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Songs for the saints – questions and activities

Michele Frankeni  |  30 July 2020

Read A saintly social justice mash-up in Australian Catholics winter 2020 edition and take part in the following questions and activities.


  • The phrase ‘He who sings prays twice’ has been attributed to St Augustine. Leaving aside the fact that there is no evidence he did say that, what does that phrase mean to you?
  • Do you think your parish/the Church value musical participation? What evidence do you have to back up your answer?
  • How do you contribute to the music life of your school/parish?


Adapting hymns. Can you come up with a song that could be used as a religious hymn? Use the article A saintly social justice mash-up or other Sneaky Jesus songs’ from the Australian Catholics website as a guide. 

Write a hymn. Try your hand at writing a religious song. Take a favourite tune and rewrite the lyrics, or for those musically talented you could try and write an original composition.

Class project: Put together a musical based on the life of Mary MacKillop. Take different chapters of her life – her childhood, her days before she took vows, her days establishing the Josephite order, her travels to Rome, and her illness in later life – and find some pop songs or other music that might illustrate that chapter of her life. Consider developing your musical into a performance for your school.


Read or summarise A saintly social justice mash-up in Australian Catholics winter 2020 edition and ask the students to name saints they’re familiar with, and what they know about them.

Activity: Guessing the saints

Write a list of these saints on a large poster. Ask the children to identify a specific quality unique to each saint and write these qualities next to their names.

When the list is complete, write the names of these saints on pieces of tape or sticky nametags.

Tell the children that you will be sticking a saint's name on each of their backs.

Have the children ask each other questions to help them guess the name. Remind them that all the names are on the board and that some children may have the same saint.

When all the children have discovered the names of their saints, form a circle and ask each child to tell the name of his or her saint and that saint's special quality.

Extra activity: Ask the students to think of hymns or songs that are appropriate to each saint’s special quality.



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