Church Calendar O’the Day: The Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle (25 Jan)

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Please download and share this presentation – PDF

It’s a special day on the calendar for the Paulist Fathers, so I share a beautiful prayer appearing on their Paulist Evangelical Ministries site.

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Tuesday FaithPost – Powerful Stations of the Cross by Busted Halo

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Is it Friday already? No, sadly it is not yet. I’m sharing a FaithPost a couple of days early as I want to offer this wonderful resource now, so that you could possibly use it before or during Holy Week.

The good Paulist Fathers who create the awesome, newly redesigned, young-adult site Busted Halo, have put together a quite powerful set of videos following the Stations of the Cross. Each video uses just text and music to tell the story and interpret the meaning of each of the fourteen traditional moments in Christ’s Passion. Here’s the fourth station, which I find particularly moving and insightful:

There’s a lot I like about these videos. But two aspects are particularly meaningful. First, the overarching theme of this version of the Way of the Cross is the Kingdom of God. This central vision of Jesus’ ministry is at the heart of the gospel and thus something which we must emphasize time and again to those to whom we minister.

I also find the simple music accompanying the words on the screen provocative, compelling and deeply moving. The piano melody used with the stations in which Jesus Meets His Mother, Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus and Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem is one I find haunting and well-matched to the emotions of these encounters.

I’m using these videos in our chapel as a prayer service with all five of my classes today. It has worked better with my one sophomore class than my two freshmen ones. I think the greater maturity and developing wisdom in the older students is the main difference.

I’ve created this presentation to use with the videos. It should be pretty self-explanatory – show the slide introducing a station, play the video and then prayerfully read the supporting slide while giving the viewers/participants a few moments to reflect.

A couple of things you may wonder about the presentation: The photos of the crosses were ones that I took while visiting Christ in the Desert Monastery in northern New Mexico a few years ago.  And the colors of the background of the slides is meant to represent the transition and transformation of this time in Lent, to Holy Week and then to Easter.

I hope you find this Busted Halo Stations of the Cross as meaningful and useful as I do. The video below will link you to the playlist of  all the fourteen stations.

May you have a blessed Fifth Tuesday of Lent and a good rest of the week.

Resources for Lent 2016

Creighton Online - Lent

It’s hard to believe that Lent is upon us so quickly this year. Next year, Ash Wednesday will be nearly three weeks later – March 1, 2017! How will you Fast, Pray & Give this year.

Here’s a few resources I’m looking at this year:

USCCB – “Lent 2016: 40 Days of Mercy

Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl – I especially like their weekly, meatless recipes from around the world. Hopefully they will again have videos of Fr. Leo demonstrating each one.

Loyola Press Lenten Resources especially their Online Lenten Retreats & Prayers

Creighton University On-Line Ministries: Praying Lent – I highly recommend this audio retreat presented by the wise Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J.

Other Jesuit Lenten resources can be found at Thinking Faith and the audio-focused Pray As You Go – both from the U.K.

Bishop Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Lenten Resources  (includes a link to sign up for his daily Lenten reflection emails.)

As of today (Monday), Busted Halo hasn’t posted their popular Lent calendar yet. They have a few Lenten themed articles as well as this excellent Ash Wednesday in Two Minutes video:

Last year for both Lent and Advent I found the resources offered by the Society of St. John the Evangelist to be faith and thought provoking.  This year’s theme, which encompasses daily videos, emails and a workbook is entitled: Growing a Rule of Life. It begins with this introductory video by one of the wise brothers:

And it even has a component for use with youth.

In light of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking celebration of God’s Creation, “Laudato Si” how about connecting your Lenten fasting to activities which care for creation. A number of faith organizations offer Lenten calendars with suggestions for each day:

Sisters of St. Joseph Carbon Fast

Michigan Interfaith Power & Light

Carbon Fast – Anglican Communion

St. Francis Cabrini Community

More extensive “carbon fast” programs, including daily emails and message boards, are offered by MACUCC and EcoChurch Southwest (U.K.)

