40 Ideas for 40 Days—My Lenten Calendar: 40 Crosses

Several years ago, my friend Victor Valdez provided us with Lenten Calendars (40 Crosses). Sadly, Victor passed away in 2013. In honor of his memory, we have updated his calendars in English and Spanish. Thank you again, Victor. Rest in peace, good friend! Hard to believe that Lent is just a few weeks away! Here are the links to the calendars: 40 Crosses 2017 (English) 40 Crosses 2017 (Spanish)

Last Night's Class, Tonight's Webinar

Last evening, my students took their Confirmation exam. I haven’t had a chance to correct them yet, however, I can tell from a quick glance that there are no disasters awaiting me. In previous years, I had one or two kids who left full pages blank. Not this time. Before the exam, I gave them time to study and to quiz one another. I then told them that the Catholic faith was like a family […]

40/40 – Lenten Activities: A Holy Week Gift Box

Throughout Lent, a number of catechists weighed in with contributions of their own. I’m pleased to share the following activity with you from a catechist named Greg in my home state of Illinois! Thanks, Greg! A Holy Week Gift Box Hi Joe, I teach my last class before Easter this week on Palm Sunday afternoon (to my 7th graders). I would love to leave each of my students with something as both a “gift” and […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Resurrection Eggs

Today’s Lenten activity comes from an 8th grade catechist in Ohio who just loves her kids and wanted to share something she does with them during Holy Week. She calls them “Resurrection Eggs” but they could easily be referred to as “Holy Week Eggs” or “Passion Eggs” since they help children to recognize various elements of the Passion reading. Resurrection Eggs I found some “Resurrection Eggs”.  They are plastic eggs that have a symbol of the […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Holy Week Basket

This Lenten activity is an opportunity for catechists to connect Holy Week and the end of Lent to the celebration of Easter. Holy Week Basket We are all familiar with Easter Baskets. This activity takes the Easter Basket and transforms it into a Holy Week Basket in preparation for the celebration of Easter. Place a traditional Easter Basket (filled with that fake green grass!) in the center of the room. In the basket, place a number […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Palm Weaving & Braiding

Here’s another Holy Week  Lenten activity  that gives catechists the opportunity to introduce children to the popular custom of palm weaving & braiding. Palm Weaving & Braiding Palms are sacramentals – “sacred signs instituted by the Church” (CCC 1667). They represent our homage and loyalty to Christ the King, who was hailed as king as he entered Jerusalem to the waving of palm branches. Catholics have long displayed palms in their homes after Palm Sunday […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Scenes From Holy Week

Onto our next Lenten activity – Scenes from Holy Week – an opportunity for catechists to help their young people to focus on some of the dramatic events in the life of Jesus that take place during Holy Week. Scenes from Holy Week This activity is actually a Blackline Master from the Finding God program, gr. 5. Invite the young people to imagine that they have been invited to draw the cover for the parish bulletin for […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Palm Crosses

This is another Palm Sunday/Holy Week Lenten activity. For this one, we go to a Web site called King of Peace and learn how to make palm crosses. Palm Crosses This activity comes to us from King of Peace Episcopal Church in Kingsland, Georgia. This is something that can be done with children and families right after Palm Sunday Masses or at religious education classes held during Holy Week. For this activity, click here. You may […]

40/40 – Lenten Activities: Make a Paper Palm Branch

To help catechists prepare their young people for Palm Sunday, this Lenten activity  demonstrates how to make a paper palm branch. For this activity, we visit a site we have been to before: http://www.sundayschoolkids.com/activities-lent-easter/1-straw-palm-instru.htm. Make a Paper Palm Branch Here’s how the folks at Sunday School Kids describe this activity: After having experienced distributing of real palm fronds in Sunday School for many years, I think paper palms are much safer. I’ve had palm fronds […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Triduum Triptychs

Here’s another Lenten activity that is a good opportunity for catechists to prepare young people for Holy Week. It is from the Christ Our Life series (grade 8). Triduum Triptychs Have the young people fold a sheet of construction paper into three equal parts. While the paper is folded, have them cut the top of it into the shape of an arch. At the top of each section, have them write the name of the […]

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