Monday, February 23, 2009

Ben and the Rosary

In the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, catechists prepare an environment and provide resources to aid children in entering deeply into the prayer and work that calls to them. In this story, Catechist Karen Waters tells of a "big work" which a sixth-grader in her atrium created for himself, and the response of the atrium community around his work.

Rosary Work in the Level III atrium
By Karen Waters

The Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis has a requirement that all children learn how to pray the rosary. This fits in well here at St. Mary of the Lake and it fits in well with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. We use Rose Paul’s Level II/Pax Christie album pages to launch the new year in Level III along with a review of Communal Prayer Planning and how to “live in the atrium.”
Last year one of our sixth graders, Ben, was an emerging leader in search of a “big work” to capture his attention and allow him an opportunity to delve into some meditative activity each week (he’d been attending the atrium since third or fourth grade). Through the grace of the Holy Spirit we came up with an idea where he’d create a giant paper bead rosary using the colored strips of card stock that we had on hand to support learning the prayers of the Rosary (Yellow/Apostle’s Creed, Blue/Our Father, Rose/Hail Mary, Green/Glory Be and Purple/Hail Holy Queen).
Ben made a yellow cardstock cross with the Apostle’s Creed written on it. He made the cross by attaching two strips of cardstock with a stapler. He then wrote out two blue Our Father strips and three rose Hail Mary Strips and used a stapler to make a “bead” of each prayer. He then used a hole punch and yarn to string the beads together in order. This work captured the interest of the other children and he welcomed their participation by having them write out the Hail Mary prayers on rose cardstock. Ben added each “bead” as it was completed and kept track of which prayer was needed for the “giant paper rosary.”

This work in progress was pinned up around the edges of the classroom. It took several months for the work to be completed and every child, assistant and catechist in that atrium contributed at least one bead to giant paper rosary. When it was finally all strung together, Ben lead a procession of children holding the giant paper rosary down the hallway to the bulletin board near the church entrance where we display the work coming out of each the atria. He worked hard and his pride was evident as this great work was put on display for everyone to see. Today the giant paper rosary is strung up on the walls just outside the door leading to the cryroom at our church.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Insistent Friend

After hearing the parable of the insistent friend, a seven-year-old said, "We are the person who comes in the darkness, it is Jesus who welcomes us, and then He goes to the Father and asks for Bread."

Monday, February 9, 2009

We're Lucky

In this picture, Jasmine, age 6, has depicted Mary and Joseph talking with one another.
Mary says, "We're lucky." Joseph responses, "It's good to be the second father of God."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lizzy, age 9, drew this picture of the baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph being bathed in the light of a large star. She wrote these words:

If I we're a wisewoman Lizzy

January 4, 1995

If I we're a wiswoman, I would
bring Jesus some wheat so he could
make bread. I also humn him a song
of joy!