The rhythm of the Church year flows on in February. On Ash Wednesday the "high tide" season that lasts from Epiphany to Fat Tuesday gives way to the "low tide" season of Lent. Fat Tuesday has as many different names as it does traditions: Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, Butter Tuesday. Unlike today, there once was a time when Lenten rules required that ingredients like meat, milk, butter, and eggs be completely used up before Lent. The name Shrove Tuesday comes from the practice of confessing, or shriving, sins during the week before Lent. Our TCK activities for the month highlight the festive spirit of Fat Tuesday. Bring the day to a close with the older custom of literally "burying the Alleluia" just as is done for Lenten Liturgies. Have fun singing and saying Alleluia frequently on Fat Tuesday. At the end of the day, write the word Alleluia on a slip of paper and "bury" it until Easter Sunday in the home/classroom, perhaps inside a plastic Easter egg, or outside if weather permits.
February at a Glance (PDF)
Activity: Fat Tuesday Pancakes and Ash Wednesday
Read our Fat Tuesday story and prayer together, then enjoy a mask-making party or pancake snack and race.
On Ash Wednesday talk about the meaning of the ashes and read the prayer. Make the Sign of the Cross on the foreheads of the children. Give the children a sticker of a cross to wear on their shirts or shoes as a reminder of Ash Wednesday.
Mardi Gras Activities (PDF)
Ash Wednesday (PDF)
Grade 6 & Up
Activity: Carnival Party
Let the good times roll with a Carnival party! Try our rich dessert recipes and have fun with cascarones. Just be mindful of the litter cascarones make; try filling them with birdseed if they will be used outside.
Carnival and Cascarones
Lifelong Catechesis Corner
How can I "repent and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15) this Lent?
Activities online at the Lifelong Catechesis page.
Saint for February
February 1 – St. Brigid (PDF)
Catholic Stewardship for Kids
Valentines for the Needy
Add a little service project to your Valentine celebration. Collect red foods (foods that are red or that come in red packaging) for your local food pantry or send Valentine cards to the shut-ins of your community.
Live as a Prophet of Hope
A hope-filled person radiates life to others. Like the prophets of the Old Testament, catechists are a visible symbol of hope. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah gave the Jews hope for a better tomorrow during troubled times. Their words repeatedly called them to repent and focus again on God's covenant of love. Jesus culminated their prophetic ministry through His death and resurrection. His Paschal Sacrifice offers eternal hope to both sinners and saints. In hard times of pain, anger, uncertainty, and confusion, we need more prophets of hope as catechists and catechetical leaders. Such ministers offer hope to searching or troubled children, youths, and adults. Seeing their role as being prophets of hope offers catechists a positive perspective from which to enthusiastically embrace their ministry.
How can you reflect Christian hope to those you teach? Have you prayed for the gift of hope when you are anxious or fearful?
Excerpted from Catechist’s Companion: How to Be a Good Catechist by Reverend Robert Hater, PhD
Jesus you are the Light of the World.
We know that you are the Good News of love and hope in our lives.
We know that your light and love will get us through any difficult and dark times.
Be with us. In your name we pray.