Kindness Angels

July 26, 2016 Special Contributor 1

What’s your favorite project to work on with students in your group? We asked this question on our Catholic Faith Formation Facebook page and received a variety of creative ideas. Today we’re highlighting one lesson called “Kindness Angels.” This lesson is ideal for the Advent season as an alternative to the Elf on the Shelf. It can also be used throughout the year for busy families who are looking to engage in a meaningful way. […]

Making Advent a More Holy Season

December 7, 2015 Joe Paprocki 2

I just came across these two videos that provide enrichment for the Advent season. The first video is via Catholic News Service and features youth minister Emily “Em” Anderson (St. James Catholic Church, Falls Church, VA) providing some insights into how to make Advent a more holy season. I especially like her suggestion of praying the Liturgy of the Hours during Advent. httpv:// The second is Bishop Barron’s reflection on Advent as preparation for a […]

Waiting and Preparation: Teaching Advent and Christmas

December 3, 2015 Joyce Donahue 0

What should Catholic children know about Advent? They should know that it is a season of waiting and preparation, not fulfillment. In contrast to the frenzied Christmas shopping season, the patient waiting that characterizes Advent has its own particular beauty. More than that, it helps us understand something important about Jesus: he is the awaited Savior of the people of God. Use the rich symbols and stories of the season to help children experience Advent […]

Keeping Focused This Advent

December 2, 2015 Paul Gallagher 0

Ah, it’s Advent. I don’t know about you, but it sometimes looks as though Christmas is already here, with all the Christmas sales and all the holiday decorations. As I sat in the pew on Sunday, I kept thinking about all the shopping I still had to do—there are only so many shopping days left before Christmas! I hope we’ll all be able to refocus now on our Advent journey. The craziness of Black Friday […]

A New Beginning This Advent

November 25, 2015 Margie Copeland 0

As Christmas approaches, life becomes hectic, overbooked, and our prayer time can shrink. But if we take intentional steps, Advent can become a period of deepening our relationship with our Savior. The word advent means “coming or arrival”—the coming of Christ into the world. Advent is a time of preparation. During this season, we direct our hearts and our minds toward Christmas, the anniversary of Christ’s birth. However, we also prepare for the second coming […]

Advent: Of Elves or Angels?

November 19, 2015 Julianne Stanz 9

Advent is a time of expectation and excitement as we prepare for the birth of Christ. Within Advent is the unfolding of beautiful readings that build from one week to another, along with complimentary music, colors, and the rituals surrounding this liminal time. The opening of Advent calendars or the many other creative ways of counting sacred time is amongst my favorite childhood traditions. Keeping pace with sacred time is becoming more and more difficult […]

Jesse Trees Aren’t Just for Advent

November 10, 2015 Denise Gorss 0

The theme for a recent session was “Jesus fulfills the Revelation of God found in the history of the Chosen People.” I realized I could make the connection this week by adapting an activity typically reserved for Advent—the Jesse tree. As the young people entered the room, I invited them to work on a worksheet on “Grand Genes,” which was a Bible look-up activity that asked students to look up promises in the Old Testament […]

Advent Is Just Around the Corner!

November 9, 2015 Joe Paprocki 0

With Advent being just around the corner, I want to let you know about a number of great resources at your fingertips to enhance your faith community’s experience of this wonderful season! Advent Moments of Mercy This Advent coincides with the beginning of the Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has declared. What greater act of mercy is there beyond God sending his only Son Jesus to save us from sin? The Advent season provides […]

The Advent Prayer Grab Bag

December 9, 2014 Denise Gorss 2

Traditional Advent activities include Advent wreaths, calendars, and Jesse trees. While these are all great ways to help children celebrate the season, I like using something different: the Advent prayer grab bag. The prayer grab bag takes its inspiration from the popular party game of grab bags. I ask my group if anyone has ever participated in a grab bag and invite someone who has to explain the tradition of bringing one gift to a […]

Advent in the Classroom

December 3, 2014 Barb Gilman 4

Advent is one of my favorite liturgical seasons. I really enjoy the many activities that the parish, the school, and my classroom use to prepare children for the birth of Jesus. Our parish has a “giving tree.” We have a large Christmas tree near the altar. The tree is decorated with paper ornaments that list the age of a child and Christmas gift. Families take an ornament off the tree and buy the gift for […]

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