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.


Things beyond our imagination

Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Recently, at an academic dinner, I was sitting across the table from a nuclear scientist. At one point, I asked him this question: Do you believe that there’s human life on other planets? His answer surprised me: “As a scientist, no, I don’t believe there’s human life on another planet.


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October 4, 2015

  • Sunday, October 4

    Gerard Thomas Straub Book Signing, 9 a.m.- 1p.m., Holy Family Bookstore, 1519 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena. Straub will discuss his newly re-released book, “The Sun and Moon Over Assisi.” (626) 403-6133.

    St. Kateri Mass, 11 a.m., St. Marcellinus Church, 2349 Strong Ave., Commerce. Everyone is welcome to honor and follow in the footsteps of St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Potluck and raffle immediately following – bring a favorite dish to share!

    Faith Support on Our Cancer Journey, 2-4 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. This afternoon of reflection will explore ways for those struggling with cancer can nurture their spirits and seek divine guidance and support. $25 ($20 if paid in full by September 25). (310) 377-4867.

    “Come and See” Vocation Event, 2-7 p.m., Heart of Jesus Retreat Center, 2927 S Greenville St., Santa Ana. Single women of high school and college age are invited by Sacred Heart Sisters to learn more about religious life. Dinner will be provided. RSVP by Oct. 3 at (714) 557-4583 or 

    Once Upon a Time: Stories to Awaken the Mysteries of the Heart, 3-5 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. $25. (310) 377-4867.

    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.

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