God in heaven hear my prayer,
keep me in thy loving care.
Be my guide in all I do,
Bless all those who love me too.
We are very grateful for the children who regularly attend our Children’s Liturgy of the Word program which takes place at the 10:30 am Sunday Mass. And, in response to feedback about the MagnifiKid! curriculum used for Children’s Liturgy of the Word, St. Matthias will be piloting new program this fall, called F.I.S.H. (Friends in Service to Him). The purpose of the pilot program is to find a curriculum that engages children more fully at their learning level and to encourage our children (and their parents) to continue to participate in weekly Mass and Church. MagnifiKid will continue to be available for those children who enjoy having the worship aid during Mass, but will no longer be used for this program during 10:30 am Mass. The pilot program is based on a program initially used at the St. Matthias preschool and for G.I.F.T sessions and has been adapted for use with our K-4th grade parishioners. The curriculum is also aligned with our G.I.F.T. program so the F.I.S.H. themes will support the more extensive lessons taught in the monthly G.I.F.T. sessions for families.
F.I.S.H. will include basic elements from the current Children’s Liturgy of the Word format, but with a few changes:
– Children will be dismissed with their catechist at the same time, with the announcement that the Reader makes and the Blessing Song.
– Children will read and review scripture readings pertaining to weekly themes (instead of reading the same Gospel readings from mass), with corresponding handouts. This will change the format from one that was liturgy based to one that is more catechetical in nature. Some of the weekly themes include, “God Made Me Special” with portions of the Genesis Creation Story, “Jesus is God’s Son” utilizing Matthew’s account of the Baptism of Jesus, and “We Help the Church” based on 1 Corinthians.
– After the scripture reading, there will be a short project-based activity to help illustrate that week’s theme. Sample activities include: Making crayon rubs of seasonal objects for the Creation Story, decorating a shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity, writing down things we are grateful for and lacing them into “thank you” necklaces, etc. All of the supplies will be provided for you.
– Children will return to their families after the Creed and Prayers of the Faithful, but will walk in with the offertory procession and be blessed by the priest, as a welcome back into the Mass.
– Youth leaders are encouraged to sign up to help each Catechist lead the sessions. Some of you already have older children who have helped out during Children’s Liturgy of the Word, which has been a wonderful example to the younger children. We would like to have this type of youth leadership built into the program to encourage older youth to participate in leadership opportunities within the St. Matthias Community.
– All materials will be provided, we simply need your time and talent, and the help of any others who love to teach children!
This effort is being lead by parishioner, Lynda Brouchoud and has the full support of the parish staff. Lynda has graciously gathered and compiled all the curriculum and projects for this pilot period which will run from Sept 11-Dec 18th. Our hope is that the program will take off with additional volunteers and interest. At the end of the pilot period, we will evaluate and make any necessary adjustments to the program. This program will take place each Sunday of the month, with the exception of the first Sunday (which is G.I.F.T.). Please let me know if you have any questions – and I hope to see you at the training on August 14th!
Our volunteer catechists are trained in the parish and encouraged to attend workshops for their own enrichment and to earn credit towards Basic Catechetical Certification (see Sabrina for more information).
Each year, we act in accordance with Archdiocesan mandates for background checks of all catechists and helpers who have regular contact with children. They are required to complete a course called “Recognize, Report and Prevent Child Abuse” before they can begin their ministry. The course can be found at www.shieldthevulnerable.org