Missionary Childhood Lesson
- Read the Missionary Childhood lesson as a family, or watch this video for small children that will tell you the story of one of the great miracles that converted thousands of people to Christianity at once!
Advent: This covers Missionary Advent Prayers and how advent is celebrated in countries around the world
Country Spotlight: Mexico
– Saint Spotlight – Saint Juan Diego
- Missionary Childhood will meet St. Juan Diego from Mexico, who got to see our Blessed Mother, Mary!
- Learn the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan’s role in it!
- Act out the story as a family.
- St. Juan Diego’s fest day is December 9th.
- The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is December 12th.
- December 3rd is also the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of missions! (Last month we learned about St. Francis Xavier and Russia.)
- December 6th is St. Nicholas’ feast day.
Mary asked that a church be built to honor her in Mexico. We, too, have built a grotto to honor Mary, and to serve as a place of prayer for the conversion of hearts!
Please participate with us on Tuesday, December 8th, when Bishop Edward Malesic and Fr. Michael will officially dedicate and bless our grotto. You can join us in person at 6:30 near Fr. Michael’s house, in the front of the church. If you cannot join us in person, it will be live-streamed on our parish Facebook page.
The True Story of Christmas
- God – the Creator of the universe – came into our world! He came here as a tiny infant, born of the Virgin Mary.
- God wants us to acknowledge his great love for us, and the great gift He gave us of His only Son, Jesus.
- God came here to rescue us from sin and death. This is what Christmas is really all about!
- Advent is that season of the Church when we prepare out hearts and homes for Jesus. We anticipate His birth, His coming back again, and the presence of Jesus in our lives today.
Have a Party!
- A new baby is coming! How do we get ready? Have you planned a birthday party for Jesus? (It doesn’t need to be big, just your immediate family will do!) Ask the angels and saints to join you – they will! Who would have been there for Jesus’ first birthday? Angels, shepherds, animals – invite your pets! And shepherds, if you know any. Choose a day, complete the plans and celebrate! If you’d like some simple decorations, we have ordered some for you! You can pick them up in the parish office (simple crafts you can make as party favors).
- Key point to teach here: Mary and Joseph are Jesus’ mom and dad. God is also Jesus’ father, so that makes Jesus God too!
- Coloring page of Jesus in the manger. You can print out for your child, or they can color on the website!
- Possible activity – we are working to get a cutout of a shepherd for your child to step up and be part of the nativity of our Lord! Great photo op! (We will sanitize regularly for your safety!)
Family Faith Activity
Act out the story. Imagine what it would be like to be a shepherd out in the field watching your sheep when, suddenly, the sky is full of singing angels! Mom and dad, imagine what it would have been like for Mary and Joseph that first night, having their baby in a barn full of animals… Consider doing a video of your family acting out the real story of Christmas, and sharing it with your friends and family, especially those who can’t be near right now!
Practice prayers, including Angel of God, Sign of the Cross, Our Father, and participating in the Holy Mass.
Preparing for Christmas
- Sing Joyful Praise together (parents – we will ask you to step out of the room for a moment, so that we can help your child prepare a special Christmas surprise for you!)
- Help each other prepare for Christmas. How can your child help you? Encourage him/her to get involved and be helpful!
- Remind your child to be loving like St. Nicholas, and gentle like Jesus.
- Come to church – see below for ideas during covid!
- Parents – consider what difference it makes to you, htat God came into our world – that Jesus was born for us, a Savior, Christ our Lord. Talk about this together. Say a pray of thanksgiving to God for this gift.
Family Activity Ideas
- Get to church somehow! We are well prepared to greet you safely for Mass, with sanitizing after every Mass, social distancing, and every other pew blocked off. We cannot stress enough the importance of coming to Mass and participating in person whenever possible! Still, we understand that, for some of you, that just isn’t possible right now. Consider making an appointment with Mrs. Smith for a private visit to the church to come inside and see the Advent wreath, the Nativity, and all the other holiday decorations! The church is open until 3pm every day, but we can arrange later times for you, too!
You will need fingerpaint to do this. We have included recipes for homemade fingerpaint!
Fingerpaint recipe here: https://tinkerlab.com/paint-recipe-kids-homemade-finger-paint/
Or try this one: https://draxe.com/beauty/homemade-finger-paint/
Extra Fun for Christmas Break!
The Star is a cute movie for children that tells the Christmas story from the animals’ perspective.
Occasionally remove one of the figures from your Christmas creche, and see if your child can tell you what’s missing. Even better, see if he/she can tell you why that figure needs to go back. What is its importance in the story? (Allow for some creativity at this age!)
Even though we’re not doing much socializing, reach out to your neighbors and family during this time. Perhaps drop off a “goody bag” for them, with a card letting them know you pray for them. Little ones can add pictures they’ve drawn or crafts they’ve made. Video chat with friends and relatives and share the real Good News of this holiday!
Email me your success stories! Photos are most welcome; we like to get excited about your success, too!!