Monday, June 28, 2021

American Saints Activities- All Free Resources, perfect for the month of July!

 

Looking for some activities to celebrate faith in the month of July? I created this at-home VBS last summer featuring some of our inspiring American Saints. Since then I've added even more resources and just checked/corrected some of the broken links and updated Ven. McGivney to Blessed! 
Here are some of the features of this American Saints collection:
-All the resources are free! Some are things I have created, but I also link to coloring pages, recipes, videos, and songs outside of my site. 
-You could do an in depth study throughout the month on lots of the Saints, or just choose a couple that your family would like to learn more about.
-I provide way more resources than you would ever need, so it is easy to pick and choose what fits your child's age and interests.
-If you would like to share this collected in a school/parish setting, you are always welcome to, and there is also an editable version you can tailor to your audience.
-For a more formal classroom/homeschool application, there I've added a biographical info sheet as well as a Google Slides version for Google Classroom.
-There are resources included in the overall list for adults too so that you can learn about these inspiring people alongside your kids!

Continue below for all the resources. Note that the photos are not updated, but the links to the documents should all be corrected. ;)

All you holy men and women of America, pray for us!

~~~

Leading up to the 4th of July, I wanted to create a shareable resource for your homes and parishes to celebrate and learn about the many, many faithful men and women who have impacted our country. This collection of activities could just be a resource for your home, can function as an at-home VBS, or can be easily shared out to your school or parish as an optional resource. There's even an editable version at the bottom to tailor it to your needs. Included are a few theme printables and then a pdf collection of (all free!) links highlighting fourteen American Saints (or soon-to-be Saints) including prayers, biographical videos, coloring pages. etc. There's also a column with resources for parents and older kids to help you research and learn alongside your kids.

Fourteen Saints are included. Honestly, my original plan was for ten and I just couldn't eliminate anyone on my brainstorming list. ;) Included are Americans spanning several centuries, men and women, lay people, religious, and priests, and Saints who are Black, White, and Native American. Each has a powerful and unique story of how they followed God's will and made our country a better place. I think that learning from their example and asking for their prayers is one of the best things we can be doing with our families right now.

There are many, many more Catholic Americans that could have been included, but I hope this starts you down the path of studying them and doing your own research. Theoretically, your family could study a new Saint every day for two weeks. Or you could spread the activities out over the month of July. There are lots of ways to jump in and no wrong method.


Before beginning the activities about the individual Saints, there are a few overall projects to set the vision for studying these holy men and women both as inspiration and as a challenge to pursue holiness ourselves. First, there is a map of the USA and an info sheet with a list of the fourteen Saints, the main states they lived in, and a symbol to add to the map. This page also lists the other Saints, Blesseds, Venerables, and Servants of God connected to America. Older kids could research them and add them to the map as well!


There is also a Litany of American Saints where your child can write in their favorite American patrons. The America the Beautiful Saints flag would be great to print out and display during the month as a reminder to ask for their intercession.


This resource is set up with a lot of the elements of a VBS (prayer, music, snacks, crafts) but with tons of options so it can work for a wide range of ages. I also pulled A LOT of resources- more than anyone would really use -but I wanted there to be variety and choice. All of the activities  are FREE so hopefully this project is easily accessible and shareable, even on a school or parish level.

For each Saint, there are links for:
-Prayer/Song/Bible Verse
-Short Videos
-Activity/Craft/Recipes
-Links for Parents or Older Siblings (to help parents feel equipped to teach their kids along the way, and to help older kids participate)

This whole plan is completely free and available for you to email out to your friends, parish, class, school, etc. I always appreciate when people include a link back to the blog so people can find more resources, but the schedule is especially designed to be easy to share as a pdf in a bulk email, school communication system, or parish bulletin. Please share! I'm always honored to be able to help, but especially now when we can't necessarily minister to our communities in the same ways we are used to. Click below to open all the resources!

First, here are the overall theme printables. (These are also linked in the shareable activity page as well.)

