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Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Infancy Narratives

The Birth of Jesus and the Adoration of the Shepherds.
How time flies! My hopes for this blog are to help educate the parents of my Atrium students about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program in which their children are enrolled. It is also my desire to help spread the word about this wonderful catechesis. I have to remember that the Spirit moves in mysterious ways and not always quickly.

This is a good thing.

I find myself not able to give as much time to this blog-endeavor as I would like. That being said, I'd like to share a little of what we've been doing since Advent.

The main focus of Advent and Christmas are the Infancy Narratives. Over the three years a child is in the Atrium these presentations will be given: The Annunciation, The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, The Birth of Jesus and Adoration of the Shepherds, The Adoration of the Magi and the Presentation in the Temple. 

I'm giddy and exhausted just thinking about it all.

I am so thrilled to be able to jump start the CGS program at St. Mary's. We provide the catechesis during our regular religious education program on Sunday mornings. This is a blessing and a curse all together. The blessing is the coming together of families between our 8:30 and 11:00 Masses. The curse is the hour time constraint. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program should really be a two-hour program. Condensing it into one hour is difficult. I find each week that the children want to continue working and that I am always left with more to present. 

Oh my.

This is where I must trust in the Holy Spirit to work in His Mysterious Ways. Just as He did in the early life of Jesus. 

This, the first year of the program, we present the Annunciation, the Birth of Jesus and the Adoration of the Magi. The children love these materials and have them on and off the shelf constantly. 

The Infancy Narratives coordinate so perfectly with the Geography lessons that have been presented in Ordinary time. We refer back to the three cities of Nazareth (where the angel visited Mary and the Holy Spirit overshadowed her), Bethlehem (where Jesus was born) and Jerusalem (where Jesus died and rose from the dead). We talk about how Mary and Joseph walked the long, long way from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

I have one little three year old who tells me every Sunday, "We live far away and had to drive a long, long way to get to St. Mary's." He tells me it's too far for me to come to his house. It makes me wonder (something we do often with the children) if he is thinking of the long journey taken by Mary and Joseph. Of course, he also tells me he lives in America. America is VERY far away. I always encourage him to go look at the globe so we can talk more about it! What a blessing to have such amazing materials to work with the child and meet him wherever he is!

We continue to move through the Liturgical Year with the Church. This journey is always amazing in the life of the Catholic Church and more amazing when lived with the young ones of our community!