Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Alleluia! Alleluia!

The 3-6 year-old child's relationship with God is marked by deep affection and joy. The following is a story of a 4-year-old girl, reflecting this great love:

Francesca prepared the model altar, asked the catechist to light the candles, and then stood at the lectern singing to her own tune the following words for about five minutes:

Alleluia (repeated many times).
You make me so happy (repeated many times).
Alleluia (repeated many times).

Jesus is with us (sung once as a proclamation).
Alleluia (repeated many times).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Run, run, run, run to the Good Shepherd

Penelope, age 4, and Josie, age 3, were receiving the presentation on the Good Shepherd. When I wondered who the sheep are, Josie replied, “Penelope.” In conversation they decided that all the white sheep were Josie, and all the gray sheep were Penelope, and the brown sheep were their catechist. Another child asked if the sheep would run away. Josie responded, “they would run, run, run, run to the” -- and she picked up the figure of the Good Shepherd.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why do we need prayer?

During a conversation with a group of 9-12-year-old children about intercessions and petition, a catechist asked, "Why, if God loves us as you have said, and knows us and knows what we need AND how to give it to us--why then do we need to pray for ourselves and one another?" (The catechist was very honestly asking this question of the students, as it had puzzled her for years.)
Ursula, age 10, said, "If I give you the gift of my pencil--(and here she held out her pencil to the catechist)--the gift is not complete until you take it. That's what prayer is: taking the gift God is holding out to you."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No one can kill God

Fatima, age 6, was receiving the presentation on the City of Jerusalem. When her catechist moved the stone away from the entrance of the tomb and said, “He is risen,“ Fatima explained, “ ’Cause no one can kill God.”

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Good Shepherd goes on a Picnic

Taryn, who had just turned 6, worked with the Good Shepherd material. She moved the sheep out of the fold, then moved the Good Shepherd back into the fold. She told the adult, "He's taking them on a picnic." Adult: "And he has left them outside the fold?" Taryn: "He has gone to get them something to eat...He is bringing them bread and wine." She moved the Good Shepherd to each sheep in turn.

(This atrium did not have the Eucharistic Presence of the Good Shepherd material which links the Good Shepherd with the Eucharist. Taryn had never seen nor heard any talk connecting the Good Shepherd to Eucharist, but made the connection herself.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Light Shines On!

"The Light Shines on in the darkness and the darkness will never overcome it."
Under the world "Satan" is saying, "I can never get them."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Liturgy of the Light

At our Montessori school which includes the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, I was preparing a 3-6-year-old classroom for our Liturgy of the Light. I explained, "The whole school will gather together in a room that will be a little dark. The Baptismal candle will be there, and one-by-one, each child's name will be called. You will receive a candle as you hear the words, 'Receive the Light of Christ.' And in the darkness, you will see the light from your candles fill the room." A 5-year-old shouted with joy, "YES! Because the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light!"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

God put a Band-Aid on Him?

The following story and theological reflection is taken from Catherine Maresca's book, DoubleClose: The Young Child's Knowledge of God.

Henry, age four, was working at the model altar with Rob, his catechist. When he lit the candles Rob announced, "Christ has died. Christ is risen." Henry's next remark focused on the death of Jesus. So Rob said again, "He rose from the dead." Henry was quiet and then asked, "God put a Band-aid on him?"

Theological Reflection
For the young child, a Band-aid is a sign of healing and comfort. Children with a small hurt of any kind often ask for a Band-aid, and then return happily to their activities, confident that their injury is now in good hands. With a more significant cut, children have begun to witness with wonder that under a Band-aid a cut becomes new skin in a few days.
Here Henry applies this amazing phenomenon to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Death, the ultimate injury, is transformed into the ultimate healing: new, risen life. This power of God's to transform death into life, sickness into health, sadness into joy, is present every day of our lives, not only at the time of our death. God's "Band-aid" can bless each life. Every injury can be brought to God for comfort, for healing and even for transformation into something new when confidently left in God's good hands. Where do you need God's "Band-aid?"

Sunday, April 4, 2010