Click here for the American Saints Map. This helps identify the varied locations of the fourteen featured Saints across the United States, and also gives a list for further research:


Click here for the Litany of American Saints printable. You can fill in ten of your favorite holy men and women from America:


Click here for the American Flag Saints printable to display as you learn:
Click here for a Saint Bio Page if you'd like to complete a more formal study as you learn about the Saints:


Click here for the two page America the Beautiful pdf with links for the 14 Saints. This version cannot be edited, but is meant to be easy to share:

Click here for the editable version of the resources. It is a Google Slides file, so you can edit/add/remove to fit your audience. In order to make changes, you'll need to open and make a copy to edit in Google Slides or download and then edit in PowerPoint:

Click here for a Google Slides version that is perfect for a student project or classroom assignment, especially if using Google Classroom. (Note that I did not update the images in this set):


A special thank you to Shari from Catholic Paper Goods for offering a set of her stellar coloring pages for free to help round out the resources! She also has stickers, Saint trading cards, and more in her shop! Here are a few of her pages that are included in the links above:

And Kristina Markford (you might remember her super cute Emmaus Road Pegs shop) generously is sharing these awesome mini posters featuring 18 American Saints. You can find her on Instagram here.


All of those activities are free, but I also have been collecting books about these (and other American) Saints both to read myself and for my classroom. I'm still gathering titles and have some reading to do first, but hopefully I'll be able to do a Katie Reads post with some book suggestions! Feel free to drop any good titles about American Saints in the comments!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 June is the Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus! His merciful, abundant, radiant love is evident in the artistic images of the Sacred Heart, helping us come to know and love Jesus more and more. I have lots of resources to help you pray and learn this month, including some new freebie printables to help you decorate your home in honor of this special devotion.

Click here for a free printable of my block carving of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: (Feast Day 6/11/21)

Click here for a printable of my block carving of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: (Feast Day 6/12/21)

And here for one of the whole Holy Family with their Sacred, Immaculate, and Pure Hearts:

This post features a fun Sacred Heart "statue" for your kids to color and a banner to hang up:




This clickable/sharable calendar can work as an at-home-VBS spaced out over a week or the whole month. It also is easy to share with your classroom, Religious Ed program, or homeschooling group. There's even an editable version you can tweak to fit your needs.




Here are a set of prayers perfect for the Month of the Sacred Heart and a little booklet with Saints' quotes about the Sacred Heart:

This set of Google Slides is great for middle school elearning or to save as a classroom assignment in the fall:

Pray the Sacred Heart Novena and keep track with this Color-a-Novena: (start on June 2, 2021- or anytime!)



Click on any of the images below for various Sacred and Immaculate Heart Coloring Pages:



And click here for a Holy Family Hearts Embroidery Pattern:

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Guest Post: "My First Catholic Church Book" Free Project

I'm so happy to bring you a guest post today with a project that I think many of you will be excited to share with your kids or students. Helen Tine, a mom and parish catechist, has created this beautifully simple book to help young Catholics learn the nomenclature of the items used during the Mass, and also encourage them to grow in familiarity with their own parish church. She generously desired to share it with LHBR readers so other kiddos benefit from it!

She provides a basic structure that names about twenty sacred articles with short, child-friendly descriptions. The pages can be printed and stapled/bound/hole punched, but also fit perfectly in a 4x6 photo album. The pdf includes all the pages, thorough instructions, as well as sample pictures if you'd rather use those instead of taking photos in your church. 

I think this book would be a great end-of-the year keepsake for a classroom (especially following or in preparation for First Communion) or could be a great family project over the summer. Check out the Q&A below with Helen as well as some pictures of the book she created. The link to the printable is at the bottom of the post.

If you are looking for a project for older kids, this Sacrament Scavenger Hunt has a similar objective, or you might also like these Mass Article Graphic Organizers.

My First Catholic Church Book by Helen Anne Tine

-What was your original intention of this project?

When my children were little, they loved the ‘first words’ board books which contain pages of words with corresponding colorful realistic pictures. The books were a fun way for my children to learn the words for everyday objects, like articles of clothing (socks, pants, shirt) and common household items (cup, plate, bed, chair). I searched for a similar book to help my children learn the names of things in a Catholic church; when I couldn’t find such a book, I created this one for my children. 

