Four Ways to Help Children Understand Easter, the Feast of Feasts

March 31, 2016 Joyce Donahue 0

Easter is central to Christian faith. We are, as St. Augustine pointed out, an Easter people. How do we help students identify themselves as Easter people and claim Alleluia! as their song? First, make sure they know the story of Easter. Easter is the “Feast of feasts,” the moment when the Kingdom of God enters into our time (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1168‒1169). Jesus’ Death on the Cross and his Resurrection after three days […]

Using E-mail in Your Religious Education Program

March 30, 2016 Special Contributor 0

Whether using it to work, to keep in touch, to learn, or to conduct business, e-mail has become an integral part of how we communicate. Add to this our ability to access e-mail through mobile devices, and we can clearly see its benefit as a communication tool for religious education programs. A Few Things About E-mail E-mail is flexible. While Facebook and Twitter are great for reaching your entire parent community with broad-based messaging, e-mail […]

Will God Wipe Us Out?

March 29, 2016 Lisa Jones 0

In my third-grade faith formation class, the story of Noah’s Ark came up while we were discussing another topic. One of the girls asked, “If God punished the whole world with a flood and wiped everyone out because of sin, could he wipe us all out as well? We are all sinners.” My immediate thought was, “Wow, what an incredible question!” I loved that she remembered a previous lesson when we had talked about how […]

52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion

March 28, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

As you may know, my most recent book is now available: A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion. Many parishes are using this book with their parish staff and/or parish pastoral council and other groups of parish leaders to jump-start some creative brainstorming for energizing their parish faith communities. In the book, I provide 52 practical ideas that can contribute to getting a parish out of the rut of […]

18 Questions on the Paschal Triduum

March 24, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

Today, we enter into the most solemn three days of our liturgical year: the Triduum. For many, these three days may seem a bit confusing. We celebrate with profound and reverent rituals that are only seen, felt, and experienced at this time of the year. To help with our understanding of the Triduum, the USCCB has put together 18 Questions on the Paschal Triduum, a resource that may help to answer some questions about these […]

The Challenges of Teaching Holy Week

March 23, 2016 Lisa Brown 0

Teaching Holy Week to second graders is a bit like herding cats: daunting, if not impossible, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I’ve made many mistakes when teaching Holy Week. In the past, I’ve attempted to cram the principles of the Triduum and Easter on the last Sunday of class before Easter break (which happens to be Palm Sunday). I did this because I wanted to make sure I had enough time to prepare […]

Preparing for Holy Week in Junior High

March 22, 2016 Denise Gorss 0

In our last session before Holy Week, I like to walk through the Passion story with my group. Last year I tried starting with Joe Paprocki’s Bible story treasure hunt. I hid pictures of symbols related to the events of the Passion around the room and gave the young people a few minutes to find them all. They found most without trouble, and I gave hints to help them find the more well-hidden ones. It […]

Finding the Faces of Jesus in Your Life

March 21, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

I’ve always had a feeling of synergy when working with my friend and colleague, Tom McGrath. All he has to do is open his mouth and share some insights and wisdom and I immediately feel like I can turn it into an activity that others can use and benefit from! Recently, Tom led a reflection for a small group that I was participating in. He invited us to think about the qualities and characteristics of […]

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Year C

March 18, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

Throughout the Gospel of Luke, the power of evil is lurking and the heavenly hosts stand ready to go into battle, beginning with the appearance of an army of angels to the shepherds at the birth of Christ. Evil tempts Jesus in the desert. Throughout Luke’s Gospel, Jesus drives out demons. However, the ultimate battle takes place during the Passion of Jesus that we enter into this Holy Week. Evil’s tenacious presence is manifested in […]

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the Catholic Way

March 17, 2016 Julianne Stanz 0

Having grown up in Ireland for the first 23 years of my life, I have a simple request: Stop the St. Patrick’s Day madness! For the love of St. Patrick, it is not Paddy’s Day (or Patty’s Day, which is even worse), but Saint Patrick’s Day. Some of the traditions that I see today associated with St. Patrick’s Day are so devoid of meaning to be almost comical. In Ireland, we do not celebrate St. […]

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