2016: a new year; a fresh start. And how true it is that God makes all things new. Pope Francis has asked us to focus especially on this during the Jubilee Year of Mercy that began on December 8, 2015. We, of course, must allow ourselves to be made new. In the Sacrament of Baptism and again in the Sacrament of Reconciliation we experience this plainly. By humbly acknowledging our sins we allow God's mercy to overwhelm and renew us. We are also called to show mercy to others. As you begin 2016 and celebrate the Year of Mercy, enjoy sharing the beautiful message of God's abundant mercy with young people.
Grades K - 5
Decorate your classroom or home with this bulletin board display and ring in the new year! Download "Making All Things New" (PDF).
Grades 6 and up
Can you imagine falling asleep in the evening on September 2 and waking up in the morning on September 14? That is exactly what happened in 1752 for Colonial Americans when England and its colonies finally adopted the Gregorian calendar originally introduced by Pope Gregory XIII's papal bull in 1582. The Jesuit priest Christopher Clavius, a mathematician and astronomer, was a key player in the development of the Gregorian calendar; he completed the work begun by Aloysius Lilius. After you talk about the history of the calendar and New Year's Day, try writing 2016 resolutions in the following format: KEEP - CHANGE - START - STOP.
Download "New Year Acitvities" (PDF).
Saint of the Month
January 4 - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (page 87 in the Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions. Download "St. Elizabeth Ann Seton" (PDF).
Review the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Make plans to perform them together and/or individually throughout the year. Read "Living the Year of Mercy" from OSV Newsweekly.
Lifelong Catechesis Corner
When have I let Jesus help me with a problem? Click here for readings and activities.