Gospel Resources of the Week (GROW)

March 24, 2017

shutterstock_244220368 (1)The PGW newsletter is going weekly! The content we share with you will be in smaller, more timely chunks—with what you need for the current week and for planning ahead to the next. When you click through to READ MORE, you’ll be linking to our GROW blog. It will allow us to provide video links and an archive to access material by topic—saints, seasons, video, etc. We hope you like the changes we’re making. It’s done with the desire to serve you better. Please let us know what you think!

Sunday’s Gospel – April 16 & 23, 2017

March 24, 2017

Since the Sunday Gospel is the heart of the Gospel Weeklies, an important part of preparing to share the Gospel with children is to read and reflect on it in advance of your class session. The Gospel at Home and the Gospel for All Ages (see Gathering Rituals / Questions) are resources on our website that can help you do this.

April 16 & 23, 2017 Easter & Second Sunday of Easter
Jesus Is Risen: John 20:1–9 and John 20:19–31

SUNDAYS-GOSPEL-April-16-&-23-2017This week’s Gospel at Home covers two Sundays. The Gospel for Easter tells of Mary of Magdala’s visit to the tomb and her discovery that Jesus was not there. The Gospel for the following Sunday describes Jesus’ appearance to his disciples, his greeting of peace, and his gift of the Holy Spirit.

Go to Gospel at Home for activities for this Sunday.

 

Sunday’s Gospel – April 9, 2017

March 22, 2017

Since the Sunday Gospel is the heart of the Gospel Weeklies, an important part of preparing to share the Gospel with children is to read and reflect on it in advance of your class session. The Gospel at Home and the Gospel for All Ages (see Gathering Rituals / Questions) are resources on our website that can help you do this.

April 9, 2017 Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Jesus’ Passion: Matthew 26:14—27:66

Palm/Passion Sunday celebrates Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. It begins the most solemn week of the Church year. During Holy Week, we remember Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection. We also listen to the Passion according to Matthew at this Sunday’s Mass.
(Gospel at Home 4/9/17: English, Spanish)

Pflaum Gospel Weeklies Videos

March 22, 2017

Pflaum Gospel Weeklies subscribers: Here are videos for your 3/19/17 lesson. Show them after discussing the Gospel story about the Samaritan Woman.

 

Pflaum Gospel Weeklies subscribers: Here are videos for your 3/19/17 lesson. Show them after discussing the season of Lent.

 

Good News subscribers: Here is a video for your 2/19/17 lesson. Show after discussing the story about St. Katharine Drexel, on page 2.

 

Venture subscribers: Here is a video for your 2/19/17 lesson. Show after discussing the story about St. Cindy Schlosser and St. Joseph Workers on pages 2-3.

 

Visions subscribers: Here is a video for your 2/19/17 lesson. Show after discussing the story about Dorothy Day on pages 2-3. (Please preview it to see if it is appropriate for your group)

Sunday’s Gospel – April 2, 2017

March 21, 2017

Since the Sunday Gospel is the heart of the Gospel Weeklies, an important part of preparing to share the Gospel with children is to read and reflect on it in advance of your class session. The Gospel at Home and the Gospel for All Ages (see Gathering Rituals / Questions) are resources on our website that can help you do this.

April 2, 2017 Fifth Sunday of Lent
Raising Lazarus: John 11:1–45
JohnSunday’s Gospel describes Jesus’ raising of his friend Lazarus from the dead. The story hints at Jesus’ own Resurrection, which we will celebrate at Easter. The raising of Lazarus puts Jesus in danger from his enemies, but he risks his life to be with and to help his friends. (Gospel at Home 4/2/17: English, Spanish)

Our Editors

March 21, 2017

David Dziena is the Editorial Director for Pflaum Publishing Group. He has also served as Executive Editor and Parish Projects Manager with Our Sunday Visitor. Prior to OSV, he was Editorial Manager for nine years at Silver Burdett Ginn Religion, followed by RCL Benziger. He also worked for St. Joseph’s Parish in Croton Falls, NY for a total of ten years—first as Director of Religious Education and then Coordinator of Youth Ministries. Since 1993, he has led Confirmation workshops and retreats, and catechist formation classes. David is the co-author of the Catholic Prayer Book for the Separated and Divorced (OSV); Our Catholic Family: Activities, Conversations, and Prayer for Sharing Faith at Home (Pflaum); and the general editor for Singing Our Faith, Second Edition: Leader’s and Catechist’s Manual (GIA).

At Bayard, David manages children’s catechetical materials, including the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies, sacramental preparation programs, and family catechesis.

David graduated from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY, with a Bachelor or Arts degree in Philosophy with a minor in Fine Arts and Religious Studies. He also received a Masters in Pastoral Theology from St. Joseph’s College in Standish, ME. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Gloria.

Nicholle Check, senior editor, joined Pflaum Publishing Group in 2014. Throughout her 25-year career in publishing, she has worked as a freelance writer and editor for numerous industries and organizations, including motorsports, real estate, energy, and education. She also produced publications for the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Nicholle comes to religious publishing with more than a decade of happy experiences serving as a catechist. She currently co-teaches a class of amazing eighth-graders.

Nicholle works primarily on the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies, specifically Venture and Visions, as well as many of the online resources available on gospelweeklies.com. She lives in suburban Minneapolis with her husband, Steve, and her two children. They are members of Pax Christi Catholic Community.

