Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: A Pentecost Celebration

Pentecost procession
Children carry sacred objects and wave red ribbon sticks in procession to the prayer table.

We wrapped up the year of family catechesis at St. Barnabas with a wonderful Pentecost celebration that included a delicious catered hot breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, and hash browns.

After breakfast, we invited the children to join in a Pentecost procession led by Deacon Andy. To the sounds of Marty Haugen’s “Lord, Send Out Your Spirit/Psalm 104,” the children carried the sacred objects for the prayer table as they waved red ribbon wands to symbolize the fire of the Holy Spirit.

prayer table setup
Deacon Andy receives the sacred objects from the children to place on the prayer table as Joe and the parents look on.

Following a short liturgical prayer, I led the families in a guided reflection based on one that I wrote several years ago for catechists. I simply changed the focus to have each individual talk to Jesus in imagination about this past year in family faith formation.

After the guided reflection, I said my thanks and farewells and was surprised to receive some thank-you gifts from the pastor, Fr. Donovan, and the catechetical leader, Patrick McGowan.

Joe was presented with a thank you card, a sacred icon of St. Barnabas, and a St. Barnabas 100th anniversary cap.

Patrick then took over and led the families in some Pentecost activities, courtesy of a download from my blog, Catechist’s Journey.

It was a wonderful way to wrap up the year and to bring closure to my experience of leading family catechesis with the parents and families of St. Barnabas Parish!

P.S. At Mass, I noticed a few children waving their red ribbon wands joyfully during the hymns and sung Mass parts! Hmm, could this be the start of a tradition?

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

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