Books for a New School Year

September is in many ways a time of new beginnings. For anyone with children — or who remembers being a child — it is about the new school year. This fall, Novalis is ready for the season with several new resources devoted to helping teachers in Catholic schools pass on the faith.

With Building a Virtuous School: Guided Reflection on Catholic Character Formation, retired educator Ted Laxton offers the accumulated wisdom of more than 30 years as a teacher, chaplain, curriculum consultant and principal to help answer a burning question: How do we build and sustain the Catholic character of our schools? Through memorable stories, Laxton builds a series of lessons based on the theological, cardinal and communal virtues that every Catholic school should embrace. Every teacher, chaplain or administrator will find wisdom and inspiration in this volume.

We turned to another educator, Guelph vice-principal Richard Olson, to write It Began with a Promise: Demystifying Biblical Narratives for Teachers. Olson’s intent is to help teachers understand in modern terms the broad lessons the Bible can teach. Through an examination of the best-known biblical stories, he helps readers overcome any fears they might have of wading through these ancient texts. This book is for beginners and near beginners who seek the wisdom of the scriptures but don’t have any theological background. And you don’t have to be a teacher to benefit.

For those teachers who are seeking ready-made resources to help teach prayer to the middle-grades or high school, we have just published Guided Meditations for Young Catholics, by Glynnis Hope Dawson, with music by John Dawson. This husband-wife team offers moving reflections and gentle music (on an accompanying disk) that can be used as is to help teens learn the rich benefits of meditative prayer. These meditations have been used with great success by Glynnis with her Toronto students.

All three titles are just our latest service to the Catholic school community across Canada as we seek to help young Catholics grow in their faith.

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