Spy Wednesday

On Monday night, I was telling my class about the Triduum and one of the boys asked, “what are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday called?” in light of the fact that we have Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. I told him that those 3 days don’t really have a name other than being part of Holy Week. I forgot that Wednesday of Holy Week is known as Spy Wednesday! As a kid, […]

Passport to the Holy Land

Holy Week is a time in which we figuratively transport ourselves over time and space to the Holy Land to walk with Jesus on the road to Calvary. One Director of Religious Education, Victor Valdez, invites parishioners to walk this journey in a creative and unique way by having the children of the religious education program reconstruct a miniature Holy Land on the Parish Green! The site includes displays of the areas of Nazareth, Bethlehem, […]

Lent: 40 Ideas for 40 Days!

Last year, during Lent, I offered 40 ideas in 40 days – 40 creative ways to engage those you teach in the mystery of the Lenten season. This year, I am happy to provide all 40 of those ideas in one convenient list with links to each of their descriptions! Enjoy and please share with me (us) how you’re using these ideas and any variations or ideas of your own that you’ve come up with!!! […]

Easter Blessings!

I wish you a very Blessed Easter season!!! May the grace of the Risen Lord be with you always! Experiencing the Triduum was a blessing as always. Holy Thursday and Good Friday were at St. Julie Billiart parish in Tinley Park and the Easter Vigil was at St. Clement in Chicago. All were celebrated with great reverence, style, and grace, and the the richness of the sacramentality of these days filled all of my senses. […]

I Wish You A Blessed Holy Week

The other day, I drove past a Protestant church whose marquee read “He is Risen!” I joked with my wife that “they’re a week early!” And yet, of course, we know that Jesus is Risen. As we proceed through this Holy Week, we reflect on the suffering and death of Jesus through the lens of the Resurrection. We don’t pretend this week that we don’t know how the story ends. Good Friday is not a wake service for […]

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 […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days: Resurrection Eggs

Today’s Lenten activity comes from an eighth-grade catechist in Ohio who just loves her kids and wanted to share something she does with them during Holy Week. She calls them “Resurrection Eggs,” but they could easily be referred to as “Holy Week Eggs” or “Passion Eggs,” since they help children to recognize various elements of the Passion reading. Resurrection Eggs I found some “Resurrection Eggs.” They are plastic eggs that have a symbol of the Passion, Death, […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Holy Week Basket

This Lenten activity is an opportunity for catechists to connect Holy Week and the end of Lent to the celebration of Easter. Holy Week Basket We are all familiar with Easter Baskets. This activity takes the Easter Basket and transforms it into a Holy Week Basket in preparation for the celebration of Easter. Place a traditional Easter Basket (filled with that fake green grass!) in the center of the room. In the basket, place a number […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Scenes From Holy Week

Onto our next Lenten activity – Scenes from Holy Week – an opportunity for catechists to help their young people to focus on some of the dramatic events in the life of Jesus that take place during Holy Week. Scenes from Holy Week This activity is based on a Blackline Master from the Finding God program, Grade 5. Invite the young people to imagine that they have been invited to draw the cover for the parish bulletin […]

40/40 – Lenten Activities: Unjust Punishment

This Lenten activity is most appropriate for Holy Week and comes from the grade 5 Finding God catechist guide. Unjust Punishment During the Triduum, we recall that Jesus was falsely arrested, accused, and unjustly convicted and executed. Today there are people in various parts of the world who suffer similar injustice. An organization called Amnesty International (AI) works to promote internationally recognized human rights. AI also regularly produces case studies that have been specifically designed for young […]

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