Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

When I teach the gospels to my seventh graders, we often make lists of the things that make each gospel distinct. For example, Matthew uses the literary form of midrash to show numerous connections between Jesus and the Old Testament promises God had made to the Israelites. Mark is the shortest gospel, and also all …

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It’s May! This is the month devoted to Mary in the church, so it only seems fitting to dedicate the blog posts this month to learning more about our Blessed Mother. As I’ve been developing teaching resources for distance learning, I’ve been trying to deepen my understanding of Mary: who she is and what she …

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O Emmanuel, of King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God! Emmanuel is probably one of my favorite names of Jesus. As soon as I hear this name, I picture Advent and a particular mass memory. My sophomore or junior year in high school, our choir was supposed to sing at …

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O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:come and save man, whom you formed from the dust! The school I attended growing up proudly proclaimed “Jesus is Lord!” on all of its signs, logos, etc. While I am not sure that this was fully lived out by the people who ultimately made the …

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O Key of David,opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:come and free the prisoners of darkness! It’s been a tough few years for our family.  In spring of 2018 we lost my father-in-law, in the summer of 2018 I lost a close friend from graduate school and just last month we lost my husband’s aunt …

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O Root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people: come to save us without delay! Knowing our roots is important. I remember as a small girl learning the story of Nicholas Appert, my ancestor, who was a French scientist around the time of Napoleon. When Napoleon needed a way for his …

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O Leader of the House of Israel,giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:come to rescue us with your mighty power! I’ve always been a good rule follower.  When I started graduate school at the University of Portland, the program I was completing required us to take the Strengths Finder* test and then use our …

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O Wisdom of our God Most High,guiding creation with power and love:come to teach us the path of knowledge! Wisdom is so important in the business of teaching the faith. Every day students come to us with so many needs and so many valuable and valid questions. Why does God allow suffering and evil? Why …

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Happy feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe! A few years ago, I came across an image that I fell in love with. It depicts Our Lady of Guadalupe, not as she usually is shown, but in profile in front of an open window. A starry night sky sparkles over a dark desert. Mary is kneeling, …

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