Palm Weaving and Braiding

palm branches

I’ve always been fascinated with the art of palm weaving and braiding, even though it’s something that I am terrible at! (I included it in my 40 Ideas for 40 Days). During one of the years that I was a parish DRE, I discovered that one of my catechists was an expert palm-weaver and braider. Just like that, we put together the easiest intergenerational event in history. After Mass on Palm Sunday, we invited families to come to the parish hall for coffee and donuts and a demonstration of palm weaving and braiding. The catechist gave directions and then sent out a crew of teens to walk around the hall to assist people as they braided their palms. We then gave some hints on places in the home where the palms could be displayed. It was a joyful event (with an overflow crowd) with very low “overhead” since the palms are part of the day’s liturgical celebration.

Here are a few links to sites that provide background and demonstrations on palm weaving and braiding as well as a couple of videos that demonstrate this wonderful art:

Catholic Inspired
Blessed Palms in the Home
St. Margaret Mary Parish Passion Sunday

The Gifts of the Community in Vacation Bible School

volunteer team

This is the second article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. After I’ve selected my summer Vacation Bible School (VBS) program, focus, and theme, it’s time to center my efforts on the gifts of the community of people who will make it all happen. The […]

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Parent Confirmation Gathering—Free PowerPoint Presentation

Confirmation Parent Gathering

As children age into teens, they continue to look to their parents and guardians for cues on how to act and think in a mature way. Even if they don’t seek out advice or seem to actively dismiss it, young people are just as eager for parental guidance as they were when learning to tie […]

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Learning about the Last Supper

Eucharist Real Presence craft

As we approach Holy Week, I like to focus my class on the events we recall on Palm Sunday and during the Triduum. That means that one of the chapters we cover during this time of year is the one on Eucharist and the Last Supper (Finding God, Grade 7, Chapter 16). I’m pleased to […]

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Adult Faith Formation Needs to Focus on Brokenness

broken vase

The key to effective adult faith formation can be found in church basements all over the country. And what, exactly, can be found in church basements? Twelve Step meetings. People do not go to Twelve Step meetings because they like the music. They don’t go because of how the space is decorated. They don’t go […]

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There’s No Way Around the Cross

Crucifixion icon

In this Sunday’s Gospel (the Fifth Sunday of Lent, John 12:20–33), Jesus predicts his death. But the point of this story is not to impress us with the accuracy of Jesus’ predictions. Rather, Jesus is making it quite clear that this is the way things have to happen, not only for him, but for us […]

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Three Lessons Catechists Can Learn from St. Joseph

Sagrada Familia del pajarito (Holy Family) by Bartolome Esteban Murillo

St. Francis of Assisi is often attributed as saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” This quote is very fitting for the life of another saint whose actions spoke louder than his words: St. Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus. In fact, St. Joseph does not say one word in the Gospels. […]

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Stories, Not Labels

woman without face details - stories not labels

I work in the Office of New Evangelization for my diocese, and I remember a phone call from an 86-year-old woman named Gladys. She wanted to find out more about the “coming home” programs the diocese was offering for Catholics who had been away from the Church for a while. After a period of active […]

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Movie Time

movies - film equipment

When planning my weekly faith formation lessons, I tend to look for certain types of activities that I’m comfortable teaching. In addition to the textbook, I usually include worksheets (crossword puzzles, word searches, etc.), classroom games, and journal writing. Every once in a while we will do a craft or physical activity, but with a […]

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St. Patrick’s Day for Grown Ups

St. Patrick stained glass window

At the risk of alienating some folks, I have to admit that I have never much gotten into the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day as it is celebrated in the United States. Perhaps it’s because I’m Polish and the day really celebrates all things Irish, not the saint per se. But that’s not even the […]

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