Monday, October 31

All Saints' Day for Kids

The Loyola Kids Book of Heroes

 More saints' lives, organized according to the virtues they expressed through their lives.amy welborn

I. Faith
  1. Introduction: Jesus is Born
  2. John the Baptist: A Hero Prepares the Way
  3. Early Christian Martyrs: Heroes are Faithful Friends
  4. Medieval Mystery Plays: Heroes Make the Bible Come to Life
  5. St. Albert the Great: Heroes Study God’s Creation
  6. Sister Blandina Segale: Heroes Work in Faith
II. Hope
  1. Introduction: Jesus Teaches
  2. Pentecost: Heroes on Fire with Hope
  3. Paul: A Hero Changes and Finds Hope
  4. St. Patrick and St. Columba: Heroes Bring Hope into Darkness
  5. St. Jane de Chantal: Heroes Hope through Loss
  6. St. Mary Faustina Kowalska: A Hero Finds Hope in Mercy
Charity
  1. Introduction: Jesus Works Miracles
  2. Peter and John: Heroes are Known by their Love
  3. St. Genevieve: A City is Saved by a Hero’s Charity
  4. St. Meinrad and St. Edmund Campion: Heroes love their Enemies
  5. Venerable Pierre Toussaint: A Hero Lives a Life of Charity
  6. Rose Hawthorne Lathrop: A Hero Cares for Those Who Need it Most
  7. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: A Hero Lives Charity with the Dying
Temperance
  1. Introduction: Jesus Strikes a Balance
  2. Peter and Cornelius: Heroes Love Their Neighbors
  3. Charlemagne and Alcuin: Heroes Use their Talents for Good
  4. St. Francis: A Hero Appreciates Creation
  5. Venerable Matt Talbot: Heroes Can Let Go
  6. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati: A Hero Enjoys the Gift of Life
Prudence
  1. Introduction: Jesus Gives Us Leaders to Help us Make Good Choices
  2. Paul and Barnabas at Lystra: Heroes See the Good in All Things
  3. St. Jean de Brebeuf: A Hero Respects Others
  4. Catherine Doherty and Jean Vanier: Heroes Bring New Ideas
  5. Venerable Solanus Casey: A Hero Accepts His Life
  6. Blessed John XXIII: A Hero Finds a New Way

Monday, October 24

All Saints Day for Kids

The Loyola Kids Book of Heroes

 More saints' lives, organized according to the virtues they expressed through their lives.amy welborn

I. Faith
  1. Introduction: Jesus is Born
  2. John the Baptist: A Hero Prepares the Way
  3. Early Christian Martyrs: Heroes are Faithful Friends
  4. Medieval Mystery Plays: Heroes Make the Bible Come to Life
  5. St. Albert the Great: Heroes Study God’s Creation
  6. Sister Blandina Segale: Heroes Work in Faith
II. Hope
  1. Introduction: Jesus Teaches
  2. Pentecost: Heroes on Fire with Hope
  3. Paul: A Hero Changes and Finds Hope
  4. St. Patrick and St. Columba: Heroes Bring Hope into Darkness
  5. St. Jane de Chantal: Heroes Hope through Loss
  6. St. Mary Faustina Kowalska: A Hero Finds Hope in Mercy
Charity
  1. Introduction: Jesus Works Miracles
  2. Peter and John: Heroes are Known by their Love
  3. St. Genevieve: A City is Saved by a Hero’s Charity
  4. St. Meinrad and St. Edmund Campion: Heroes love their Enemies
  5. Venerable Pierre Toussaint: A Hero Lives a Life of Charity
  6. Rose Hawthorne Lathrop: A Hero Cares for Those Who Need it Most
  7. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: A Hero Lives Charity with the Dying
Temperance
  1. Introduction: Jesus Strikes a Balance
  2. Peter and Cornelius: Heroes Love Their Neighbors
  3. Charlemagne and Alcuin: Heroes Use their Talents for Good
  4. St. Francis: A Hero Appreciates Creation
  5. Venerable Matt Talbot: Heroes Can Let Go
  6. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati: A Hero Enjoys the Gift of Life
Prudence
  1. Introduction: Jesus Gives Us Leaders to Help us Make Good Choices
  2. Paul and Barnabas at Lystra: Heroes See the Good in All Things
  3. St. Jean de Brebeuf: A Hero Respects Others
  4. Catherine Doherty and Jean Vanier: Heroes Bring New Ideas
  5. Venerable Solanus Casey: A Hero Accepts His Life
  6. Blessed John XXIII: A Hero Finds a New Way

