Pentecost Activities

On Pentecost we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles; this event marks the beginning of the Church. Bring the celebration of Pentecost to your faith formation group with our Pentecost Activities Packet. The packet includes a prayer service, a Holy Spirit crossword puzzle, and a family handout inviting parents to share the message of Pentecost with their children. Combine using the packet with reading the story of Pentecost, found in the […]

Taking the Lessons of Lent into the Easter Season

Throughout Lent we took time to reflect on how we can grow closer to God through prayer, acts of service, and reflecting on the life of Christ. How do we apply the lessons learned and the experiences witnessed during Lent and Holy Week? While Lent and Holy Week help us be reflective and penitential, we can examine our consciences and celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation throughout the year. The more we celebrate the Sacrament of […]

Easter Completes the Narrative of the Three “R’s”—Rescue, Restoration, and Reassurance

Happy Easter! It is so appropriate that we take 50 days to celebrate this glorious feast, since it is the culmination of our narrative—the story that guides and gives form, shape, and direction to our lives. Easter is an “alternative ending” to a story that appears to be hopelessly and wildly progressing toward a tragic ending. The Christian narrative is the ultimate “director’s cut,” since it represents how God intends the story to “end.” In […]

Venerating the Cross Beyond Good Friday

One of the most profound and reverent moments of the Triduum is the Veneration (Adoration) of the Cross that takes place on Good Friday during the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord. In this ritual, all in the assembly are invited to come forward to reverence the cross, usually by genuflecting or bowing and kissing or touching the cross. Why do we reverence or adore an instrument of death? Because, for us, it is a symbol […]

Holy Week: Entering the Passion Story

As we journey through this holiest of weeks, and especially the Triduum, I invite you to reflect and respond to one or both of the following questions: Which character(s) in the Passion story do you find most intriguing (whether they are inspiring or tragic) and why? If you could paint a picture or create a sculpture of one moment in the story of Christ’s Passion, what would it be and why? I invite you to […]

Story, Art, and Prayer in Holy Week

Holy Week presents a perfect opportunity for catechists to change what might be the usual format for the session and create a retreat-like atmosphere to explore themes from this climax of the liturgical year. I do that in my seventh-grade classroom by focusing on several prayer experiences and activities aimed at helping the young people grasp the story of Jesus’ Passion and Death. I’ve written before about Preparing for Holy Week in Junior High, but […]

Living the Triduum and the Easter Season

The high point of the liturgical year starts with the Triduum and continues throughout the 50 days of the Easter season. We can use this time to reflect on how we live the Paschal Mystery. Here are some ideas to incorporate the Triduum and the Easter season into everyday life. Make the Triduum count. Be present in the liturgical celebrations of the Triduum, from sundown on Holy Thursday until sundown on Easter Sunday. Holy Week […]

Easter Season with the First Disciples

Spend Easter season sharing the joy of the first disciples by downloading the free reflection booklet by Bob Burnham. Reflect on scenes from the lives of: St. Mary Magdalene St. Peter Cleopas on the road to Emmaus St. Thomas St. Stephen St. Paul. As they encountered Jesus in the days and weeks after the Resurrection, we are called to share the Good News in our day and age. Ponder the stories of these early disciples, […]

Six Ways to Keep the Message of Lent a Focal Point All Season

How can we catechists keep the message of Lent a focal point in our classes for six weeks? Beyond keeping a purple cloth on the prayer table, here are a few ideas for keeping Lenten themes the focus of every session for the entire season. Challenge young people to silence. I started this last year with my seventh graders. At first they had a hard time settling themselves for a few moments of complete silence […]

Lent: So What’s Up with the Number 40?

“These forty days of Lent, O Lord, to you we fast and pray…”  We all know that Lent has 40 days, but it may cause us to wonder about the significance of the number 40. Did you know that the number 40 appears in the Bible nearly 200 times? What’s up with that? In the Bible, the number 40 is symbolic and represents a significant period of time during which an individual’s faith is tested. What is […]

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