Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

This year’s back to school plans are looking very different for teachers, students and families all over the country, and while the plan at my school is to go back face to face in a few weeks, many schools are looking at beginning the year online. Catholic schools are scrambling to make plans to remain …

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Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you use my link to purchase a book I receive a small commission at no cost to you. It was the ultimate Goodwill find: in one trip, Praying with Therese of Lisieux, collected writings of Hildegard of Bingen, and a book …

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Today is my last official day of the weirdest school year ever. More than ever I am feeling the need to recharge physically, emotionally and spiritually. As I have the past two summers, I am planning to do a series of blog posts designed to help you do that too. These are the spiritual books …

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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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Catholics do a great job at Lent. We fast, pray, and give like champs. For forty days we fill devotionals, give up things we love, and pick ways to help others. I love picking lenten devotions and planning my lenten promises. My classroom and home are taken over by the color purple and the symbols …

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It’s still one of my favorite teaching moments. I was staring at the student saint requests for our living saints project. Five different students had requested to perform as St. Faustina Kowalski for our living saints performance on All Saints Day. For a pretty obscure saint with a hard to pronounce name, she certainly had …

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“I am the true vine.” John 15:1 Growing up in New Jersey, I didn’t have a lot of experience with vineyards, although the wine industry is really taking off there now. However, moving to the heart of Washington wine country has taught me a lot about agriculture in general and given me a new insight …

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“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 Praying the Stations of the Cross has always been one of my favorite Lenten practices. One of my earliest school memories was gathering in the auditorium on the Fridays of Lent to pray through the stations together. As we walked from station to station, …

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“I am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25 The last few years have been filled with a lot of loss in our family- my father-in-law, a dear friend from grad school, my husband’s aunt, my friend’s daughter, two friends from our parish, and a much hoped for baby. Many times in the last two …

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