Wednesday, October 19

St. Isaac Jogues - November 19

St. Isaac Jogues'  feastday is today, October 19. His story is told under "Saints are people who are brave."  A page:
"amy welborn"


The Loyola Kids' Book of Saints

 Over 40 saints' lives,written at a middle-school reading level.

I. Saints are People Who Love Children St. Nicholas,St. John Bosco, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla
  Amy WelbornSaints Are People Who Love Their Families St. Monica,St. Cyril and St. Methodius, St. Therese of Lisieux,Blessed Frederic Ozanam,

Saints Are People Who Surprise OthersSt. Simeon Stylites,St. Celestine V,St. Joan of Arc,St. Catherine of Siena

Saints Are People Who Create St. Hildegard of Bingen,Blessed Fra Angelico,St. John of the Cross,Blessed Miguel Pro

Saints Are People Who Teach Us New Ways to Pray St. Benedict,St. Dominic de Guzman,St. Teresa of Avila,St. Louis de Monfort

Saints Are People Who See Beyond the Everyday St. Juan Diego, St. Frances of Rome, St. Bernadette Soubirous, Blessed Padre Pio

Saints Are People Who Travel From Home St. Boniface, St. Peter Claver, St. Francis Xavier, St. Francis Solano, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini

Saints Are People Who Are Strong Leaders St. Helena, St. Leo the Great, St. Wenceslaus, St. John Neumann

Saints Are People Who Tell The Truth St. Polycarp, St. Thomas Becket, St. Thomas More, Blessed Titus Brandsma

Saints Are People Who Help Us Understand God St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Jerome, St. Patrick, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Edith Stein

Saints Are People Who Change Their Lives for God St. Ambrose, St. Gregory the Great, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Camillus de Lellis, St. Katharine Drexel

Saints Are People Who Are Brave St. Perpetua and St. Felicity, St. George, St. Margaret Clitherow, St. Isaac Jogues, The Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne, St. Maximilian Kolbe

Saints Are People Who Help the Poor and Sick St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Martin de Porres, Blessed Joseph de Veuster

Saints Are People Who Help In Ordinary Ways St. Christopher, St. Blaise, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Bernard of Montjoux

Saints Are People Who Come From All Over the World Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Paul Miki, Blessed Peter To Rot, Blessed Maria Clementine Anuarite Nengapeta

Buy this at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods
Barnes and Noble
Amazon

Tuesday, October 18

If you are teaching 2nd grade Catechism this year, the book Friendship With Jesus might be a helpful resource.

Friendship with Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI Speaks to Children on Their First Holy Communion


Friendship With Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI Talks to Children on Their First Holy Communion is based on a dialogue in St. Peter's Square that took place in 2006




Artist Ann Engelhart thought the dialogue would make a wonderful children's book and asked me to help edit it and get it published. It was first published in England by the Catholic Truth Society in 2010 and then picked up by Ignatius Press in 2011.







Monday, October 17

Amy Welborn in Living Faith

Amy Welborn is a contributor - five devotions per issue -  to the Living Faith daily devotional quarterly.

