Teaching About Mary on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

STG5171_SHere is an idea for teaching about Mary on this Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It’s from The Sunday Connection:

  1. Tell the young people that some people benefit from having connections in high places.
  2. Invite them to imagine to whom they wish they had a connection.
  3. Distribute index cards to the young people and have them complete the following sentence: I wish I knew someone who… (Example: I wish I knew someone who could get me a backstage pass to my favorite singer’s concert.)
  4. When the young people have finished, invite volunteers to read aloud their cards.
  5. Point out that Catholics think of Mary as someone who has a privileged connection to Jesus and that, in our prayers, we often ask Mary to help us grow closer to her son, Jesus.
  6. Say: The Gospel for the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary tells us the story of how God called Mary to accept a special role.
  7. Invite volunteers to read aloud Luke 1:26-38.
  8. Ask: How did Mary first respond to the greeting of the angel? (She was troubled; she asked how this could be possible.) What does Mary finally say to the angel? (“I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be as you say.”) Do you think it was easy for Mary to respond this way? Why or why not?
  9. Say: Mary is a model of discipleship for us because she said yes to God and cooperated with God’s plan by becoming the mother of Jesus. We honor Mary because she is the Mother of Jesus and our Mother as well. We can grow closer to God through Mary because of the special place she has in relationship to Jesus.
  10. Conclude by praying together the Hail Mary.
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. Hello,

    What you have described is the Feast of the Annunciation.

    The Immaculate Conception is about St. Ann conceiving the Blessed Mother “without the stain of original sin”. She was therefore conceived “immaculately”.
    Your references to Jesus are a common misunderstanding. Please check the Catholic encyclopedias for a correct version.

    Your heart was in the right place but your facts are wrong.

    • Dear Rev. Jeannie, thanks for your concern. I assure you that I understand the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. As you can see from the title of my post, this lesson teaches “about Mary” on the Feast of the the Immaculate Conception. It is not a lesson on the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. When teaching about a feast in the Church’s liturgical calendar, I encourage catechists to first consult the Lectionary before running off to the Catholic Encyclopedia. It just so happens that the Gospel for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Luke 1:26-38) is the same Gospel that is read on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord (March 25). It therefore makes sense to teach about Mary as guided by the Gospel for the feast – a Gospel that tells the story of Mary’s “Yes” to God’s invitation. Of course a comprehensive lesson for the Immaculate Conception would include an appropriate explanation of Mary’s conception without the stain of original sin. Please tell me specifically what references to Jesus in my post “are a common misunderstanding” and which “facts are wrong” and I’ll be happy to correct them. As far as I can tell, my heart AND my facts are in the right place for this post. 🙂

      • As a catechist planning to spend part of my class teaching about this feast day, I too plan to spend my time talking about Mary’s life with my 5th graders…rather than St Anne/ Mary’s conception

  2. Hi Joe… do you have any ideas for celebrating a Mass with children on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Looking for something new… we’ve done the Gospel drama for years, but hoping for something new… Know of any good videos we can possibly show at the homily? I like the above and am thinking if we can incoprate that into the Children’s Mass. As always… thanks for your blog…it’s awesome. Peace.

    • Joyce, thanks for the kind words about my blog. I’m going to put out the call for ideas about a children’s Mass for Immaculate Conception. I have ideas for themes to go with but not necessarily ideas for how to incorporate them into a children’s Mass other than asking the homilist to go with the theme! I’ll post on this and let’s see what we get.

  3. Thank you for your suggested lesson on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Will handle a class tomorrow, and this helps a lot.

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