Lesson Notes: Lenten Activities

Posted February 10, 2016 by Sue Klejeski
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Lenten Activities

Even though this is listed last on the lesson sidebar, it’s probably the one you should get to first.  Possibly today.

Like all of our seasonal Activity Packets, the goal is probably not to do everything but to dive in and do something.   No doubt, you already have family traditions to help you better celebrate Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, but it’s our hope that you’ll find some new traditions here that will help you grow in holiness and keep your focus on Christ!

In this one, you’ll find two calendar options, Bury the Alleluia (a Family Formation favorite!), instructions to build a setting for lots of Lenten and Easter imaginative play (well worth the time – especially if your kids are little), and a brand new version of the Stations of the Cross for Families.

The Stations book features lots of beautiful illustrations by our own Sr. M. Faustina Kenney (Church of St. Paul veterans may remember her better as Emilie Kenney).  The booklet is also in Spanish and English and it’s designed to be very family friendly with short meditations.  We suggest you start by lighting 14 candles and have one of your willing helpers extinguish one after you read each station.  By the end, you will all have a perfect illustration of what happened at the crucifixion of Christ, when the Light did indeed leave the world.

The Significance of Ash Wednesday

Posted February 10, 2016 by Sue Klejeski
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Decorating for Lent

Posted February 9, 2016 by Sue Klejeski
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REPENTThis one is in the Family Formation office, but it can also work across a mantle or above your prayer table at home.  You can find the printable file just below.  It’s a combination of these two fonts and an overlay that I found on the ‘net but have since lost track of.  The back layer is just burlap.

Printable Repent banner download here.

Lenten Opportunities for Evangelization

Posted February 9, 2016 by Sue Klejeski
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lent-2016-270x200-montage

During Lent, when your friends or co-workers express curiosity about Catholic customs and symbolism, use those moments as opportunities to evangelize!  Follow this link to the USCCB’s site to get great answers to six common questions Catholics hear during Lent.

  1. What’s with that dirt on your head?
  2. So why aren’t you eating pepperoni pizza on Friday?
  3. So why exactly are you not eating candy for the next month?
  4. I don’t get it — All you do is give up candy?
  5. Why are you carrying around tree branches?
  6. So, why can’t you go to the baseball opener on Friday?

February Memory Verses

Posted February 7, 2016 by Sue Klejeski
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memory verseHere’s your monthly reminder to find this month’s memory verses set to music by clicking the “Memory Verses” link on the sidebar (right side, under the “Pages” list).  It’s a simple download that you can access from any computer, phone, tablet, etc.

Why do I need to confess my sins to a priest?

Posted February 7, 2016 by Sue Klejeski
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More Outside-the-Box ideas for Lent

Posted February 5, 2016 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Sue's Suggestions

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outside the box
1The first idea started at a group discussion with a bunch of DREs and was just confirmed by reading this list.  We all know that there are huge benefits to having a family meal.  It really doesn’t matter so much what you serve as how it happens:

  • together,
  • at a table,
  • no cell phones,
  • television off.

My proposal here is to celebrate Lent with at least one extra family meal per week meeting these criteria.

Family members  truly bless one another when they create a nurturing place around the dinner table for communion and conversation to occur and when they take time to plan nourishing, heartwarming meals.  Tons of research reveals the benefits of families sitting down to meals together including everything from better physical and mental health outcomes, higher academic achievement, and greater life and relationship satisfaction.  Add “growing in holiness” to the list!

2My other idea sounds pretty silly but I’m convinced it would help me to better appreciate my parish family.  Every Sunday my family sits in the 4th, 5th or 6th pew from the front, just to the left of the main aisle.  Every single Sunday.  In my defense, I like the view of the altar and the lady in front of me kneels for a long time after Communion, just like I do.  It’s comfortable.

On the other hand, it is a little disturbing to meet “new” people who have gone to the same Mass for years and years, and it makes me wonder what would happen if I just sat on the left side of the aisle or in the back.  I suspect I would start to recognize some different faces and would be forced to focus on the Mass in a new way – not out of my established habits.  So while it may be the lamest Lenten resolution ever, my second outside-the-box idea is to move around each Sunday of Lent and see what the Lord has to tell you through the experience.


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