Introduction to Morality Online Course

Do you want to form your mind in the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Catholic moral tradition? My seven-hour online Introduction to Morality course is available now, so you can delve into the first few lessons while I continue to record and add materials.


The whole course will be complete by the end of May, when I finish teaching my live Intro to Morality course for the Archdiocese of Seattle’s deacon formation program. As of today, half the videos have been recorded, and about a quarter of them have been uploaded and are ready for you to watch.  Lesson 1 is totally complete with a quiz and a handout; quizzes and handouts will soon be uploaded to accompany the rest of the videos available.

Here’s the course description and syllabus:

Introduction to Morality Syllabus Online Class

I hope you can join me as we delve into the riches of the Catholic moral tradition together. This is a great way to gain clarity and confidence in understanding the foundational principles behind specific moral teachings. This will help you understand and articulate what we believe as Catholics as you discuss moral issues with the people in your life. It’s great for committed Catholic adults looking to deepen their formation, parents, precocious high-schoolers (including homeschooled high school students), teachers, pastoral associates and parish volunteers. I’m thinking youth ministers in particular may want to check this out, too.

Your registration gives you access to the course for a full year, so you can move through the lessons at your own pace from anywhere you have internet.


Remember, listeners to Dr. Tom Curran’s “Sound Insight” program on Sacred Heart Radio have a discount code which reduces the price to $400, or $100 a month for four months, plus, 10% of the registration goes back to support Sacred Heart Radio.  If you forgot the code we gave on-air, you can contact me through the button for the code. Just include the call number of your Catholic radio station and a few details about what you heard on air, and I’ll email you the code.

(You can also get the code from listening to the show recording online, once it’s posted.)

Godparents and Grandparents, Give Gifts that Grow Faith

Photo: Janis OlsonPhoto: Janis Olson

When I was a little girl visiting my wonderful Catholic grandmother in Edmonds, she would often send me home with the gift of a few volumes from Father Lawrence Lovasik’s Books of Saints series. I would pore over them, admiring the color illustrations of the holy men and women. I took note of their feast days and areas of patronage.

My grandma still never fails to give meaningful and beautiful Catholic gifts for all her family’s baptisms, first Communions and confirmations. These gifts have blessed our domestic church and inspired our spiritual life. With Easter, first Communion and Confirmation season upon us, I offer a collection of faith-building gift ideas for grandparents and godparents, aunties and uncles, catechists and parents.

The feasts and seasons of the church year provide a wealth of opportunities for godly gifts. Kate, our second daughter, often receives a religious, Christmas-themed picture book sometime between Advent and Epiphany from her faraway godparents. Our oldest daughter, Clare, received a Kurt Adler magnetic Nativity Advent calendar from her godparents when she was about 4 years old. It has become a treasured and Christ-centered part of our family’s annual Advent preparations. I try to give my own godchildren at least one faith-inspiring gift per year. One past gift, the picture book Brigid’s Cloak by Bryce Milligan, is equally appropriate for Christmas or for St. Brigid’s Feb. 1 feast day. Lives of the saints collections, like my grandma gave me, are great year-round.

Here are seven Easter gift ideas for the Catholic children in your life:

  1. Resurrection eggs make Jesus’ paschal mystery come alive for young children in a fun, hands-on way. Crafty grandparents or godparents could create their own set with directions from Ready-made sets are also available on Amazon.
  2. My favorite picture book for Lent and Easter is Peter’s First Easter by Walter Wangerin Jr. It is out of print, but you can find it used on Amazon.
  3. A home paschal candle makes a great gift or craft project to do with the Catholic children in your life. Make a cross on a white pillar candle with beads or a glue gun and rhinestones. Mark the five wounds of Christ by placing five red beads on the cross’s ends and center while praying: “By his holy and glorious wounds may Christ our Lord guard us and keep us.” For directions for marking the Alpha and Omega as well as the calendar year numbers on your candle, check the Shower of Roses blog.
  4. A giant Lamb of God coloring poster from arrived in our mailbox one year from 5-year-old Beata’s godparents. The poster was a huge hit for the whole
    family — all the sisters had fun coloring it in together, and it adorned a bedroom door throughout the Easter season.
  5. A spiritual bouquet is an offering of prayer. In the Easter season, a single chaplet of Divine Mercy or the whole Novena of Divine Mercy would make a fitting gift presented with a lovely notecard describing the offering. Crafters could accompany the card with a bouquet of tissue-paper flowers to represent each prayer offered.
  6. Peg dolls for Passion Week. I’m thrilled to try’s printable decoupage peg doll Passion Set this year as a gift to my own children. Little hands can use the dolls to act out the Stations of the Cross or the events of Holy Week (perhaps in a “Jerusalem” they build with wood blocks).
  7. Glory Stories CDs. These are family favorites! Each story features great voice acting, rich catechesis, background music from the saints’ cultural and historical settings, and a compelling, well-written script. The stories of Blessed Imelda, the patron saint of first communicants, St. John Paul II, St. Faustina, all available from, are perfect for this time of the liturgical year.

Continue reading “Godparents and Grandparents, Give Gifts that Grow Faith”