Enthusiasm for Teaching ~ The Catholic Teacher’s Companion


This article is meant, not just for teachers, not just for Religious, but for all of us who touch and teach the hearts of children. We women have an awesome responsibility…as mothers, as teachers, as single women, as Religious…to carry out the forming of those little minds and hearts to serve Our Lord in His Church to the utmost of our ability! Enthusiasm?? We must!

This is an excerpt taken from a treasure of a book published in 1924 called The Catholic Teacher’s Companion – A Book of Inspiration and Self-Help.


I ever held it sweet either to learn, to teach or to write.—SAINT BEDE.

Enthusiasm is the thing which makes the world go round. Without its driving power nothing worth doing has ever been done. Love, friendship, altruism, devotion to career or hobby—all these, and most of the other good things in life, are forms of enthusiasm.


Real teaching is ninety-percent enthusiasm. Amid the numberless duties of her profession the teacher must be animated with the spirit that made Theodore Roosevelt spurn the sympathy of the visitor who pitied the President toiling, on a sultry afternoon in July, at his desk piled high with work.

Though the beads of perspiration stood on his brow, Roosevelt smiled his brightest and broadest smile: “Keep your sympathy; I am happy because I like my job.”

I like my job may well be the watchword of the teacher. A model teacher, like a model physician, will think her profession the finest in the world. She will possess for her noble calling the enthusiasm of the idealist and the firm faith that moves mountains, without either of which no good work was ever accomplished.

To succeed, the teacher must, day after day, enter the schoolroom live and fresh and active-minded. As soon as she discovers that her interest in her work is flagging, that she is growing weary of certain phases of her task, she must be alarmed over her fitness for her vocation, and she is in duty bound to use all means available to re-create in her soul the spirit that animated her on that first morning of her teaching career when her heart was singing a hymn of praise and thanksgiving to the Bridegroom of her soul for having called her to the most sublime work open to woman.

Nor should it be difficult for a religious teacher to glow with enthusiasm for her exalted mission. It might be difficult for her to grow enthusiastic about dress or other vanities. But it should be easy for her to glow with the idea of having committed to her care the mind and the will—the immortal souls—of boys and girls destined one day to constitute the main body of the Church Militant in the greatest country on earth.

Where is the Sister who could remain cold at the idea of having placed into her hand this clay plastic of Catholic manhood and womanhood, and to be told:

“Here is your material to work with. Each and every one of these children is a prospective citizen of heaven, and it is for you to make them all worthy of that high destiny.

This boy has talents that should enable him to do great things for God and America. His talents are entrusted to your keeping, and must be developed by you.

That other boy is less gifted intellectually, but has in him the making of a real man, and the material to inspire thousands with the example of his struggle against odds . . .

This girl has all the marks of a religious vocation, and it is for you to develop, by example and precept, her character, into one worthy of her sublime calling.

Those other girls may someday be nurses, teachers, or mothers of families; and one and all should be trained by you for the best that they are capable of.”


To the Catholic teacher the eloquent words of Daniel Webster may mean more than the orator ever dreamed of: “If we work upon marble, it will perish; upon brass, time will efface it; but if we work upon immortal souls, if we imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and love of our fellowmen, we engrave on those tablets something which will brighten to all eternity.”

She may in a similar way attach a deeper meaning to Frank W. Simonds’ appreciation of the teacher’s profession:

“If an Agassiz finds pleasure among fossils in order that he may interpret the great story of pre-historic life; if a Thoreau by Walden Pond is delighted with his studies of bugs and beetles; if a John Burroughs on his little patch of ground in the valley of the Mohawk gloried in his life among the birds and bees; if a Burbank is enraptured with his work of transforming a worthless desert cactus into an edible fruit, or in producing sweeter rose or fairer lily;

if these and other workers, whose names are legion, revel in the love of their work—then by what term shall we designate the joy that should be the teacher’s, who works not with mere fossils, nor with bugs or beetles, nor with birds, bees or flowers, but with the child; who is at once the most complex, the most plastic, the most beautiful, the most wonderful of all God’s creation?

Yes, it is a wonderful thing to be a teacher; it is a great thing to teach school.”

Responsibility is the trait of getting a job done that has been entrusted to you, and doing the job right, to the best of your ability, and having it done on time. This trait is especially needed when you have no one looking over your shoulder to make sure the job gets done.

This is what so many wives of today are lacking – a sense of responsibility for the work they do in their homes and for their families. You don’t have a time clock to punch or a manager coming by to check on you to make sure the job is getting done. Without this outside pressure, many of us just don’t do as good of a job at home as we would do somewhere else. What’s missing? That trait of responsibility. – Helen Andelin

Coloring pages for your children…

Our attitude changes our life…it’s that simple. Our good attitude greatly affects those that we love, making our homes a more cheerier and peaceful dwelling! To have this control…to be able to turn around our attitude is a tremendous thing to think about!
This Gratitude Journal is here to help you focus on the good, the beautiful, the praiseworthy. “For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 – Douay Rheims).
Yes, we need to be thinking of these things throughout the day!
You will be disciplined, the next 30 days, to write positive, thankful thoughts down in this journal. You will be thinking about good memories, special moments, things and people you are grateful for, lovely and thought-provoking Catholic quotes, thoughts before bedtime, etc. Saying it, reading it, writing it, all helps to ingrain thankfulness into our hearts…and Our Lord so loves gratefulness! It makes us happier, too!

Printable is here.

Paperback is here.


In With God in Russia, Ciszek reflects on his daily life as a prisoner, the labor he endured while working in the mines and on construction gangs, his unwavering faith in God, and his firm devotion to his vows and vocation. Enduring brutal conditions, Ciszek risked his life to offer spiritual guidance to fellow prisoners who could easily have exposed him for their own gains. He chronicles these experiences with grace, humility, and candor, from his secret work leading mass and hearing confessions within the prison grounds, to his participation in a major gulag uprising, to his own “resurrection”—his eventual release in a prisoner exchange in October 1963 which astonished all who had feared he was dead.

Powerful and inspirational, With God in Russia captures the heroic patience, endurance, and religious conviction of a man whose life embodied the Christian ideals that sustained him…..

Captured by a Russian army during World War II and convicted of being a “Vatican spy,” Jesuit Father Walter J. Ciszek spent 23 agonizing years in Soviet prisons and the labor camps of Siberia. Only through an utter reliance on God’s will did he manage to endure the extreme hardship. He tells of the courage he found in prayer–a courage that eased the loneliness, the pain, the frustration, the anguish, the fears, the despair. For, as Ciszek relates, the solace of spiritual contemplation gave him an inner serenity upon which he was able to draw amidst the “arrogance of evil” that surrounded him. Ciszek learns to accept the inhuman work in the infamous Siberian salt mines as a labor pleasing to God. And through that experience, he was able to turn the adverse forces of circumstance into a source of positive value and a means of drawing closer to the compassionate and never-forsaking Divine Spirit.

He Leadeth Me is a book to inspire all Christians to greater faith and trust in God–even in their darkest hour. As the author asks, “What can ultimately trouble the soul that accepts every moment of every day as a gift from the hands of God and strives always to do his will?”

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