Papal Lap Book Unit Three: The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church

by | Mar 13, 2013 | Papal Unit Study | 16 comments

Have you been watching the coverage of the Conclave?  We have never had TV reception in our home, but we are sure loving being able to stream EWTN live on the computer and with the app on the iPad! (Though for some reason it was slightly delayed on the iPad.)  The children especially loved watching for each of their adopted cardinals to take their oath this morning:
Et ego, N., Cardinalis N., spondeo, voveo, ac iuro. 
 Sic me Deus adiuvet et haec Sancta Dei Evangelia, quae manu mea tango.

And I, N. Cardinal, N., promise, vow and swear. 
 Thus, may God help me and these Holy Gospels which I touch with my hand.

The Conclave is now officially underway and the doors of the Sistine Chapel were closed off just moments after Msgr. Guido Marini announced the famous Latin phase: “Extra Omnes,” which roughly translates to “Everyone Out!”

We are currently working on completing both the third and fourth units of The Primacy of Peter :: A Papal Unit Study and Lap Book.  You can also find pictures from our first unit about St. Peter, The First Pope here, and the pictures from unit two: The Holy Fathers, Past and Present here.   I’ll be back sometime soon with pictures from Unit Four, but in the meantime here is what we’ve been working on for Unit Three:

Unit Three: The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church


Family Read Aloud

Continue Creating Mini-Books:

Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Conclave

I’ve also created another Novena book option which can be downloaded at Scribd, for my older children.  And I also added a informational page for the children to fill out on our “Adopted Cardinals!   It can be downloaded here if you’d like a copy. 

Sean was given Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, whose birthday is this week and only 10 days before Sean’s!   I was given Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, whose birthday is only 2 days before my own, and was made a cardinal on my own little saints birthday – so hopefully he is getting extra prayers from heaven! 🙂   Captain has been praying for his adopted cardinal, Paola Romeo from Italy.   Rascal’s Cardinal Joachim Meisner is currently the Archbishop of Cologne, Germany.  Twinkle Toes was very excited to see that her adopted cardinal, Philippe Barbarin, was made a cardinal the year she was born. We all giggled when our little dark-skinned beauty, Chiquita, was given Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya.  Snuggles has been praying for Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.  And even our little Rose insisted on adopting a cardinal… She has been offering little prayers for Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, the Major Penitentiary.  

Hierarchy of the Catholic Church

As we continued discussing the role of Cardinals in the Catholic Church, we read about all “The Hierarchy” (pages 118-119 of My Catholic Faith) while the children cut out (or copied) the definitions and assembled their “Hierarchy of the Catholic Church” mini-books.  We also watched the following video:

What are the Chief Powers of the Pope?

For this mini book we read “Powers of the Pope” (pages 114-115 of My Catholic Faith).  Some of the children pasted the text into the book (they will understand it more as they get older) and the others copied the text.

What Happens when a Pope Dies?

Using the definitions found in Who is the Pope? A Very Short Book for Children (e-book) and in this EWTN Article, I ended up creating a fill-in-the-blank version of this “What Happens When A Pope Dies?” mini-book.

Additional Activities:

Guess Who?! Cardinals Edition

We have been having so much fun with Monica’s Guess Who?! The Cardinals game!

I’ve blogged about our Guess Who? Patron Saints Edition! in the past, but it was so time consuming to make!  When I realized all the ways the new Guess Who Game could be easily modified, I had to pick up one (or two!).   I actually have had them in my closet for over a year, since I purchased them during a Black Friday buy one get one sale, and this was the perfect opportunity to pull them out!  The kids have been having such a blast, and learning so much about the current cardinals! 
Anyways, we will be watching the Sistine Chapel’s Smoke Cameras again tomorrow, as we wait to see that white smoke! 
We most humbly entreat Thee, O Lord, that Thy boundless goodness may grant as bishop to the most holy Roman Church one who shall ever be both pleasing to Thee, by his loving zeal in our regard, and, by his beneficent rule, deeply revered by Thy people to the glory of Thy name. Through our Lord.


  1. Unknown

    Hello Jessica!!! It's just fun!!! Yesterday, has I watching the ceremonie at the TV with my own children, I think about you and your children (ask me the question if with the time difference between europa and USA, if you watching the same programm as you!!).
    I also proud to say you that God give me the ministry of the first holy communion of 5 children. I will created a lapbook for the work we do together!!! This will be a experiment because here in France nobody knows lapbooks!!!!
    You such inpire me. Many blessings.

  2. mel

    That's funny, our adopted cardinal shares a birthday with my 4 year old! :)Loving your lapbook, so beautiful. We are not using it…I have no one really of age for it expect my 8yo son who is autistic and is struggling to get through his sacramental lapbooks this year. But I'm enjoying watching how they turn out!

  3. Momma Holmes

    Thank you so much for helping me teach my young ones about our faith! You inspire me!

  4. Anonymous

    White smoke! Habemus Papam!!!!
    God Bless him!

    Annalisa – Italy

  5. Unknown

    Habemus Papam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    All my prayer for is future work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy tonight 😉

  6. Jodi

    Snuggles has been praying for our future pope! How special!!! God bless His Holiness Pope Francis!

  7. Jeannine

    This is so wonderful! Snuggles must be especially excited! I know I am!

    I second the statement above — you inspire me, too! So many questions came today, and I knew right where to find answers! Thank you for sharing!

  8. texasgal

    Looks like Snuggles prayed the hardest!!:)

  9. Kimberlee

    Habemus Papam!!! Snuggles must be so excited!!! And all of you! That is so very special.
    Deo Gratias!!!!

  10. Lauren

    Habemus papem! I was wondering if you could share the link for your fill in the blank for 'what happens when a pope dies?'. I've been waiting for that one….I figured you'd do something for the littles 🙂 Thank you so much for all of this! I can't tell you how exciting it has been here! God bless

  11. alohavale

    We loved the Adopt a Cardinal! We ended up with two that you had Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya and Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. (POPE FRANCIS!!!!!!) We also had Cardinal Tauran who announced the news of who would be pope, so we were already excited to see just him. I can not tell you how much the kids have learned and how much they enjoyed this lapbook.

  12. Jennifer Elia

    Jessica, you are amazing. We are working on our lapbook this weekend. We wrapped up our "P" week on Monday but the kids wanted to stretch it a little longer to wait for St Patrick's Day as our finale. We are concentrating on another P now, too, the Pope! Of course, I am not doing nearly as beautiful of a job as you, but I am very thnakful that we have the lapbook.

    Take care and God bless! WHo knows, maybe some day one of your boys will be Pope!

  13. Julie

    So amazing to be able to experience all of this at such a young age!! And yeah for Snuggles for adopting the Pope!!

  14. Anonymous

    Yay! Hmmm, watch out! Snuggles is going to get a lot of prayer requests! He must have been thrilled! -Genevieve


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Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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