For example, today, October 17:


My parents and grandparents left behind boxes and boxes of letters and photographs. They left record albums and books. I wonder sometimes about my generation and, even more so, those that follow. Most of our communication is digital and exists only as a series of 0s and 1s. So it is with our music, our photographs and even our books.

I might not be leaving behind as much physical material, but is that even important?


October 2

There's nothing unusual there--it's part of the early vocabulary of most toddlers, isn't it? But what strikes me is that he doesn't just say it when something "bad" happens. Any time there is any transition, it's what comes out: "Uh-oh!" It's cute, but I wonder, do I react the same way to potential or real change? Do I reflexively react with hesitation or even outright fear, or do I react with confidence that, with the help of God's power and love, I can move forward?




September 18:

Once a week, I volunteer in an after-school reading program. The children arrive at the parish following a day in a struggling school in a struggling neighborhood. The early readers may have a few words they are sure about, but when they hit an unfamiliar word, their reaction is always the same--their eyes move from the letters and start darting about the page. There must be a hint. They're looking for a sign.




 September 4:

But there is someone, and the psalmist guides me to him. The God who created me out of love knows me. I listen as he teaches, I understand as my heart opens to his wisdom. In the stillness, he sketches the flaws, he captures the truth, and I see.




For example, May 31:

To see Mary is no distraction. For when I welcome her, something else happens too; like Elizabeth, I welcome the Christ she bears. In greeting her, I offer God praise, as her cousin does, for it is God who has done this, graciously entering creation in this ordinary, extraordinary way.



 April 27

Vowed religious life, the bishop said, is also a radical sign of grace and mercy. He said that the heart of a religious is bound in love to "the poor Christ, the chaste Christ, the obedient Christ."

 April 22:


We've been in the present place for a couple of years now. When I bought it, I proclaimed, "This is it. No more!" But even though I said I wasn't looking, I still looked. Just to see, of course. Just to see.
Then one day I was moved--by grace--to make a decision. Stop looking and pretending you're not. Stop feeding dissatisfaction in this earthly home. Accept where you are, now. It's enough.
And there it was. In standing still, I was free.



MORE



January 31:

If you've ever had corrective lenses of any type, you know how it goes. You get the glasses, or perhaps an updated prescription, and the first time you look through them, you're amazed. You knew your eyesight was a little off, but what a surprise to find out how off it actually was.Quite often, my time on this earth is marked with the same certainty that everything is just fine, that I'm seeing life with absolute clarity, and I must be on the right path because, well, it's the path I'm on. No other reason, really.



January 22. 
At the end of Mass, the celebrant felt moved to add a word of thanks. The choir, normally very good anyway, had risen to particularly stunning heights. So he thanked the musicians for their dedication. "And," he added cheerfully, "thanks to our baby choir too!"That morning, as usual, the baby and toddler voices had echoed through the cathedral as well. I don't think anyone minded, and if they did, the celebrant's words of gratitude undoubtedly gave them food for thought.

Also, last fall:

November 17, for example.

'Beauty in Simplicity'

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

But you, O LORD, are my shield;
my glory, you lift up my head!

- Psalm 3:4

We regularly attend Mass at a convent of a growing order of young sisters who provide retreats, catechesis for small parishes and warm hospitality to locals who attend Mass with them. The Masses in their small chapel are careful but not fussy, simple but not plain and beautiful in a way that it is not at all self-referential or showy.

The sisters chant in Latin and English, sing polyphony and traditional hymnody, and it's gorgeous. The other day, as the glowing harmonies faded into silence, I glanced around the small congregation--there were about ten of us besides the sisters--and thought, "What a shame there aren't more here to hear them sing. They must be disappointed." But then I glanced back at their content faces and realized that of course it didn't matter. They weren't singing for us. They were praising the Lord, and that was reason enough to pour out their gifts...for him.

Creator God, I praise you today through my thoughts, actions and choices.

"amy welborn"

Recently:


One of my sons asked, "Why don't they sell these in stores?" I pointed out that these were oddly shaped, they were too big, they were too small. They were imperfect and, in a way, "weak."

