Easter Blessings!

I wish you a very Blessed Easter season!!! May the grace of the Risen Lord be with you always!

Experiencing the Triduum was a blessing as always. Holy Thursday and Good Friday were at St. Julie Billiart parish in Tinley Park and the Easter Vigil was at St. Clement in Chicago. All were celebrated with great reverence, style, and grace, and the the richness of the sacramentality of these days filled all of my senses.

I wish I could say that my class last Monday put the kids into the right frame of mind for Holy Week but it was less than successful. First, we went to church for the Living Stations of the Cross, “performed” by 8th graders. The kids involved did a nice job and, for the most part, were reverent. Keeping the others quiet and attentive was a task. They have trouble getting over the giddyness of seeing classmates in costume and resisting the temptation to make them smirk, smile, or laugh. Keeping them attentive and well-behaved for the remainder of the Stations required a great deal of vigilance.

When we got back to class, we had about 20 minutes remaining so I did a lenten activity that I had posted earlier – Looking for Clues. I placed pictures of all of the “objects” mentioned in Mark’s Passion reading inside of plastic Easter Eggs and “hid” them all around the room ahead of time and I began by sending them on an Easter egg hunt. The problem was, they were already hyped up from coming and going to church for the Living Stations, it was getting late, and they were also hyped up about beginning Easter vacation later that week. Needless to say, their behavior was not good and I had my hands full quieting them down for the last 15 minutes

Inviting 8th graders to do an Easter Egg hunt runs the risk of bringing out their "inner 4-year-old!"

while we opened the eggs one at at time and talked about the objects and how they fit into the Passion story. It was frustrating to say the least. I realized that if I were to do this activity over again,

About Joe Paprocki 2741 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.

2 Comments on Easter Blessings!

  1. Hi Joe,

    I appreciate your willingness to share both the ups and downs of teaching your class. I know it’s reassuring to me on some level, that even an experienced and well prepared catechist can have a “challenging” evening keeping the kids “focused”. The most important part of your sharing this though, is your demonstration of not letting it get you down. You simply examined what might work better next time. Thanks for encouraging all of us with your regular postings thru out the year !!!!!

    • Thanks, Diane. Sessions like that can and do get us down from time to time but you’re right, the best thing to do is to strategize about how we will become more effective next time.

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