What’s New? Seasonal spiritual reads for you and your students

Newly-published resources you can use in your classroom — and some for your own spiritual growth.

By Barb Szyszkiewicz

One for you; two to share with your class.

For you

In Due Season: Prayer for Autumn, Advent, Christmas and Winter Feastdays by Ken Phillips (Twenty-Third Publications)

We are seasonal creatures, marking the passage of time with feasts, festivals, and natural turnings. These beautiful prayers employ both ritual and poetic language, along with symbol and gesture, to help faith communities celebrate these natural and named times. Designed for lay leadership, this wide variety of meditations, blessings, and litanies invite group participation. Perfect for communal gatherings, retreats, meals, meetings, or wherever people want to give special expression to their faith identity, spiritual journeys, or their varied searches for the Divine in their midst.

Your License. You are allowed to make unlimited copies of the pages of this book for use within your own parish or religious community. 

Peek Inside! See the table of contents, the introduction, and a sample chapter from this book.

About the author: Ken Phillips has worked for over 40 years in the area of liturgy and public celebrations and ceremonies. As a liturgist, musician and artist, he has ministered in parishes, congregations, university campuses, and in conference settings.

For your students

Saved by the Alphabet by Maurice Prater (Divine Providence Press)

Saved by the Alphabet is a scriptural alphabet book for children. Children will learn their ABCs while learning about their Catholic faith because each letter of the alphabet represents an actual person found in Sacred Scripture who plays a role in our history of salvation.

This is a wonderful book to read with young children during Advent, as each alphabet letter is related to a biblical figure who is part of salvation history. The brightly-colored art is done in a hand-drawn style, which will appeal to children. For the tough-to-pronounce names, a phonetic spelling is provided on the same page to allow for ease in reading the book aloud.

Margaret’s Night in St. Peter’s (A Christmas Story) by Jon M. Sweeney (Paraclete Press)

In this delightful new story from their lives, the Pope takes Margaret on a tour of St. Peter’s. But when he’s called away to work, Margaret gets lost in the world’s largest church. She meets saints, children, tourists, and the artist Michelangelo’s famous statue, The Pietà, before being reunited with the Pope as Midnight Mass is about to begin.

This 64-page chapter book (the second in a series) would make an excellent classroom read-aloud in the days leading up to Christmas break. The inquisitive little cat will capture students’ hearts, and there’s the added fun of an insider’s look at life in Vatican City! Author Jon Sweeney depicts the pope as a humble man who sneaks his pet into choir rehearsals and takes a break in the middle of a busy Christmas Eve to show Margaret all around St. Peter’s Basilica.

Barb Szyszkiewicz is editor at CatholicMom.com and managing editor of Today’s Catholic Teacher.

All content copyright © Today’s Catholic Teacher/Bayard.com. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for classroom/parish use with full attribution as long as the content is unaltered from its original form. To request permission to reprint online, email editor@catholicteacher.com.