As a consequence of some ill-considered decisions by a nine-year-old, I recently spent five hours in a hospital's emergency room.    More.
I have never climbed a real mountain and have no strong desire to. But I have ambled among hills, some of which might come close to being mountains and sometimes feel that way, depending on what kind of shape I'm in.  More


The webpage for Living Faith is here.

Living Faith is a print publication - available in Spanish and English - but a digital edition is available as well.

More information on the digital edition is here. 

Follow Living Faith on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, October 16

Advent 2016 Devotional for Catholic Families


How about a  family devotional for Advent for your parish or school? It's time to order!

And here’s something easy – for your own family, you can  purchase a digital edition for just .99!
"amy welborn"

Saturday, October 15

Advent 2016 Resources

amy-welborn6
The Advent item I have out is the family devotional Creative Communications published last year. Perhaps for your parish or religious education program?amy_welborn2
Years ago, I wrote, also for Creative Communications, a little booklet on St. Nicholas.  I rather liked it, but unfortunately it's out
of print. You can grab the prayer I wrote for it here (remember it was a booklet for non-Catholics as well as
Catholics). You can also read the excerpt on St. Nicholas from The Loyola Kids' Book of Saints here - both are at the fabulous St. Nicholas Center which you might want to start exploring now, as opposed to the night of December 5, the way I usually do.
And Bambinelli! Sunday!
Bambinelli Sunday
Many, many posts on it - are you a DRE or Catholic school teacher/administrator or pastor? Consider doing your own Bambinelli Sunday, like they will do in Rome on the 3rd Sunday of Advent...

Friday, October 14

Tuesday, October 11

Advent 2016 Devotional

Amy Welborn has written the Advent 2016 Daybreaks devotional published by Liguori Press. More information can be found here. 



A great resource for your parish or school families. Available beginning October 1.

Monday, October 3

Amy Welborn in Living Faith

Amy Welborn is a contributor - five devotions per issue -  to the Living Faith daily devotional quarterly.

For example, today, October 2

There's nothing unusual there--it's part of the early vocabulary of most toddlers, isn't it? But what strikes me is that he doesn't just say it when something "bad" happens. Any time there is any transition, it's what comes out: "Uh-oh!" It's cute, but I wonder, do I react the same way to potential or real change? Do I reflexively react with hesitation or even outright fear, or do I react with confidence that, with the help of God's power and love, I can move forward?




September 18:

Once a week, I volunteer in an after-school reading program. The children arrive at the parish following a day in a struggling school in a struggling neighborhood. The early readers may have a few words they are sure about, but when they hit an unfamiliar word, their reaction is always the same--their eyes move from the letters and start darting about the page. There must be a hint. They're looking for a sign.




 September 4:

But there is someone, and the psalmist guides me to him. The God who created me out of love knows me. I listen as he teaches, I understand as my heart opens to his wisdom. In the stillness, he sketches the flaws, he captures the truth, and I see.




For example, May 31:

To see Mary is no distraction. For when I welcome her, something else happens too; like Elizabeth, I welcome the Christ she bears. In greeting her, I offer God praise, as her cousin does, for it is God who has done this, graciously entering creation in this ordinary, extraordinary way.



 April 27

Vowed religious life, the bishop said, is also a radical sign of grace and mercy. He said that the heart of a religious is bound in love to "the poor Christ, the chaste Christ, the obedient Christ."

 April 22:


We've been in the present place for a couple of years now. When I bought it, I proclaimed, "This is it. No more!" But even though I said I wasn't looking, I still looked. Just to see, of course. Just to see.
Then one day I was moved--by grace--to make a decision. Stop looking and pretending you're not. Stop feeding dissatisfaction in this earthly home. Accept where you are, now. It's enough.
And there it was. In standing still, I was free.



