Homegrown Catholics is an excellent resource for religious education teachers, homeschoolers, and parents. Here you'll see all my lesson plans and project ideas on many Catholic subjects as well as school topics. If you would like to read about my adventures as a Home Educator, click on the St. Brigid's Academy tab above.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Prioritizing Holy Week


Most people know I'm crafty, but some years I've been feeling burnt out. So I am humbling myself by letting go of my worries and anxieties of all that I need to accomplish. I'm dropping it all for a week of focusing on teaching my family about the most beautiful week of our liturgical year. That's at the top of my to do list. That's what I've learned this Lent. Patience and Priorities. Are you going to make it yours?

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It all starts Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday 2

I always loved Catholic Icing's palm and foot craft. Finger painting is messy, but it's such a delightful way to show your children that you love them. Sometimes… it's okay to make messes. If you're not a paint person, you can trace and cut out the shape of hands and feet. It is fun to get one green handprint from all family members for a big poster or palm tree!
 Our Family Palm Tree!


- Spirit4Teens has a good article about almsgiving with ideas for all ages. For those who gave up candy, coffee, etc for Lent they suggest giving the money you would have spend on those items to charity.
- Catholic Youth Ministry.com discusses Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Alms being not just money… it's sharing our Time, Talents and Treasure. How much of your time can you give to service in your church and community? God gave us hands for more than helping ourselves!
- Biblewise.com had these great ideas:
  • Help someone in need, even if it means washing feet, dishes, clothes, etc.
  • Join or start a club that provides community service. Help beautify by planting trees, picking up garbage, or doing something that your community needs.
  • Start an Easter food drive. Easter is about the resurrection - "He is risen!" What better opportunity to uplift the lives of those in need! Usually food drives are done at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But there are people who need food throughout the year. You can donate food to a local charity organization or shelter.
  • "Resurrect" - that is, uplift! - the thoughts and actions of those around you: refuse to take offense or be brought "down" by someone's comments or attitude. Instead, lift up the general atmosphere by loving your neighbor!
- O is for Offering Box
2010 03 11_Lent-Easter_0003Rosary Hangers

  Ask your children to carry a wooden cross with them for the remainder of Lent. At times it will be hard or bothersome. It may get worn, dented, scratched or colored on. When asked to do something, they take their “cross” with them and offer it up. When they are wondering if they should do something questionable, such as watch a tv program, they need to ask themselves - “Would Jesus want to do this with me?” If the answer is no, then stop.
  At Easter, we will take a good look at our crosses and talk about it. Then we will grab bright paints, painting our crosses to look bright and new as Jesus’ body on Easter morning when he rose from the dead. Attach hooks near the bottom and use these as
rosary hangers.

" When you carry a Rosary, Satan has a headache.
When you use it, he collapses.
When he sees you praying it, he faints."
Lessons on the Holy Eucharist
Homegrown Catholics: Holy Thursday MealHomegrown Catholics: Holy Thursday Meal
We begin our readings at sunset with The Last Supper and readings about God being the vine, and that we must attach ourselves to Him to bear fruit. Our children look forward to this special Bible time with Daddy. Then we eat grapes and bread (or round, gluten free crackers instead). Usually we bake a pan of delicious, cinnamon Communion Bread. We've had berry gelatin in wine cups. It's rather filling, so this alone is our supper before our Good Friday fast.
Homegrown Catholics: Holy Thursday Meal 
One of our children are usually preparing for their First Holy Eucharist, so we're going to go over a lot that they've learned. We use our Mass Kit and a home made priest's chasuble to role play. Role playing can be reenacting The Last Supper or The Liturgy of the Eucharist. Attending Mass to receive the Eucharist would be the best activity of the day!
Here are some favorite Holy Communion coloring pages for at home or in the pew. You can also visit My Modest Mommies' PINTEREST BOARDS to see all the other crafts and activities I've found! So many people have come up with great crafts from a monstrance made with a gold doily to a Host and Chalice with a peek-a-boo Jesus.
Jesus-Illuminated Ink first_holy_communion communion_cup_host

Happy Saints has 3 great e-Books about Eucharistic Miracles I can't wait to share with the kids! Without printing them, you can do a slideshow presentation on your computer just by scrolling to each page.
Eucharistic Miracle of AssisiEucharistic Miracle of LancianoEucharistic Miracle of Seefeld

It will certainly be a
if we remember to follow this plan!
Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross are already set up in our main living area.  You can read more about our Stations, the "Crosses we bear" and get printables on our LENT blog. We'll talk about the sacrifices we've made, especially those we pulled a "thorn" for from the Crown of Thorns. If time allows, we may make a Lego Good Friday Scene.

Stations Matchup
We have some flash cards and a matching activity for the little ones to participate in. The little ones always enjoy this hands on matching game with images and symbols of The Stations of the Cross.

Make your own Crucifix


Our Good Friday Cake

 We'll talk a little about Purgatory, but we'll be spending most of the day with family. That night I'll be getting ready for my Easter plans. It certainly isn't easy to celebrate Easter before it has arrived. For many families, they forget that Holy Saturday is still a solemn day.

Movies: The Passion of The Christ, The Animated Passion, Veggie Tales: Twas the Night Before Easter

Our World and the Eternal-p1
Discussion: Where am I headed and how do I get there from here?
Helping children learn about Heaven, Purgatory, Hell and Earth is difficult if you don't understand it yourself. While there are no definite answers, here is my interpretation of what I've learned. Click and Print each page to read. Below are also more links to enrichment activities and resources.
Our World and the Eternal-p2Our World and the Eternal-p3Our World and the Eternal-p4

Children's Books:
Adult Books:
  • After this Life: What Catholics Believe About What Happens Next by Fr. Benedict Groeschel
  • The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
  • Hungry Souls by Gerard J.M. Van Den Aardweg
  • The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn
  • The Visions of the Children by Janice Connell
Movies (parental discretion):
  • What Dreams May Come (1998)
  • Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader [Where Narnia Meets Faith
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven
  • Heart and Souls (1993)
Life Links:
Read more about visionaries who have seen Purgatory.


EASTER is a whole new liturgical season!
While Holy Week does include Easter Sunday, the Easter season lasts 50 days. That is why I want to post about Easter as a separate event.
But I'll tell you the day will include opening the sacrifice bin, making resurrection rolls, and finding where the Easter Bunny left our baskets.

Have a Happy, Humble, Holy Week!

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