It’s October again, and time to re-focus on and honor our beautiful Blessed Mother, Mary; our perfect model of faith, humility and modesty. Praying a decade each time you gather with your students – year round – can work wonders of grace! Click here for an article from a website devoted to Our Lady of Fatima, which tells — among other things — the story of the famous Battle of Lepanto, in which Catholic military ships were victorious against a much greater Islamic force, because so many Catholics devoutly prayed the Rosary. This victory is commemorated on October 7th. Time to celebrate with your students!
Here’s a great, kid-friendly Rosary resource that was shared by Lisa Sanchez, the Director of Marketing at CCC [you know, those animated saint videos for kids that we all love!]. This month would be a great time to order a copy of CCC’s “The Day the Sun Danced,” which tells the true story of the Miracle of the Sun, which occurred during the Blessed Mother’s final apparition at Fatima in 1917. Enjoy it!
And here’s a charming blog post on how to get your whole family in the super grace-filled habit of a daily Rosary!
It’s Pro-Life awareness month, too! Follow this inspiring blog from the wonderful folks at Forty Days for Life. And take time to make your voice heard! Look for the film version of the life of St. Gianna Molla. If you look for it on Amazon, be aware that it has been erroneously listed as a book. You have to look at the image to see that it’s a DVD. Here’s an excerpt from the press release: “’St. Gianna Beretta Molla: A Modern Day Hero of Divine Love’ was produced by Catholic Action for Faith and Family which includes the St. Gianna Physician’s Guild. The mission of the Guild is to unite and encourage Catholic physicians and health care professionals, to promote and defend Catholic principles in a public way by word and example, and to inspire sanctification in their lives.”
I also highly recommend that you and your middle school, high school, and RCIA students enjoy and share the phenomenal bioethics/pro-life work of Dr. Gerard Nadal, an inspiring speaker and blogger, Catholic researcher, academic, and medical microbiologist who I am proud to call a friend.
I have more GREAT links for you, this month, to some fantastic teaching resources – they’re at the bottom of this brief article. But first, in this beautiful month of October, I want to ask you a “November Question”:
Wouldn’t it be weird to raise a child without ever introducing him to his extended family – just to forget about them, like you would something of no importance – especially if they were good and holy people? We would never do that, of course. And anyway, how could we forget our own family?
But that’s just what it’s like when we forget about the Holy Souls in purgatory. Many of them are strangers to us, humanly speaking, but can legitimately be called our family in Christ. Some, however, are people who we have actually loved in this life, and without whom we feel a great emptiness. To say that they mattered to us while they were here is an absurd understatement. They mattered, all right. They mattered a great deal. So why do so few Catholics pray for the Holy Souls?
“Thirty-Day Devotions for the Holy Souls,” by Susan Tassone, is a deceptively small, inexpensive book, which I highly recommend you order this month, so you have it in time for November. It’s a day-by-day novena for the whole month of November, and it’s beautiful, moving, powerful, and highly-doable in terms of the time it takes – which is just a few minutes a day. November is the month in our Church calendar that is devoted to the remembrance of the Holy Souls. I mention it now, because at the end of October we’ll enjoy the festivities of Halloween – which began as a Catholic tradition – All Hallows Eve – on the eve of the feast of All Souls. Beginning with All Hallows, we are meant to reflect seriously and prayerfully on The Last Things – on death, judgment, heaven and hell. Susan Tassone’s tiny novena book will teach you so much, especially the value of praying for and asking for the intercession of the Holy Souls.
So, as we find our thoughts turning toward autumnal celebrations, lets draw our students into the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and teach them the Catholic tradition of honoring and praying for those who have gone before us, “marked with the sign of faith.”
Enjoy our other new columns, this month! We’ve also got wonderful Bible stories, as retold by Tanja Cilia, our Malta correspondent! And our RCIA columnist, Peggy Clores has a new review of Alexander Basile’s wonderful book, “Finding Faith in a Godless World: A Catholic Path to God.”
And check out my new blog, devoted to interracting with the thousands of catechists who have already bought my booklet, “Be An Amazing Catechist: Inspire the Faith of Children,” and all the wonderful folks who have been attending my workshops, this fall. Stop by and leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.
Here are those great links I found!
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal, VA, provides wonderful resources on chastity and more!
Domestic-Church.com has loads of great resources, for instance:
Author and publisher, Matt Pinto, on starting a youth group.
Great teaching ideas by age group.
Here are a few more from other sources:
Everything faith, family and fun from a Catholic perspective.
Catholic Activities to use in your home or classroom.
Catholic products for teaching faith and virtue to children.
Great article on the seers and the miracle at Fatima!
More on Fatima.
Have a blessed and beautiful month in Our Lord, through the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary!
Sincerely in Christ,
Author, “Be An Amazing Catechist: Inspire the Faith of Children”