MORE



January 31:

If you've ever had corrective lenses of any type, you know how it goes. You get the glasses, or perhaps an updated prescription, and the first time you look through them, you're amazed. You knew your eyesight was a little off, but what a surprise to find out how off it actually was.Quite often, my time on this earth is marked with the same certainty that everything is just fine, that I'm seeing life with absolute clarity, and I must be on the right path because, well, it's the path I'm on. No other reason, really.



January 22. 
At the end of Mass, the celebrant felt moved to add a word of thanks. The choir, normally very good anyway, had risen to particularly stunning heights. So he thanked the musicians for their dedication. "And," he added cheerfully, "thanks to our baby choir too!"That morning, as usual, the baby and toddler voices had echoed through the cathedral as well. I don't think anyone minded, and if they did, the celebrant's words of gratitude undoubtedly gave them food for thought.

Also, last fall:

November 17, for example.

'Beauty in Simplicity'

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

But you, O LORD, are my shield;
my glory, you lift up my head!

- Psalm 3:4

We regularly attend Mass at a convent of a growing order of young sisters who provide retreats, catechesis for small parishes and warm hospitality to locals who attend Mass with them. The Masses in their small chapel are careful but not fussy, simple but not plain and beautiful in a way that it is not at all self-referential or showy.

The sisters chant in Latin and English, sing polyphony and traditional hymnody, and it's gorgeous. The other day, as the glowing harmonies faded into silence, I glanced around the small congregation--there were about ten of us besides the sisters--and thought, "What a shame there aren't more here to hear them sing. They must be disappointed." But then I glanced back at their content faces and realized that of course it didn't matter. They weren't singing for us. They were praising the Lord, and that was reason enough to pour out their gifts...for him.

Creator God, I praise you today through my thoughts, actions and choices.

"amy welborn"

Recently:


One of my sons asked, "Why don't they sell these in stores?" I pointed out that these were oddly shaped, they were too big, they were too small. They were imperfect and, in a way, "weak."

As a consequence of some ill-considered decisions by a nine-year-old, I recently spent five hours in a hospital's emergency room.    More.
I have never climbed a real mountain and have no strong desire to. But I have ambled among hills, some of which might come close to being mountains and sometimes feel that way, depending on what kind of shape I'm in.  More


The webpage for Living Faith is here.

Living Faith is a print publication - available in Spanish and English - but a digital edition is available as well.

More information on the digital edition is here. 

Follow Living Faith on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, October 1

St. Therese on Prayer for Teens






amy welborn

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of

Prove It: Prayer

I Don't Need to Pray...
Because God's In My Heart All the Time


Well, sure. God is with you constantly, and has been since the moment you were a darling little-itty-bitty embryo:

Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)


And God’s with you right now, as you’re reading this book. He’s with you at school. He’s with you on the practice field. He’s with you in the bathroom (eeeew…..but true!). He’s with you while you scarf down your nourishing breakfast of cola and corn chips (You think I’m kidding? I taught high school. I’ve seen it.)


God – is – with – you – every – second.


O Lord, you have probed me and you know me; you know when I sit and when I stand. (Psalm 139:1)


Got it. Now answer a question for me. So what?


Why does God’s gracious presence with you somehow imply that you don’t have to do anything in response?


Imagine, for a moment, that you’re with your family at dinner. It’s one of Mom’s typically fabulous meals (and you do tell her it’s fabulous, at least every once in a while don’t you? She needs to hear it, and believe me, complimenting a meal racks up a whole lot of points that just might come in handy some day.)


Anyway, dinner is great, everyone’s there together, chattering away, until a moment comes when, deep in your Tuna Tortilla Surprise, you notice that silence has suddenly descended. You raise your eyes. You see everyone at the table, from Grandpa to the baby, staring at you. Waiting.  For what?


“Well?” Dad asks. “What do you think?”


Of what? What do I think of what? You can’t help but wonder.


