Bible. Each page has a map and many include pictures that show the character of the place. The places are listed in connection with biblical books and people..."

bullet PBSFrontline - From Jesus to Christ: maps, archaeology & sources

bulletThe Virtual World Project - Exploring the Ancient World Through Virtual Reality - Includes panoramic 360° photos of sites, time lines, text, maps.

bullet Capharnaum - the town of Jesus - "These pages aim at providing a short but reliable and up-to-date summary of nineteen seasons of excavations (1968-1986) conducted in Capharnaum by the late Fr. Virgilio C. Corbo ofm and Fr. Stanislao Loffereda ofm."

bullet The Holy Sepulchre - “This Web site wants to be a "virtual visit" to this most sacred Christian site. We shall also review the twenty centuries of history of this unique monument.”

bullet Map of Israel - Land of Israel in the first c. CE - with a few photos and background historical notes on cities and historical sites - by Mahlon H. Smith

bullet Historic Jesus: Maps - 17 maps

bullet The Western Wall - The Western Wall is the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, the one that was closest to the Holy of Holies when the Temple stood. This site offers facts and figures on the wall, animations showing how the wall was built, a tour along the wall in text and images and video clips, a live web cam.

bullet Archaeological Excavations at Cana of Galilee - Recent excavations carried out by Fr. Eugenio Alliata ofm


Seasonal Resources

  Available on the Resources for Catholic Educators Web site:

bullet Directories of online resources: Lent - Liturgical Seasons: Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost - Holy Spirit - RCIA - Confirmation - Creed: Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, Died and Was Buried - I Believe in the Holy Spirit - In the Resurrection of the Body
bullet Clipart: Lent Clipart - Palm Sunday Clipart - Holy Thursday Clipart - Good Friday Clipart
bullet Lesson Plans: Stations of the Cross Project - Bread or Stone: Penitential Preparation



Power Point Presentations Online

I have been doing a bit of digging around to see what types of Power Point presentations were available online that could be useful for Catholic Faith education. Here are a few of the resources I have unearthed (In order to view these PPT files, you will need to download and install a PowerPoint Reader if you do not already have one.

Lenten and Easter Season

Presentation of Easter: A presentation in four parts: origins of Easter; Easter Sunday; Readings; Summary. On the Web site of the Franciscan Friars - Province of the Holy Spirit

Other useful presentations

National Directory for Catechesis Symposium - "A symposium in anticipation of the publication of the National Directory for Catechesis was held on January 10, 2005 in Baltimore, MD. The following links will lead you to the presentations given on that day and to Power Point files that you can use to as part of any training you wish to do with these presentations."

Pope John Paul II: A Power Point Presentation with text and photos.



The Passion of Christ: Bridget's Brigade, the website of an organization whose "mission is to promote (through a more active prayer life and meditations) an increased devotion to the passion and death of Our Lord, Jesus Christ." This website offers 14 Power Point presentations.

Bible Study - This is a series of power point presentations by Fr. John Morley, a Catholic priest. He provides a introduction to Catholic interpretation of the Bible, an overview of the historical background of the Bible in general and of the Book of Revelation in particular, and then introduces the Book of Revelation, the theological themes it contains, and provides a chapter by chapter commentary on it (incomplete).

The Canticle of Brother Sun - The text of the Canticle with breathtaking images in the background! Another presentation on the website of the Franciscan Friars - Province of the Holy Spirit.

Web Sites Worth Exploring

bullet Franciscan Radio has put together a Lenten Radio Retreat with audio files for music and the Lord’s Prayer, text for homilies given by U.S. Catholic bishops and links to weekly Scripture readings. The introduction to this "Radio Retreat" reads as follows:

Franciscan Radio and the U.S. Catholic bishops encourage you to put aside today’s cares and worries, and take a “Radio Retreat”—online. Using either the Windows Media Player, Real Player or any MP3 player, including Apple’s iPod, take this opportunity to focus clearly on what God is saying to you this Lent. Each week our group of bishops leads you, in English or in Spanish, through the Lenten Gospels.

bullet Fr. Peter Scally, SJ, at Jesuit Media Initiatives in London is running a trial for the whole of Lent this year of a new project called pray-as-you-go. The idea is to provide daily prayer in the MP3 audio format for the many people who travel to and from work every day on bus, train, tube or subway - using music and scripture to guide them through a ten minute prayer session every day. It is downloadable for free from the internet, so that you can take it with you on your player, and pray on your way to work, or on your way home, or whenever you like! This is offered on the Sacred Space web site that also features a Retreat for Lent 2006. Another source of meditation and prayer online during Lent is the St. Elizabeth Parish (Melville, NY) Lenten Reflection page.

