Our team is working to bring new materials to this area to provide better assistance to our rural catechetics.
The following catechetical programs are authorized for use in the Diocese of Saskatoon:
Contact the Rural Catechetics coordinator assigned to your parish for ordering information.
Lenten Overview for Born of the Spirit and We are Strong Together
The Lenten season is highlighted in each resource of the Born of the Spirit (K-6) and We are Strong Together (7-9).The forty days of Lent are a preparation for the fifty days of Easter. The entire liturgical year is rooted in Christianity's principal feast - Easter which celebrates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Catechists are encouraged to follow the lent and Easter themes in their programs at the same time as they are celebrated in the liturgical year, shifting units if they need to adjust to make the time of instruction coincide with the celebration of the feasts.
IN GOD'S IMAGE; Early Childhood/Kindergarten (Theme 17)
The module 'Church Times' provides material for the catechist to involve the child in the festive celebration of the Christian story as it unfolds throughout the season.
Year 1: WE BELONG TO GOD (Unit 6)
The children enter into the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus by way of the symbols of Lent and Easter. The prayer space is a table covered with a purple cloth. The Lenten symbols are gathered on this table. The table is a symbol of God preparing a banquet table for all the nations and the desire of God for all to come to this table. Each week during lent another symbol of initiation - water, candle (light) oil, cross, and palm is explored, celebrated, and placed in a prayer basket which has been previously prepared by the children. It is placed on the table in the prayer corner.
Year 2: WE BELONG TO THE LORD JESUS (Units 7, 8)
The catechesis of this year is focused on the Eucharist. Throughout the year, the four main parts of the Eucharistic celebration are explored. During lent the children are invited to enter into the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus by way of the Eucharistic prayer .As the season progresses actions of blessing and breaking are explored. They reflect on the meaning of blessing and praising God and on the meaning of bread being broken for us and the cup being poured out for us. These actions are presented as a way of remembering and making present the death of Jesus. They hear Luke's narration of the Passion story in segments and are invited to reflect, share their feelings, ask questions and pray. It is suggested that a ritual of washing of the feet around the table is experienced to help them understand that as they feast around the table of the Lord, they are invited to service.
Year 3: IN THE SPIRIT WE BELONG (Unit 7, 8)
The catechesis of this year focuses on belonging to the Church gathered in the Spirit. Lent is the time when the Church prepares to celebrate Easter and the students experience the main symbols of the Church's memory of the Easter event - people of God, water, candle, oil, blessed palm.
They discover the important place of the people of God in God's creation and that God invites them to partner with Him in continuing God's creation on earth. They make 'salt dough creations' of their handprints or footprints and items of nature imprinted into dough. Gathering around the purple cloth and the basket of plenty, they are bringing 'the people of God' to the basket as images of God who created humankind. As 'images of God' in creation they can make a difference by what they do. They explore the activity of the Holy Spirit as the power that makes reconciliation and forgiveness possible in our world. They reflect on the kinds of choices they make, the consequences of their actions, and experience a penitential service where they hear God's Word calling us to change our hearts. They reflect on readiness to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation. As they gather around the table with a plate and cup, they are reminded that when we gather on Sundays, we always remember and celebrate the story of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Year 4: COME AND SEE (Unit 7, 8)
The gathering symbol of this year is the tree stump. As a symbol of Jesus Christ, the true stump evokes many meanings. With a purple cloth around the base of the stump, Lent is introduced as a prayerful time for Christians to prepare for Easter. From the earliest times of the Church, Lent has been marked by three practices: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. As they begin their Lenten journey, the children explore these practices.
They are presented with three stories; Nicodemus and 'being born anew', the Samaritan woman and the living water and Jesus as the one who shows us the father and our need to 'see with new eyes'. They are led to keep their hearts open to the 'new life' of the Spirit, reflect on ways they can be 'living water' to others, and what they have 'seen and heard' and who Jesus is for them and that Jesus and the Father are one.
They explore their experiences of trying to do good and running into opposition and the opposition Jesus faced during his ministry and how he 'set his face to JerusalemÃ¢â‚¬Â�. They prepare for and enact Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and later the washing of the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper. They share in the reading of the Passion narrative and act it out using the traditional Stations of the Cross. They mould an image from the journey of Jesus to his passion and death that they feel strongly in their hearts. A template is provided so the children can make stations of the cross to share with their families. The families of the children are invited to a Holy Week ritual provided in the manual so they can, together with the children, deepen their understanding of the meaning of Jesus' death and his freeing act of forgiveness. The ritual celebration is filled with symbols that speak of the actions of Jesus and the connections of the tree of the cross and the tree of life.
Year 5: MAY WE BE ONE (Units 7, 8)
The focus of catechesis for this year is the Church as the community of God's people where the Lord Jesus is visible, active, and present in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lent is a time when Christians examine their lives in light of their Baptism in God's Spirit. During the Lenten catechesis the Church is presented as an agent of God's reconciliation in a broken world. The Church celebrates Jesus' reconciliation in Baptism, Eucharist and Reconciliation.
Themes explored include Creation (presented as God's covenant), a reaffirmation of God's covenant with an exploration of good and evil (what Jesus does in the face of temptation), the greatness (excess) of God's love through parables, and the meaning and significance of anointing in our faith tradition (context of the Chrism Mass). The children recall they are anointed at Baptism and Confirmation.
Lenten activities pages are included to explore the meaning of Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Celebrations are outlined which are designed to include parents and families members in the students' preparation for Easter. The children are invited to prepare a dramatization of the Passion of the Lord Jesus according to John's narrative. They focus on the liturgy of Good Friday, especially the bringing of our petitions to God. In a class celebration they bring crosses they have made to which they have attached the special need the child has chosen.
Year 6: YOU SHALL BE MY WITNESSES (Units 7, 8)
The season of Lent is presented as a time when Christians examine their lives to see how they have lived up to their Baptism in God's Spirit.The Lenten focus is on the three main practices of Christians in Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
The prayer Centre is prepared with the students and they are encouraged to 'put away' things that distract them from their focus in Lent.
The students explore the gift of food in all its variety and abundance; meant to nourish them physically and spiritually. They learn about fasting in various traditions and cultures and look at the Christian practice of fasting going all the way back to Jesus. They gather donations of food in the Lenten box. They read and discuss the guidelines for fasting in the Church and explore why fasting applies after age 18.
The students examine the corporal works of mercy as a framework for their Lenten almsgiving. They learn about individuals who have made a difference in the lives of the poor.
During the preparation for Holy Week celebrations they hear the Scriptural account of the Passion of Jesus and explore what God is saying to us through the Passion narrative. Suggested activities include a dramatization of the Passion story, making a 'cross of forgiveness' and taking part in a celebration of the veneration of the Cross. They are encouraged to take part in parish celebration of the Triduum.
Year 7: BELIEVE IN ME (Unit 8)
Year 7 does not offer a separate theme for Lent. However, Unit 8 offers the students an opportunity to explore the suffering and death of Jesus, the meaning of Christ's sacrifice, and the redeeming power of God's eternal love even in the midst of death. The key concept explored is that Christ's redemptive work is for all people in all times and all places.
Ideas from the Appendix sections of the resource manual provide background on the celebration of the season of Lent. Information includes the practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, the Stations of the Cross, bulletin board ideas for Lent and Holy Week, a Holy Week Service of Remembrance and a Passion Play based on the gospel of Matthew.
Years 8 (Appendix 5), 9 (Appendix 7), 10 (Appendix 7)
These years do not provide separate themes for Lent. It is suggested that the catechist continue presenting the regular unit themes and use ideas from the appendix section of the programs to celebrate this special time in the Church year.