For you see, while you were certainly physically present in this room full of very real, very lively, very loud people, somehow, you hadn’t heard a word anyone was saying.


You were way too deep in meditation – about what, we won’t ask, because we really don’t want to know. 


But the fact is, your physical presence didn’t guarantee - well, presence.


You were there, but you weren’t there. You weren’t listening, you weren’t relating to anyone, and you couldn’t tell us what color Grandpa’s tie was if we offered you a million dollars. (It was green with violet polka-dots, by the way. Retro, but nice.)


So there’s lesson number one: Presence doesn’t automatically mean relationship.


Now with God, of course, the problem is all on our side. God’s never inattentive, His focus never wanders, He never turns His back, not even for a second:


Even all the hairs on your head are counted. (Matthew 10:30)


But when it comes to us – well, we might like to talk big, like we’re some sort of deep mystics, constantly in touch with God, but let’s be honest.


That’s not exactly the case, is it?


After all, if it were true that we were incredibly aware of God all the time, our lives might be just a little bit different – in a word, we’d be saints. But we’re not. We live in a way that’s more like what a mystic named Meister Eckhart described centuries ago:


God is near to us, but we are far from him. God is within; we are without. God is at home; we are abroad. (Sermons 6, “The Kingdom of God is at Hand”)


So it’s a great, comforting truth that God is present with us all the time. But unless we consciously try to plug into that presence, we’re like we were at dinner that time: sitting there kind of pathetically, in our own private space, wondering what everyone else is talking about, alone even though we’re in a room full of people.


Think of it this way. It would be very nice for a dear friend to stand in front of you telling you how much he liked you. But what impact would that have on your life if you met his presence and his affection with nothing but the most cursory acknowledgment, day after day, never responding, never sharing, never even looking him in the eye? How would your friendship grow? Would you even have a friendship?


That’s exactly the way it is with us and God. God’s always present to us in love, but we must make a conscious effort to be present to Him, too, or else we don’t really have a relationship with Him.


That’s what prayer is.


Sure, there are lots of ways to do this thing called prayer: We do it with spoken words, we do it with songs or even silently. We do it alone, we do it with others. We use other people’s words, or we make up our own. We use the Bible to help us, or we use a sunset. We come to God in joy and praise. We come to thank Him and to beg Him for mercy. We turn to Him to ask for help for ourselves and others. We come to Him to find truth and meaning, and in the end, we’re coming to Him to find ourselves. Our true selves – way down underneath the worries and needs, the people that everyone on earth from our parents to friends to advertisers tells us that we should be – we know there is a true self, made for joy and peace. The only other One who knows this true self is the One who made it , and that’s God. The journey to that true self, the self we long for isn’t that long really. It’s just as long as the journey to God, and you know how far that is, right?
Any way you choose to do it, when you’re opening your heart, turning to God, talking to Him, listening and searching, what you’re doing at that moment is acknowledging God’s presence and responding to it.


That, in a nutshell, is prayer.


Here it is in another, slightly bigger and more brilliant nutshell, fashioned by a great pray-er, St. Therese of Lisieux:


For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.(Manuscrits autobiographiques, C 25r)


So for all of our rather arrogant claims that sure, we can have a great relationship with God without actually ever, well, taking time to develop a relationship, there’s really only one thing to say, and the person who said it is another great pray-er, St. Theresa of Avila:


We are always in the presence of God, yet it seems to me that those who pray are in His presence in a very different sense. 


If you’ve ever known anyone who is authentically, truly prayerful, you’ll know what St. Theresa was talking about. There’s a peace and tranquility, a real goodness that shines through a person who’s really aware of God’s presence. 


When you think about it, you just have to ask: Why wouldn’t everyone, given the choice (which we are) want to live that way? 


You also have to ask yourself: Given the choice (which you are), why wouldn’t you want to live that way?


Back to Main Prove It Page

Followers

Blog Archive