Friday, March 31, 2023

Holy Week Journal in Portuguese- Caderno Para a Semana Santa

As a companion resource for kids participating in the Liturgies or reading the Gospels with their families, I made this Holy Week Journal a few years ago and it has proved a super popular resource. It lists the name of the day, the Gospel to read, lines for journaling or copying a favorite verse, a question to think about, and a little bit of clip art to color. I picture it being copied single sided and the blank back of each page being used as a space to draw a reflection or letter a Scripture card. The second page of the journal contains some suggestions/ideas for how to use it across a variety of ages.

I'm happy to now offer the Holy Week Journal in Portuguese:

And you can find the Holy Week Journal in English, Spanish, and French in this post:

Using Art to Help Kids Pray Through Holy Week

I'm honored to be contributing to the Heart of the Revival, the newsletter for the National Eucharistic Revival. Previous articles include Pope Benedict XVI's Legacy of the Love for the Eucharist (with quote coloring pages for kids) and tools to help share The Gift of One Holy Mass (including Mass offering cards).

This month's article is about helping kids pray through Holy Week using art. I love using Visio Divina, a companion of Lectio Divina, to help kids (and adults, myself included!) study and pray deeply with a beautiful piece of sacred art.

To make that easy, I have a guide to Visio Divina and a selection of public domain art ready for you to use during Holy Week. You can read all about it and see the rest of the resources here.

Along with the Visio Divina steps, here are some general discussion questions that work for most pieces of sacred art:
• What do you notice as you observe this piece of art? What sticks out to you?
• Who is present in this image? What is taking place?
• Can you connect this art to a story from the Bible? What details did the artist include?
• Where is the focal point of the art? Are there any details happening in the background?
• Which colors stand out to you? Do you think they symbolize anything important?
• What do you notice about the expression of the people? What can you guess about their emotions, thoughts, or actions?
• How does this piece of art make you feel? What questions does this art make you want to ask?
• What can we talk to Jesus about as we reflect on this artwork?

Click here for the set of printable art in at 11x17" size or 8.5x11" size:
(PS, you can print full color pages like this for around 50 cents each at a local office store. It is an inexpensive way to bring art into your home to use for prayer, study, and projects! You also can look up these titles on your computer or smart tv and view them digitally.)

Click here for the Visio Divina Guide in English:

And click here for the Visio Divina Guide in Spanish:

If you'd like to sign up to receive the Heart of the Revival Weekly Newsletter, sign up here.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Holy Role Models: Saintly Friends and Heavenly Heroes

Children’s role models form their value systems and viewpoints of the world. From toddlers to teens, we want to make sure our kids are surrounded by friends that challenge them to be the person God intends them to be, and in return, we hope that our kids model virtue and inspire the best in others.

How can we help young hearts cultivate friendships? Real-life relationships are crucial, but we also can cultivate friendships with the holy men and women who’ve gone before us: the saints. Through both their prayer and example, the saints are the heavenly heroes we want every kid to emulate.

I shared a collection of ideas about helping kids grow in friendship with the Saints in an article for the National Catholic Register. You can read the whole thing here!

The Offering of One Holy Mass

I'm honored to be contributing to the Heart of the Revival, the newsletter for the National Eucharistic Revival. Last month I wrote about Pope Benedict XVI's Legacy of the Love for the Eucharist, including quote coloring pages for kids.

This month's article is titled The Offering of One Holy Mass. Perfect for Lent, but applicable anytime, it helps explain in kid friendly terms why and how we can offer the gift of a Mass for the intentions of our loved ones, living and dead. Like the offering of the little boy at the Feeding of the 5000 in the Gospel of John, no gift is too small for Jesus to change hearts and lives. 

After offering our Mass for someone, it can provide a beautiful opportunity for evangelization. We can let that person know we've been praying for them with a text or call, or even with a little happy mail. These cards are meant to add intentionality to making a personal Mass offering, while also encouraging our loved ones about the gift of the Mass. You can read all the details about how to talk about this with kids here!

If you'd like to sign up to receive the Heart of the Revival Weekly Newsletter, sign up here.

Click here for a general Mass Offering card:

Click here for a Mass Offering card for a departed loved one:

Click here for a coloring page with St. John Vianney's quote about the Mass:

And these resources are also available in Spanish!

March Radiant Roundup: The Month of St. Joseph

Here's a list of ideas to help you and your kids have a holy and purposeful Lent, as well as celebrate some of the important March Feast Days for St. Patrick, St. Joseph, and the Annunciation.

Feast of St. Katharine Drexel: March 3rd

Feast of St. Patrick: March 17th
St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer Cards*

Bl. Josef and Wiktoria Ulma and Children: March 24th
Ulma Family Biographical Study* (7th & up) Editable/Google Classroom ready

Solemnity of the Annunciation: March 25th

The Season of Lent
Lent: Ideas for 40 Days* (Round-up Post of Links)
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)
Lent Family Weekly Plan*- Pray with Sunday Gospels and Fasting/Giving using the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (editable)
Holy Week Family Retreat & Journal* (In English, Spanish, and French, and with an editable schedule

Here's a list of great books for March:

And Stations of the Cross books for kids:

Saint Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family, pray for us!

March Books for Catholic Kids

March 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 St. Joseph

Saint Feast Days this Month
3/3- St. Katharine Drexel
3/17- St. Patrick
3/19- St. Joseph
See list above
3/25- The Annunciation
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Tomie de Paola