Keep the Lent Momentum Going: A Lesson in Spiritual Physics

If you are like me, on Ash Wednesday you make about 20 Lenten promises: I’m going to give up sweets, pray evening prayer every day, go to weekday Mass twice a week, give a weekly donation to a charity, etc. These promises usually last until the following Friday, and then it all falls apart. How do […]

Preparing for Ash Wednesday

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, so we’ll take all the children in the religious education program to church for Mass. It’s the same Mass the full parish is invited to, and it’s usually crowded. By taking the children to this Mass, we emphasize that not only is Ash Wednesday something special, but that we are part of […]

Getting Ready for Ash Wednesday

Realizing that over the next few days, many of you will be preparing people for Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, I thought I would remind you of some resources that might be of assistance to you. Ashes (blog post) What’s That on Your Forehead? (my popular Ash Wednesday post) Lent FAQ with Joe […]

More than a Sacrifice: Making Lent Count

“So, what are you giving up for Lent?” This is a common question among Catholics, young and old alike. But Lent is about more than giving something up. Through the disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, Lent prepares us for Easter. Yet when young people focus on what they give up for Lent, this season […]

A Lent of Mercy

My third graders always embrace Lent. I will include all my usual Lenten activities this year, but because this is the Year of Mercy, I will be adding some new activities that will help my students perform works of mercy. The first activity will be a visual reminder of Lent. (My young students are visual […]

Lent 2016

Yes, my friends, it’s that time of the year already! Can you believe that Lent is only a couple of weeks away? (Ash Wednesday is February 10.) We’ve barely had time to take down and store away our Christmas decorations. As always, this season of Lent promises to be full of abundant graces for us and […]

Lenten AWE: Reaching Out to Young Adults

Research indicates that young adults are highly likely to be present at Ash Wednesday services and to engage in Lenten practices such as abstaining from meat on Fridays and fasting. When I worked in parish young adult ministry we were especially attentive to those young adults who would come to Ash Wednesday services but were […]

Lesson Plans for Lent—Free Printables

Ash Wednesday 2016 is February 10. Start the season with passion and purpose by using our free lesson plans for Lent. Three complete lesson plans are available—for primary, intermediate, and junior high groups. Children will identify ways that they can act more like Jesus during Lent, explain Lenten practices, such as almsgiving, fasting, and abstinence, […]

Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures Cycle C Video Options

Last year I offered handouts for Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures, to be used in parish small faith groups. Year C materials for 2016 are now available. This 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 […]

Understanding Ordinary Time

Today we once again find ourselves in Ordinary Time—at least for a month or so until Lent begins on February 10. Ordinary Time gets a bad rap, as though it is time that is easily ignored because it is so “ordinary.” First of all, we call it “ordinary” because it is “counted time,” as in […]