Lesson Notes: The Liturgy of the Eucharist

Posted October 18, 2014 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Sue's Suggestions


This week, we’re going to finish up our study of the holy Mass continuing with whatever focus you began last week, and I just want to add a couple things:

This is the ideal time, if you have a strong preference (or even a moderate one, I suppose), to share why you receive the Eucharist in your hand or on your tongue.  Both are acceptable, but whichever you choose should be done with highest reverence, being mindful of just Who you are receiving.  Share your personal devotion with your kids by taking advantage of this teachable moment.

hand tongue


Also, once your kids have finished going through their My Holy Mass Book, encourage them to bring it with to Mass!  Older kids can keep track through the words and younger ones can do it by looking at the pictures – either way, keeping track of what’s going on in the liturgy by using a missal like this can be a very effective way to focus on the Mass in a new light.

Leading with Beauty

Posted October 15, 2014 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

Art for November Prayer Tables

This month’s topic is a new lesson on the Creed and since I haven’t been able to find any art on that exact topic, we’re going to expand it just a little with a piece that focuses on the Holy Trinity.  Both of the creeds we typically use (Nicene and Apostles’) are intensely structured around the three Persons of the Holy Trinity, each devoting a section to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in that order.

This work by Albrecht Durer was completed in 1511 as an altarpiece for a church.  (How great would it be to contemplate this every time you went to Mass!)  The Persons of the Trinity are the focus, framed by clouds and angels.  On the left are the heavenly martyrs led by the Queen of heaven, herself.  On the right are Old Testament Saints, led by John the Baptist.  Spanning the painting, but still above the clouds, are all the rest of us: priests, nuns, lay people, etc., and at the very bottom we see the artist still on earth.

It’s very easy to look at this painting, with it’s clear vision of heavenly realities and recite, “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.”  “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God …”  “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life …”

If you want a reminder of what this Leading with Beauty thing is all about, click over here for an explanation.

And Church of Saint Paul catechists: the offer still stands – if you want to use my prayer table art suggestions as a teaching piece during your classroom prayer time, I’ll be glad to print a copy for you IF you email me ahead of time with the request.  (If you ask at the last minute though, it’s not likely to be possible.  I hope that doesn’t sound grumpy!)

The Holy Mass – pointing the way to Jesus

Posted October 14, 2014 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Parent's Perspective

I’m using the title because it follows the pattern of my Heart of Catechesis posts, but to say that the Mass points us to Jesus is grossly inadequate.  Jesus is way more than an incidental that happens each Sunday, He’s the source of all grace, the sacrifice that is offered, the One offering the sacrifice, the teacher, the center, the author, the mediator … we could go on and on!

All About Jesus logo

Having said that, there are some specific ways that Christ is traditionally recognized to be present in the Mass:

  • First, and most important, Jesus is “present” in the Eucharist.  More precisely, he is the Eucharist; body, blood, soul and divinity.  We can’t see it, but with the words of consecration Jesus promises that it happens.
  • He’s also present in the priest.  It’s kind of a similar situation where we see one thing, but there’s a greater reality behind it.  What we see is our familiar priest, but through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, we know that Jesus has given this man the power and authority to act in His name.
  • Jesus is present in the Word that is proclaimed every time scripture is read.
  • Jesus is also present in each and every baptized person.  Combine this with the promise that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” and there’s double reason to recognize the presence of Jesus in the people who are at Mass.

One really good illustration of these ways Christ is present at Mass happens when incense is used.  Among other things, incense is used as a sign of honor for that which is sacred (and nothing is more sacred than Jesus!).  Next time you’re at a Mass with incense, notice some of the times it’s used:

The bread and wine that will soon be the Eucharist are incensed.

The bread and wine that will soon be Jesus truly present in the Eucharist are incensed.

The priest, acting in the person of Christ, is incensed.

The priest, acting in the person of Christ, is incensed.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1)  Christ, truly present in Scripture, in honored with incense.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”
(John 1:1)
Christ, truly present in Scripture, in honored with incense.

And finally, we all stand as the presence of Jesus within each of us is honored with incense.

And finally, we all stand as the presence of Jesus within each of us is honored with incense.

Lesson Notes: The Liturgy of the Word

Posted October 13, 2014 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Sue's Suggestions


The Holy Mass is our overall theme of the year and you’re really seeing that upfront, here at the beginning.  It was the theme of our October Classroom Lessons, the theme of our Challenge this year, and the theme of all of our October Home Lessons.

