kites Happy Birthday Church! That's right, on June 8, fifty days after Easter, we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. It is often called 'the birthday of the Church' because on this day the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and they understood their mission go and teach Christ "to the nations." The power of the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and transform our lives is immense; it is also difficult for kids to get. This month's TCK activities are designed to make the Holy Spirit more real for kids. Harness the invisible wind around you and watch for joy and delight to unfold.

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June at a Glance (PDF)

Grades K-5

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Grades K-5

Grade 6 & Up

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Activity: Pentecost Mobile

Activity- Try this idea to help kids make sense of the Holy Spirit — show an ordinary, unfilled balloon and talk about how lifeless it is. Blow air into the balloon and show how animated it becomes. Draw a comparison to the new life we get when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Then make our spirited Pentecost Mobile by repurposing an empty 2-liter plastic bottle.

Pentecost Mobile (PDF)

Grade 6 & Up

Activity

Making kites is an exciting cross-curricular project that also reminds us of the Holy Spirit symbolized by wind. This is especially perfect for students recently or about to be confirmed. Go simple with the basic instructions or challenge your students to make tetrahedral kites — you can even have them write the Gifts of the Spirit on the paper faces prior to construction. Click here for one possible set of directions

Spirit as Wind and Kites (PDF)

Lifelong Catechesis Corner

Say a prayer asking to be filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Activities online at the Lifelong Catechesis page.

Saint for June

June 9 – St. Ephrem (PDF)

Catholic Stewardship for Kids

Summer Stewardship Project — fold a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper into thirds to make three-wide columns and make headings for plan • actionresults. Work with students to come up with age appropriate stewardship projects that they can manage in their communities over the summer break. This could be a one-time thing like a beach clean-up or an ongoing thing like finding an organization to volunteer with. Invite families to be involved and encourage students to share their outcomes at the end of the summer.

Catechist Know-How

Tilling the Soil
by Mary Lou Rosien

We are just coming out of prom season, and we are entering into a season of graduations and weddings. Consider what might happen if we had a prom, grad party or wedding coming up, but didn't plan it at all. If, on the last day we just expect everything to work out, although we haven't purchased the clothes, bought the tickets or planned the menu?

We would not be ready to celebrate! Yet, we often enter the sacraments in this mindset. In fact, we do plan the party and buy the dress, but we don't prepare our hearts and souls adequately to receive ALL the grace that God wants to give to us. One man I know describes it as "Bringing a Dixie cup to the waterfall of grace."

My husband and I have taught PreCana for years. It never ceases to amaze me when we get a frantic phone call a few weeks before the wedding, desperately stating that the couple forgot to schedule their PreCana. They planned every detail of their wedding, forgetting to prepare themselves spiritually for their upcoming marriage.

Anytime we are preparing for a sacrament, or dealing with a large issue in our lives, it is fruitful to prepare ourselves spiritually as well. Spiritual preparation enables us to have God's grace poured out on us the way God would like to give it to us. My husband and I are entering a period of having to make some difficult decisions in our lives, so we are tilling our spiritual soil (and souls) to prepare. We went to Confession, attended Mass, and began a period of intense prayer (we picked a novena to St. Paul of the Cross). Then, we began to pray to the Holy Spirit for the gifts we need to make this decision (discernment) and for courage (to carry out what God reveals).

When we remember the parable of the sower, we recognize that to grow spiritual fruit, we must first till the soil so that it will spring up strong faith, rooted deeply in the faith of Jesus Christ.

God bless you.

Pentecost Prayer

On this day of Pentecost, we are thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Just as the disciples were empowered to share the Good News of Jesus, so too are we. We pray that the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, generosity, mildness, self-control, modesty and chastity, will come to grow in us as we grow in our love for you, God. May the Holy Spirit be with us. Amen.

Prayer for Dads

Today in our country we honor our fathers. We are thankful for the strength and faith and love we receive from dads everyday. Dear Lord, our heavenly Father, we ask that you bless our dads with good health, happiness and peace all the days of their lives. Thank you for our dads. Amen.

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