Free Printable Holy Week Activities for Palm Sunday to Easter

 Holy Week, the week preceding Easter, begins on Palm Sunday of the liturgical church year. Holy Week is the culmination of Lent. The Easter Triduum, consisting of Maundy or Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday bring christians to the highest point in the church year, Easter. Holy Week is also referred to as the Passion or Paschal celebration. Free Printable Holy Week Activities

Catholic Lenten Fasting Ideas for Kids, Corporal and Spiritual Fasts

Giving things up for Lent is about more than just not eating meat. During this 40-day period, we follow Christ's temptation in the desert, ending with Holy Week and passion, death and resurrection at Easter. During Lent we fast in imitation of Christ. Here are tips to teach kids why we give things up and how to sacrifice. Suggestions include corporal and spiritual fasts plus good habits to replace them with. Picture is my Lenten Kitchen vegan chili recipe. Catholic Lenten Fasting Ideas for Kids

Teach Children Generosity With Lent Almsgiving Activities

Catholics around the world enter into the penitential season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. From now till Easter, we practice Lenten virtues of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We give up things in imitation of Jesus's temptation in the desert. We pray to draw closer to God. And we share with those in need. Here are 40 ways kids can give, one for each day of lent. I've included free printable activities, Bible coloring sheets, Catholic crafts and lesson plans.  Teach Kids Generosity With Lenten Almsgiving Activities, Donations

Ban Bossy, We Need to Empower Girls, Not Squash Them

I hate it when Americans pontificate about how bad women have it in other countries, then silence their own women. I know women are abused, kept in slavery, prevented from learning. I'm not deaf to their problems. I pray for them and support empowerment missions, like Amnesty, WAR and Global Girlfriend. It's our hypocrisy I object to. In our supposed enlightened nation, girls have low self-esteem issues 3.5 times more than boys. Girls don't speak up, don't take leadership, don't assert their intelligence. They play dumb and weak. Why? Because we teach them to. Parents, join me in helping our girls find and use their voice. This is what God calls us to do. When He spoke of women as the weaker vessels, it wasn't to shame or silence them. It was to help their realize their essential role.   Ban Bossy, Empower Girls to Speak Out, Not Tell Them to Shut Up

Why Catholics Give Up Things for Lent, Spiritual and Physical Fasts

Today on Ash Wednesday, Catholics begin Lent which follows Christ’s passion, death and resurrection at Easter. Part of our Lenten practice is to fast from vices or luxuries in imitation of Christ’s sufferings. We deny ourselves to get closer to God.

What we give up may not be bad. But preoccupation with it takes focus from God. Common fasts are sweets, TV, video games. This may seem immature. But we’re called to approach the kingdom of heaven like children. I know plenty adults (raises hand) who let worldly things distract us from Godly.   Why Catholics Give Up Things for Lent, Spiritual and Physical Fasting

Free Printable Bible Easter Coloring Pages, Graphics, Clipart

This posts shares links to free anmated graphics. But if you look on the sidebar you can find religious holiday coloring pages. Or type "Bible" in the search bar. You'll find over 100 Bible coloring pages for Catholic Chrisitan Easter and Lent and Christmas. Free Personalized Clipart, Sparkle Graphics, Animated Gifs

Heart Burn, the Agony and Ecstasy (poem)

 This poem is for our baby daughters who died in utero. Resquiescat in pace, Mary and Isobella. Keep each other company till mama and daddy can join you. I called this painful poem "ecstasy" because it's not a term for bliss. In fact, ecstasy is nothing like blissful calm of bliss. It's intense, searing spiritual awakening, bitter-sweet. The mystics St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila (who elected herself my patroness) experienced this. Our Lady felt the seven dolores (Sorrows) piercing her heart. Any parent, especially a mother, who has lost a child knows heart burn. The Heavenly Father knows it, too.  Heart Burn, the Agony and Ecstasy (poem) 

Printable Catholic Saint Valentine Lesson Plans, Activities

The story of St. Valentine has zero to do with schmaltzy flowers and candy and little with romance as we think of it. But Valentine's story is spiritually romantic. Valentinius was a Roman Christian priest. In those days, this was not popular. In fact, it was illegal. Here are free printable activities to explore this saint. Catholic Saint Valentine Lesson Plans, Activities

Free Printable St Valentines Activities for Children

Can we just agree, my dear Catholic friends, that this winter is getting really old? I know, offer up sufferings, etc. But I have chilblains on my feet and permanent chafing! I don't know how you moms of 10 kids do it, especially in this crazy cold weather. I know a lot of you homeschool. Did I tell you I was an early homeschool pioneer back in 1993? I feel for ya, sisters. But I digress. How about some St. Valentines Day crafts and cards to keep those bored little one occupied? Free (Yes Free!) Valentines to Print, Perfect for Snowbound Kids 

