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Catholic Activity: Cenacle Project


  • cardboard box
  • figures of the Apostles

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To teach children about the Holy Spirit, we use an altar hanging at our home shrine, a Pentecost table setting with a centerpiece of seven roses, and a Cenacle. We work out the coming of the Holy Spirit with a set of tiny apostles and Mary, their Queen, in what might be called a liturgical playtime.


Just as we make a crib at Christmas and an Easter garden, we build a Cenacle from a cardboard box and decorate it with little red roses. The idea we found in A Candle is Lighted, a pamphlet by P. Stewart Craig of the English Grail. When our children were little, we used doll-house dolls in the upper room of the Cenacle to reenact the coming of the Holy Spirit dramatically. Last year, to our delight, Virginia Mohr of the Grail International Center nearby presented the children with a set of two-inch figures of the apostles. Another friend, Elizabeth Robotham, made a more elaborate Cenacle to complete the Whitsun project.

Morning and evening, during the octave, our children say the following prayer near the Cenacle. "O Holy Spirit, Soul of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten, guide, strengthen and console me. Tell me what I ought to do. I promise to be submissive in everything You ask and to accept all You permit to happen to me; only show me what is Your will."

Activity Source: Family Customs: Easter to Pentecost by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1956