Pop-Up Catechesis: Pentecost and Our Need for an Advocate

Some years ago, when I was serving as a catechist for an eighth-grade faith formation group, I was blessed to have an outstanding catechist aide. Let’s call her Mrs. Kelly. As it turns out, Mrs. Kelly was a nurse at nearby Advocate Christ Hospital. When it came time for us to teach about the coming of the Holy Spirit—our Advocate—on Pentecost, I asked Mrs. Kelly to describe her work as a nurse in pediatrics and how she […]

The Glorious Mysteries: The Coming of the Holy Spirit

We reflect this Easter season on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. Imagine telling all your family and friends that the only thing you wanted for Christmas was a particular gift. You drop hints in every conversation to make sure that someone will get this perfect gift for you. When Christmas morning arrives, you race to the Christmas tree and dig through all the presents until you find that perfectly shaped box. You tear open […]

From the High of Pentecost to the Reality

In the First Letter of Peter to the Christian communities of Asia Minor, we learn that the communities appear to be struggling, and the writer makes frequent exhortations to remain faithful in belief and conduct to the teachings handed down to them. He reminds them of their hope in the saving grace of Baptism, salvation through faith in the Passion and Death of Jesus, and the promise of enduring love and eternal life. Christians in […]

Pentecost in the Classroom

Pentecost is often overlooked in my third-grade classroom. Because Pentecost falls on the seventh Sunday after Easter, the school year is usually over by the time we celebrate it. Still, I was determined to celebrate it with my third graders. After reading Kathleen Butler’s article on using art in the classroom, I decided to collect artwork related to Pentecost and show it to my students. I am fortunate to have a large interactive whiteboard in […]

Pentecost Activities

On Pentecost we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles; this event marks the beginning of the Church. Bring the celebration of Pentecost to your faith formation group with our Pentecost Activities Packet. The packet includes a prayer service, a Holy Spirit crossword puzzle, and a family handout inviting parents to share the message of Pentecost with their children. Combine using the packet with reading the story of Pentecost, found in the […]

The Fire and the Light

We are in the last week of Easter, which culminates in Pentecost. On the first Pentecost, the Holy Spirit “fell upon” the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, and at that point the community of faith became home to God, each person a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. There was the “speaking in tongues,” with the Apostles proclaiming the story and work of Jesus in the languages of all people-groups present in Jerusalem at the […]

A Popular Pentecost Idea

With Pentecost being about a month away (May 15, 2016), I thought it would be a good idea to remind you of an idea I proposed last year: Discipleship Pledge Cards for Pentecost. This idea flows from my most recent book, A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion. Here’s a snippet from the post from last year: What we need is a strategy for getting people to take the […]

Four Ideas for Celebrating Pentecost

Pentecost has long been one of my favorite feasts in the liturgical year. Who doesn’t love a story with fire, wind, speaking in tongues, and a bold proclamation of the Gospel? Unfortunately, though, by the time Pentecost rolls around in the calendar, many of our religious education programs have ended and our creative energy switches off into summer mode. Why not instead use this exciting feast as a way to end the faith formation year […]

Eight Ways to Teach Ascension and Pentecost

Ascension and Pentecost—the two great feasts that signal the end of the Easter season—often occur at the end of the school year. They may even occur after religious education programs have ended. We can easily forget about them. But understanding Ascension and Pentecost is essential if our young people are going to grow into what Pope Francis has called a Church of “missionary disciples.” Jesus gave us a mission to “Go into all the world and […]

Pentecost Fire Drill

In one of my first years teaching, I was introducing the story of Pentecost to my group of fourth graders. The book had an illustration of the Feast of Pentecost, with the disciples gathered in a room, tongues of fire over each of their heads. They were facing an open door with looks of shock on their faces. One of the fourth graders asked if this was a picture of the first recorded fire drill. […]

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