Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Memento Mori- Classroom Lesson with Video, Art, Quotes, & Scripture

The phrase Memento Mori, “remember your death,” helps us keep in mind that this life is only temporary and that we were made for Heaven. I talk with my students about these three elements of Memento Mori:

  • For the future: Remember that one day you will die and your life on earth will end
  • For the Present: Live each day aiming for Heaven with hope, joy, and peace
  • For the Past: Remember you have died with Christ through your Baptism- Die to sin and rise to new life

I've used these Memento Mori Printables in my classroom for years, but this year deepened my study with my 8th graders. In our unit on the Four Last Things, we used this slideshow about Memento Mori. It includes a video, collection of art for Visio Divina, and a set of quotes from Saints & Scripture for discussion.

We did this lesson in my classroom in November, the Month of All Souls, but it also would be a great reflection for junior/senior high during Lent!

Click here to open the Memento Mori slides:

If you'd like a reflection sheet to help your students record their thoughts, click here:

Paired with the Memento Mori study, you also could use this study of the Bone Church, St. Mary of the Conception of the Friars Minor Capuchin in Rome:

Remember you are dust and to dust you will return. 
May your Lent be a prayerful retreat leading up to Easter!

Monday, February 20, 2023

Prayers and Mysteries of the Rosary in Portuguese- O Meu Livro das Orações do Rosário

I'm thrilled to be offering resources in more languages thanks to the generous time of LHBR readers! Today I have all the pages needed to make a Rosary book, complete with the prayers, Mysteries, and where to find them in the Bible. It is my hope that these are helpful, especially to teachers and catechists teaching kiddos in bilingual classrooms!

Click here to print the Prayers of the Rosary Book:

You can find the original activity in English here:

Pray Fast Give Activity in Portuguese: Quaresma- Rezar, Jejuar, Oferecer

This Pray Fast Give printable is a great resource for helping kids find practical ways to enter into the season of Lent. You can read about the original idea and applications in this post, but today thanks to the generosity of a LHBR reader, I'm happy to offer a new version in Portuguese!

(This is meant to be printed two sided, then fold up the bottom of the back side to form the pockets for the ideas. They can be stapled into place. Alternately, if unable to print double sided the pockets can be cut off the second page and stapled on to the main page.)

Click here for the Lent coloring page:

Click here for the original post in English:

Click here for the Pray Fast Give Activity in Spanish:

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Visio Divina with Bl. Fra Angelico

Today is the Feast Day of Blessed Fra Angelico. Known far outside just Catholic circles for his beautiful frescos and incredible talent as a painter, he was a Dominican friar who found his inspiration from his faith. Born in 1395 as Guido di Pietro and died in 1455, he was just officially beatified in 1982 by Pope John Paul II. At his beatification, JP2 said, "Fra Angelico, by consecrating himself to God, succeeded in becoming more man, not only with others but for others. His works are a perennial message of living Christianity, and at the same time a highly human message, based on the transhumanizing power of religion, by virtue of which every man who comes in contact with God and his mysteries becomes similar to him in holiness, in beauty, in bliss; that is, a man according to the primordial designs of his Creator."

I think that the occasion of his feast day is a perfect time to do some prayerful Visio Divina with some of Fra Angelico's work. I've pulled together a selection for you here, but you can find tons more in the public domain. Pull them up on your tv or smart board to examine more closely, and you can use these Visio Divina guides if they are helpful!

