Lent is Just Around the Corner – Living Stations, Anyone?

Lent is just around the corner (Ash Wednesday is February 25, 2009) and catechists are looking for lenten ideas and activities to mark the season. I have 2 very special plans for this blog:

  1. First, I am collecting scripts for the Living Stations of the Cross to make available to you through my blog. Many parishes involve their young people in the Living Stations of the Cross and write their own scripts that they develop from year to year. IF YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE YOUR SCRIPT FOR THE LIVING STATIONS OF THE CROSS WITH OTHER CATECHISTS, PLEASE ATTACH IT TO AN EMAIL (as either a Word Document or a PDF) AND SEND IT TO ME AT paprocki@loyolapress.com.
  2. Second, I will be posting 40 IDEAS IN/FOR 40 DAYS beginning Monday, February 23 (I’ll begin posting a few days before Ash Wednesday to give you some time to incorporate ideas into your planning). Each day for 40 days, I’ll post an idea for a lenten activity that you can use with your classes. I’m sure that over the course of the 40 days and the 40 ideas, you find a few that can work with your group! I’ll also be inviting you to share some of your own lenten activities so that we can really develop a treasury of ideas!

Praying LentIn the meantime, for your own enrichment, I recommend Praying Lent: Renewing Our Lives on the Lenten Journey, a great resource for incorporating Ignatian spirituality

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. Hi Joe,
    I LOVE doing a Living Stations in our very small parish. All 50 students (K-10th) are able to participate. The older students are the narrators, the younger students are “actors” and the youngest are the crowds, women, etc. And it’s so simple to do with narrators – no memorizing lines.
    When our numbers increase and we have more students, I have the First Eucharist students act out Jesus entering town, looking for a place to celebrate Passover, the Last Supper and conclude with Him going to the garden. This, of course, leads right into the Stations.

  2. Hi Joe, I have been a Catholic my entire life, but have a question about lent. When we are fasting, does that mean that we just stop eating meat for that day, or does it truly mean don’t eat anything for that day? I have heard many different takes on it and I want to know the real answer for once and for all. 🙂

    Thank you,


    • Hi Mary and thanks for your question. It’s good to clarify what we mean when we talk about fasting and abstaining from meat. For Catholics, fasting involves eating only one moderate meal for that day along with two smaller meals or snacks that, added together, are no larger than the one main meal. Abstinence is refraining from eating meat. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast AND abstinence, so we adhere to the pattern I mentioned above (one moderate meal, 2 small ones) and refrain from meat as well. On all other Fridays during Lent, we abstain from meat. Throughout Lent, we are encouraged to practice fasting voluntarily. The important thing is to not just focus on the “legal” aspects of these practices but to focus on the spiritual benefits of doing without. If we can master our desire for food, we can then practice the same control over stronger desires that perhaps are obstacles to our true desire for God. Mary, have a blessed Lent!

  3. Hi, Joe!
    At Mass this morning, Father mentioned that when we fast from something, we must replace it with some action, i.e. by performing one of the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy. This is a wonderful way to spend the days of Lent; doing good to others.

    Have a wonderful and happy Lenten Season.

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