Lent with the Saints, Part 1: Praying with St. Patrick

In the first of three articles on the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, we learn from St. Patrick how to make Lent a special season of prayer. In the weeks leading up to Lent, I am reminded to tell the young people in my class about Lent. I have to tell them when Ash Wednesday services at my parish are. I am required to inform them of the Lenten regulations. I need to […]

New Projects for Lent

This is my 13th year of teaching Lent to third graders, and I’m in need of some fresh new projects and activities for my students. While I will still use my usual activities—they will still be new to this group of third graders—I have realized that adding new activities and projects helps keep me engaged and challenged. This year I will include my usual Ash Wednesday video that shows photos of our foreheads after receiving […]

The Vocabulary of Lent

As we look to observe Lent with our students, I am thinking about the language of Lent and how to ensure that my seventh-graders know the Church’s vocabulary related to the season. I shared a post on the Vocabulary of Christmas two months ago, and many of the techniques for helping children understand key terms could apply here as well. But one of the advantages of Lent, from a catechetical perspective, is that it is […]

Five Ways to Follow Jesus During Lent

During Lent, we fast from many things liturgically: there is no Gloria or Alleluia during Mass, and the worship space is empty of flowers. The music is simpler too. Gone is the joyful praise that we engage in most other times of the year. These absences are a backdrop that reveals the growing intensity of the narrative of Jesus, who is entering the final stages of his earthly ministry. Lent is a serious time of preparation for […]

Praying with the Stations of the Cross—With Free Station to Station Questions for Reflection and Discussion

This article is by Gary Jansen, author of Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross. On Good Friday, 1991, Pope John Paul II introduced an alternative way to pray the Stations of the Cross. Foregoing some of the traditional scenes that are not found in the Bible (e.g., Veronica wipes the face of Jesus), this new approach to the centuries-old devotion allowed believers to engage in the mysteries of Christ’s […]

Living Lent Daily and Other Lent Resources from Loyola Press

Lent, which is right around the corner, is a time when we appreciate good resources that can help us and others pay closer attention to our spiritual lives, and there is no better place to turn to than Loyola Press. As always, Loyola Press is ready to assist you in guiding others through the season of Lent, while offering features for your own spiritual enrichment. First and foremost, we are excited to walk with you through Living […]

The Four Keys to Lent

Lent is just around the corner and preparing others to enter into the spirit of this season means that we often neglect our own Lenten journey. We rush into Ash Wednesday with some ideas for Lenten resolutions (similar to last year’s practices and the ones before that) and find ourselves busier than ever. Easter comes with a flurry of activity, often leaving us feeling more tired than ever. Instead of feeling uplifted and renewed, we […]

Looking Ahead to Lent

We’ve got Lent coming up soon, so that means it’s a great time to revitalize both yourself and your approach to your catechetical program. Using the Lenten practices of almsgiving, fasting, and prayer, explore how you can keep up your energy and effort as we continue winter sessions. Almsgiving Any practicing Catholic has heard repeatedly about the importance of donating time, talent, and treasure to the Church. As you gear up for Lent, take a […]

Helping Families Celebrate Lent

The Lenten devotionals started arriving in my mailbox before Advent was over. We keep a box in the office. On one side it says “Lent/Easter,” on the other, “Advent/ Christmas.” The box fills quickly. Churchy people like me delight in the selection and struggle to make just the right choice for helping families celebrate Lent with this year’s meditation and prayer. We think everyone should be as excited about this season as we are. We […]

Explaining Ash Wednesday to Children

Ash Wednesday is popular with children because ashes are such a tangible symbol. People of all ages love when the spiritual is made physical, when they can touch and feel something real. The Church gives us sacramentals such as blessed ashes, palms, rosaries, and candles to help us open up to God’s grace. Explaining the meaning behind the ashes is important for children to understand why they are walking around with dirt on their foreheads. […]

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