Catholic Educators Newsletter - June 2007



Scripture Posters


bulletThe Web site offers beautiful posters that can be printed on letter-size paper or, for better results, on paper designed for photos. There is a new poster available daily. On the right is an example of these posters. To see more of these posters and larger versions, go to the Web site: Poster Archive.

letter of james 4-8

Draw near to the Lord and
he will draw near to you. -- James 4.8




Online Videos


There are more and more videos on Catholic topics online. Below is a sampling of some of the ones that could be useful for catechists and Catholic faith educators in general.

bullet St Philomena Middle School Catechism 12-12-6 - A simple and short video promoting the catechism program at this Catholic School. They have produced and uploaded several of these to the YouTube site. No doubt that other catholic schools and parishes could take advantage of this possibility of reaching out in creative ways.

Catholic Music Videos

There are also countless music videos available on videos. Here is a sampling:

bullet On Holy Ground (Music in the Holy Land) - EWTN:

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5
Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - Part 9

bulletA Tribute To Pope John Paul II

bullet Jesus Christ you are my life - Monseñor Marco Frisina

Song from the Divine Retreat Center's Television Program called "Divine Vision - Streams of Grace".

bullet I Receive You - Artist: Swapna
bullet Where Can I Hide from Him? - Artist: Swapna
My Love Song - Lyrics/Music: Swapna
bullet My Love Song - Lyrics/Music: Swapna
bullet Have Mercy On Me Oh Lord - Lyrics & Music: Swapna
bullet Calling Me to Pray - Artist Dan York
Rise my Son be Healed - Words & Music: Dan York



bulletThe Singing Nuns YouTube page by the Sisters of Saint Paul offers a number of brief videos. The Daughters of St. Paul have released over a dozen CDs and have sung for movies such as "A Bronx Tale," "Lorenzo's Oil" and "Noel."

Their Web page on the YouTube network offers some of their music, but also book reviews and vocation stories.

bullet That Catholic Show - Sit, Stand, and Kneel: Ever wonder why Catholics sit, stand, and kneel so much? This video takes a look at the meaning of the gestures and motions of Catholics during Mass.

Vignettes from "Mother Teresa Legacy.

bullet God's Presence
bullet Clean Heart
bullet I Thirst
bullet God's Mercy
bullet Beginning of Love
God's Love
Loss of the Presence of God
bullet Calcutta is Everywhere
bullet Poverty of the Heart
bullet Mother Teresa - Advice from a saint
bullet Small things with great Love

See also Mother Teresa, a movie/slideshow presentation about Mother Teresa, a school project made by Maxinne Marie.




Other Web Sites Worth Exploring


bullet Andrew's Responsorial Psalms - Andrew's Responsorial Psalms is a website dedicated towards encouraging English-speaking Catholic Churches around the world to sing the Responsorial Psalms for Sunday Mass and for other Liturgical Seasons. Music scores and audio MIDI samples are provided for the entire 3-Year Liturgical cycle for the responsorial psalms for Sunday Mass, and also the responsorial psalms for a significant number of Solemnities and Feast days. A useful tool!



bullet The Collaborative Ministry office at Creighton University has made available a 34 weeks retreats online. The FAQ page provides and answer to the question: "How is it possible to make an online retreat? "

Quick Entry to the Weekly Guides:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 -20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27
28 - 29 - 30 - 31 - 32 - 33 - 34


Online Articles


bullet Three new articles in the New Catechism for US series on the

  • Christ’s Love and God’s Law by Gerard F. Baumbach
  • God’s Desire for Healing by Joan McKamey
  • Initiation Into the Body of Christ by Gerard F. Baumbach

bullet Growing Tomorrow's Leaders by Marlene Sweeney, Catechist, May 14, 2007

"The skills we learn in life are valuable to the service we provide in our ministry."

bullet The Value of Silence by Michael Casey, OCSO, Terra Spiritus, Volume 2 Issue 1, 2006

"The fact is that we are not only creatures with a need for others. Each of us is unique and original and we need time and space apart to grow into whatever is essential for freedom and human dignity."

bullet Addiction & Spirituality, Terra Spiritus, Volume 3 Issue 2, 2007

Janiene Wilson explores the subtle nature of addiction and the role spirituality can have in helping us move beyond addiction.

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In Review


A guide to Follow Jesus


You can find out more about
Elizabeth Ficocelli and
books she has published at:

I recently received a copy of The Imitation of Christ for Children: A Guide to Following Jesus by Elizabeth Ficocelli, published by Paulist Press.

I must admit that the title initially raised some doubts in my mind: granted the Imitation of Christ is a great Catholic classic, but I could not help but wonder how it could speak to young children today.

My skepticism was quickly dispelled, however, as soon as I started reading this delightful little book. It is filled with concrete images and real-life examples that, I am certain, will speak to children 8-12. It is obvious that Ficocelli knows and love children and understands how to share with them her love of Christ in very simple but effective ways.

She follows the structure of Kempis’ work in four chapters:

1. Making Jesus the Leader
2. Becoming a Better Follower
3. Getting Closer to Jesus
4. Jesus Leads Us to Holy Communion

A final chapter for parents and teachers provides highlights of each chapter and suggestions of activities and questions for each section.

This is a wonderful little book written by a master teacher.


Arma Dei - Resources for Catholic Families, Schools and Parishes

A Treasure Chest of Traditions
for Catholic Families



I am always in awe when I see the talent, ingenuity, and hours of work dedicated catechists, whether they be professional teachers or stay-at-home parents, expend on preparing resources to help nurture the faith of their children.

A treasure trove of such resources was sent to me by Monica and Bill McConkey of Markham, Ontario. These parents of four children have founded a family ministry called Arma Dei, dedicated to creating educational materials for Catholic families and educators.

I am impressed by the quality of what they have produced and now publish and sell. The materials are not only beautifully presented and illustrated, but sturdy and meant to survive handling by children. They are also very practical for parents and teachers looking for concrete ideas to use in specific situations.

For example, the 304 page A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families is indeed a "treasure", full of craft ideas for parents, information on saints, and suggestions as to how to present Catholic traditions, practices, and faith content to children. A wonderful resource on creative ways to celebrate the various Seasons and Feast Days of the year.

The Catechism Cubes, another resource, also struck me as both very creative and effective. They are 3-dimensional, colorful cubes, packed with Catechism terms and corresponding graphics, offering a random quizzing tool or classroom decoration. I suspect that some of the older elementary school children would even be able to assemble these themselves and enjoy doing so! Themes covered by the various Catechism Cubes includes: the gifts of the Holy Spirit; the sacraments; the fruits of the Spirit; the Commandments; Virtues.


A Time to Smile


(c) Copyright by Jason Kotecki.

Lights... Camera... Action...

A little girl walked to and from school daily. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to the elementary school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning.

The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child. Following the roar of thunder, lightning, like a flaming sword, would cut through the sky.

Full of concern, the mother quickly got into her car and drove along the route to her child's school. As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. Another and another were to follow quickly and with each the little girl would look at the streak of light and smile.

When the mother's car drew up beside the child she lowered the window and called to her, "What are you doing? Why do you keep stopping?"

The child answered, "I am trying to look pretty. God keeps taking my picture."

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