My book contains pages of things we see in a Catholic church with corresponding pictures. Through the years, the project has expanded to include assembly instructions and sample pictures, so others can create the book.

-How do you think creating this book could benefit Catholic children?

While many Catholic children’s books focus on what we do in church during Mass, this book focuses on what we see in a church. A Catholic church is full of unique items including kneelers, a tabernacle and holy water fonts. This book helps children learn the names of items in a Catholic church as well as briefly explaining the purpose of each item.

-What tips do you have for parents/teachers working on this project?

Make it your own! This project includes sample pictures from our parish church, but since many Catholic churches vary in architecture, I suggest personalizing the project by taking your own pictures. The process of taking pictures in a church is a great way for children to see these objects up close and for parents to start a conversation with children about their purpose and importance. Don’t expect to take all the pictures in one session, especially if younger children are involved in the process! You may want to take only a couple of pictures after Mass each week or visit the church during the week to take pictures.

And there are also various options for assembling the book. I used a 4x6 photo album, but there are more creative ways to assemble the book like laminating the pages or having children cut and glue the pages onto cardstock.

-What are some adaptations for older/younger children?

Throughout the project, I share some ideas for how children can get involved with the picture taking process. Children can decide if they want to be in the pictures and choose where to take some of the pictures. Depending upon the chosen assembly method, children might be able to create the book by themselves. Older children could read the book to themselves or to younger children.


Click here to open the free printable pages, photos, and instructions for making your own "My First Catholic Church" Book!

Thank you Helen for sharing this awesome project with us!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

A Unique Litany of St. Joseph {And Free St. Joseph Prints for You!}

The Year of St. Joseph has led to a needed focus on the foster father of Jesus and husband of Mary. In addition to the many books being published about him recently, there also has been a beautiful surge of art dedicated to his role in the Holy Family and the Church.

During March, the month of St. Joseph, I had the privilege of working with a group of ten artists to create a unique Litany of St. Joseph: one new piece of art each day, all inspired by a line from the Litany, and each created from a block carving (either lino or wood). The result was an incredible collection of prints, unique to each artist but united in love for the Guardian of the Redeemer. 

We originally shared the prints on Instagram (you can find them all in my Story Highlight if you want to click through) but here on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, I also am sharing a little preview here on the blog of the collection of art. In honor of his feast day and Year of St. Joseph, I'm also happy to share a set of free printables of the St. Joseph prints I've created this year. They are all linked at the bottom of the post. AND we are also running an awesome giveaway with ten opportunities to win a copy of a book with all of the images and short reflections, as well as an original print from one of the makers. You can enter to win on Instagram!

Here are the artists involved in the collaboration and where to find them online:

Beth Hopkins Mickle        Instagram     Website     Elizabeth Ruth Prints
Marisol Calixto                 Instagram     Website     Blessed Creative
Bridget Mersmann            Instagram     Website     Veritas Prints
Gabie Mammia                 Instagram     Website     Cultivate Card Co
Keri Scardina Lemane      Instagram     Website     Kitchen Table Press
Abigail Halpin                  Instagram     Website     Petronille Press
Connor Miller                   Instagram     Website     Connor Miller Visuals
Teresa Chehade                 Instagram     Website     Felicity Press
Danielle Center                 
Jamaica DeLisle               Instagram     Website     Jubilate Designs
Katherine Bogner              Instagram    Website     Look to Him and Be Radiant


Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.  Bridget Mersmann
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us. God the son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us. Connor Miller
Holy Mary, pray for us. Katherine Bogner
Saint Joseph, pray for us. Jamaica DeLisle
Noble Offspring of David, pray for us. Beth Hopkins Mickle
Light of Patriarchs, pray for us. Teresa Chehade


Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us. Gabie Mammia
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us. Keri Scardina Lemane  
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us. Danielle Center
Zealous Defender of Christ, pray for us. Connor Miller
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us. Katherine Bogner
Joseph Most Just, pray for us. Gabie Mammia


Joseph Most Chaste, pray for us. Marisol Calixto
Joseph Most Prudent, pray for us. Teresa Chehade
Joseph Most Courageous, pray for us. Beth Hopkins Mickle
Joseph Most Obedient, pray for us. Keri Scardina Lemane
Joseph Most Faithful, pray for us. Bridget Mersmann
Mirror of Patience, pray for us. Connor Miller


Lover of Poverty, pray for us. Katherine Bogner
Model of Workmen, pray for us. Keri Scardina Lemane
Glory of Domestic Life, pray for us. Marisol Calixto
Guardian of Virgins, pray for us. Teresa Chehade
Pillar of Families, pray for us. Abigail Halpin
Comfort of the Afflicted, pray for us. Jamaica DeLisle


Hope of the Sick, pray for us. Bridget Mersmann
Patron of the Dying, pray for us. Gabie Mammia
Terror of Demons, pray for us. Katherine Bogner
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us. Jamaica DeLisle


Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord Marisol Calixto 
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord Katherine Bogner
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us. Beth Hopkins Mickle

Amen.

