Immaculate Heart HS teacher offers spirituality book for teens

From left: Dr. Thomas Groome, Maura Hyland (director of Veritas Publications), Christine Knudsen and Fr. Ned Hassett, of County Waterford, Ireland (chair of the Board of Veritas), celebrate the recent release of Knudsen’s book, “Engaging the Heart: Spirituality for Teenagers,” at the Religious Education Congress.

Christine Knudsen, longtime theology teacher and department chair at Immaculate Heart High School, has authored a new book, “Engaging the Heart: Spirituality for Teenagers,” recently released by Veritas, Ireland’s leading religious publisher.

The book made its formal debut last March at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, where it was introduced by Dr. Thomas H. Groome, theology and religious education professor and chair of Boston College’s department of religious education and pastoral ministry.

Earlier that week, Veritas representatives visited Immaculate Heart, where they presented Knudsen with her first copies of the 95-page book, which features a selection of meditations, prayer services, and other suggestions for teaching high school theology students. It also includes commentary from students about what they find most helpful for teachers to know.

Knudsen has taught for four decades in Catholic elementary, middle and high schools, and at Immaculate Heart for the past 26 years. She holds dual master’s degrees in applied spiritual theology from Mount St. Mary’s College and literature from California State University, Los Angeles.

The veteran educator told The Tidings that she wrote her book for fellow educators about what it means “to teach and impart spirituality to teenagers.” With an emphasis on assisting teachers and catechists “as they provide opportunities for students to experience what it means to live with a sense of the spiritual,” Knudsen also emphasizes “engaging” the student by teaching truthfully, allowing students to be honest and, in turn, share one’s own spiritual journey when appropriate. 

“If one does not pray,” she added, “how can one teach young adults to pray, or for that matter, to engage the heart?”

“All of us at Immaculate Heart are so proud of Chris and congratulate her on this tremendous achievement that has been her labor of love,” said Immaculate Heart principal Virginia Hurst, IHM.


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In our time

Archbishop José H. Gomez

As I write, I’ve just read the sad news that 90 Christians have been kidnapped from two villages in Syria. Of course we were all shocked earlier this month by the news that 21 Coptic Christians were executed in Syria — killed, as Pope Francis said, “for the mere fact of being Christians.” 

The Holy Father visits the Holy Land

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March 1, 2015

  • Sunday, March 1

    Special Needs Mass, 10 a.m., Father Maguire Council Hall, 4315 N. Vincent Ave, Covina.Mass for persons with physical and intellectual disabilities, their families and caregivers. For more information, contact Elizabeth, (909) 599-9833, ebinerfamily@gmail.com.

    Don Bosco Tech Spring Open House, Mass: 10 a.m., Open House: 12-3 p.m., Don Bosco Technical Institute, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead. (626) 940-2000. www.boscotech.edu.

    Third Order Lay Carmelite Community Q & A Meeting, 1-4 p.m., St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church, 12930 Hamlin St., North Hollywood. The Order is located throughout the Los Angeles area and open to new membership.  If interested in the ancient tradition of contemplative prayer, community and service, come and have your questions answered. For moreinformation, contact Regional Director Herman Briones, (818) 521-6564.

    Stations of the Cross, 2 p.m., Calvary Cemetery, 4201 Whittier Blvd., East Los Angeles. Every Sunday through March 22. (323) 261-3106. 
    http://catholiccemeteriesla.org/stations.

    “Who is this Jesus you see?,” 2-4 p.m., Master Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, 700 N Sunnyside Ave., Sierra Madre. Presented by Dr. Michael Downey. Freewill donation. 

    Families to the Max: Be a Catholic Family, 2-5:30 p.m., Father Kolbe Missionaries of the Immaculata, 531 East Merced Avenue, West Covina. For more information, contact Ann O’Donnell, (626) 917-0040.

    Rosary and Mass for Life, Rosary: 4:30 p.m., Mass: 5 p.m., St. Cornelius Church, 5500 E Wardlow Rd., Long Beach. Contact Sylvia Aimerito (562) 429-1965. Audiogirlministries.com.

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