An Appointment with Jesus

As you follow the Sunday Gospel readings this August, you'll notice that almost all come from John 6 where Jesus teaches about the sacrament that he will institute at the Last Supper. As Catholics we consider the Eucharist to be the 'source and summit' of our lives. Believing that Jesus is truly present in the appearances of bread and wine is a profound mystery of our faith. Difficult as it is to comprehend, it is so important to teach to our kids and especially appropriate to do so during this month dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament. If you can, make a point of taking your kids/class to adoration, using our August TCK ideas to help prepare them.

       

Fun feature!

August at a Glance (PDF)

 

Grades K-5

Activity: Monstrance Craft

Make a monstrance! Attach a gold doily or gold paper plate to the top half of sturdy paper. Use gold paper to add the foot and a cross topper. For the Eucharist, start with a round picture of Jesus that is about two inches in diameter. Using a small amount of clear glue on the edges, layer a circle of wax paper the same size on top and glue all to the center of the monstrance. Decorate with jewels as desired. The picture of Jesus reminds us that Jesus is really there in the Eucharist even though it looks like bread.

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Grades K-5

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Grade 6 & Up

Activity: Preparing for Adoration

Encourage students to discuss John 6 together and gather a sampling of writings from the Early Church Fathers on the Eucharist to also talk about. When you go to adoration, include some structured prayer such as the Divine Praises or the Anima Christi and allow time for private meditation. The following two videos might also be helpful for preparation:
Matt Maher -- Lord I Need You (World Youth Day 2013 Adoration Vigil)
Eucharistic Adoration -- Reverse momentum

Lifelong Catechesis Corner

God feeds me in the Eucharist. How else does he feed me?
Activities online at the Lifelong Catechesis page.

Saint for August

August 11 – St. Clare (PDF)

Catholic Stewardship for Kids

Postcard Evangelizing

Brighten up someone's day with a card: Postcard Evangelizing (PDF)

Catechist Know-How

Lessons of Childhood

By Cathy Donovan

“Amen,
I say to you, unless you …
become like children,
you will not enter the
kingdom of heaven.”

— Matthew 18:3

I grew up in a very traditional home full of children. My dad “worked” and my mom didn’t. You get the picture. During the summer months we were expected to be — how should I put this — children.

We had chores to do, but once those were done we were free to be, well, children. I often left the house on my bike about mid-morning, met up with friends on their bikes and spent the rest of the day swimming at the local pool and watching outlines of our wet bodies on the concrete sidewalk dry in the sun. Sometimes we would lie on the ground and look up at the clouds, trying to see familiar images in them. I remember playing catch, Four Square, hide-and seek, capture the flag. You get the picture. I remember feeling wide-eyed and alert. I remember being focused on the moment, not preoccupied with yesterday or anticipating tomorrow. I remember being full of energy, almost as if I was tingling. I loved summer. What kid wouldn’t!

Matthew 18:3 (see quote above) has always caught my attention. Does it mean that doing what I want when I want is the ticket to heaven? Hardly. The older I get, the more I realize how important those summer days were and the impact of the lessons they taught. I remember those summer days as being very simple. I wanted to be with friends and soak up the day.

As a parent watching my own children grow I am aware of childlike qualities from which I would benefit; humility, a trusting nature, freedom from ambition and selfish drive, the ability to be present in the moment and the openness to learning. I could do with a little more wonder in my life, a bit more amazement at all God has created. Times have changed, and life has become more scheduled. While I wouldn’t recommend re-creating the past, I would recommend leaving room for some of the lazy, unscripted moments when God inspires us to play.

This summer, take a chance and schedule a little less activity. Leave room for the natural, God-given creativity of a child. Your child may experience moments of wonder and awe. Better yet, join your child in play. Draw on the driveway with chalk, make “concoctions” in the kitchen, have a tea party under the pool water, play Marco Polo, try to count the stars. You get the picture.

Article from Take Out: Family Faith on the Go

Prayer for August

O God, you cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose.
Help us to love what you command,
and to desire what you promise that, amid the uncertainties of this world,
we may see with your eyes, and respond with your love.
May our hearts be fixed on that place where true gladness is found.
Amen.

(Collect, Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, adapted)