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 2014 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.