bullet The Web site of Creighton University has a section of very good resources for Lent and Easter under the following headings: a Lenten Audio Retreat with Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J.; Printable two-sided handouts about Lent; Choosing Lent - Acting Lent; Holy Week Resources; Easter Resources. This is well worth a visit.


bullet Year 12 retreat resources (no longer available) - Simon Keane from Corpus Christi, Broome, Western Australia - A series of downloadable Word documents outlining activities for a retreat to provide senior high students with "a discrete and unique programme of significant experiences that challenges students to integrate personal faith with their life and culture."

bullet The UK Priest website provides a number of articles on the life of a priest and the challenges of the priesthood. Interesting for those who feel they may be called to the priesthood, but also for educators who would like to inform about the priesthood. There is even an interactive page where primary school children are invited to put on the vestments of the priest in the correct order.

bullet Videos with Values, a Web site of Oblate Media and Communication offers a Lent & Easter Reflections written by Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI. There is one short reflection every day and they are read by professional actors and you can listen to them online or on your iPod. You can also subscribe to receive the reflections via email or listen to past reflections in the archive. The site also offers access to 60 second God Squad reflections by Father Harry Schlitt. These are punctuated with popular music. While you are on the site, you can glean through their Religious and Educational Resources pages. They have some interesting things there.


Online Articles

bullet The Desert by Jeanne Heiberg - Catechist, February 2005,

"Most of us have desert times in our lives—times when we are tempted, when following Jesus is especially hard. These desert times teach us to rely more on God than on ourselves."

bullet Forgiveness by Rev. Mark Connolly, Spirituality for Today, February 2006 - Volume 10, Issue 7

"What we have to learn in Christian theology is simply this, as long as you carry a grudge, you will never truly follow the Christ who carried His Cross and taught us the theology of forgiveness."

bullet A Seed Alone – Mark 4:26-29 by Antoinette Collins, Echoing the Word, 06-02-2006

"There is a group of agricultural parables used in Mark chapter 4, which help to explain the presence, reign or milieu of God. The whole chapter is dominated by farming or agricultural images with no fewer than three parables about seeds – their sowing and their growing..."


In Review

Fishers of Men, a film requested by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops. You can see a trailer on the Web site of at . Click on "Projects" and then on the image above the title of the film. It documents the lives of some of the most influential and courageous men in history. This film on vocations to the priesthood has been described as the best vocational film ever produced for the Catholic Church.

I transmit the following request by the people at Grassroots Films: "We ask for your prayers that we may continue producing films for evangelization."

A Time to Smile

Resources for Catholic educators is happy to welcome Kim & Jason as a regular feature. The comic strip below is refreshed daily six times a week. Please to return to it often.

Kim and Jason 

Kim & Jason® is a comic strip by author and national Catholic speaker, Jason Kotecki. The strip was created when Jason was in college and he met a girl named Kim. They realized they shared a childlike spirit and faith and were inspired by Jesus’ message, "Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3) To win her heart, Jason created homemade gifts for Kim, including cartoon drawings of each of them as children. These characters soon evolved into the internationally known comic strip, Kim & Jason®. Right after their wedding, using the Matt. 18:3 verse as their foundation, they launched their company and ministry, JBiRD iNK, Ltd.

Jason, now known as The Champion of Childhood, speaks nationally to a variety of groups, including Catholic churches in the areas of intergenerational and adult ministry. He invites people to laugh, be inspired, and, most importantly, open their hearts to a more childlike faith. Jason offers a unique program for ages 5-10 called, “Hide & Seek: Living and Loving with a Childlike Faith.” He masterfully combines hilarious anecdotes, uplifting stories, scriptural references, and a bit of cartooning, as he shares Biblically-based principles and real-world techniques helping others embrace the childlike faith to which Jesus has called us all.

Jason’s secret hideout is located in Madison, WI, where he lives and works with his wife Kim. For more information please visit:, or contact Kim at:, p. 608-278-1880.

(c) Copyright by Jason Kotecki.

Many people who call themselves faithful Catholics only attend Mass once a year -- at Easter.
A priest preaching to an unusually large Easter congregation included a sly dig at the once-a-year crowd with these words:
"I'm very glad to see so many unfamiliar faces here on this Easter Sunday morning, and before closing, I'd like to take this opportunity of wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!"


Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused his dentist's Novocain during root canal work?
He wanted to transcend dental medication.


A priest had been preaching for 45 minutes on the topic of brotherly love.
"And now, my friends, what more can I say?" he finally added.
A voice from the back of the church muttered, "How about Amen?"


Priest: Fred, why aren't you singing in the choir any more?
Fred: Well, Father, I missed a Mass last month and everyone thought that the organ had been tuned.

More Humor arrowright


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