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Walking with Mary: Questions and activities

Michele Frankeni  |  07 August 2019

Read ‘No room at the school in the Spring edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the following questions and activities.


What is happening in this scenario?
Why is Mary getting angry?
What are the principal’s reasons for his decision?
Are they valid? Give reasons for your answer.
Can you see this scenario (or similar) happening to others in real life?
Think about the consequences of denying services to other people. How would they manage?


  1. Imagine other scenes with Mary. Spend some time thinking about her life and what advice she might have for you. Go for a walk and imagine she’s there with you as a friend, mother, partner. Some scenarios to consider:
  • She was an unwed pregnant teenager who had been asked by God to take on a mighty task. While she was unflinching in her yes, how do you think that conversation with her parents went? What do you think the gossip in her hometown was like?
  • She’s a newly married woman, heavily pregnant making a journey to a strange town because some government authority decided it was a good idea to have a census. What was the journey like? Was she uncomplaining? How did she react when there was no decent accommodation? Do you think she had second/third/fourth thoughts about her task?
  • Mary and Joseph have gone to Jerusalem with Jesus for Passover. They’ve had a great time with friends and family. There’s been laughter and stories and now they’re making their way home again in a caravan. There’s kids and animals running around and it’s all fun and a bit messy so it takes time to realise Jesus isn’t with the caravan. When she realises he’s missing, how does she feel? What would you feel and do?
  • When she encourages Jesus to turn water into wine at the wedding at Cana, do you think she’s pushing him to start his ministry or does she just want to help a friend? Does she know that it could end badly or is she hoping for the best?
  • She is older now and seen her son put to death cruelly, along with many of his friends. While she knows death was not the end, it was still an incredibly painful time. How does she feel about her ‘Yes’ and her life.
  1. As a class take part in the Rosary. The Rosary is an ancient prayer of the church. As meditation on the words of the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be, it offers solace and strength on the way to discipleship. As a personal prayer of mantra or communal prayer of call and response, it prepares us for living and brings us together.
  2. Below is a poem written by Fr Andrew Hamilton to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. Read the poem, think about the scene and take part in the activities.

Carnival in Heaven

Ring the bells, line the streets, Mary’s been installed,
shut down the Boys’ Bar, put pot plants round the hall,
told the blokes to clean the place:  Peter’s scrubbed the shed,
John and James are at the sink, Thomas shakes his head.
Women hiring buses and arriving at the site
don’t require a special visa: they have equal rights.

Choirs are out, combos in, heaven starts to rock,
God lays on a banquet, ladies come en bloc,
Rahab sews with scarlet thread, Judith sheathes her knife,
Martha lounges by the fire, Magdalen’s in strife,
Jesus bakes and breaks the bread, Mary pours the wine,
with an upturned rainbow smile God blesses all who dine.

  • Andrew Hamilton
  1. Who are the other women mentioned in the poem? What are their stories?
  2. Draw a picture of the scene in the poem.


Praying the Hail Mary with Actions

  • Ask the children to stand in a circle.
  • Tell them that they are going to learn actions to go along with the words to the Hail Mary to help them memorise the words.
  • Let them know that praying with gestures is another form of prayer, as is singing or praying silently.
  • Demonstrate the following gestures as you pray each line of the prayer:

Hail Mary, (Lift your right hand pointing to the sky.)
Full of grace, (Lift your left hand pointing to the sky.)
The Lord is with you. (Bring your hands down folded near your heart.)
Blessed are you among women, (Take your right hand and sweep it across your body pointing to all the girls in the group around you.)
And blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus. (Pretend you are rocking a baby in your arms.)
Holy Mary, (Lift your right hand pointing to the sky.)
Mother of God, (Lift your left hand pointing to the sky.)
Pray for us sinners, (Bring your hands down folded near your heart.)
Now (Point down to the ground with both hands.)
And at the hour of our death. (Point to a pretend watch on your wrist.)
Amen. (Bring hands together folded near your heart.)

Image: The Pieta - Getty Images


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