Family Lent Activities

Help your whole family grow closer to Christ this Lent through prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Ideas courtesy of the St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic School Home & School Association.

Sacred Sundays
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.” – Exodus 20: 8-11

  • Attend Sunday Mass as a family. After Mass, discuss the readings. The Hallow App has Family Mass Prep and lots of other content for kids.
  • “Waste time with Jesus” in Adoration in our Adoration chapel at any time.
  • Pray a rosary (or a start with a decade) with your family.
  • Sundays are considered feast days in our faith and they are joyous, celebratory days, even in Lent. We can take a little break from our Lenten sacrifices and sufferings on Sundays and celebrate Christ’s victory over the grave!
  • Rest from unnecessary work and shopping. Relax, share a family meal, play a game, sport, enjoy nature or watch a movie together.

Merciful Mondays
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

  • Bring the good news and the message of God’s merciful love to everyone in life! One way is to simply practice the virtues of patience, generosity, peacefulness, self-control, kindness, love, respect, and service, within your own family.
  • Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, often prayed at 3 PM daily, the hour of Jesus’s death and asks Jesus to “have mercy on us and on the whole world!”

Totally Unplug Tuesdays
“Thou shall not have any other gods before me.” – Exodus 20:3

  • Eliminate social media one hour before bedtime and after you wake up! Use this time to connect with the Lord, praying for those friends and family in your life.
  • Read a book, take a walk, plan a trip, etc. Explore God’s beauty in nature, and enjoy the sunrises and sunsets, created by HIM!
  • Take advantage of screen time settings and set a weekly goal in your family to spend 10 minutes less time on your phone each day and by the end of Lent you will have saved an hour a day to spend together!

Worship Wednesdays
‘To call yourself a child of God is one thing. To be called a child of God by those who watch your life is another thing altogether.” – Max Lucado

  • Attend a weekday Mass at 6:30 AM or 8:15 AM (Join your child during their school Mass time!)
  • Pray for our RCIA candidates that will enter the Catholic church this Lenten season.
  • Have your kids take turns leading prayers before bed. It might be tricky at first, but don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to try and try again.
  • Spend time outdoors after school with your children to enjoy God’s creation. You could choose to visit the Cloisters on the Platte or visit the Holy Family Shrine to walk The Way of the Cross trail. Visit their websites for hours.

Tune In Thursdays
“Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you, and still more will be added to you.” – Mark 4:24

  • Turn on a Catholic or Christian radio station in our local area:
    • Spirit 102.7 FM or KVSS Spirit Catholic Radio: This station has powerful programming with amazing guest speakers
    • 88.1 FM K LOVE: This station has positive and encouraging music and words and stories from listeners
    • 100.7fm KGBI: Listen to powerful stories of God’s love through others, as well as, contemporary Christian music
  • Listen to a Podcast: Catholic Spouts, Saint Stories for Kids, Bible in a Year, Catechism in a Year, Abiding Together, All Things Catholic, and Do Something Beautiful podcasts are popular.
  • Visit and explore content from more than 60 organizations that help families explore their faith!

Fasting Fridays
“Fasting makes sense if it really chips away at our security and as a consequence, benefits someone else, if it helps us cultivate the style of the good Samaritan who bent down to his brother in need and took care of him.” – Pope Francis

  • Fast from meat on Fridays (age 14+) and join our Parish Family at our St. Stephen Knights of Columbus Fish Fry Fridays.
  • Attend Stations of the Cross: Join your child during the school day, Fridays at 2:30 PM (check Google Family Calendar for grade-level schedule) or join your parish family Fridays at 6 PM.
  • Each Friday, fast from something that distracts you from God. Examples include:
    • Fast from sibling or spouse quarreling, hurtful words, or anger/annoyance.
    • Fast from screen time (video games, TV, phones).
    • Fast from comfort (go without a hot shower, extra blanket, snack).
    • Fast from complaints, busyness or stress.

Service Saturdays
“Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” – Saint Pope John Paul II

  • Explore opportunities to give back to our parish, school, and community. Current opportunities include donating items to the Social Justice Ministry’s Lenten service project, volunteering or contributing to the St. Stephen the Martyr Dinner & Auction, volunteering at Fish Frys or Vacation Bible School or getting involved in our Liturgical Ministry. These opportunities and more are posted on our school and parish websites.
  • If you can’t get out in the community, consider how you can serve others at home: family chores, shoveling snow, doing the dishes, doing laundry, helping a sibling, taking out the trash, serving a neighbor in need (shop for them or provide lawn care) or share your talents of reading or playing music with someone.
  • Call or video chat with a grandparent or elderly you know or write cards to the elderly in our community (CountryHouse Residence or Walnut Grove Assisted Living, etc.).