"Big Four" Highlights


Faith for Teens

Young couple offers a Lenten program for young people

Katie Prejean McGrady and her husband Tommy have dealt with teens for years in their Catholic ministry. With statistics showing that a large portion of cradle Catholic kids leave the Church during their teen years, they knew they needed to come up with an engaging faith program tailored for that age group.

The result is Lent: One Day at a Time for Teens, which draws from the couple’s wide experience in drawing young people closer to God and his Church. With daily readings, reflections and challenges, the program laid out in this brief book is designed to meet teens where they are and lead them to something greater in life. Parents will appreciate the opportunity to engage with their teens and challenge them for the 40 days of Lent and beyond.

Katie and Tommy are married for two years (after meeting on Facebook!) and live in Lake Charles, Louisiana, with the 17 month old daughter. Fathers for good asked a few questions about their book.

Why a book for Lent focused on teens?

Katie & Tommy: We’ve both worked in youth ministry and education for years, and every year we’d get to Lent and be scrambling to find accessible, usable, relatable resources that our students would also want to use themselves. We’d create sort of a hodgepodge of resources – pulling out Scripture passages for reflection at youth group nights and in our classrooms, writing reflection questions, and offering practical ideas about ways to make sacrifices and do spiritual works of mercy. So, after a couple years of doing this, we decided to write this book so teens and young adults everywhere could use it. We also really felt strongly that the season of Lent could be the perfect time for teens who are “on the threshold” of deeper relationship with Christ to really take a deep dive into growing in faith. Everyone else is already focusing on going deeper during those 40 days, so what a perfect time to invite teens into that too.

Do you recommend parents doing the activities with their teens?

Katie & Tommy: Absolutely! We hear all the time that parents are looking for ways to connect with their children, especially in matters of faith. Parents could use this resource to discuss the passages and reflections on the way to and from school, do the daily and weekly challenges together, and have conversations around the dinner table.

So many young people list themselves as “nones,” having no religious affiliation. How do we reach them?

Katie & Tommy: The biggest challenge with meeting and appealing to the “nones” is that we have to figure out a way to challenge them to think about the true meaning of life. If we appeal to that first and ask the big questions – What do you want in life? What are you searching for? What brings you happiness and joy? – we can begin to share with them the answers that come from knowing Christ. The “secret” really is approaching the nones first with questions and then listening to their answers, which provides opportunities to both learn about their concerns, hang-ups, questions, and insights, and then build trust so we can share the Truth.

Learn more about Lent: One Day at a Time for Teens at the Ave Maria Press website.