Teaching the Corporal Works of Mercy

Even though I have a lot of topics to cover in preparing second graders to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, I always make it a point to introduce the corporal works of mercy to my students. I start by reading Matthew 25:31–46, and together we list the actions listed in these Gospel verses. I then ask the children to answer the question, “What are ways you share God’s peace?” I point […]

Does Your Parish Have a Director of the Corporal Works of Mercy?

Recently, as I was searching for a video on the Corporal Works of Mercy, the following caught my eye. It is from St. Michael’s Church in Poway, CA, and features the pastor, Fr. John Dolan, introducing how the parish practices the Corporal Works of Mercy. Within the first few minutes of the video, we also meet Bridget Beas, who is the parish Director of the Corporal Works of Mercy. First, I think it is fantastic that […]

Ways for Children to Engage in Works of Mercy

I don’t think we can ever get enough ideas for how to engage children in Works of Mercy. This is something I have blogged about before and have provided resources to assist catechists in this endeavor. Now, the Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) has put together a very nice PDF of ideas to engage children in Works of Mercy. Go here and select the Works of Mercy for Kids option. Founded in 1843, the Missionary Childhood Association (formerly Holy Childhood […]

Mercy Passport: Don’t Leave Home Without It!

As we celebrate Independence Day, I am conscious of the fact that many people are taking advantage of the summer months to get away. And, if your destination includes traveling abroad, you need to have your passport with you. Well, here’s another kind of passport to take with you as you move about this summer: a Mercy Passport! The Archdiocese of Louisville, KY, has created and made available a Mercy Passport to encourage people to become intentionally conscious […]

Five Ideas for Including the Year of Mercy in the Classroom

After my first year working as the Director of Faith Formation, I realized that I had spent very little time focusing on Christian service with my students. Though service has been a great influence on my own faith, with our calendar already packed with so much curriculum to cover, service seemed like something extra—something nice to have if we could find the time. The Year of Mercy, however, offers catechists a unique opportunity to be […]

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 […]

First Mercy Project: Care Packages for the Homeless

This past Tuesday, the fifth graders in St. Cajetan’s RE program assembled care packages of personal hygiene items for the homeless. This took place as part of a unique partnership between the fifth-grade class and the Action for Others campaign at Loyola Press. Employees at LP were invited, over the past two weeks, to purchase and donate personal hygiene items or cash toward the project. I delivered the items to the parish and assisted the catechists and […]

Creating People for Others Partnerships

Last Friday, I posted about creating mercy opportunities for fifth graders, tied in with the doctrine being taught in each chapter of the Finding God fifth-grade book. Several of the suggestions made mention of partnering with Loyola Press’s “People for Others” campaign. Here’s some background and a proposal. Being a “person for others” is a very important Ignatian principle and is something that we strive to practice here at Loyola Press. Throughout the year, we provide […]

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 […]

Bringing the Year of Mercy to Fifth Graders and Their Parents

As I’m sure you know by now, Pope Francis has declared an extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which will begin December 8, 2015, and last until November 20, 2016, the Feast of Christ the King. As I’ve described here before, mercy can be understood as treating people like they are one of the family. With that in mind, I am happy to announce that I will be working with two outstanding catechists at St. Cajetan Parish […]

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