Friday, July 1, 2011


Okay.. that is not a word. But when my friend Anne and I were preparing for the retreat that will take place next week for our core group of teenagers, we decided that we wanted all of them to have a ... hope chest... or set out for lack of a better word, of Catholic items. It is rare for young people these days to be as surrounded by visual reminders of their faith as they once would have been.
My husband is doing an exercise program and as part of it, he takes these protein supplement shakes. I saved up the huge red jars and over the last weeks we gathered things to put in them. Yesterday we started filling the jars and both of us were happy by this wonderful display of Catholicisity that we had to snap a few pictures.

We wanted a mixture of fun and useful things. You can see some scripture candy (lollipops and mints), the bible (each one of the participants will get their own bible to start using on the retreat and take home afterwards to continue using), some notepads, rosaries (black for the young men, white for the young women), a leaflet on the chaplet of the Divine mercy, and some wooden tokens.

We found some little prayer books to help in asking the Saints to join us in prayer before Jesus' throne. One for male, one for female saints. And for each participant there is also a pen with a scripture verse, and a leaflet about the rosary, as well as one on how to form your conscience. Working with teenagers that are standing before many important choices and decisions, we found that one very important to include.

Some sticky notes to start using in that bible, and some lovely, traditional catholic stationery. We are also going to ask the students to send a postcard to next year's confirmation students, to show them that the Body of Christ is already praying for them. The blue cloth that you see underneath it all is being transformed into a bible cover for each student. While on the retreat we will encourage them to write some of their favorite verses on it in gold marker. The idea is to "walk the stiffness out of that bible" the way you do with new shoes, so it will be something they will reach for much easier once they are at home.

And I had to include this last shot, because well.. it says it all. My vocation is first and foremost to be a mom. I work for the Church ten hours a week. Most of my work however is spend at home when the children are napping or sleeping. And when we have a meeting, most of the times, I take the children with me. We have our meeting in the church nursery, so the children can play. Half the time, the meeting ends with both me and my colleague on the floor playing with the children. My boys love her. Thank you "Miss Anne", for making it so wonderfully easy to be a mother first!


Matushka Anna said...

What a nice idea.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I LOVE The Chaplet of Divine Mercy in Song; I keep a copy in my car for when I am running errands.