Apologies and Forgiveness

February 16, 2016 Lisa Jones 0

We were created for love, and we naturally seek forgiveness. This is one reason children naturally take to lessons on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In their young lives, the kids in my third-grade class have made mistakes and gotten in trouble, all the while being continuously loved and constantly forgiven by a parent. In our lesson about Reconciliation, I included a discussion of the difference between what is a sin versus what is an accident. […]

Great Resources for Sacramental Preparation

January 29, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

I’m very excited to tell you about some wonderful resources for sacramental preparation from Loyola Press! A new edition of the already popular God’s Gift program for First Eucharist and First Reconciliation, available in English and bilingual versions, includes some wonderful new features: God’s Gift Intermediate was developed to pass on the truth and beauty of the sacraments to teens or other young people preparing to celebrate the sacraments out of typical sequence. God’s Gift: […]

A Magnificent Banquet

January 27, 2016 Lisa Brown 0

During the “Christmas honeymoon”—those few weeks of Ordinary Time between Christmas and Lent—I found that I had been lulled into a sense of complacency. My second-grade class had covered a lot of material during the fall, and I felt good about their grasp of the material. But then reality hit me—their First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion were only weeks away! I started to panic, and I wondered if my students were really prepared for […]

Parent Eucharist Gathering—Free PowerPoint Presentation

December 16, 2015 Joe Paprocki 5

The celebration of First Eucharist is always a special event in the life of a parish. Make it more meaningful for everyone involved by hosting a parent gathering with the help of my latest free PowerPoint presentation. Jesus Christ is present with us all the time, but in the Eucharist, we have a real presence—something substantial that we can touch, hold in our hands, taste, and consume. The Eucharist is truly the presence of Jesus—God—in […]

Why Reconciliation?

December 15, 2015 Paul Gallagher 1

I know there are many people who are downright terrified of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. They are scared for different reasons, but ultimately, I think, it comes down to the belief that they view themselves as unforgivable. How could God ever forgive me for doing this or that? Sadly, such thoughts keep people from having that deep, intimate, and loving friendship that Jesus came down from heaven to restore. Let’s face it, St. […]

Games for Learning about Eucharist and the Mass—Free Printables

November 18, 2015 Joe Paprocki 4

In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. When we celebrate the Eucharist, we join in communion with the family of the Church. Help children deepen their understanding of the Eucharist and the Mass with fun review games. Children will enjoy playing Mass Bingo, Eucharist Tic-Tac-Toe, and a Matching Game to review People and Things at Mass. These downloadable games can be printed out and played in sacramental […]

Countdown to Reconciliation

November 12, 2015 Shannon Chisholm 0

Our parish celebrates First Penance and Reconciliation in early December. As beautiful as it is to celebrate this sacrament in Advent and to be able to focus our efforts in the spring on First Holy Communion, the date always seems to creep up faster than I want it to. Since we have such limited time together in faith formation classes, I rely on the parents to help prepare their children for the sacrament at home. […]

A Pastoral Approach to Talking About Missing Mass

November 6, 2015 Joe Paprocki 27

I recently received an e-mail from a diocesan catechetical minister who was contacted by a concerned DRE, struggling to address the following problem: A sixth-grade catechist, in teaching about mortal sin, told her students that if Mass is missed, then it is a mortal sin and the sinners will go to hell. Yes, she used those words. The student went home crying because her parents miss Mass frequently. We know these situations are coming up […]

Parent Reconciliation Gathering—Free PowerPoint Presentation

October 28, 2015 Joe Paprocki 3

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is like receiving an embrace from God, but too many Catholics fear the sacrament because they don’t understand it. When we invite parents to a meeting before their children receive First Reconciliation, we have an opportunity to help adults learn more about the sacrament. Use this opportunity to encourage parents and invite them to come to confession when their children do and be embraced by God. To help you do this, […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 8: Mission

August 13, 2015 Joyce Donahue 0

This is the last article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. The word Mass comes from “missa est” (Latin for “it is sent”). The dismissal formula variations in the Roman Missal are meaningful. “Go forth, the Mass is ended.” “Go in peace.” “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” These convey a clear sense of mission. The command “Go” […]

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