Holy Week Activities Pack

March 22, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

Holy Week is a time set aside to recall the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. During this week, we prepare ourselves for Easter by prayerfully reflecting upon the events of Jesus’ Passion and Death. Help children and families experience the full meaning of the final days before Easter with our Holy Week Activities Pack. The pack includes a scrambled words challenge, a crossword puzzle, a visual story strip, and an activity inviting prayerful reflection […]

Praying with the Stations of the Cross—With Free Station to Station Questions for Reflection and Discussion

February 22, 2017 Special Contributor 0

This article is by Gary Jansen, author of Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross. On Good Friday, 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced an alternative way to pray the Stations of the Cross. Foregoing some of the traditional scenes that are not found in the Bible (e.g., Veronica wipes the face of Jesus), this new approach to the centuries-old devotion allowed believers to engage in the mysteries of Christ’s […]

Lenten Actions Cards

January 25, 2017 Joe Paprocki 2

Encourage families to take practical steps toward practicing the traditional Lenten pillars of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Print out our Lenten Actions Cards and give sets to the families you serve. Instruct parents to cut out the cards, fold them in half, and place them in a jar or small box. Place the jar or other container in a central location in the home, perhaps on the dining room table or the counter next to […]

Reigniting the Flame—A Mid-Year Activity for Catechists

December 14, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

The halfway point of the catechetical year can be a time when catechists find their energy and enthusiasm waning. In my book, 7 Keys to Spiritual Wellness, I warn about the danger of sloth, which is not to be confused with laziness. Rather, sloth is a lack of spiritual energy. The “antidote” that I recommend is unleashing your imagination in order to reignite hope, which in turn leads to joy, which is the heart of […]

J.O.Y. in the Classroom: How to Teach Children to Cultivate a Joyful Life

November 16, 2016 Julianne Stanz 3

Cultivating and sustaining joy in the spiritual life has received quite a bit of attention in recent years. Pope Francis has made joy a central part of his message, as we see in the encyclical Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel. The Holy Father reminds us over and over again that the Christian life is characterized first and foremost by joy: Joy is a pilgrim virtue. It is a gift that walks, walks on […]

The Jesse Tree—Free PowerPoint Presentation

October 26, 2016 Joe Paprocki 3

One popular Advent tradition is making a Jesse tree, which helps us to connect the custom of decorating Christmas trees to the events leading to Jesus’ birth. We adorn a Jesse tree with illustrated ornaments that represent people, prophesies, and events that recall God’s promise and its fulfillment. With a focus on Old Testament figures, the Jesse tree is a particularly good activity for sixth graders studying salvation history. It’s also great for any junior […]

Themes of Mercy for the Year of Mercy—Free Discussion Materials

September 14, 2016 Joe Paprocki 4

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the Confirmed in the Spirit Confirmation preparation series. The Year of Mercy that Pope Francis proclaimed last year concludes this November. Mercy is the most fundamental and defining attribute of God, revealed through God’s actions throughout the Old Testament and most notably, in the person of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Why not take some time in the next few months to explore themes of […]

Simple Tips for Leading a Simple Prayer

August 17, 2016 Joe Paprocki 1

While it is true that we can pray simply and spontaneously, at more formal gatherings, our prayer is to resemble how we pray at Mass. In other words, the prayer is meant to be liturgical, which means that it should have a basic structure. This means including parts for the assembly, including Scripture, and including elements of sign, symbol, and ritual. Many of us have never been taught how to prepare and lead a simple […]

Ignatian Spirituality: An Introduction—Free Poster and Booklet

June 29, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

St. Ignatius of Loyola founded a school of spirituality that is continued today by his community, the Jesuits, along with many others. Ignatian spirituality focuses on creating a deep bond with Jesus, as well as working to promote God’s plan and action in the world. Most important, Ignatian spirituality concentrates on “finding God in all things,” which integrates prayer and service, meditation and action, emotion and reason. Let our free poster and booklet introduce you […]

Introducing Catholics to the Bible: Free Parent-Child Session

May 25, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

Host a hands-on, engaging session to introduce children (fifth grade or higher) and their parents to how the Bible is arranged. The Bible is like a library—God’s Library—made up of 73 books, and the best way to get to know the layout of the Bible is to break it down into smaller pieces, eight sections that make up the whole. This month’s free download gives you instructions for hosting a 90-minute session in your parish […]

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