Session 7: The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit and the Life of Grace: God’s Divine Life Within Us

In Him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in Him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of His glory.

-Ephesians 1:13-14

The Holy Spirit is the third and last person of the Trinity to be revealed to us and is from the Hebrew word for breath or wind. Just like God’s breath brought Adam to life the Holy Spirit is our source of life. We celebrate the Pentecost 50 days (or the 7th Sunday) after Easter, as being the birth of our Church. This celebration has roots in the Jewish festival of thanksgiving, Shavuoth, where the people of Israel were sealed in a covenant with God. It is a day for being thankful for the gifts from God. While it may seem like our celebrations are similar the only thing that we share with our Jewish friends is that the celebration of Shavuoth is around the same time as we celebrate Pentecost. 

Be sure to turn in October’s Decade a Day challenge sheet in your family folder. There will be a prize waiting for your child next month!

Vocabulary words to discuss with your child: Sacraments Faith (See slide 20) Justification is the remission of our sins and our entrance into the Christian life. Sanctification is the growth of grace and charity in a person.

Prayer of the Week: Our Father

Saint of the Week: St. Martin of Tours Catholic Icing has some more ideas for the feast day of St. Martin also known as Martinmas.

Homework First Year Sacramental Prep: Watch The Holy Spirit Comes with your child. Read A Story of Apples and Grace to you child. Do the Holy Spirit craft provided for Week 7 and hang it in the window. Practice the Angel of God prayer and the Glory Be, Hail Mary, and Our Father.

Homework Second Year Sacramental Prep: Watch The Holy Spirit Comes with your child. Read A Story of Apples and Grace to you child.Complete Spirit of Truth (pages 35-38) These pages will be handed in at the end of the month. You will need to read Genesis 3:1-5 to your child for this assignment. Practice the Sign of the Cross, the Angel of God prayer, the Glory Be, the Hail Mary, the 10 Commandments and an Act of Contrition.

Homework Years 3-6th Grades: Read from The New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism: Lesson 9, pages 59-62. Read the Bible passage. Watch Pentecost in 2 Minutes with your child. The Coming of the Holy Spirit on slide 27.  Then show your child the sacred art on slide 6 and ask them to retell the story of Pentecost using the artwork. Show your child slides 17 and 18 and talk about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. The following prayers should be memorized: Guardian Angel. Hail Mary, Glory Be, and Our Father. Start memorizing the Act of Contrition. Read A Story of Apples and Grace. Explain our need for grace to become holy. Remind them that the Holy Spirit is the one who pours out this gift of grace. Have your child complete the Pentecost Worksheet, the Giver of Life Worksheet, and/or the Descent of the Holy Spirit Worksheet.

Activity Ideas: There is a Pentecost seek and find worksheet. An easy craft, Pentecost Spinner, will need a straw or pencil to use for the stick. The directions are included on the handout. I attached a bonus craft for you. Dove kites are a fun way to tie in with the theme of the Holy Spirit which is often seen represented as doves. This is a bit more involved, nothing too intense, it will require some adult assistance. I promise it will be worth it for them. I thought this would be really helpful as a way for the children to get outside and have a little activity to do. (yay for outside fun!) With these kites the children can let the Holy Spirit fly along with them!  

Directions to assemble the dove kite: Trace or print on card stock. Have your child color it as desired. Then carefully cut out the dove. (this part might need you to watch them so they won’t clip off wings, etc) Once cut out fold the body in half on the lines indicated and staple to secure, about two is good but one will do. Fold back the wings. You will need a drinking straw to use as the brace which will be stapled to the back of the wings. I eyeball the length needed based on how I fold the wings back. I usually staple one end of the straw first to one wing then I trim some of the straw off to line it up with the staple line on the dove’s second wing. Punch a hole in the body as indicated by the hole outline and attach your string. I have used strips of plastic shopping bags stapled to the tail for the kite’s tail. I have found that plastic bags last longer than paper streamers and are great for repurposing rather than throwing them away. 

With Advent just a short time away it is time to take the family to Confession. You can model receiving the sacrament by going into the confessional first. For our First Year Sacramental prep friends talking to them about Confession is a great way to involve them in this sacrament. While they are not able to go Confession now is a great time to tell them all about this sacrament and teach them how to prepare to make their first penance.

You are in the BEST position to help your child examine their conscience.  Here are some tips for you and your child on how to make a Good Examination of Conscience. Here is an Examination of Conscience for your middle school child. Please bring an Act of Contrition for your child to use as a “cheat sheet.” Not all of the confessionals have the prayer posted anymore. The two documents below are for helping out with confession. The first is meant for adults and the second “what you say in confession” is the script Holy Trinity has used since 2007 with the second grade sacrament children. That script is good for all kids to use while in confession. The additional one, “child confessional guide”, is the same script but I edited to make room for the child to write in any notes to help them while in confession. I have used this version to pass out to the students as they prepare for their First Penance ceremony. Perhaps it will be helpful for your children.

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