Friday, January 26, 2024

Saints & Sports Bulletin Board

Our Catholic Schools Week activities are themed around the Olympics and the Saints- each class is representing a country around the world and a Saint from that country.

I love a good theme, so switched up my bulletin board to feature Saints living well- playing sports and enjoying the outdoors. I plan to share their stories with my students, and will be reading some excerpts from Pope St. John Paul II's speeches to athletes. (There is a great list here, and you can check the full text on the Vatican website)

I want to share with my students that we can celebrate the gift of athletics and sports– as well as challenge them to see how we can use those talents while also serving the Lord and growing in holiness.

Saints included are:
• Pope Saint John Paul II (hiking, skiing, camping)
• Blessed Chiara Luce Badano (pictured playing in the snow, also a tennis player)
• Saint John Bosco (encouraged students to play sports)
• Blessed Carlo Acutis (soccer)
• Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (mountain climbing, skiing)
• Blessed Gianna Molla (hiking)
• Blessed Benedict Daswa (played soccer)
• Servant of God Michelle Duppong (grew up on a farm)
• Venerable Carla Ronci (riding a Vespa)
• Saint Dulce Pontes (played soccer)
• Venerable Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan (pictured riding a bike)
• Venerable Guido Schäffer (surfing)

I'm working on some activities too, but those aren't quite ready yet, so for now, here's some bulletin board printables for you!

Saints & Sports images here:

Sports & Virtue Quotes from JP2 here:

"Be Saints" letter outlines here:

If you are looking for more bulletin board ideas, check out this post:

Monday, January 1, 2024

AMDG Bulletin Board

Need a new bulletin board for the start of 2024? It seems like a good time to remember to be doing all things well- and to be doing them for the greater glory of God! I used the big bulletin board in my classroom to add some inspiring quotes and a memorable Latin motto to give both me and my students a daily reminder. Michelle from Rough 2 Rustic sent me that awesome AMDG Banner and it inspired this whole display. Laser cut out of birch wood and strung on jute, the banner will last for years and years and can be used in so many different ways. Rather than cutting letters out of paper, I love how it adds depth to the bulletin board and especially love that they won’t need to be tossed when this bulletin board comes down- they’ll be simple to store and then I can pull them back out again later. Of course, the banner would also look lovely on a mantle or on a wall at home too!

Some details on the rest of the board if you are curious:

  • Background is navy fabric. It’s going six years strong. Sometimes I’ll put a layer of paper over it for a particular board, but the navy is always the base layer and makes it easy to get a bulletin board up quickly. Fabric also hides staple holes and doesn’t fade as quickly as paper.
  • Ditto for the borders. It’s called “white wood” from Teacher Created Resources.
  • I was going for a rolling mountain skyline with the torn paper (maybe?). Those were made from four pieces of posterboard. I cut them in half and taped together to get more length, then tore the wavy shapes across the whole long piece. That gave me eight layers.
  • Arranged those and used a few dots of glue to just barely hold in place.
  • Wrote several Bible verses and Saint quotes about the glory of God. (list here)
  • Stapled the mountains on the board and tucked the edges under the boarder and ta-da! A subtle reminder to use your gifts and talents and this wonderful life to bring glory to our Creator.

Whether for classroom or home, make sure to go check out all Rough 2 Rustic has to offer! So many wonderful tools to add Catholic identify in simple but meaningful ways!

Click here for a list of the quotes and Bible verses I included:

If you are looking for more bulletin board ideas, check out this post:

The Secret Meaning of the 12 Days of Christmas

You may have heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas, but did you know that they are not a countdown? Rather, they are twelve days of celebration that begin on Christmas Day and last until the Solemnity of the Epiphany on January 6th.

There is an old English folk song called the Twelve Days of Christmas about receiving a set of unusual gifts. We can find hidden symbolism in the gifts to remind us of important truths of our faith. For example, the partridge in the pear tree represents Jesus on the Cross, the two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, and the three French hens are the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love (or the Blessed Trinity!). Can you think of what the gifts on days four through twelve might symbolize? I made a worksheet for my students to match up the possible secret symbols behind the list in the Twelve Days of Christmas song. 

