Wow, did I need THAT.
Talking with Carrell Jamilano is like being on a beautiful retreat and feeling the fresh breezes of the Holy Spirit lifting my heart.
Join us for a conversation that will refresh and equip you to help yourself, your ministry, and the beautiful young adults in your life to grow closer to God, right here, right now.
Click the cover of Carrell’s fantastic new book to watch our interview!
Carrell Jamilano is a spiritual director and speaker known for her compassionate accompaniment of directees and captivating presentations. She served as a television co-host for Shalom World’s program, “WOMAN: Strong Faith, True Beauty,” and has appeared as a guest on SiriusXM radio, Catholic TV Network, and CFN Live!
Her writingshave been published with Liguorian, Life Teen International, and The Upper Room. Carrell was featured by ThePress-Enterprise in their “Inland Rising Star” series for her spiritual direction ministerial work and has over 16 years of experience serving youth and young adults. Carrell received her master’s degree in Pastoral Theology and is the founder and creator of CatholicSpiritualDirector.com, a game-changing resource for topics on prayer, discernment, and spirituality.
She recently authored her first book, “The Alluring Voice of God: Forming Daily Encounters,” offering readers guidance on how to better hear God’s voice in their everyday life.
Find Carrell Jamilano, here:
Order The Alluring Voice of God, here:
If you have ever wished you had a wise and prayerful friend to guide you in growing closer to God, meet Barb Szyzkiewicz, a Catholic wife and mom, a wonderful writer and editor, and the author of a new book: The Handy Little Guide to Prayer!
She’s familiar to many women around the world for her fantastic work at CatholicMom.com, and now she’s got a new book and two beautiful prayer journals to tell us about!
Click the book cover to watch!
Order the Handy Little Guide to Prayer, by Barb Szyszkiewicz
Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, a mom of three young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is editor at CatholicMom.com and blogs at FranciscanMom.com. Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish.
Order the (beautiful) Simply Faithful journals:
Sacred Heart Prayer Journal: https://www.osvcatholicbookstore.com/product/simply-faithful-my-catholic-prayer-journal-the-sacred-heart
Our Lady of Lourdes Prayer Journal: https://www.osvcatholicbookstore.com/product/simply-faithful-my-catholic-prayer-journal-our-lady-of-lourdes
Barb’s blog: FranciscanMom.com
Social Media: @franciscanmom on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
Order Leila’s beautiful boxed set here!
Leila Marie Lawler is a wife of one, mother of seven, and grandmother of sixteen (and counting!). She lives in Central Massachusetts. Leila encountered Christianity as a high school student and entered the Catholic Church in 1979, the year she was married to Philip F. Lawler, noted Catholic author and editor of Catholic World News.
Leila practices “kitchen sink philosophy” at Like Mother, Like Daughter, a website for practical and theoretical insight into all aspects of daily life. She writes on everything from cooking and knitting to education and recovering what she and her daughters call “the collective memory.”
Leila is a Fellow of the Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture, a project of Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH. Her previous book, co-authored with David Clayton, The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home, is published by Sophia Institute Press.
Find Leila at her blog: http://likemotherlikedaughter.org
Leila Lawler on Facebook:
Facebook (her publisher): https://www.facebook.com/SophiaInstitutePress/
Ho Ho Ho, my Friends!
If you’re like me, you probably can’t get enough of Chris Stefanick’s one-to-two minute inspirational videos, every one of them a holy shot in the arm that can take a dull day and make it vibrant.
The past few months, Chris has been knocking it out of the park every Friday with bite-sized, powerhouse snippets called, “Real Life Minutes,” that truly put handles on some critically-important concepts to help you ramp up your life of faith.
And now, his wonderful team has made this delightful FREE series available for easy sharing!
Unwrap them slowly over time, or empty the whole thing on the floor and BINGE.
Why wait? Get started!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Oh boy, is this a POWERFUL conversation about the spiritual life with one of my all-time favorites, Sonja Corbitt!
Come with us and see your “desert” times in a whole new way that will prove to you that the Promised Land is closer than ever!
Click the book cover image to join me and Sonja, as we “get real” about our desert times!