It’s the source and summit, the most perfect form of prayer*, the sum and summary of our faith.  The Mass is the center of Catholic liturgical prayer, because it recalls and re-enacts the greatest event of history and of Christian faith: the paschal mystery – the passion, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.**  At the Mass, Jesus our savior is continually re-presenting His perfect sacrifice to God the Father, not only on behalf of the whole world, but of sinful, unworthy me!  (and you, and every other individual)  Every time we assist at Mass*** we unite ourselves with the liturgy that is constantly happening in heaven, and are practicing for the day when we can be part of that eternal worship face to face!  No matter what you understand about the Mass – there’s always more to learn.  And no matter how much you love and appreciate the Mass – it’s just a fraction of the devotion that is really deserved.

definitionOn the most basic level, the Mass is one prayer with two main parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  We’re going to divide the lessons in the same way over the next two weeks, so we can devote a little more time to each before your kid’s attention span gives out.

I can think of a few different directions for your study, depending on the age and needs of your kids.

  1. First, and most obvious, is to go through the parts of the Mass learning more about the the order and the meaning of each.  This was the focus of the Classroom Lessons and you would do well to reinforce it at home.  Part of the Classroom Lesson for your K, 1st, or 3rd grader included lots of movement as they practiced all the stand/sit/kneel, the Sign of the Cross, genuflecting, and of course, this month’s memory verse of tracing small crosses on their forehead, lips and heart before the Gospel reading.  Not only does this give valuable practice but it’s a good way to get the wiggles out.
  2. Second, for those who are older or already very familiar with the parts of the Mass, is to actually think about the meaning.  Your child’s copy of My Holy Mass Book aids in this goal in all the places provided to write personal reflections.  (Jesus forgive me these faults; I give you glory and praise for these things; This is what I learned from today’s readings, etc.)  You may also want to share parts of the extra piece entitled Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Mass.  It’s intended for parents, but would be very appropriate reading for teens or anyone who just wants to learn more.
  3. And finally, if you think this is all over the head of your youngest saints, you may want to just focus on appropriate behavior and preparation for Mass.  You’ll find some help with this on the inside cover of the My Holy Mass Book, and on the green sheets entitled The Paulines Go To Holy Mass.  These skills are the foundation of it all, so start here if that’s what works best for you!

NEXT WEEK:  The Liturgy of the Eucharist!


  • *Pope Paul VI
  • ** Alan Schreck, Basics of the Faith
  • *** Baltimore Catechism, 363-364 to learn more about the the concept of “assisting” at Mass

Archbishop Nienstedt on the Synod of Bishops

Posted October 10, 2014 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized

The Pope believes it is the call of the Church today “to proclaim the Gospel by confronting the new and urgent pastoral needs facing the family.” Thus the Synodal Assembly, the Pope confesses, “is dedicated in a special way to you, your vocation and mission in the Church and in society; to the challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children; and the role of the family in the life of the Church.”

We know that it is in the family that children first learn of God’s great love for them. They experience that they are loved and know that they have intrinsic value through their relationship with their parents. They learn how to return that love by watching their father and mother love one another. Together with their siblings they come to appreciate the important connection between rights and responsibilities, between personal respect and respect for others.

It is in the family that both parents and children learn that “families who pray together, stay together.” Here the value and importance of Sunday Mass cannot be overlooked. But the family is an academy of prayer in other situations and settings as well — for example, prayers before and after meals, praying the family rosary, and reading the Bible. In all of these contexts, and more, the family grows in its awareness of God’s presence. And such a culture of prayer must also be complemented with a concern for the poor, the sick and those in need. It is so essential that children learn that to be “Catholic” is never to close the door on a brother or sister in need.

I hope we take seriously Pope Francis’ request that we pray for the success of this October’s Extraordinary Synod. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide the Pope and each of the participants of this important gathering.

Read the whole article here.

Join us in prayer for this event happening at the Vatican through October 19.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendor of true love, to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth, may families never again experience violence, rejection and division; may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth, may the work of this Synod of Bishops make us once more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, graciously hear our prayer.  Amen.

What one Family Formation mom found on her coffee table this morning …

Posted October 8, 2014 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized


Saint Costume Link-up

Posted October 8, 2014 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized

The All Saints’ Day party is coming up soon, and there are tons of great ideas out there for costumes!

I’m going to start with a few posts from this blog and link up with some others below.

Catholic All Year

Catholic Icing

Google Images

Catholic Inspired

And the mother lode on Pinterest, of course.

In case you haven’t already signed up for the parish party at COSP, the registration tables will be open for two more weekends after all the Masses.  We start with Mass for the holy day of obligation (including a procession of Saints) and after there is dinner, games, and lots of fun.  Don’t miss it!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 360 other followers

%d bloggers like this: