"This is my commandment: love one another as I love you." John 15:17 Love is a natural theme for the month of February. Dora, Yoda, SpongeBob — they're all spreading the message, emblazoned on bright foldable cards, surrounded by hearts. Even Jesus used the specific phrase repeatedly when he spoke. This month let's challenge children to look deeper at Jesus' command. Start with a Bible "scavenger hunt" to find all the ways Jesus references love. Then use this month's TCK activities to extend the lesson even further.
February at a Glance (PDF)
Becoming an instrument of God’s love
Activity: Miracle Bingo
Consider all the things Jesus did out of love. Wow! The miracles Jesus performed are clear examples. Words and pictures help both readers and non-readers familiarize themselves with Jesus' miracles in this bingo-inspired game.
Miracle Bingo (PDF)
Grade 6 & Up
Make a point of discovering who the seminarians are from your parish and/or diocese. Help your students learn more about these men and the path of love they are on. Then have students create these Bible markers to give to the seminarians alongside notes of prayer and support.
Bible Markers (PDF)
Lifelong Catechesis Corner
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Who in my life is difficult to love? How can I follow Jesus' command more fully?
Activities online at the Lifelong Catechesis page.
Catholic Stewardship for Kids
Read the book Babushka Baba Yaga by Patricia Polacco. Use the line, "Those who judge one another on what they hear or see, and not on what they know of them in their hearts, are fools indeed!" to start a discussion about human dignity and the hurtfulness of gossip.
Saint for February
February 6 – St. Paul Miki and Companions
Paul Miki was a Japanese man who became a priest. He lived at a time when some people in the government of Japan did not want anyone to believe in Jesus. To stop this, they had many Christians killed. St. Paul Miki was one of them.
The people in the government then thought they had completely stopped Christianity in Japan. No missioners were allowed into the country. No one was heard saying Christian prayers. There were no churches or Christian festivals like Christmas. But 200 years later, much changed in the government, and Christian missioners were allowed to come into the country. Those missioners expected to have to start teaching people, but they found something else instead. Stories of Jesus, prayers such as the Our Father, and Jesus' teachings had been secretly taught by grandparents and parents to children, who then grew up and secretly taught their children and grandchildren. This had been happening for 200 years! There were thousands of secret Japanese Christians!
What did the missionaries find when they were allowed back into Japan?
Things for Catholic Kids to do during February
by Mary Lou Rosien
During the bleak winter months it is difficult to get motivated to get out and get involved. The following activities are suggestions for deepening our commitment to our Catholic faith and communities.
Have a Church lock-in with some great Christian films or speakers. Our Parish is planning a lock-in that will feature teen witness speakers from our Church. These are kids that demonstrate strong leadership and communication skills and have incredible testimonies of what God has already done in their lives.
Clean out the closets and donate clothes to local clothing cupboards. Get a jump on spring cleaning and help others at the same time!
Work at a shelter. Kids in service are kids who develop a heart for those less fortunate. Helping out at a shelter or work camp project teaches our students to understand what others suffer while showing them they can be part of the solution.
Have a youth group fun day. Polar (snow) tubing is big where we live and having fun together can help build community and friendships among our young people.
Host a mini Bible Study. Pick a particular area of Scripture to study with your students and have an informal Scripture Study over break. There are several resources to aid in this including The Eucharist: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics by Father Mitch Pacwa. Check out OSV Shop for more resources and this site for related articles.
Hold a sports and activities day! Give parents a much needed break by having older students mentor younger ones in particular games, sports, or activities. Offer to sign off on this (for the older students) as part of a government, service, or community project required by most high schools now for graduation.
Have a make-up class. Because of the frigid temperatures and record snow falls, many of us have had to cancel Faith Formation classes. We can use break to schedule a make up class or a fun at home assignment to make up for lost time.
As religious educators, sometimes we need a break too. So if you find yourself burnt out and needing to savor winter recess...do it! Perhaps read a good faith filled book or squeeze in a daily Mass or Confession over break to help renew and re-energize your own faith.
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. Amen.
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