I hope you go check out these other artists and their work!

In honor of the Year of St. Joseph, I'd love to send you some St. Joseph art to decorate your home! Click on any of the images below for a free 5x7" printable of my contributions to the St. Joseph Litany.

Holy Mary, Mother of God:


St. Joseph, Head of the Holy Family:

Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world:

St. Joseph the Worker:

St. Joseph, Lover of Poverty:

St. Joseph Terror of Demons:

Good St. Joseph, pray for us!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue: Tons of Ideas for Celebrating Mary in May!

In honor of this month of Our Lady, I've collected a whole series of posts with tons of ideas for teaching kids about Mary- and through her, modeling Christian life, prayer, generosity, and virtue.


Click on any of the pictures below to take you to a post with more info, ideas, printables, and pictures.

Easily sharable collection of over 30 free activities:


Names of Mary Bookmarks:

Marian Digital Scavenger Hunt (Editable & Google Classroom Ready):

Make Your Own Marian Shrine/May Crowning in color:

and Black & White:

Marian Apparition Investigation:

Seven Sorrows of Mary Scriptural Reflection:

Our Lady of Loreto Digital Scavenger Hunt (Google Forms):


Marian Music Playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5sexwzkyqUWfv8cgIVoeMgjBWwKz8j1e

Favorite Books About Mary:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2015/05/favorite-books-about-mary-playlist.html

Hail Mary Sort Cards:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2012/04/memorizing-prayers.html


Angelus Mini Book:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2013/09/angelus-mini-book.html

Regina Coeli Mini Book:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2014/03/regina-coeli-mini-book-for-kids.html

Holy Family Hearts Coloring Page and Prayer Cards:


Immaculate Heart of Mary Coloring Pages and Prayer Cards:

Immaculate Heart of Mary and Seven Sorrows Coloring Page:

Mary as the Moon Coloring Page:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2014/04/mary-is-moon.html

Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue Coloring Page:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2013/03/sheen-and-mary.html

Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue Retreat:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2015/05/lovely-lady-dressed-in-blue-retreat-for.html

My Soul Magnifies the Lord Theme:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2012/09/my-soul-does-magnify.html

Marian Bulletin Board:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2012/09/my-soul-does-magnify.html

Mary, Mother of the Church Feast Day

Mary Garden Plant Labels:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2012/04/plant-mary-garden.html

Mini Mary Flipbooks:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2013/03/sheen-and-mary.html

Notebook Marian Shrine:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2013/03/notebook-pop-up-mary-shrine.html

Marian Prayers Flipbook:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2013/03/notebook-pop-up-mary-shrine.html

Marian Typology Info Cards:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2012/04/mary-and-scripture.html

Mary & Discipleship Youth Bible Study:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2012/05/who-do-you-sit-at-feet-of.html

Family Marian Shrine:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2014/08/happy-home-family-shrines-immaculate.html

World Mission Rosary:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2013/03/world-mission-rosary.html


Brown Scapular Resources:
http://looktohimandberadiant.blogspot.com/2015/03/celebrating-brown-scapular.html

Lovely Lady, dressed in blue, teach me how to pray.
God was just your little boy, and you know the way.