Archive for the ‘Sue's Suggestions’ category

Lesson Notes: Virtues

May 30, 2017


This “lesson” is easy if you simply consider it to be a Summer Activity Packet, all on the theme of the cardinal virtues and the theological virtues.  Your assignment, parents, is to flip through it all to get an overview of what’s available.

It’ll be a little while, but at some point, the novelty of summer vacation will wear off and your kids will be looking for something to do, and that’s when you bring out this packet.  There are activities for indoors and out, rainy days, and car rides.  Things to do when your kids are alone, or in neighborhood-sized groups.  Become familiar with the choices, pull together any materials you might need and then be ready for the opportunities to keep growing in faith throughout the summer!

Lesson Notes: Pentecost

May 20, 2017


This lesson has lots of information about Pentecost, consecration, Mary as the New Eve, etc. but what I would start with is the spreading of the light activity on page 9.

You’ll need cupcakes and candles, a dark room, and a storyteller to explain how the light of faith started with Jesus, the Great Light and now spreads everywhere through the actions of the Holy Spirit, working through us,

This is a great activity to do with another family and, conveniently, you’ll already have cake and candles to celebrate the birthday of the Church!

From this core of the lesson, go ahead do the other stuff with your older kids, but starting with this foundation of celebration is the perfect way to both teach and say thanks to the Holy Spirit for His role in our lives!



Lesson Notes: The Ascension of Jesus Into Heaven

May 16, 2017


Did you listen last Sunday?

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

That’s the nutshell of this lesson: Jesus is in heaven so it’s our goal to be with Him there someday too.  So how do we get there?

This lesson uses the device of planning a trip as we think about our journey to heaven.  You have all the pieces you need – a ticket, itinerary, passport, travel tips, etc.

mailPARENTS: It’s important to read the Preparation Instructions on page 3.  You’ll need to assemble a few pieces and mail some things to your kids in advance.  Don’t skip this step, especially if it’s your family’s first time doing this lesson!  Kids love to get real mail and this will be a perfect lesson opener!

The rest of the lesson is basically going through these travel pieces to learn more about the topic:

  1. Who is the pilot of your flight?
  2. What meals will be served?
  3. How will your passport stamps help you get to heaven?
  4. Who is your travel agent?

All this is fun for all ages, but (as we typically offer), there is a little additional bit for your older kids on just what it means to know, love and serve God in this world to help us attain the happiness of heaven in the next.

Have fun!

Fatima Indulgences

May 5, 2017

Mary at Fatima - TinaDid you know Pope Francis has granted ways for you to receive a full indulgence throughout this anniversary year of the Fatima apparitions?

In addition to the usual conditions*, you can:

  1. Make a pilgrimage to the Fatima shrine in Portugal
  2. Pray before any statue of Our Lady of Fatima anywhere in the world
  3. And for the elderly and infirm – These individuals can pray in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and must spiritually unite themselves to the jubilee celebrations on the days of the apparitions, the 13th of each month, between May and October 2017.

EWTN’s explanation of an indulgence:

A plenary indulgence means that by the merits of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, the full remission of the temporal punishment due to sacramentally forgiven sins is obtained. The person becomes as if just baptized and would fly immediately to heaven if he died in that instant. A partial indulgence means that a portion of the temporal punishment due to forgiven sin is remitted. Partial indulgences are received either by doing some act to which a partial indulgence is attached (e.g. praying a partially indulgenced prayer), or by the incomplete fulfillment of the conditions attached to a plenary indulgence.

* For the “usual conditions” and a different explanation of indulgences, click over here.

Lesson Notes: Mary and the Eucharist

April 29, 2017

Mary & Eucharist - Copy

Do you want to love Jesus more?  If your answer is yes, this lessons suggests you ask Mary to be your tutor in how to do so because only she loved Him perfectly, and she is very motivated to help you!

The activity for this lesson will lead you through various points in Scripture where the lives of Jesus and Mary intersect so we can better learn from her example.  For your youngest kids, you may want to just do the puzzle and talk about these beautiful Bible stories.

For your older kids, go through the body of the lesson along with the puzzle, and for your oldest ones (teens and adults included), spend a little additional time with the litany on page 7.  Lex orandi, lex credendi is a foundational truth of the Catholic Faith teaching that we pray what we believe, and in this case, there is so much to be learned from meditating on these beautiful titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

One more thing – make sure everyone understands the invitation Mary is always extending to pray for us!  Her “job” now is to bring all of us closer to Jesus, and any way we can place our trust in that mission is to our eternal benefit.

  • Virgin most powerful
  • Seat of wisdom
  • Cause of our joy
  • Help of Christians
  • Queen of families


70th Annual Archdiocesan Family Rosary Procession

April 28, 2017

Centennial Celebration of Our Lady of FatimaMary at Fatima - Tina

Sunday, May 7
1:30 p.m.
The procession takes place from the State Capitol to the Cathedral of Saint Paul.  As a public witness to our Catholic faith during this month of May dedicated to our Blessed Mother Mary, come with family and friends to the 70th annual Archdiocesan Family Rosary Procession in Saint Paul on Sunday, May 7. This year is also the Centennial Celebration of Our Lady of Fatima. Archbishop Bernard Hebda will lead the procession.
Gather at the State Capitol at 1:30 p.m.; the procession to the Cathedral of Saint Paul begins at 2 p.m. Those who cannot walk the procession route may go directly to the Cathedral to pray the Rosary with those who are in procession.

Procession Flyer: Procession_2017_8-5×11


Also, if you live a little further south you may be interested in this event in Kasson, MN on May 13.  May 13 2017 Flyer


Home Lesson Notes: Adoring Jesus in the Eucharist

April 22, 2017

Adoring - Copy

This lesson starts by connecting your family back a bit to Holy Thursday when the Eucharist was first established, but what does all that mean going forward?

Well, pretty much everything for Catholics!  It is our firmly held belief that the Eucharist is the center.  Thanksgiving, sacrifice, grace, community – it all (and more) centers on the Eucharist and this lesson will help us explore some of that.

If your kids are small, you might want to just focus on the first part of the lesson, the story of little Jacinta Marto of Fatima and how she longed to receive Holy Communion.  Certainly use the word “Eucharist” now and then, but you might find it’s more relevant to refer to it as the bread that becomes Jesus (or something similar).  Little kids have open hearts and will often take what you tell them at face value.  So by simply, and confidently, referring to a consecrated host as Jesus, you are laying a foundation of faith that will follow them throughout their lives.

For the rest of the family, use the whole lesson, perhaps focusing on the SOURCE booklet activity.  And for your oldest kids (and you grownups), be sure to read the Q & A About Receiving Holy Communion.  There seems to be lots of confusion about it these days, and we think you’ll appreciate the clear guidelines in this section.

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