Click here for the Visio Divina guide for older kids:
Click here for the general Visio Divina steps:
And here is a set of other posts that use Visio Divina as a tool for prayer:

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Lent Radiant Roundup

It's almost time for Lent to begin! Ash Wednesday is on February 22nd. If you are looking for some ways to bring the beauty of the prayer, fasting and almsgiving to your children or students, here's a whole roundup of ideas: 

First up, here are some favorite posts:

Lent: Pray, Fast, Give Foldable* (Also in Spanish and Portuguese)

What Lent Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable

Give Up & Take Up*: Lent Youth Group Lesson, Videos, and Resources

And tons more Lenten posts: 
Lent: Ideas for 40 Days* (Roundup Post of Links)
Lent Family Weekly Plan*- Sunday Gospels and Fasting/Giving using the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (editable)

Here are a few ideas for Holy Week and the Triduum if you like to plan ahead!
Holy Week Family Retreat & Journal* (In English, Spanish, and French, and with an editable schedule)
What the Triduum Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable

Friday, February 10, 2023

Pope Benedict XVI's Legacy of Love for the Eucharist

I'm super excited and honored to be a new contributor for the Heart of the Revival, the newsletter of the National Eucharistic Revival. Beginning last year and continuing until 2025, the Bishops of the United States are calling us as a nation- as dioceses, parishes, and individuals- to renew our devotion to Jesus, Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist. I hope you've heard about it in your local area by now, but you might not know that they are building a website full of resources- great articles, videos, reflections, and now the beginning of a collection of activities for kids. :)

My first contribution for the month of February was also a tribute to Pope Benedict XVI. Few kids will know much about him, but I think his recent death is a perfect opportunity to introduce them not only to his life, but to the legacies he leaves behind. One of those is his Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, which you can read in entirety here. Kiddos won't likely be picking up that text anytime soon, but I'm a big fan of bringing things to their level without watering them down- so I chose a few quotes about the love of God we experience in the Eucharist and turned them into coloring pages and little Valentine cards. 

You can read more about how to talk about these quotes with kids in the full blog post on the Eucharistic Revival website, and I encourage you to sign up for the Heart of the Revival Newsletter- you'll get updates on the latest posts each week. I'll be sharing a Eucharist themed kids activity at the beginning of each month. For now, here are links to the coloring pages in both English and Spanish!

Click here for the coloring pages with Pope Benedict XVI quotes about the Eucharist:

And click here for the same pages in Spanish:

If you are looking for resources to help your kids get to know Pope Benedict, I'd recommend:

Monday, February 6, 2023

February Radiant Roundup

Happy February! We welcome in the month of the Holy Family during this short chunk of Ordinary Time. Here are some resources to enrich your home or classroom this month, including a look ahead at Lent, which begins on February 22nd!
Resources with a * mean that they contain free printables (or shareable digital files).

Month of the Holy Family:

St. Abigail (St. Gobnait): February 11th
St. Abigail coloring pages*

St. Valentine: February 14th
Saintly Friends Bingo Game*

Bl. Fra Angelico: February 18th
Lent: Begins on February 22nd
Lent: Ideas for 40 Days* (Round-up Post of Links)
Lent Looks Different (Classroom decorations)
What Lent Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable
What the Triduum Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable
Lent: Pray, Fast, Give Foldable* (Also in Spanish)
Lenten Prayer Challenge Board* (Also editable)
Holy Week Family Retreat & Journal* (In English, Spanish, and French, and with an editable schedule)
Lent Family Weekly Plan*- Sunday Gospels and Fasting/Giving using the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (editable)

Click here for a list of great books for Catholic kids in February:

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

February Books for Catholic Kids

February Catholic Kids Book List
Below are a few favorite titles that fit well with devotions and feast days this month! This list contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. I'd also love to encourage you to shop directly with the publisher or with your local bookshop, or try to request these at your local library! I'm sure I've missed some books that would be great for this month, so feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments! You can find my giant list of Catholic Kid Books by topic here.

The Month of the Holy Family
Saint Feast Days this Month
2/1- St. Brigid
2/8- St. Josephine Bakhita
2/10- St. Scholastica
2/11- Our Lady of Lourdes
2/14- St. Valentine
2/22- The Chair of St. Peter

Lent Begins

Black History Month
A great opportunity to learn about Black American Catholics on the road to Sainthood!