An Umbrella of Mercy

My friend and colleague, Kathy Donnelly, sent this wonderful story along to me. According to Sr. Phyllis Schenk, O.P., the Director of Religious Education at Resurrection Parish in Illiopolis, Illinois, the parish installed an Umbrella of Mercy in the church for the Year of Mercy. Under the umbrella are Loyola Press Beatitude Cards and small wooden plaques. Parishioners are encouraged to take a Beatitude Card home and to write on the plaque a time when they were shown mercy […]

Third Sunday of Lent, Year C

Turning away from sin is a good thing. However, it is possible to turn away from sin and still not know where you are going! Repentance is concerned not primarily with the act of turning away from sin but with turning toward God. When we run toward God, we will turn our backs on sin, but our focus will not be on our sins but on the loving mercy of God that we seek to […]

A Lent of Mercy

My third graders always embrace Lent. I will include all my usual Lenten activities this year, but because this is the Year of Mercy, I will be adding some new activities that will help my students perform works of mercy. The first activity will be a visual reminder of Lent. (My young students are visual learners.) Outside my classroom is a very large wall on which we usually display artwork. I will construct a very […]

The Mercy Rule: How to Teach the Works of Mercy

Are you familiar with the “mercy rule” in sports? The mercy rule states that if one team is ahead by an insurmountable lead, the game ends so as to not drag out the humiliation of the losing team. Since many children play sports, they are familiar with the mercy rule. It can be a great starting place for teaching mercy and the fact that we are called to show God’s compassion to everyone, even our […]

Let Mercy Flow!

Welcome to the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which officially began just a few days ago on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2015! Mercy is a concept that is at the heart of Pope Francis’s papacy and is a much-needed reality in today’s world and in our Church. Here are a few resources to support you in your efforts to observe and celebrate this Year of Mercy with those you teach. Loyola […]

Mercy Opportunities for Fifth Grade Finding God

As I mentioned last month, I will be working with two fifth-grade catechists at St. Cajetan Parish this year to provide a Year of Mercy focus for their students and their parents and families. The catechists are hoping to engage the young people in a work of mercy during every lesson throughout the year. To that end, I have created the following chart which draws from the main theme of each chapter of the fifth grade Finding […]

Start-of-the-Year Parent Gathering—Free PowerPoint Presentation

As you plan for the new catechetical year, schedule a start-of-the-year parent gathering. This is a great opportunity to meet parents and encourage them in their role as their children’s first catechist. To help you, I’m offering a free PowerPoint presentation, complete with suggested script, for hosting a parent gathering. The message it conveys is that faith formation isn’t just another activity; it’s a way of life. Support the domestic church with this encouraging presentation […]

Holy Patrons for the New Year

A few years back, I read about a tradition that St. Faustina had with the sisters of her convent. On New Year’s Day, they would gather to pick a holy patron for the new year. Here is an excerpt from her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul. There is a custom among us of drawing by lot, on New Year’s Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole year. In the morning, during meditation, there […]

Sunday of Divine Mercy—Taking Delight in Others

Recently, during one of my many airport experiences, I observed a young girl, maybe four years old, doing a little dance and calling out to her mother: “Mommy! Look! Mommy! Look at me! Mommy! LOOK!” Like every child, this little girl desperately wanted, not only her mother’s attention, but her mother’s approval and admiration. It’s our job as parents to turn our gaze to our children and to express our delight in them. That’s what […]

Help Spread Pope Francis’ Message of Mercy!

Let’s help spread Pope Francis’s message of mercy by getting 100,000 people to order The Church of Mercy by April 25 so that it qualifies as a bestseller! To make that happen, order a copy (and get as many individuals to do the same) through Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or your local bookseller. Pope Francis has captured the world’s attention with his seemingly counterintuitive approach to leadership. In The Church of Mercy, readers get a first-hand look […]

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