Jim Crow, Black History From Rosa Parks' Bus Seat

Social justice a huge part, maybe the biggest, in our Catholic Christian life. We have to take up the crosses of those in bondage. So that's why I don't get complaints about Black History Month infuriate me. If you have to ask, you clearly don't get American history period. We who teach it aren't the revisionists. They're the ones who wrote it out in the first place. Slavery, segregation, Jim Crow stole an entire peoples' past. Black History Month can't replace that. But it can renew the future. It can revive traditions, restore voices and reinvest in the heritage that was denied. I've always felt intense solidarity with the oppressed and marginalized. But recently, I experienced it in a new way. I sat in Rosa Parks' bus seat. Here are lessons written from that perspective.
For Black History Month, Learn Jim Crow Lessons From Rosa Parks' Bus Seat

Should Religious Posts Be Banned on Social Networking Sites?

Should religious posts be banned online? They cause so much furor, or can, when narrow-minded bigots engage. But wait, before you scream "NOOO! Free Speech! Freedom of Religion." or Yes! Separation of Church and State" hear me out. I don't look to gag religion or any other topic. I present considerations for interacting in healthy ways online and in real life. Engaging in holy wars is not healthy. Read on about how this played out on a couple of sites I write for.   Should Religious Posts Be Banned on Bubblews?

Jewish Holocaust Remembrance Resources for Families

 January 27 marks the International Jewish Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Holocaust remembered on this day because it is the day which the Russians liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz in Poland. An estimated 6 million Jewish people died in what Heinrich Himmler of Hitler's third Reich called the Final Solution to the 'Jewish Problem'. Catholics, Christians and all religious groups should join Jews in honoring the dead. Use for country Yom HaShoah remembrance days.
Jewish Holocaust Memorial Lesson Plans and Web Help

Free Printable Advent O Antiphons Activities, Prayers

Starting December 17, the Catholic church prays the O Antiphons (names for Jesus) to countdown advent to Christmas. Each day a different title for Jesus is the focus. These ancient messianic titles are referenced in the Old Testament of the Bible. They can be found in the hymn "O Come Emmanuel." The titles are Emmanuel God with Us, Wisdom, Dayspring, Lord and Ruler, King of Kings, Root of Jesse, Key of David. These seven titles are listed in Latin and English. Advent tradition of praying the O Antiphons (names for Jesus) began in medieval times. Orthodox and some protestant churches pray them too. Here are printable prayer guides and coloring sheets to help children learn and pray the O Antiphons.   Advent O Antiphons Activities, Prayers, Printables

Printable Feast of the Immaculate Conception Activities for Children

 Dec. 8 marks the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in the Catholic liturgical calendar. In 2013, the holy day will be observed on Dec. 9 in many parishes. Catholics believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from original sin so that she could birth the Messiah, Jesus and honor her on this day. Here are activities for parents and children to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and Advent, a Christmas preparatory season during which the feast falls. Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Advent Activities for Parents and Children

Free Printable Advent Games, Crafts, Bible Worksheets

 Advent 2013 began Sunday, December I. From now till Christmas, we will prepare our hearts for the coming (Advent) of Jesus. Here are free printable Advent coloring, puzzles, crafts, calendars, wreaths and activities to celebrate the season. I have been exploring and testing links for free printable Advent activities to keep children busy productive and happy as they prepare for Christmas. Picture is a retablo from St. John the Evangel, Lafayette, La. Free Printable Advent Games, Crafts and Activities

Free Printable Christian Thanksgiving Activities

 I recently came across a comprehensive Thanksgiving website. It has lots of free printable Thanksgiving lesson plans with a Christian theme. Crafts, activities, recipes, games and resources from and specifically Audrey's Thanksgiving Page. It's overflowing with printables for a Thanksgiving history unit in your classroom or homeschool. If you are planning a Thanksgiving party or church social, you'll want to bookmark this site. If you teach preschool or Sunday School or work in day care, Audrey can help you organize all your Thanksgiving activities. Free Printable Thanksgiving Activities and Lesson Plans

Free Thanksgiving Greeting Cards, Crafts

Do you like to send holiday cards but find them too expensive? Well, did you know you can print cards at home and it costs nothing? Here are free printable Thanksgiving cards to make and send. All you have to provide is a printer, paper and ink. Or go to the library and print for 10 to 15 cents. Quite a savings. Great holiday activity for Catholic families and homeschoolers. Don't forget senior friends and neighbors. Free Thanksgiving Cards, Crafts and Games to Print

Crafts for Kids, Dress as Saints, Bible Characters with Homemade Costumes

Ho-hum, All Saints Day is over. No more dress-up fun. No more crafts till Advent. If you need a crafts fix fast, I'm your go-to gal. My ideas cheap, easy and parent-friendly. Your recycle bin is your best ally. Today's boredom first-aid: homemade hats. With Halloween approaching, why not start those costumes? Use for school projects, too. Rainy Day Recycle Bin Crafts for Kids--Homemade Hats

