Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

The fourth time Mary speaks in the Gospels is at the Wedding in Cana, which is found in John 2: 1-12. This is the only time that we can hear Mary speak in Jesus’s adult life and ministry, and I love the way the interchange goes between the two of them. The story is a …

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Right now, this third word of Mary in the Gospels is resonating strongly with me. After spending time in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, Mary and Joseph head back to Nazareth, only to realize that 12 year old Jesus is not with the travelling group. They make their way back to the temple, …

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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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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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It’s always bugged me a little that so many classrooms at our school have Halloween parties instead of All Saints parties, and while I am known to be the grumpy staff member about this, I have conceded that I am not going to win that battle at my school. But my hope is that this …

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It’s almost October, and in my planning for classes, this is when I prep for my students to learn about Saint Gianna and for my 8th grade students to begin researching and learning the lives of the saints they will perform on All Saints Day. You can read more about that here. While my enthusiasm …

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When I first moved to the Northwest, I was an idealistic 21 year old fresh out of a huge state school with a vibrant campus ministry. Before that I had attended 13 years of Catholic school in a VERY traditional religious community, and I also came from a family that prayed often at home and …

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