Palm Weaving and Braiding

I’ve always been fascinated with the art of palm weaving and braiding, even though it’s something that I am terrible at! (I included it in my 40 Ideas for 40 Days). During one of the years that I was a parish DRE, I discovered that one of my catechists was an expert palm-weaver and braider. Just like that, we put together the easiest intergenerational event in history. After Mass on Palm Sunday, we invited families to […]

Teaching the Stations of the Cross

Children typically really enjoy Lent. It is a season of the Church when they can set practical goals to give up, give away, and pray more. But sometimes we forget to teach our kids the “why” of Lent. What is it that we are trying to achieve with our Lenten observations? What is the goal of Lent? When I explain Lent to children, I always explain that we are preparing our hearts to meet the […]

40 Fun-Filled Days of Lent

The 40 days of Lent can be a long time for any Catholic. It᾽s even longer for third graders. I’m not one to take any number at face value, so I always ask my class to count the days between Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday. They are shocked to learn that there are actually 44 days! That seems to make Lent even longer. Working with younger students, I always include some fun activities in our […]

A Lenten Family Day

Cyndi from Louisville, KY, shares the following. Great job, Cyndi! Hi Joe Just wanted to share how our Sunday Religious Program has used one of your 40 ideas for Lent. We took the Declaration of Dependence you proposed for the class and expanded it to be for the entire program and all the families. At our Lenten Family Day we baked Pretzels (also one of your ideas) and while the pretzels were baking every person […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days of Lent!

It’s that time once again! The Lenten season is just one month away! To help you with your planning, I’m once again providing my popular 40 Ideas for 40 Days. Let me know which activities you chose to do, how you did them (adding your own twists) and  how things turned out! In addition, here are lots more Lenten resources from Loyola Press. And don’t forget my list of Lenten resources for small faith groups!

Lent Resources for Small Faith Groups

As Lent approaches, many parishes and college campuses look to form small faith groups so that people can share the journey of Lent together. Here are some great resources for small faith groups from Loyola Press that I recommend: Online Lenten Opportunities for Small Groups Arts & Faith: Lent – A visual prayer experience for Lent. Each week provides a video commentary about a work of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures. The Ignatian Workout for Lent: […]

Letting Go of Bad Habits During Lent

During my Webinar last evening, I asked participants to share suggestions of bad habits we can let go of during Lent. What a great list of suggestions! What resonates with you? What might you add? Gossiping­ Lack of patience­ Anger­ ­Being judgmental­ ­Laziness­ ­TV Shows­ ­Negative self talk­ ­Being opinionated ­Spending too much time on Facebook ­Watching too much TV­ ­Spending too much time on the Internet­ ­Negative thinking­ ­Not praying enough­ ­Unkind words to […]

You’ll Never Repent a Lent Well-Spent! Ash Wednesday is Here!

I love that phrase! “You’ll never repent a Lent well-spent!” My wife heard that from one of the Marist brothers she teaches with at Marist HS in Chicago so I couldn’t resist “re-appropriating” it! How true it is: if we make the most of this Lenten season, we’ll not regret it. And now, with Ash Wednesday upon us, we officially enter into the Lenten season, 2013. A great big THANK YOU to all who participated in […]

Lent 2013: Here Are My 40 Ideas for 40 Days!

Just in time for Lent, here are my 40 Ideas for 40 Days! Special thanks to my colleague Linnette Mathys for getting all of these ready for posting! New this year: each activity can now be downloaded as a Blackline Master in PDF form! See the bottom of each activity for a link to download and print these PDFs!   Also, don’t miss my Lenten Webinar, coming up on Tuesday, February 12, 2013. Click on […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Overcoming Impulses

Sin is often the result of acting on an impulse – like a reflex action that we do without thinking. During Lent, we strive to pay closer attention to how we act so that we can learn to discipline our impulses and not act reflexively. Materials needed: several cotton balls or rolled up paper towels, a transparent barrier (a wire screen, a piece of clear plastic, etc.), a heavy book and a table top.  Say, […]

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