Celebrating Advent by Making Wreaths with Your Families

November 30, 2016 Kathy MacKenzie 0

As our young families gathered on the first Sunday of Advent, the buzz of excitement was undeniable. Our parish hall was transformed into an Advent workshop where they created their very own Advent wreaths. Before me lay a sea of long tables at which the families worked, chatted, collaborated, and prayed. Christmas music harmonized with the hum of warm and friendly conversation; the atmosphere was most certainly alive with joy. Together, our families wove the […]

Drafting Prayers of Intercession

November 29, 2016 Lisa Jones 0

By the time my students hit my classroom in the fourth grade, most of them know basic prayers such as the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be to the Father. Most have also learned that there are different types of prayers: blessing and adoration, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise. This week I decided to delve a little deeper into prayers of intercession, because I felt it tied in nicely to our lesson […]

Using Videos on Your Parish Website

November 28, 2016 Joe Paprocki 2

In my book, A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion, I share the following thoughts: First impressions are very important. We all know that. Unfortunately we are not always aware of when and how that first impression is being made. Back in the day, first impressions were usually made face-to-face. With the dawning of the digital age, that is no longer always the case. In fact, in most […]

Gratitude for the Little Things

November 24, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

It’s so easy to be annoyed by the little things. How hard can it be, then, to allow ourselves to be thankful for the little things? The other day, I was on the verge of being completely annoyed by the traffic that made me miss my usual train. Instead, realizing that I was now “early” for the next train, I strolled at a leisurely pace from my parking spot to the train station. I took […]

Letting the Holy Spirit Lead When Your Lesson Falls Flat

November 23, 2016 Special Contributor 0

We’ve all been there. You’ve planned the perfect lesson for the children or adults in your session. You’ve spent the week memorizing the material and making notes. You did the extra research to come with some great information not found in your regular curriculum. You’ve even prepared handouts or activities or songs. But once you got in the classroom, the lesson plan didn’t work at all. The group didn’t understand the material; your activities were […]

When and How to Introduce Advent

November 22, 2016 Denise Gorss 0

The first week of Advent begins on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. While that is usual, it forces me to make a choice in how to introduce Advent: Do I talk about the season early, before Thanksgiving? Or do I wait until after the holiday break, when the season has already started? I’ve alternated my approach through the years, but I usually like to at least introduce Advent before the holiday, inviting the young people to […]

Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures Cycle A Video Options

November 22, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

For the last two years I’ve offered handouts for Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures, to be used in parish small faith groups. Year A materials for 2017 are now available. As I did last year, I selected some options for online videos for further reflection on each week’s theme. Always remember to preview videos before showing to your group, to determine appropriateness for your setting and be sure things work as expected. First Sunday of […]

St. Cecilia, Patron Saint of Musicians, Pray for Us

November 21, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

Tomorrow, November 22, we celebrate the feast day of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians. I’ve made no secret on this blog about my insistence that music and singing must be a part of our catechetical ministry. I also believe that we have a largely untapped embarrassment of riches right under our noses in the form of young people who are adept at playing various instruments such as cello, flute, classical guitar, or piano. These […]

Celebrating Christ the King

November 18, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

In just a few short days, the Church celebrates the Feast of Christ the King, officially known as the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This celebration is the culmination of the Church’s liturgical year—a glorious celebration of the Lord who reigns in our lives. And yet, I rarely hear a good homily about the notion of Christ the King. I’ve actually heard homilists dismiss the theme of the feast because […]

The “Three Comings of the Lord”: Finding Jesus Christ During Advent

November 17, 2016 Joyce Donahue 0

Advent is a season of waiting. But who are we waiting for? Baby Jesus seems like the obvious and most popular choice. But if we listen closely to the Collect prayer at Mass the First Sunday in Advent—which asks the Father to make us ready to “run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming”—it sounds like we’re waiting for Christ’s second coming at the end of time. That’s true, too. But […]

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