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 […]

Works of Mercy Prayers and Activities—Free Resource Packet

Mercy is a virtue that influences a person’s compassion for another. Mercy inspires the will to ease another’s misfortunes or suffering in either body or soul. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy are charitable actions that extend God’s compassion and mercy to those in need. However, the works of mercy are more than gestures or obligations. To gain merit in heaven, the actions must be performed as acts of love for our neighbor as […]

Corporal Works of Mercy Movie Trailers

Growing up my family made the corporal works of mercy a common practice. When my siblings and I participated in a food drive at school, my mom would remind us that we were feeding the hungry. When I would gather my too-small clothes to donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, I was clothing the naked. Even as an adult my parents would remind me that they were still practicing the corporal works of […]

There’s No Way Around the Cross

In this Sunday’s Gospel (the Fifth Sunday of Lent, John 12:20–33), Jesus predicts his death. But the point of this story is not to impress us with the accuracy of Jesus’ predictions. Rather, Jesus is making it quite clear that this is the way things have to happen, not only for him, but for us as well; there is no shortcut around the cross. In order to gain our lives, we must lose them. Jesus […]

Promoting Catholic Identity, Part 3: A Respect for Human Life

This is the third article in a series on the five characteristics of Catholic identity and how we can nurture those in our children. We teach children to love and serve others, but do we ever explain why? Service is not just something nice to do; it is an important piece of our Catholic identity. We believe that every human life is sacred because each person is created and loved by God. Therefore we are […]

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