Catholic Educators Newsletter - June 2006



Web Sites Worth Exploring


bullet Andie's Isle contains wonderful Flash animations with vocals by Ronnie Kimball such as "I Can Only Imagine" and "So Many Roads" as well as a number of other presention with inspirational words and songs by various Christian artists. A refreshing site to explore and a place to spend time to pray.

bullet The website of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen offers the possibility of asking your questions to an expert in religious education through an online form. Also of interest on the Office of Religious Education pages of the website are a series of bulletins created by associate director Mary Regina Morrell.

bullet Kairos Catholic Journal is published by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne in Australia, and its content therefore sometimes focusses on issues specific to the Church in Australia, but most of the articles are universal in appeal. The journal is published 23 times a year and the web site archives gives access to articles from 2003-2006. Each issue has 20 or more articles on a broad range of topics in spirituality, social justice, ethics and morality, the Church in the world, etc. and also includes reviews of books and movies, reflections on the sunday gospels and that of feast days.

bullet Invite your students to pledge some hours to build peace. This page on the Web site offers your students some simple concrete suggestions as to how they can build peace around them and provides an online form to pledge a certain number of hours towards that goal. This is a simple activity and requires little time to set up and it provides all kinds of opportunities to discuss peace and social justice issues during Lent.

bullet Artist Deborah A. Reeder has made available 152 sketches based on specific verses in the Bible. 68 of the sketches illustrate Old Testament passages and the remainder depict New Testament scenes. These sketches are a feast for the eyes, drawn by an outstanding artist and one who obviously has a great love for the word of God. The sketch on the right is from that collection on the Web site Holy Bible Sketch Pad. The author makes these sketches available for non-profit use, but does ask that certain conditions be met in using them, so please read the copyright notice on the home page of the web site.
He is mocked
Click to enlarge
Copyright notice

bullet Every Day Catholic — "Throughout history, people have puzzled over fundamental questions: Why was I born? What happens after I die? Does life have meaning? In 2006, Every Day Catholic will address these questions and explore the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic faith."

bullet Pray-as-you-go — This is a website set up on a trial basis by the British Jesuits. It offers ten minute daily prayer sessions and can be downloaded in a variety of formats. The trial period was so successful that it is now offered as a permanent service. Beautifully made!

bullet Rick Jacabo, the owner of the Bible in a Year: The Bible in a Year Podcast blog, has set out to do just what is blog intends, record on sound files the complete Bible in a period of one year for his subscribers. He is now at day 265, his latest recording covering 2 Sm 23:8-24:25, Prv 20:19-21, Mk 12:1-27. Fortunately, because all of the previous recording are available in the archives of the blog, you can listen to it from the beginning and do your own journey through the year whenever you wish to start.


bullet - This web site focuses on issues that may have been the cause for some Catholics drifting away from the Church. The purpose of the site is stated as follows: is a ministry of the Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. The Franciscan Friars are a Roman Catholic order founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. The mission of is to put you back in touch with a face-to-face community of Catholics. Along the way, we want to walk with you as you sort through your issues with the Church.

bullet St Anthony Messenger Press offers a free monthly newsletter with ideas and resources for catechetical leaders. There is a different theme for each month. The theme for March is Healing and Reconciliation. I copy below what they have on their site as an intro to this newsletter ( I am sure they will forgive me this enfringement of copyright laws!):

Faith Formation Update provides Catholic religious education activities and resources for children and adults in a free monthly newsletter. Great for catechetical leaders, catholic catechists and those looking for new ideas for their RCIA and adult faith formation programs.

This free monthly e-newsletter brings you:

Seasonal and topical ideas for your planning.
Family faith formation tips from Judith Dunlap, co-author of “God is Calling” family program.
Video clips and catechetical tips from Joan McKamey, SAMP video producer and catechetical leader.
Suggestions for parish-wide formation and small-group materials.
The opportunity to participate in our on-going Faith Formation Forum.
Best of all, Faith Formation Update comes to you monthly, in your e-mail box, at absolutely no charge.



Online Articles


bullet Scholars setting record straight on Mary Magdalene — By Jerry Filteau, Catholic News Service, May 1, 2006

" Modern biblical scholars are trying to set straight centuries of erroneous Christian tradition regarding Mary Magdalene, and Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code is the least of their concerns."

bullet St. Mary Magdalene: Redeeming Her Gospel Reputation by Carol Ann Morrow, Catholic Update, May 2006

"This Catholic Update examines the facts and fiction about St. Mary Magdalene. Learn about the real Mary through Bible stories that portray her as a witness, disciple, partner and evangelist."

More Online Articles arrow

In Review


bullet Helping the Disabled Connect with God

Priest's New Book Offers Programs to Encourage Spiritual Experience in Severely Impaired

ROCHESTER, Pa. - In his new book, Fr. William L. Gillum illustrates that no one is beyond the reach of the positive benefits of God's love. McGuire Memorial Awakening Spiritual Dimensions: Prayer Services with Persons with Severe Disabilities (now available through AuthorHouse) extends a hand to disabled persons and shows them and their caregivers that a loving Christian relationship with God is possible.

Gillum presents techniques for prayer with the disabled, which explore many alternative ways to reach a religious experience. He teaches about using a contemplative and sensory-based approach to prayer by incorporating symbols to arrive at a "sense of the sacred." Awakening to the love of God can be amplified by gentle sounds, touch, aroma, visuals, paraphrased Scripture passages, activities and lessons of simple phrases and sentences.

The first part of the book explains the approach, offers heartwarming true stories and teaches readers about the goals and strategies of the program that follows in Part 2. In the second section, Gillum includes an introduction for leaders embarking on a prayer program for the disabled. From preparing the space for gatherings to the order of the various types of prayer to other activities, he helps them teach their students.

In Part 3, 32 prayer sessions are provided. Detailed, step-by-step guides to lessons provide organize scripts filled with ideas, encouraging words and other effective ways to help disabled Christians connect with God.

A revolutionary guide to awakening the spiritual energy in the severely physically and mentally disabled, McGuire Memorial Awakening Spiritual Dimensions: Prayer Services with Persons with Severe Disabilities teaches them how to pray, build Christian relationships and friendships and celebrate the presence of God.

Fr. William Gillum OFM Cap., M.Ed. is the director of pastoral care for at McGuire Memorial in New Brighton, Pa., which provides a school, residence and training programs to children and adults who are severely disabled or medically fragile. A Capuchin Franciscan priest and friar of the Pennsylvania Province of St. Augustine in Pittsburgh, Pa., he received his Master of Divinity from the Washington
Theological Union and his Master of Education degree in special education from Loyola College of Maryland. He has spent the past 30 years ministering to those with disabilities and is a member of the religions and spirituality division of the American Association of Mental Retardation and the National Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry. AuthorHouse is the premier publishing house for emerging authors and new voices in literature. For more information, please visit

A Time to Smile


(c) Copyright by Jason Kotecki.

Contrary to a common misconception, "denial" really IS a river in Egypt – if you came in last in the National Spelling Bee.