Posted tagged ‘Cycle C/A’

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!

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


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.

Lesson Notes: Divine Mercy Sunday

April 17, 2017

Happy Easter, everyone!

Divine Mercy - Copy

This week’s lesson is on Divine Mercy Sunday, a fairly new celebration established by Pope John Paul II in 2000.  The heart of all is a series of visions given to a young Polish nun less than 100 years ago.  As Jesus was teaching her about the amazing depths of His mercy, he instructed Sr. Faustina to keep a diary so the teachings could be shared.

In this Family Formation version of the message, we’ve boiled it down to a couple of mnemonic devices that will make it easy for your family to remember and picture God’s boundless mercy.

First of all, the ABC’s of Mercy:

  • Ask for His mercy.
  • Be merciful to others.
  • Complete trust

And second, because God’s mercy is a feast of graces … the richest food … a whopper of a deal … (do you see where we’re going with this?)

The Big Mercy Burger is a silly analogy with a serious message.  As you work your way through all the meditations on the burger toppings*, your kids will get a fuller picture of the richness of God’s mercy and how they can better participate in it.

You should also have a CD of people actually praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and a helpful pamphlet explaining it.  Try it at least once this week: not only will your kids have their memory assignment nailed, but your family will be better prepared for Sunday’s beautiful celebration!


*Yes, I realize that sounds ridiculous.  Just open the packet and try it, okay?

Lesson Notes: Examination of Conscience

March 24, 2017

examination conscience

This lesson brings us a fun perspective on something we should all do during Lent – go to confession.  The format is a game show based on the Ten Commandments, so warm up your cheesy game show host voice, parents).  After briefly reviewing the Commandments, you’ll read some little scenarios of people misbehaving and ask your kids to:


When I was the parent of younger kids, I always liked to look at how each of the Commandments was described to make sure I wouldn’t be introducing innocent little kids to concepts they didn’t need to know quite yet.  (I’m looking at you, Commandments #6 and #9.)  And I recommend you do the same.

At the same time, there is definitely a point where your kids will need to wrestle with the meaning of all the commandments, and in this culture, that time will most likely come when they are still Family Formation age.  Read the Soul Search Question Cards ahead of time and decide for yourself.  But please keep in mind that if you are avoiding certain topics simply because they are less comfortable to discuss (even though your child may already be exposed to them), the main message you are sending is that it’s too awkward to talk to you about some things.  And seriously, that is NOT the message you want to give your up-and-coming teens.  (Tangent over.)

The idea of this game is two-fold: to give you all a better working knowledge of the Commandments, and to help you all prepare to go to Confession.  And that’s where the other planning part of this lesson comes in.  Before you do this lesson, check your family calendar against the Sacrament of Reconciliation schedule at your parish and plan the next time you’re all going.  Going sometime within a week of doing this lesson would be ideal.

One more suggestion: If you have younger kids who are old enough to sit in a pew for 20 minutes or so (maybe ages 3-7), I highly recommend you bring them to confession even though they’re not old enough to confess.  Of course, you would not bring them into the confessional with you, but there are great benefits to be gained by having them witness the process and become more comfortable with it even at an early age.

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