Joan McKamey, project editor, joined the Gospel Weeklies editorial team in September 2016. Her passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ led her to seek degrees in Religious Studies/Religious Education (University of Dayton, BA) and Religious Studies/Pastoral Family Studies (Mount St. Joseph University, MA). She has served as a Catholic school religion teacher, parish catechist, youth retreat team leader, parish catechetical director, and RCIA team leader. For the past 20 years, she has worked in Catholic publishing and is thrilled to bring her skills and passion to the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies. She is married to Jon and has a young adult daughter, Claire. She makes her home in southeastern Indiana, near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Ready, Set, Lent

March 16, 2017

The season of Lent is just one turn of the calendar page away. Ash Wednesday falls on March 1 this year. Now is a good time to plan ahead for how you might observe Lent in your classroom, your home, and your own heart.

You’ll have plenty of Lenten symbols and themes worked into your lessons already since the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies draw on the Sunday Gospels for their lesson topics. It’s also good to make your own Lenten plan for your class—these students, this year.

Do you have grumblers in your class? Young people who don’t want to be there and make it known? If so, you might suggest adopting Let’s Eliminate Negative Thinking/Talk as your classroom Lenten practice. Classroom grumblers are often grumblers outside of the classroom as well. You might suggest this practice be adopted beyond your classroom as well.

Do you always want to work in a class service project, but time gets away from you? If so, now’s the time to plan ahead for a Lenten service project. You might have your own idea or maybe you want the class to come up with an idea to pursue. It will be natural for your project to be based on one of the Three Lenten Practices—prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (helping those in need).

Here are some other activities you might consider for Lent:

Peace and Justice in the New Year

March 16, 2017

The Gloria opens with the words “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will.” These words, drawn from Scripture (see Luke 2:14), echo the longing of our hearts as we celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace at Christmas and begin a new calendar year.

The new year began with the World Day of Peace on January 1. See Pope Francis’s Message for the Fiftieth World Day of Peace and note his emphasis on nonviolence. As he opens his message, he writes, “At the beginning of this New Year,… I wish peace to every man, woman and child, and I pray that the image and likeness of God in each person will enable us to acknowledge one another as sacred gifts endowed with immense dignity. Especially in situations of conflict, let us respect this, our ‘deepest dignity,’ and make active nonviolence our way of life” (1).

In his message, Pope Francis refers to the Beatitudes as Jesus’ “‘manual’ for this strategy of peacemaking.” He continues, “The eight Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:3-10) provide a portrait of the person we could describe as blessed, good and authentic. Blessed are the meek, Jesus tells us, the merciful and the peacemakers, those who are pure in heart, and those who hunger and thirst for justice” (6).

Judith Costello uses the Beatitudes as the foundation for teaching the virtues we should strive for in Learning by Heart: All Eight Beatitudes in CATECHIST magazine. Whether you choose to focus on one Beatitude or share all eight over time, you and your students will grow in understanding these important characteristics of those who seek peace and justice.

Several observances in the month ahead remind us we’re called to be people of peace and justice—in the areas of migration, religious freedom, Christian unity, and life. The words of another song “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me” tell us where our realization of world peace must begin—within each of us: in our hearts, our homes, our classrooms, our parishes. Start the year with a clear vision of the peace and justice you will foster in your own life and the lives of the children and families you serve.

As you guide the children in your life to moral and peaceable living, Dr. Joseph White offers some inspiring guidance in his article The Ten Commandments of Forming Catholic Conscience and Character in CATECHIST magazine.

Lent for All Ages

March 16, 2017

Lent-for-All-AgesCatholics receive ashes and are challenged to “turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” This Lenten activity for Good News children reviews the ways to keep Lent—through fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. Visions students will expand their knowledge of the season with Analogies For Lent.

Advent and Christmas … With a Twist

March 16, 2017

Traditions are important, especially for children. We’ve found a few fresh takes on some the most popular holiday traditions. These few unexpected projects can help focus your children on the true meaning of Christmas. These ideas put sharing at the center of the season. We also give take a look at how Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Christ.

Reverse Advent Calendar
Feeling the need for some new ideas for your classroom or family for Advent? How about trying a variation on a tried-and-true Advent tradition—the Advent calendar. We’ve all seen—and possibly used—Advent calendars that have a treat hidden behind each day’s door. This approach is a nice way to build in daily anticipation of something special as we count off the days to the biggest gift of all—God’s Son becoming human in the person of Jesus.

Here’s the twist. What if, instead of receiving a treat, we add a new treat each day of Advent—a donation of food or clothing or money or a toy—to a box or basket we’d then give to a food bank, homeless shelter, or needy family at Christmas? As the gifts add up, our children will know that Christmas is getting closer. And they’ll experience the joyful anticipation of giving—not just receiving—at Christmas.

Celebrating Christmas at Epiphany
Trying to “keep Advent” when the rest of the world is celebrating Christmas is tricky, especially if your class takes a break between Christmas and New Year’s. When do you fit in a Christmas celebration with your class? It’s even more complicated for those whose class meets on Sundays since Christmas and New Year’s Day are both on Sundays this season.

Consider holding off your Christmas celebration until the actual Christmas season and celebrating on or close to Epiphany on Sunday, January 8, 2017. At Epiphany, we remember the visit of the Magi from the east. These wise ones who followed a star to honor Jesus, the light of the world, are a sign that Jesus came as a light to all the peoples of the world.

An article from Today’s Catholic Teacher suggests ways to incorporate traditions from around the world in your class Christmas celebration. Adapt the ideas to your class, your community, and, of course, your time! What a joy it will be to welcome your students back after the Christmas break with a Christmas celebration. Find the article “Christmas Around the World” by Kate Daneluk here.

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

RECENT POSTS

Sunday’s Gospel – April 16 & 23, 2017

Ready, Set, Lent

Lent for All Ages

Sunday’s Gospel – April 2, 2017