Author Archive

Holy Week in Two Minutes

April 1, 2015


Thanks to everyone who is sending me these great resources!

For all of you who are bringing a non-Catholic with you to Easter Mass

April 1, 2015

questionsWhether it’s non-Catholics who attend Mass with their Catholic significant other or folks who are inquiring about the faith; if you weren’t brought up with Mass, your first (and second and third…) time can be very confusing—making people feel like they’re, “around a secret that I’m not in on.” Here are some answers to some of the really excellent, frequently asked questions that newbie’s bring with them.

Eight Questions Non-Catholics (and many cradle Catholics) Almost Always Ask When They Attend Mass



Holy Week in Guatemala

April 1, 2015

Okay, this is a pretty awesome devotion! Just in time for Holy Week processions, street “carpets” are created of images made from flower petals, sawdust, rice, etc. More pictures here, here, and here.

More Holy Week Activities

March 31, 2015

I’ve recommended these coloring pages before, but want to bring them to your attention once again.  In particular, either the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary or the Stations of the Cross would turn into a project worthy of Holy Week.  Not only are they reverent and beautiful, but they’re free and the hand’s-on element of decorating them would give your children time to really consider the meaning of each event.  Highly recommend for anyone in your family who likes to color!

Agony in the Garden

Jesus falls

Planning for Holy Thursday

March 31, 2015

Besides holding a Seder Meal reenactment and the other ideas in your Holy Week packet, there is another Holy Thursday tradition that we’d like to bring to your attention.

The Seven Churches Visitation is an ancient tradition in the spirit of Christ’s request to “watch with me for one hour.”  It involves visiting seven different churches after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.  Obviously, this is probably not going to work well with your preschoolers, but if your kids are a little older and would appreciate being up late at night, it’s a beautiful devotion.   There are detailed instructions on this site.

The pilgrimage to each church corresponds to the seven “stops” or “stations” of the via crucis that were made by Jesus on his way to Calvary:

  • Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22: 39-46)
  • 2nd Visit: Jesus bound and taken before Annas (John 18: 19-22)
  • 3rd Visit: Jesus taken before the High Priest, Caiaphas (Matthew 26: 63-65)
  • 4th Visit: Jesus taken before Pilate (John 18,35-37)
  • 5th Visit: Jesus taken before Herod (Luke 23: 8-9; 11)
  • 6th Visit: Jesus taken before Pilate again (Matthew 27: 22-26)
  • 7th Visit: Jesus given the crown of thorns and led to his crucifixion (Matthew 27: 27-31)

Especially if you live in an urban area, the Holy Thursday visitations are an excellent grace-filled way to end Lent and enter into the Triduum. Here’s the simple devotional exercise that Romans have been practicing for centuries. Upon entering each church, visit the altar of repose, kneel, make the sign of the cross, read the appropriate scripture reading for each “station” (above). Each visit ends with five Our Father’s, five Hail Mary’s and five Glory Be’s. After this, spend a few minutes in private prayer and adoration before moving on to the next church. Finally, at the seventh church, you can end the pilgrimage with a holy hour and prepare to enter into the Easter season in three days time.

Obviously, this is going to require a little research but it is definitely doable, especially in a metro area with a number of parish options.  You can read about the experiences of two Family Formation families on this post from our archives.  (Scroll down to just below the pictures.)

The other thing I want to bring to your attention is happening closer to home.  At the conclusion of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, there will be a short procession to the chapel where all are invited to stay for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for any length of time until midnight.  Your entire family is invited to participate.

It’s Palm Sunday today

March 29, 2015

And if you want to keep your kids from tickling those around them with their long palm fronds, you may want to learn this skill:


Because these palms are sacramentals and are blessed, you’ll want do it without trimming and throwing away any parts.


Little visits with Jesus

March 27, 2015

The classroom activity for 4th-6th graders this coming month is to spend 20 minutes in silence with Our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration.  Before skeptical you shakes your head in disbelief that this can ever be successful, I want you to read this article by Elizabeth Foss on how it’s more likely our group of 4th graders will appreciate this experience than if we were to do it with an equal number of adults.

Children are actually more inclined than adults to approach the Blessed Sacrament with full faith and trust in the mystery before them. In their innocence and purity, they accept that Jesus is really present somehow in the monstrance and that they are exceptionally blessed to be able to kneel before the King of Kings. But they need someone to get them there.

And so you’re not tempted to just allow this to be a one-time experience for your kids, consider the findings of Father Antoine Thomas, whose ministry, “Children of Hope,” has brought children’s Holy Hours to parishes worldwide:

“After many years of leading Holy Hours for children, I can tell you the benefits are numerous for both children and their families:

  1. Children who previously had only the weekly experience of Mass discover that the host is actually the person of Jesus, mysteriously hidden.
  2. They develop a greater interest in the mysteries of our faith and the liturgy of the Mass.
  3. They understand — more than other children of their age who have not experienced Eucharistic adoration — the relationship between the gift of the Eucharistic presence of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross out of love for mankind.
  4. They become much more aware of the various degrees of sin and seem very eager to receive the sacrament of confession often.
  5. Families accompanying their children witness a growing desire for peace and forgiveness within the family.”

Those are pretty substantial returns on your investment of an hour (or even less than a half hour for very young children).

We have perpetual adoration available at the Church of Saint Paul and you are welcome to stop in with your children for any length of time, day or night, for a visit with Jesus.  This article from our archives may help you to prepare your children so the experience is more successful.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 381 other followers

%d bloggers like this: