Chronic Hope

As we head into this weekend and prepare to celebrate the 5th Sunday of Lent, I wanted to share a message of hope with you. It comes from a blog called Chronic Hope and I found it very inspiring. I’ll let the author of the blog speak for herself. Check it out and have a great weekend!  Chronic Hope

The Seven Last Words of Christ – A Blackline Master

One of the activities in my 40 Ideas for 40 Days of Lent, 2011, is an exercise on the Seven Last Words of Christ. Since I am once again only going to have about half of my students present this Monday (because of Living Stations rehearsals), I thought it would be nice to have them work on a Lenten activity related to the suffering and death of Jesus that is portrayed in the Living Stations. […]

It’s Time for the Living Stations Again!

Each year, during Lent, the parish school of religion puts on 2 Living Stations of the Cross – one by the 4th graders and one by the 8th graders. Since I’m teaching 4th grade this year, it once again means that many of my students will be involved (in fact, my aide’s son will play the role of Jesus!). Our DRE, Arlene, handles all of the preparations and rehearsals and the rehearsals begin this Monday. What […]

When the Snow Melts Away…a Lenten Thought

Here in Chicago, we had a blizzard in February that dumped 20 inches of snow. Most of it is gone now, melting in the ever-so-slowly rising temperatures. Occasionally, however, one comes across the vestiges of a huge mountain of snow left behind by the snow plows. Underneath all of that snow, what do we find? Lots of MUCK! (see pic below) It soon becomes apparent that it’s time for spring cleaning! It seems to me […]

A Lenten Prayer Service

This past Monday, we gathered with the children in church for a Lenten Prayer Service (about 30 minutes) with the pastor. I thought the service was very nicely prepared and executed. As we waited to begin, one of the 2nd grade catechists got up and asked all the 2nd grade children to stand and sing “This Little Light of Mine” which was an appropriate pre-processional and served to gather hearts, minds, and voices. I saw some […]

A Guided Reflection on Praying, Fasting, and Almsgiving

Tonight, we begin in church with a Lenten prayer service that should be about 30 minutes. With all the coming and going between the church and school buildings, I should have about 35 minutes left with my kids. Since I haven’t been able to do a guided reflection with them for a few weeks, I thought I would go right into that when we get back to the classroom. Here’s the script that I put […]

More About Pretzels

In my 40 Ideas for 40 Days of Lent calendar, Monday, March 14 is an activity titled “What’s with the Pretzels?” which goes into the meaning of the pretzel as a traditional lenten food. I received an email from a 6th grade catechist named Marie who had quite a bit to say about the topic. Thanks, Marie! Enjoy! Joe, I’ve been on your mail list for about three months and have enjoyed the information and […]

Get Back…Before it’s Too Late!

Back in 1970, the Beatles issued one of their last hits: “Get Back.” The song represented the Beatles’ efforts to get back to their rock and roll roots (“Get back. Get back. Get back to where you once belonged”). They had spent the last few years in the studio crafting some incredible music (Sgt. Pepper, in particular) that saw them venturing into complex arrangements and layers of sounds. With the group now experiencing tension and […]

What’s That on Your Forehead? – My Popular Ash Wednesday Post

Here’s a popular Ash Wednesday post of mine called, “What’s that on Your Forehead?”   Q:  Hey, your forehead’s dirty. What’s that on your forehead? A:  Ashes…they’re from church. Q:  Why did your church put dirt on your forehead? A:  It’s not dirt; they’re ashes. Today’s Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Catholics wear ashes to show that we want to change to get ready for Easter. Q:  Are they supposed to be in […]

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