Candy Alternative Treats for All Saints Eve, Day of the Dead Parties

I know, call me an old bat, but I hate Halloween--the ghoulishness, haunted houses, the money wasted. We observed All Saints Day with our kids. They could enjoy making costumes (Bible and saints), dressing up and going to parties. SFX in Grand Rapids, Mich., had a rockin' All Saints Eve mass, costume parade and party. But I'm not even really into the candy. I like to pass out sugarfree alternatives. I wrote one list and here are 10 more trick-or-treat handouts. Add to the list holy cards, crucifixes, saints medals, books, Catholic coloring books, printable coloring pages.  10 Candy Alternative Treats for Halloween

Free Printable Catholic Games, Crafts for All Saints Day

With All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on November 2, the Catholic church moves into the countdown toward Advent and the church new year. Catholic school teachers, religious education instructors, homeschoolers and parents, you'll want these these free printable games and activities. use these for lessons, party games, holy day activities and family fun. Free Printable Catholic Games, Coloring, Activities

We Learned About Solidarity with the Poor from Operation Rice Bowl Recipe Fail

One of my favorite concepts in the Catholic church is social justice. When I converted in 1993, I was intrigued by the term "live in solidarity with the poor." I think I heard it at a third order Franciscan event. I've always tried to live American transcendentalism-simple, generous, neighborly. I call myself a Catholic transcendentalist.

Social justice teachings were a big part of our homeschooling. We followed church liturgical calendar for lessons. During Lent, we fast, give alms and sacrifice. Our church does Catholic Relief Services Operation Rice Bowl, collecting money for those in need. Through the rice bowl calendar we learn about cultures our money helps. It's not a do-gooder, we-them thing. They ain't heavy--they're brothers and sisters.

Here's how a recipe fail from the CRS rice bowl calendar taught us first-hand what hunger means. And so rice bowl is a lent activity? The concept works for advent, especially given it's a penitential season. Why not check out the CRS rice bowl website for lessons? I included the link. Read more What We Learned About Hunger From My Third-World Recipe Fail

Free Saints Coloring Pages, Animals Crafts for Feast of St. Francis

October 4 is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis achieved many things in his life--restoring San Damiano church and founding the Franciscan religious order. He was instrumental in returning the Church to Benedictine vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and humility. He wrote "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" and the Prayer of St. Francis (Make me a channel of your peace) from which 12-step programs take the Serenity Prayer.

But Francis is probably best known as the patron saint of animals. Many people participate in the Blessing of the Pets on his feast day. I remember when our oldest was 5, at St. Mary's in Spring Lake (before I converted or had decided to home school). I missed bringing our cat Oliver for the pet blessing and Molly was heart-broken (sure some horrible fate would befall him). So Sister told me to bring him in for his own blessing. I brought one reluctant kitty and two busy little boys to school where Ollie was duly pet and blessed. Good memories. For free printable activities and crafts, click here Free Printable Saints, Animals Crafts for Feast of St. Francis

Relationship Glue Recipe: Use Catholic Reconciliation Sacrament

We've been married 26 years, only to each other. We've made every mistake in the book (and invented some) in communication. To help others possibly avoid relationship pitfalls, I'm writing a series of Relationship glue recipes and today's is: treat problems like the sacrament of reconciliation in the Catholic church.

I converted to Catholicism in 1993. My husband is a convert too. We love many things about the church, but the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) is a favorite. Here's how we use sacramental principles in our relationship. Confession involves four acts:   Relationship Glue Recipe: Use Catholic Reconciliation Sacrament

Reasons Catholics Should Do Yoga

I started yoga 13 years ago, dropped out for 12 years and finally started going back last year. But I haven't been very faithful, honestly. I don't know why I always find a thousand excuses not to go. Mostly, it's just laziness. Contrary to popular Christian urban legend, yoga is very spiritual. It brings me closer to God by helping me to free my mind of negativity, guilt, anger, tension, even addictions. As I focus on breathing and stretching, I'm made aware of the blessings of health. It brings my mind, heart and body into unity with the divine. Here are a bunch more reasons to go.    I am Going Back to Yoga and Here's Why 

Teach Kids Christmas Gratitude, Not Greed

Picture Christmas morning--shiny-eyed children happily opening presents. Sadly, reality is often more selfish, greedy ingrates crying over gifts. This isn't just in "non-Christian" homes. It applies to Catholics, protestants, Christians. And we're the ones who invented the holiday! We know the Real Meaning of Christmas. Yet we get just as caught up in the frenzy. Experts blame indulgent parents for creating this selfish generation of kids, said the Daily Mail in 2011. Boy did they nail that one. So here are parenting tips to curb Christmas gimmes and teach an attitude of gratitude. And these tips save money so there'll be enough to share with those who really need things Teach Kids Christmas Gratitude, Not Greed--And Save Money!

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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