In his book, Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross, author Gary Jansen tells the story of a noted psychologist who asked an audience, “If I squeeze an orange, what comes out?” After a hesitation, one person shouted out, “Orange juice!” The psychologist responded, “Orange juice. Yes. Why?” Again, after a hesitation, one person answered, “Because that’s what’s inside the orange.” The psychologist affirmed that and said, “We could say […]
Ground your students’ observance of Lent in Scripture and prayer with the help of our Lent Activities Pack. The sheets in the pack include: Personal Prayer Survey Bookmarks for Lent Jesus in the Desert Observing Lent—a perfect take-home sheet to do with family By combining these activity sheets with the seasonal lessons found in Christ Our Life or Finding God, your faith formation group can better understand what Catholics do and pray during Lent. Fill […]
There are many opportunities to engage children during the season of Lent. I like to use this season to encourage the children in my class to develop a new prayer habit, especially a habit that they can bring home to their families. Last year my class used Lenten prayer sticks, which were very popular. I wondered why, and it dawned on me that having something tangible made prayer time hard to ignore. Parents could more […]
Receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday is often misunderstood as simply a reminder of our mortality: “We’re all gonna die!” What a depressing message! And yet, the words we hear at Mass on Ash Wednesday remind us that being marked with ashes will help us to “celebrate” the Paschal Mystery. To celebrate is to express joy. What is so joyful about getting dust smeared on our foreheads? We need to remember that all symbolic acts invoke […]
Provide children with the language to explain why they wear ashes on Ash Wednesday. The brief video below illustrates an imagined dialogue between two students that can be a model for children and a classroom discussion starter. Read the post that inspired this video: “What’s That on Your Forehead?”—Helping Kids Explain Ash Wednesday. And see more Lenten resources for catechists here.
Editor’s Note: With Ash Wednesday fast approaching, today we highlight one of the activities from our popular 40 Ideas for 40 Days feature. While organized according to the 2019 calendar, the activities aren’t limited to just one day of Lent. Check out 40 Ideas for 40 Days here. Today’s Lenten activity is an opportunity for catechists to reach those young people who are more musically inclined, tapping into the musical/rhythmic intelligence of some of your students. […]
Spend Lent with the saints this year, with the aid of our downloadable handout featuring 40 holy men and women. Let their lives inspire you to courage, service, surrender, and fidelity. They will help you, as you journey with your family and faith community, to grow with them in faith, hope, and love. The saints are divided into four groups: those who changed Church or society; strong women; martyrs; and little-known holy ones. Through the […]
It’s time that we got past the idea of Lent as simply a season of “giving things up.” While that is a part of Lent, if it stops there, it is like someone joining a 12-step group and thinking that achieving abstinence from the addictive behavior is to be equated with sobriety. Abstinence from the addictive behavior is only the first step in what must be a holistic plan for recovery that addresses behaviors, emotions, and […]
The Feast of the Epiphany contains many messages and images relevant to catechists. Get an overview of the commonalities between the Magi and catechists by watching the below video. Read the post that inspired this video: Leading Others to Epiphany.
Catholic identity is characterized by five traits that are integral to the Christmas story, and Christmas can help us to strengthen our Catholic identity. Learn more in the video below. Read the post that inspired this video: Christmas and Catholic Identity.