SONJA CORBITT is the Bible Study Evangelista and creator of the LOVE the Word® Bible study method–and journal, called “the best modernization of lectio” by the Associate Publisher of Thomas Nelson Publishing.
A best-selling author and Telly Award-winning broadcaster, Sonja’s weekly radio and television shows, as well as a variety of other unique approaches to Scripture, create space for busy Christians to hear and experience God though the scriptures.
Through her Bible studies and books, one-on-one consultations, pilgrimages, retreats, television and radio shows, Sonja uses Scripture and a healing charism to lead others to deeper rest and healing.
Find Sonja at BibleStudyEvangelista.com
Get Sonja’s Book! https://www.avemariapress.com/products/just-rest
My Friends, You haven’t lived ’til you’ve listened to Bear Wosnick describe what it is to surf a big wave and experience powerful connections with your spiritual life!
We’re also talking about romance, holy masculinity, and his new book, “Deep Adventure: The Way of Heroic Virtue”!
Just click the book cover to join our super-fun conversation!
BEAR WOZNICK is the Host of the Motorcycle-Based Reality TV show, “Long Ride Home with Bear Woznick,” which is distributed worldwide on EWTN and Armed Forces Network to more than two hundred million homes and Amazon Prime. He is also the Host of EWTN’s “The Bear Woznick Adventure” Radio Show heard by millions each week on over 500 radio stations in nearly all 50 states, as well as Sirius FM, and Video version on most podcast apps. Bear also Hosts the fifteen-minute Ocean Sunrise Catechism, seen weekdays on Facebook live. He is the author of the books, “Deep in the Wave – A Surfing Guide to the Soul” (an Amazon best seller) and “Deep Adventure – The Way of Heroic Virtue.” He leads pilgrimages to Europe, Greece, and Israel, and speaks globally, with an emphasis on Men’s Conferences. He’s a Benedictine Oblate at the Mary Spouse of the Holy Spirit Monastery on North Shore of O’ahu. Bear is Married to Cindy Woznick, lives in Waikiki, and has four adult children. He’s a CPA with a Masters Degree in Tax, and he’s pursuing a Masters of Theology from Franciscan University at Steubenville. Bear Wosnick is also a World Champion surfer.
Find Bear Wosnick and his books and other resources at https://www.bearschoolofmanliness.com
Check out his “Store” for books and more. Here’s the direct link! https://my-site-100622-104377.square.site
Feel free to change the names, add or subtract from the content, and share my free script in any way that helps you catechize and enjoy the season with your family, your students, or your parish. I recommend it be used as a puppet show for little ones or a skit to be performed by your confident readers!
NOTE: The only thing I ask is that you not sell the scripts. I own the copyrights and I’d like to keep them free for everyone. If you charge for performances, that’s fine. I know your ministries can use all the help they can get!
Some of my scripts, you will notice, were inspired (many years ago) by a Christian script writer by the name of Louise Ferry. I believe this is where you can currently find her wonderful work: https://puppetscripts.tripod.com/puppet.htm
My Friends, Enjoy this delightful half-hour with Dr. Brant Pitre. We’re talking about his fantastic new book, “Introduction to the Spiritual Life: Walking the Path of Prayer with Jesus.”
Just click the book cover to watch my super-fun chat with Dr. Pitre!
I highly recommend this resource for individuals and groups.
It is truly accessible to anyone–from teens and RCIA candidates to those who are advanced in the spiritual life.
Dr. Pitre presents the faith in easy steps, without skimping on the beauty, majesty, challenge, and joy of growing in the spiritual life.
You can order it in plenty of time for Christmas, here.
Pro-Tip: For 2022, form some accountability partnerships and go through this one short chapter at a time, discussing your learnings and then setting goals for your own growth!
Dr. Brant Pitre is Distinguished Research Professor of Scripture at the Augustine Institute, Graduate School of Theology. He earned his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, where he specialized in the study of the New Testament and ancient Judaism. He is the author of the best-selling books, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist (Image, 2011), The Case for Jesus (Image, 2015), and Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary (Image, 2018). Dr. Pitre has also produced dozens of video and audio Bible studies, in which he explores the biblical foundations of Catholic faith and theology (available at BrantPitre.com). He currently lives in Louisiana with his wife Elizabeth and their five children.
