Now that we are into our first full week of the Lenten season, I’d love to hear what you are up to this year.
What are you doing for Lent for yourself and for the class(es) you teach? Share your thoughts below in the box under “Leave Your Reply.”
I look forward to hearing from you.
i look forward to your day at
st Benedicts i gave a set of your books to my catechists. thanx for them
I have reaped the benefits of your blog, Joe, and others who share, so decided it was my turn! Two weeks before Lent began, I placed a “surprise” package for all of our 250 Rel.Ed. students to view and to guess its contents. I gave them 3 clues (Everyone has used this; it is cold when you first put it on; it has an unusual shape), visited their classrooms to allow them to shake it, and they submitted a guess. Winner would get the prize. I assured them everyone from preschool through high school would like the prize! Since the prize had to do with Lent, it would be awarded at the beginning of that season. As expected, no one guessed correctly so it was necessary to draw a name for the prize. The prize was a stethoscope with dollar bills attached to it! Stethoscope is a reminder that during Lent we get our “annual heart check up”. We might look good on the outside, but there may be selfishness, pride,etc. on the inside. The “Great Physician” will assist us in our healing time of Lent. I continue to wear the stethoscope each week when we open with group prayer. The kids and families had a fun time guessing! And the monetary prize was appreciated! Maybe it will go into the Rice Bowl this Lent!
Judy, how clever! Thanks for sharing you idea!
Lent, taking this season to stopy and really think, ponder and here God’s whisper so that the change comes within me, a time for reflection this year, sometimes we act upon the Lent season but we don’t reflect on what it truly means, conversion, repentence…
Well said, Liddia. I’m also trying to be more mindful this Lent, taking time to ponder more.
I teach 4th grade. I used a weekly Lenten sheet to make it a little easier for the children. I asked them to pick one thing to give up, one good deed, or one act of penance for each week of Lent…and to change it up each week. The children seem to like this because it is teaching them sacrifice in different ways. I also plan to use the Stations of the Cross for kids that’s available on the Loyola Press website and walk the beautiful stations of the cross that are displayed in our church.
Lisa, sounds like you’ve made the Lenten practices very concrete for kids…that’s what they need.
Our Middle School (grades 6 – 8) did a wall display… “Our Footsteps to Easter”. We have a cross done with charcoal (to symbolize Ash Wednesday) and another cross (brown) at the other end of the wall. The kids wrote a positive action they will work on during lent on a footprint. We hung the footprints connecting the two crosses on the wall. During each class throughout Lent, the kids will write on a cut-out flower something good they’ve done that past week. (Hopefully using a virtue, work of mercy, etc.) Then on Holy Saturday we will cover the brown cross with flowers of all the good deeds the kids have done during Lent.
With my 7th Grade class, we made Lenten Prayer Cubes to use at home. We covered a 4inch cube box with purple wrapping paper. And on each side of the box glued on a weekly prayer. So, there are 6 different prayers, one for each week of Lent. The hope is that the kids will keep the cubes on their bedside table to say a quick little prayer each morning and evening.
Michele, thanks for sharing these creative ideas!
Two Lents ago, one of our catechists mapped the distance that Jesus walked to Calvary in our neighborhood, and the children of our religious education program walked the distance and prayed the Stations of the Cross. Parents were involved and it was a wonderful experience…
We will probably do it again, but weather has been an issue here…
Sherri, I know of a parish that is doing just that this year…nice idea.
I gave up alcohol and I’m going to punish my students because of it! Just kidding of course. We are incorporating living in moderation for the teens and not necessarily what they are giving up as is typical. Using better language, more manners, more respect for peers, praying at night and upon wakening, blessing themselves before lunch in the school cafeteria and more. Giving up sweets and fries is good but we want more!
Coach, nice way to introduce the young people to the virtue of temperance.
The week before Ash Wednesday, we did our seasonal lesson on Lent; I had also re-arranged the syllabus to make sure we covered the sacrament of confession. For the next few weeks we’ll incorporate a short examination of conscience and act of contrition into our regular opening prayers. We study the coming Sunday’s Gospel every week, and in the journal questions I put on the board, I’ll be pointing students to how the Gospel relates to their own Lenten journey. Near the end of Lent we’ll do the lesson on Holy Week.
For my own part, one thing I’ve been working up to for Lent is finally keeping our house clean! I know that sounds silly, but yes for our family, it was definitely an obstacle to practicing good stewardship of the gifts God’s given us. We’ve also been using the Welcome Risen Jesus booklet as a family to our direct personal prayer and fasting through the season.
Jennifer, nothing silly about keeping the house clean! Cleanlieness is next to godliness, right?
It surely counts as penance, anyway!
My goal is to do more spiritual reading and praying the evening Liturgy of Hours. My problem is that I’m always reading magazines and books to discover creative ideas to use with my catechists or the students and I don’t take time out for my own spiritual need. I’m also doing the “3-Minute Retreat.”
Irene, we should all hope that looking for creative catechetical ideas was our worst vice! 🙂
Personally I have been trying to spend more time with my family just being and enjoying their company instead of running from pillar to post constantly.
In the parish I work for I organized a Faith, Food and Film Fridays series so for 6 weeks we are hosting family friendly films with faith themse and serving meatless suppers. The events are free. We are hoping that folks will use the time to refocus on their families. we are also hoping to teach people to look for faith themes in the media that their family enjoys together. Our first night last week was durring school vacation week so we had a small group of 17 or so but we are hoping that word of mouth will grow it. We will see who comes tonight
Always nice to spend more time with family! Good luck with your Faith, Food, and Film Fridays, Maura!