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*

Bl. Fra Angelico: February 18th
In honor of Bl. Fra Angelico, try out visio divina as a prayerful way to study some of his paintings.
*New post coming soon with printable/shareable resources for this, but you can always pull up a painting of your choice and use the steps linked above!
Past posts with visio divina activities:

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!

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Mentors to Saints Bulletin Board- Perfect for Catholic Schools Week!

While prepping for a retreat for high schoolers this past fall, I wanted to make something encouraging to hang up in the chaperone hospitality room- a little message to express our thanks to the priests, youth group leaders, overnight chaperones, kitchen workers, and retreat team for the often unseen impact they have on the teens they work with. 

My brainstorming led me to think about Ven. Jan Tyranowski- a man who was asked to direct his parish's youth ministry during the turbulence of WWII in Poland. With so many priests arrested and sent to concentration camps, Tyranowski took his role seriously, beginning first with his own holiness. He passed that call to holiness on to the young men of his own parish, eventually leading to five diocesan priests and six religious vocations. And one of those diocesan priests was Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope St. John Paul II.

More brainstorming led to some other awesome mentors to Saints during their youth, and it's not surprising to me that most of these mentors are either Canonized or on the path to Canonization themselves!

-St. Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin
-St. Kizito and his catechist St. Charles Lwanga
-St. Dominic Savio and his teacher St. John Bosco
-Bl. Chiara Luce Badano and her mentor Servant of God Chiara Lubich
-Ven. Augustus Tolton and his pastor Fr. Peter McGirr

Whether youth group leaders, teachers, catechists, godparents, mentors, or the parents of young people, we know that adults impact their formation in the faith and growth in virtue. The Lord can use His humble servants to share His goodness and guide their paths to Him. And we pray to be worthy of that call! I'm reusing this display as an encouragement for my coworkers during Catholic Schools Week, and you are welcome to use it yourself!

Click here for the "print ready" mini posters with photos and captions on the same page:

Click here for the mini posters with separate photos and captions if you'd like be able to cut them apart to create something like the display I made above:

Do any other young Saints and their mentors come to mind? Leave their names in the comments and I'll add to the collection!

Friday, January 20, 2023

Apostles Mini Posters


One of my favorite units that I do with my 8th graders also happens to be the one that I have the hardest time finding resources for. We spend a large chunk of time studying the Acts of the Apostles as a step in their formation and preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Over the past few years I've been creating things and adding resources to my arsenal, so I was so excited to see the quality of these Apostles Story cards from Into the Deep. She sent me a set to review and I am so grateful to have these now to use year after year!

The 9x6" cards feature original artwork of all 12 Apostles, with the addition of St. Matthias and St. Paul, as well as an Introduction card. The watercolor images offer hints at their livelihoods and martyrdoms, and make a great display as you can see in the photo above. The reverse of the cards each has a biographical reflection on what is know about the Apostle, including where they can be found in Scripture, feast days, and patronages.

My students worked together to make a set of mini Posters to display in our room covering all of the Apostles, and these cards were a great help. Using them as a starting point, my students were then able to look up the referred Scripture verses in their Bibles. They each made a single page mini poster like the one pictured above, so collectively we had a whole wall of info introducing the Apostles. It was a great reference point as we continued our study!

If you have been on the look out for material on the Apostles, I'd highly recommend the Into the Deep Apostles Cards. I'll continue to use them each year in this unit, but they would also make great art to display on the Apostles' various feast days, a reflection in a morning basket, or the source of a Bible Study worked on over days or weeks.

If you'd like to make your own Apostles Mini Posters, click here for the pdf of the template or click here for a Google Slide version that you can edit/assign digitally.

All you holy Apostles, pray for us!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Bilingual Mass Reflection Sheet

Using a journaling page to help kids prepare for Mass and reflect afterwards is a practical prayer tool for families and classrooms. Here's a copy of my Mass Reflection page in a Bilingual format!

You can read more ideas about how & when to use it with kids and what to use the boxes for in the original post. This post also has a set of slides with music & prayers perfect for reflection before or after Mass.

Click here for the Bilingual Mass Reflection Sheet (in English and Spanish)

Renewal of Baptismal Promises in Spanish

Renewing our Baptismal Promises is a perfect activity for celebrating Baptism anniversaries, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, during the Easter Season, when studying the Nicene Creed, Confirmation prep, or anytime! I like to print the Baptismal  Promises and cut in a long narrow strip of paper so that my students can decorate the other side like a Baptismal candle, using symbols associated with the Sacrament and new life in Christ.

Thanks to a kind LHBR reader and her priest, I have a new printable with the Renewal of Baptismal Promises in Spanish, making it easy to do this activity in a classroom and let kids choose Spanish or English for their candle. 

You can find the original post with the English version here, as well as several other Baptism activities!

Click here for the Renewal of Baptismal Promises in Spanish:

Renovacion de las Promesas Bautismales:

Click here for the Chi Rho image to decorate the candle:

Click here for the original post on the Paschal Candle:

Click here for the original post on making a Baptismal Candle:

And find all resources in Spanish under this tab.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Prayer Memorization Puzzles in Spanish (Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be)

I posted this prayer card puzzle idea over ten years ago, and now I'm happy to share a Spanish version with you! These prayer memorization cards come in handy for little ones just learning prayers, as review games, or to aid an older child catching up on catechesis. Adding a manipulative and a visual can be a helpful tool for all types of learners. Even if they know these basic prayers in their own language, they could be challenged to learn in a second language so as to be able to pray with other believers!

Here are a few ideas for how to use them, whether in English or Spanish:
1. For early readers, print a white copy of the master sheet and let the child color in each box as they can read a word, starting with easy sight words like the and be first and working up to harder words.  When the whole sheet is filled in, read the whole prayer. A pencil or pointer could be used to tap each word as it is said.
2. For early readers, give the child the master sheet and one or two words.  Have them see if they can visually match the word card to its spot on the master sheet using letters that they already know. Read the word together.  Work up to more and more cards until their word recognition allows them to read some of the prayer themselves.
3. When the prayer is partially memorized, no matter the age of child- Cut a master sheet into horizontal strips, mix them up, and help the child arrange them until the whole prayer is in order.
4. When the prayer is partially memorized, no matter the age of child- With the whole sheet cut into cards, give the child only the words needed for a particular sentence or phrase.  Let them arrange those into the correct order, and read the sentence out loud.  Then give them the next few words, put them in order, and read it all together.  Continue until the whole prayer is finished.
5. When the prayer is partially memorized, no matter the age of child- Print two copies of the prayer cards on different colors. Cut one up and leave the other whole. Piece together the prayer like a puzzle. Turn this into a timed challenge or competition if appropriate.
6. When the child is near mastery, give the child only the cards with no master sheet.  Mix them up, and challenge them to put all of the words in order.  This could be a quiet time activity just for personal challenge, or could be used with older kids with a timer or in a competition.

Click here for the Our Father in Spanish: