40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: An Examination of Conscience

Today’s Lenten activity  is an opportunity for catechists to help prepare young people to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Lent, of course, is a season of repentance. For Catholics, the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is an intimate encounter with the Lord’s mercy and forgiving grace. A good confession should always be preceded by an examination of conscience. An Examination of Conscience Fill a glass bowl or a tall drinking glass halfway with […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: HCA Mission Stations of the Cross

This Lenten activity is an opportunity for catechists to combine prayer and almsgiving and to help those they teach to develop an appreciation for the Missions, specifically through the Holy Childhood Association (children helping children). UPDATE: This resource is no longer available from HCA, now Missionary Childhood Association. Founded in 1843, the Holy Childhood Association is an international organization whose membership is made up of students in Catholic elementary schools and religious education programs; it is […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: The Scrutinies

This Lenten activity focuses on the celebration of the rites called the Scrutinies which are celebrated with the catechumens (those to be baptized on Holy Saturday, now referred to as the Elect) on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent. To scrutinize means to examine something very closely. When we celebrate the Scrutinies at Mass, we are not scrutinizing the Elect. Rather, they are scrutinizing their own lives before God and we are called […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: The Desert Experience

Today’s Lenten activity  is an opportunity for catechists to explore with children the lenten image of the desert. We all know that the image of the desert plays a very important role in Scripture, especially the desert experience of the people of Israel (40 years of wandering) and the temptations of Jesus in the desert. The desert has long been a very important Lenten image. Unfortunately, too often only the negative aspects of the desert […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days—Lenten Activities: Silence Is Golden (In Honor of St. Joseph)

March 19 is the Feast of Saint Joseph, and he serves as the inspiration for our next Lenten activity. One aspect of St. Joseph’s life is especially fitting for Lent, and that is his quiet nature. The Gospels reveal Joseph as a man of few words and he is revered for his “silence”—his quiet dedication to his family and to hard work. Here’s what Pope Benedict XVI said about Joseph back in 2005: The silence of Saint Joseph […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: What Lenten Hymns Teach

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. What Lenten Hymns Teach Ask the young people to identify some of their favorite songs that they keep on their smartphone or other digital player. Explain that some songs and collections are labeled with warnings that the content is “explicit.” Tell the young people that, for better or […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days—Lenten Activities: Looking for Clues

This Lenten activity is called Looking for Clues and is an opportunity for catechists to help children become more familiar with the Passion story. Looking for Clues Gather pictures of the following items from the Passion according to Mark (14:1—15:47). a jar (bottle of perfume) (14:3) water jar (14:13) a dish(14:20) bread (14:22) cup (14:23) olive tree (14:26) swords and clubs (14:43) sword (14:47) a fire (14:54) blindfold (14:65) rooster (14:68) rope (they bound him) (15:1) whip (scourging) (15:15) purple robe (15:17) crown of thorns (15:17) a […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Jesus in the Garden

This Lenten activity is actually a Blackline Master from the Finding God grade 6 Catechist Guide. Jesus in the Garden This Blackline Master provides illustrations of the scene of the Agony in the Garden and invites young people to create a garden scene by coloring the illustrations, cutting them out, and arranging them (gluing them into place) on dark blue construction paper. Click on the following link to access the Blackline Master. Finding God in […]

40/40 – Lenten Activities: "Magic" Cross

We are providing 40 activities in 40 days for catechists to use with their learners. This activity comes to us from a Web site titled Sundayschoolkids.com. “Magic” Cross Here’s how this activity is introduced/described: This is a simple and amazing way to make a cross that I learned when I was a child. There’s a grown-up version of this too, but it is omitted here. Most children will want to make many and show their […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days – Lenten Activities: Stations of the Cross Tableaus

On we go to our next Lenten activity! Stations of the Cross Tableaus Many of us catechists do not have the time or resources to “produce” an entire Living Stations of the Cross. This idea – Stations of the Cross Tableaus – is designed for those of us with very limited time and resources. Instead of organizing an entire production, organize the young people intro groups and have them prepare “tableaus” (a representation of a scene – […]

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