At one of our CAFE gatherings we shared the gift of sharing sacred stories with your family. We discussed text resources for faith sharing and the liturgical calendar.
We were visited by Anne Yee from the Holy Family Bookstore who shared many wonderful books that you could use to share faith with your family. She highlighted:
- Children’s Bibles – the whole Bible written in child-friendly language with an approved translation
- Storybook Bibles – selections of famous Bible stories written in child-friendly language
- Missals – for your child’s use to follow along during the Mass
- Devotionals – prayer books for children such as “Jesus Calling”
- Inspirational Stories – these are stories that share with the reader the values of our faith. Examples include “You are Special” by Max Lucado and “The Weight of the Mass” by Josephine Nobisso.
There are many wonderful books and resources in our parish bookstore. Visit Anne and she will happily help you select age appropriate books to help you share faith with your children.
When I was a child I remember asking my mother to read me the story of Stone Soup over and over again. It is the story of a community who fears strangers and how that fear is overcome through kindness and hospitality. As a small child I didn’t understand those concepts but I was beginning to understand what it meant to share food with others and that we are supposed to take care of one another. The idea that everyone has something to bring to the table resonated with me through to my adulthood and informed my opinions about inclusion and hospitality. All through a seemingly simple story!
Often times as adults we worry that our knowledge of our faith may be shaky or we are uncertain where to start with our children or what to share with them. The important thing to remember is that your children want to hear from you! They want to know what you know, what you believe, and how your faith shapes your daily actions. Even the smallest children are watching to see how adults engage their faith.
Telling the stories of our faith through the use of a children’s or storybook Bible is a wonderful place to start.
Children remember stories. In the same way that your child asks you to tell them over and over their favorite story books, they will respond similarly when you share stories of our faith with them. You can rediscover the stories for yourself as you read them with your child. Stories inspire us and we can’t keep really good stories to ourselves – we have to tell others! Our Bible is a collection of stories (and histories, and poetry, and laws and guidelines) that all show us about how our God acted in the world and give us signs and markers to see God’s action in our own lives.
We encourage you to take some time this week to either purchase or open up a children’s Bible and read a story or two with your children. Or visit the bookstore and buy an inspirational story book. You will be amazed at how your children absorb, reflect and act on what they are reading with you.
At the end of the session we provided our families with a handout that explained the liturgical calendar (attached below). The liturgical calendar is the flow of our faith, it shows us how we experience our faith through the paschal mystery (the life, death and resurrection of Jesus) and revisit it every year. Our church year flows from times of preparation (Advent/Lent) to times of celebration (Christmas/Easter) to times when our focus turns inward and outward as we reflect and act on our call to follow Jesus as his disciples (Ordinary Time). Knowing the different seasons of the church year helps children to experience the liturgy in new ways. Next time you are at Mass point out to your children the ways in which the church has changed (ex: green is the color of Ordinary Time, but in Advent we change to deep purple to signify the time of preparation and the start of the Church year).
Ask yourself and ask your children: in this season, what is the Church asking us to consider and to do?