Today, to mark the beginning of this holy Advent season, I’m sharing a sweet Advent puppet script, which I wrote years ago. It can be performed easily by any adult or teen. In fact, any child who reads well can perform them!
I have dozens of such scripts, some connected with the liturgical year, others with articles of our faith, others with virtues (which I created for our local YMCA nursery school), some created for VBS programs (for free, by request), and so on. I’ll be sharing them here at AmazingCatechists.com, in the coming weeks and months, and may eventually create an ebook, so you can acquire the whole “collection.”
How to perform the show
Simply sit with the script pages laid out on a desk or story rug and gather the children around you, or hand out copies and use it as a skit for older students to act out together in front of the class.
Use a different “voice” for each of the two characters, moving the one that is speaking, to make it clear for the children.
Some of them are wacky and silly, while others are more reverent. Be sensitive to mood, and have fun!
Please read my “Note on Reverence” before using any of my scripts. It’s important, truly.
And, without further ado, here is The Empty Manger, to start off your Advent season with the children:
A little history, if you have a minute more…
Between 2003 and 2008, I wrote dozens of puppet scripts for use in a YMCA nursery-school (virtue) program, then for Catholic and Christian children’s events, library programs, parties, scout troops, and finally my own religious education classroom. I was a volunteer mom teaching elementary-aged kids, but I was also a writer and a former actress, so–along with the Holy Rosary and our parish curriculum–I incorporated singing and creative dramatics, every week.
I almost always capped my lessons with a puppet show (hastily created beforehand), and the children adored them. It was a reward for good behavior, I told the children, but it was also a way to emphasize a point from that day’s lesson, break open a difficult concept, or make a dry subject fun and intriguing. If we had time and the children were clamoring to see it again, I would do an encore performance. Each lasts only a few minutes, and I figured, “Hey, they’re asking for another lesson in their faith. How can I say no?” They wanted to touch and talk with the puppets, so I often held a brief, extremely silly, improvised Q&A with the characters, after the show.
My religious education credo
To ignite their imaginations is extremely important to me, and I sincerely believe that it is a crying shame, if not actually sinful because it’s so dishonest, to make our amazing, transformative Catholic faith a dull and ordinary business. So I gave it my all, each week, begging the Holy Spirit to “light me up” and make the lessons impactful. He never let me down.
A little more about how to use them…
At the end of the day’s teaching, using whatever hand puppets I had at the time, I sat on the story rug, placed the scripts on the floor in front of me, and gathered the eager children around me. I started out using some old, neglected puppets they had at the YMCA, when I volunteered for a summer program with nursery-school-aged children. I also incorporated sock puppets, which were a scream and easy to make (and I am the least crafty person I know). But eventually, I bought an adorable, racially-diverse collection of “kid” puppets that Oriental Trading used to sell cheap. I added some animal puppets my daughter had been given (and never used), and a few oddball ones I borrowed from some enthusiastic neighbor kids (who were not using their’s, either).
A couple of important insights
As I branched out into children’s parties and library programs, I noticed a couple of amazing things:
- all kids enjoyed the shows–even kids as old as 14 wanted to try them on after the show and make up their own stories,
- and special needs children who normally could not attend long to a regular lesson were spell-bound by the puppets.
The puppets excited them like nothing else–like animated characters sprung into 3-D before their eyes!
Then, in 2007 (or thereabouts), I was on a Catholic writers’ email group, and offered to share my scripts for free to anyone who wanted them. Another member, the lovely Lisa Hendey, invited me to share them with the world at her popular site, CatholicMom.com. They had a home there, as a “puppet ministry” until 2019, when the site went through an overhaul and all PDF content was lost. (I just found out about it because someone tracked me down, asking for the scripts, and I made inquiries.)
The upshot is that I’m now sharing them here, so stay tuned!
Next up will be a Christmas show about a disgruntled kid feeling lost in the busyness of the season, who learns a lesson about service and sacrifice. Coming soon!
I pray these little lessons bless you and the children you care about, pray for, and teach. I would love to hear from you about how you use them, and I pray they will inspire you to create and share scripts of your own! I’d be happy to post them, here.
Feel free to write to me: email@example.com
A very sweet and holy Advent to you and yours!