Note that I've seen a few different interpretations- these seem to be pretty universal and made sense to us! If you have a different list and would like to edit the worksheet, click here and make a copy of the original to make your own changes. Note that I also added an extra challenge at the bottom to include other ideas that would make sense for the symbolism- a nice little extension activity!

Click here for the student worksheet

Click here for the teacher answer key

January Radiant Roundup

Happy New Year, Friends! This marks the start of the third year of offering the Radiant Roundup, and I've been so grateful for the more practical organization method, opportunity to pull things out of the archives, and chance to share some new things in an easy & quick manner. If you haven't already subscribed, I send a brief monthly newsletter hitting the highlights for the coming month. You can sign up in the navy box to the right of this post. May God bless you richly in 2024!

Resources with a * mean that they contain free printables (or shareable digital files).

Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus: Feast Day January 3rd
Names of Jesus Mini Poster* 
The Significance of the Sign of the Cross Study*  (includes content on taking the Lord's Name in vain)

Mary, Mother of God: January 1st
Marian Ideas Collection* 

Epiphany: First Sunday after January 1st (traditionally January 6th, Observed January 7, 2024)
Epiphany Home Blessing Kit* (Includes updates for the next few years)
*Original Post updated to include Home Blessing Booklets in Spanish*
Gifts of the Magi Bible Study* (Google Classroom Assignment)

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: January 4th
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Mini Study (Google Classroom Assignment)

Ordinary Time is perfect for growing in the virtues!
Virtues & Saints Bible Study* 3 guides for the Theological Virtues
Virtues & Saints Bible Study* 4 guides for the Cardinal Virtues

St. Marianne Cope- January 23rd

Servant of God Antonio Inija: January 26th (date of martyrdom)
St. Thomas Aquinas: January 28th
St. Thomas Aquinas Mini Study* (Google Classroom Assignment)

St. John Bosco: January 31st
St. John Bosco Mini Study* (Google Classroom Assignment)

Catholic Schools Week: Begins on the last Sunday in January
Saint Pennants- Perfect decor for Catholic Schools Week*

Resources for a New Year:
Start the year off with weekly readings and reflections with my books!
Through the Year With Jesus

Traditional Catholic Monthly Devotions:
Monthly Devotion Calendar Signs*

January Books for Catholic Kids

January 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 Most Holy Name of Jesus
The New Year
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Tomie de Paola

1/3- St. Genevieve

1/4- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

1/6- Epiphany
Where is the Baby King?- Henning & Atkins

1/22- Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn

1/25- Conversion of St. Paul
1/28- St. Thomas Aquinas

1/31- St. John Bosco

Book Lists By Month:
Click on the images below for book lists organized by feast days and devotions for each month:

Celebrating Epiphany

Epiphany, traditionally on the January 6th (the twelfth day of Christmas) is observed on January 8th this year.

At Mass on Epiphany we hear the story of the visit of the Magi. These Wise Men traveled far to worship Jesus and brought Him three gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The gold was for Jesus because He is the King of kings, the frankincense was because He is the great High Priest, and the myrrh was for the sacrifice He would make on the Cross.

The gifts of the Wise Men are one of the reasons that it is a tradition for family and friends to exchange gifts during the Christmas season. In some cultures, gifts are exchanged on Epiphany instead of Christmas Day.

It also is customary to bless your home on Epiphany, remembering the way that the Holy Family opened their dwelling place to these visitors. You can read the story of the Magi in Matthew 2:1–12.

Click here for the Celebrating Epiphany coloring page:

You may also like these Epiphany Activities:

Epiphany Home Blessing Kit* (updated through 2026)
My Gift: An Epiphany Readers' Theater*
Gifts of the Magi Google Classroom Assignment

You can read more about the connection between Epiphany and Christmas in All about Advent & Christmas: Sharing the Seasons of Hope & Wonder with Children. These coloring pages were made in cooperation with Shari Van Vranken of Catholic Paper Goods using artwork from our new book!

You can find it at The St. Paul Center here or on Amazon here

And you can find all of the free resources linked in this post: