One Small Virtual Step Could Lead to a Larger Faith
So here we are and it’s July. What?!? Julying to me. (Yes, it is a pun; no I am not sorry.) Thing is, we are still a month and a half away from school, from “normal.” And you may have an eighth grader and a sixth grader telling you that their summer vacation “feelings” (what does that even mean??) have already been used up during quarantine in March, April, May, and June. What are you going to do?
And you are probably looking for a few new ideas on how to help all your kiddos keep their faith during this drawn-out crisis. Right? Here are a few suggestions:
- Join www.formed.org if you haven’t already done that. The cool thing about Formed is that it is available on so many different platforms: AppleTv, Roku, Android and Apple phones, and your computer. There are books, movies, audiobooks (for those car rides you are now taking just to get out of the house), and bible studies. Something for every age and every step of the Faith.
Make sure to click on the “I am a member of a parish or organization”: that makes it free to use. Type in 22407 to search for Saint Patrick Church. When you see the name pop up, click on it and then it will ask for some basic information like an email address.
Here’s an idea: have your older child peruse the family friendly choices for a faith-based movie night. Or, have your younger child choose with your help logging on and setting up the right devices. Make it a phone-free evening and pop some popcorn. I know, I know, you have done movie night a dozen times since March. But give it a try? Maybe talk to your kids about ONE thing from the movie that you liked and see where it leads. You can choose to make the discussion as theologically deep as you want. There is no grade, just honest discussion. And remember, if you don’t know the answer to a question your child asks, just say “I don’t know, but I can find out,” or “we can find out together.”
- Sign up for a Holy Hour at our church. Try a Friday afternoon. Just one, no commitment except for that hour you have clicked. Take up a whole pew with your family. It is great if you bring the little ones and sit up front so they can see Our Lord in the monstrance. It is okay if they make noise, really. Jesus wants you all there; rattles, bottles, and all! https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040e4cada728a5f85-friday
- Take a virtual tour. I am sure you did plenty of those during eLearning, and maybe a few on your own for fun. But have you been to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception? Also known as “The Basilica”, this church is the second largest church in the world, right behind St. Peter’s in Rome! It has over 80 oratories and chapels. The virtual tour is a dizzy visual tour with information at every click. Maybe sit down with the family and plan out your in-person trip, since the Basilica is open to the public as of July 1, 2020. https://www.nationalshrine.org/virtual-tour/
There are so many different choices to help keep the Faith alive for your children. Don’t forget to check our free resources like Magnificat online, which is offering access to its Mass books for kids. Or visit Kendra Tierney’s blog www.catholicallyear.com to learn more about liturgical living. Start simple and plan a celebration for everyone’s baptismal day complete with favorite foods and their baptismal candle. Or celebrate a familial patron saint with balloons, banners, rosary parades, and more food. The choices are endless and will teach your kiddos (and dare I say, the adults?) more about the liturgical seasons of our Church year.
We may be in the middle of Ordinary Time, but there is never anything ordinary about our Faith and how we can live it each day!
Jessica Kenney is the administrative assistant in Religious Ed for Saint Patrick Church and the former editor/contributor at American Life League. She is currently working at home with her two sons and her husband during 2020 “the year that everything got canceled.”