It’s All About Jesus: Children and the Mass

March 1, 2016 Lisa Jones 1

This week’s lesson for my third-grade faith formation class was about the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Most of my students celebrated their First Holy Communion less than a year ago, so the previous lessons on the Eucharist are relatively fresh in their minds. They seemed confident in knowing that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and they all understood the mechanics of receiving communion. As we got deeper into the lesson, […]

Honesty and the Gift of Reconciliation

February 23, 2016 Denise Gorss 0

Among my group of seventh graders, I have several who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist this year. Because of this, I spent more time in a recent session on Reconciliation talking about the steps of receiving the sacrament than I otherwise would. And that led to a surprising moment of honesty. Finding God, Grade 7, Session 14 formed the basis of the lesson for the evening, but we […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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” […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 7: Thankfulness

August 6, 2015 Joyce Donahue 0

This is the seventh article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. Eucharist means “thanksgiving.” How grateful are we for God’s gifts, especially his gift of Jesus? Do we sincerely give thanks and praise at Mass? How can catechists help children develop an attitude of gratitude to God that they can bring to the celebration of the Eucharist? Younger Children One simple way to encourage young children to cultivate gratitude […]

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 6: Real Presence

July 30, 2015 Joyce Donahue 0

This is the sixth article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. Polls show that many Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. If so many adults don’t understand it, how can catechists help children to learn this and take it to heart? Begin with Catechists Catechists should be encouraged to live the Real Presence by receiving Eucharist regularly, learning about its meaning, and […]

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