Shifting gears to focus on apps, Give Us This Day is offering a free trial of their app featuring the day’s morning & evening prayers as well as the daily mass.

Finally, props to a great blog site – Catholic Apptitude and their listing of apps and related resources for Lent.

 

 

Short, Engaging Videos About History of Halloween, All Saints and All Souls

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So it’s Friday, October 30th – the day after the Beggar’s Night celebration in my area. What, in your neck of the woods they don’t trick or treat two days before October 31st? And Friday is the day before Halloween and two days before All Saints Day. Thinking your students will be hyped up on already solicited candy or the anticipation of collecting candy? Desiring a video-based lesson upon which they are more likely to focus than just you talking?

Well, here’s what I’m showing to my Religion 9 and Religion 10 students:

This first video offers a quick and interesting overview of Halloween and the origin of some of the customs.

I’ll show this one next. While it covers some of the same ground as the first one, I like the movie clips that it shows. I wonder if the Great Pumpkin will come this year?

I think students will enjoy the astonishing story of this saint and the engaging animation. It offers a good transition between the first two secular videos and the much more religious fourth one.

This is the longest one of the set at over 12 min (the first three are each about 3 minutes long). The art is beautiful, the narration is pretty good and it offers a solid, scriptural and tradition-based explanation of the three feast days. And it explains the Catholic teaching on Purgatory in an accessible and compassionate manner.

I won’t have time on Friday for this last video from the good people of Busted Halo. I’ll likely show it next week when our school celebrates the Feast of All Saints on Tuesday.

I hope it is a good teaching day for us on the 30th and a blessed celebration this weekend of those whom have gone before us in faith – our extended family in heaven!

Easter Octave .GIFs

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It’s another season in the Church and Busted Halo must be celebrating.  To follow their annual “Fast, Pray, Give” Lenten Calendar, this engaging and always relevant website sponsored by the Paulist Fathers is now offering a .GIF a day for the Octave of Easter.  Just as with their Advent Calendar, the post for the day doesn’t unlock until the day itself arrives.

Here’s the three posted thus far:

Easter Sunday:

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 Easter Monday:

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Easter Tuesday:

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Stations of the Cross – Busted Halo Videos

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I’m a huge fan of the Paulist Fathers and especially their ministry through Busted Halo.

Yesterday, I continued a tradition of mine by using the fourteen Busted Halo “Stations of the Cross” videos for a prayer service with my students.  I really like the Kingdom of God theme which runs through the various stations.  The music is evocative and the art, created by Virgil Cantini, is engaging and passionate.

I’ve created a Powerpoint into which you can link the 14 videos.

Here’s the direct YouTube links to each video:

I. Jesus is Condemned

II. Jesus Carries His Cross

III. Jesus Falls for the First Time

IV. Jesus Meets His Mother

V. Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

VI. Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

VII. Jesus Falls for the Second Time

VIII. Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

IX. Jesus Falls for the Third Time

X. Jesus is Stripped of His Clothes

XI. Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

XII. Jesus Dies on the Cross

XIII. Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

XIV. Jesus is Placed in the Tomb

In addition to the slides from which you can link the videos, I’ve created a slide for each station.  These contain pertinent quotes from the video for the station and images from Christ in the Desert Monastery in New Mexico.

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For the background, I wanted to convey the transition in colors and themes as we move through the end of Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week and then Easter.

On final resource: From “Patheos” a devotional guide to the Stations of the Cross.  This includes a comparison of the Catholic and the ‘biblical’ stations as well as the art that I used in the first slides of my Powerpoint.

 

 

Tackk on Lent 2015

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been exploring the Tackk platform.  So far I really like it. So, I’m thinking of soon making a video “tour” of it to post here.

Until then, I’d like to share a Tackk I’m updating every day with Lenten reflections.  I’m inviting my students to visit it regularly and perhaps you’d like to as well.

If you’d like to link directly to the sites that I’m compiling, here are the links:

SSJE

Commonweal

Igniting our Values (Jesuit site) 

Pray, Fast, Give (Paulist site)

And don’t forget the link to the illuminated weekly gospel.