What’s New? Sunday of the Word of God, Sheen Beatification, Character Education

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Resources for you and your classroom

By Barb Szyszkiewicz

Get ready for Sunday of the Word of God (January 26, 2020)

Pope Francis has given the whole church a powerful gift. By declaring that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time will henceforth be known as the Sunday of the Word of God, he is offering us a special opportunity to move more deeply into the Scriptures, the life-giving word of God.

The reflections and prayers in Walking in Love of Scripture, based on thoughts from Pope Francis’ declaration, explore what the pope is hoping this day will do for us. Whether we’re Bible beginners or already praying with Scripture every day, these reflections will help us take up the pope’s invitation to let the Scriptures enrich our lives. Available as single copies or in bulk (with discount) from Twenty-Third Publications.

Fulton J. Sheen Beatification

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria announced on Nov. 18, 2019 that Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen will be beatified Dec. 21 at a 10am Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria. There will be a lot of coverage of this event, especially since Sheen (1895-1979) was born and raised and served as a bishop in the United States. He is best remembered for his television shows, as well as his many books. Read more at Catechist.com.

Sheen’s beatification was delayed after a December 3 announcement that some members of the USCCB had asked for further consideration. A new beatification date has not yet been set.

By ABC Radio, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Free access to The Character Tree through the end of the school year

Apperson has created a video series and curriculum called The Character Tree to teach character development to students in grades 1 and 2. They’re providing free access for the 2019/20 school year! The Character Tree provides appealing online video lessons to teach children about positive character traits. Teachers and parents can sign up for free access to The Character Tree for the 2019-2020 school year.

The Character Tree uses engaging discussions, real-life examples from history, role modeling and hands-on materials to emphasize positive character traits such as kindness, bravery, hope, leadership, gratitude and perseverance. The subscription, which is free for the 2019-2020 school year, provides access to 32 videos suitable for first and second grade students. The videos feature adorable puppets asking and answering questions, as well as discussions about historic figures such as Rosa Parks and Jane Goodall. The lessons are standards-aligned and each comes with a teacher’s guide and printable resources for students.


Barb Szyszkiewicz is editor at CatholicMom.com and managing editor of Today’s Catholic Teacher.

All content copyright © Today’s Catholic Teacher/Bayard.com. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for classroom/parish use with full attribution as long as the content is unaltered from its original form. To request permission to reprint online, email editor@catholicteacher.com.