40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Justification – Being Aligned with God

Lent is a time to make sure that we are in a healthy alignment with God. Provide each participant with a fistful of Cheerios and a straight edge/ruler or popsicle stick Invite them to “spill” the Cheerios on their desk/table top in front of them. Show them the following image (either copy and paste into a handout or project it) and tell them to use their straight edge to arrange their Cheerios so that they […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: A Sense of Direction

Ask all of your students to stand up and, on the count of three, to point north. Inevitably, there is some confusion…not all have their bearings! Explain that we can rely on a compass to help us get a sense of direction. Make a simple home-made compass. You will need a magnet, a sewing needle, a shallow aluminum baking pan filled with water, and a small piece of Styrofoam (2 in. x 2 in.) Hold […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days: A Declaration of DEpendence

Lent is a time for us to declare our independence from sins that have been impinging on our freedom and to declare our DEpendence on God! Prepare your own “parchment” to use as a Declaration of DEpendence. Here is a picture of one I prepared next to a replica of the real thing.  Any sheet of white newsprint will do. The thinner the paper, the better. I like to use a sheet from an easel […]

Lent: A 40-Day Retreat/Learning to Throw a Change-up

The beginning of Lent often coincides with the beginning of spring training and the reporting of pitchers and catchers, so I can’t help but dip into my bag of sports metaphors to talk about Lent. Lent is nothing more than a 40-day retreat and a retreat is basically an opportunity to step back from ordinary activities to connect with God in a special way. It’s the spiritual equivalent of throwing a change-up. For those of […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Last Supper Craft

This activity is called Last Supper Craft and comes to us from a Web site called Catholic Icing. It is ideal preparation for Holy Thursday and is based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper Painting. The nice thing is that Lacy, the host of the Web site, is kind enough to share her printables which make this craft possible. She has a nice tutorial that leads you step by step through creating this simple work […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Good Deeds Bracelets for Lent

This activity is called Good Deeds Bracelets for Lent and it comes to us from Arma Dei. They describe it this way: Inspired by St. Therese, this bracelet works similar to other good deed bead bracelets, as the beads slide and stay in place, recording each good deed, extra prayer (foregone opportunity to complain) or sacrifice. Arma Dei sells a craft kit that contains everything you need to create these bracelets. Be sure to take […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Salt Dough Crown of Thorns

Today’s activity – a Salt Dough Crown of Thorns – can be found in many places on the Internet, I am drawing from a  couple of Web sites: Ten Kids and a Dog and Three Sided Wheel (which has an excellent tutorial) Basically, you make a salt dough and then roll out the dough into 3 long rolls/ropes. Next, you braid the rolls/ropes and shape it into a circle. Add toothpicks (loosely) to represent the thorns, asking forgiveness […]

It’s Not Too Early to Start Thinking LENT!

Believe it or not, LENT is only 4 weeks away! With that in mind, I’m happy to once again provide you with a number of Lenten resources right here on my blog, beginning with the popular 40 Crosses Lenten Calendar idea created by my friend Victor Valdez, a DRE in Mountain View, CA. Thank you, Victor, for sharing this idea with us. With help from some folks here at Loyola Press, we’ve updated the calendar for […]

“Wailing Wall” Activity

This great idea came to me from a catechist by the name of Connie…thanks Connie! Hi Joe, Thanks for the Lenten calendar–I’m always looking for something new! Here’s something I did last night with my sixth graders, who are studying the Old Testament. We made our own Wailing Wall–which we will use throughout Lent. Before class, I drew outlines of the bricks/stones in black marker on a piece of butcher paper. When the kids came in, […]

40/40 – Lenten Activities: A Holy Week Gift Box

Throughout Lent, a number of catechists weighed in with contributions of their own. I’m pleased to share the following activity with you from a catechist named Greg in my home state of Illinois! Thanks, Greg! A Holy Week Gift Box Hi Joe, I teach my last class before Easter this week on Palm Sunday afternoon (to my 7th graders). I would love to leave each of my students with something as both a “gift” and […]

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