Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Guest Post: "My First Catholic Church Book" Free Project

I'm so happy to bring you a guest post today with a project that I think many of you will be excited to share with your kids or students. Helen Tine, a mom and parish catechist, has created this beautifully simple book to help young Catholics learn the nomenclature of the items used during the Mass, and also encourage them to grow in familiarity with their own parish church. She generously desired to share it with LHBR readers so other kiddos benefit from it!

She provides a basic structure that names about twenty sacred articles with short, child-friendly descriptions. The pages can be printed and stapled/bound/hole punched, but also fit perfectly in a 4x6 photo album. The pdf includes all the pages, thorough instructions, as well as sample pictures if you'd rather use those instead of taking photos in your church. 

I think this book would be a great end-of-the year keepsake for a classroom (especially following or in preparation for First Communion) or could be a great family project over the summer. Check out the Q&A below with Helen as well as some pictures of the book she created. The link to the printable is at the bottom of the post.

If you are looking for a project for older kids, this Sacrament Scavenger Hunt has a similar objective, or you might also like these Mass Article Graphic Organizers.

***Update- This resource is now available in Spanish!

My First Catholic Church Book by Helen Anne Tine

-What was your original intention of this project?

When my children were little, they loved the ‘first words’ board books which contain pages of words with corresponding colorful realistic pictures. The books were a fun way for my children to learn the words for everyday objects, like articles of clothing (socks, pants, shirt) and common household items (cup, plate, bed, chair). I searched for a similar book to help my children learn the names of things in a Catholic church; when I couldn’t find such a book, I created this one for my children. 

My book contains pages of things we see in a Catholic church with corresponding pictures. Through the years, the project has expanded to include assembly instructions and sample pictures, so others can create the book.

-How do you think creating this book could benefit Catholic children?

While many Catholic children’s books focus on what we do in church during Mass, this book focuses on what we see in a church. A Catholic church is full of unique items including kneelers, a tabernacle and holy water fonts. This book helps children learn the names of items in a Catholic church as well as briefly explaining the purpose of each item.

-What tips do you have for parents/teachers working on this project?

Make it your own! This project includes sample pictures from our parish church, but since many Catholic churches vary in architecture, I suggest personalizing the project by taking your own pictures. The process of taking pictures in a church is a great way for children to see these objects up close and for parents to start a conversation with children about their purpose and importance. Don’t expect to take all the pictures in one session, especially if younger children are involved in the process! You may want to take only a couple of pictures after Mass each week or visit the church during the week to take pictures.

And there are also various options for assembling the book. I used a 4x6 photo album, but there are more creative ways to assemble the book like laminating the pages or having children cut and glue the pages onto cardstock.

-What are some adaptations for older/younger children?

Throughout the project, I share some ideas for how children can get involved with the picture taking process. Children can decide if they want to be in the pictures and choose where to take some of the pictures. Depending upon the chosen assembly method, children might be able to create the book by themselves. Older children could read the book to themselves or to younger children.

Click here to open the free printable pages, photos, and instructions for making your own "My First Catholic Church" Book!

Thank you Helen for sharing this awesome project with us!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

A Unique Litany of St. Joseph {And Free St. Joseph Prints for You!}

The Year of St. Joseph has led to a needed focus on the foster father of Jesus and husband of Mary. In addition to the many books being published about him recently, there also has been a beautiful surge of art dedicated to his role in the Holy Family and the Church.

During March, the month of St. Joseph, I had the privilege of working with a group of ten artists to create a unique Litany of St. Joseph: one new piece of art each day, all inspired by a line from the Litany, and each created from a block carving (either lino or wood). The result was an incredible collection of prints, unique to each artist but united in love for the Guardian of the Redeemer. 

We originally shared the prints on Instagram (you can find them all in my Story Highlight if you want to click through) but here on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, I also am sharing a little preview here on the blog of the collection of art. In honor of his feast day and Year of St. Joseph, I'm also happy to share a set of free printables of the St. Joseph prints I've created this year. They are all linked at the bottom of the post. AND we are also running an awesome giveaway with ten opportunities to win a copy of a book with all of the images and short reflections, as well as an original print from one of the makers. You can enter to win on Instagram!

Here are the artists involved in the collaboration and where to find them online:

Beth Hopkins Mickle        Instagram     Website     Elizabeth Ruth Prints
Marisol Calixto                 Instagram     Website     Blessed Creative
Bridget Mersmann            Instagram     Website     Veritas Prints
Gabie Mammia                 Instagram     Website     Cultivate Card Co
Keri Scardina Lemane      Instagram     Website     Kitchen Table Press
Abigail Halpin                  Instagram     Website     Petronille Press
Connor Miller                   Instagram     Website     Connor Miller Visuals
Teresa Chehade                 Instagram     Website     Felicity Press
Danielle Center                 
Jamaica DeLisle               Instagram     Website     Jubilate Designs
Katherine Bogner              Instagram    Website     Look to Him and Be Radiant

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.  Bridget Mersmann
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us. God the son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us. Connor Miller
Holy Mary, pray for us. Katherine Bogner
Saint Joseph, pray for us. Jamaica DeLisle
Noble Offspring of David, pray for us. Beth Hopkins Mickle
Light of Patriarchs, pray for us. Teresa Chehade

Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us. Gabie Mammia
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us. Keri Scardina Lemane  
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us. Danielle Center
Zealous Defender of Christ, pray for us. Connor Miller
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us. Katherine Bogner
Joseph Most Just, pray for us. Gabie Mammia

Joseph Most Chaste, pray for us. Marisol Calixto
Joseph Most Prudent, pray for us. Teresa Chehade
Joseph Most Courageous, pray for us. Beth Hopkins Mickle
Joseph Most Obedient, pray for us. Keri Scardina Lemane
Joseph Most Faithful, pray for us. Bridget Mersmann
Mirror of Patience, pray for us. Connor Miller

Lover of Poverty, pray for us. Katherine Bogner
Model of Workmen, pray for us. Keri Scardina Lemane
Glory of Domestic Life, pray for us. Marisol Calixto
Guardian of Virgins, pray for us. Teresa Chehade
Pillar of Families, pray for us. Abigail Halpin
Comfort of the Afflicted, pray for us. Jamaica DeLisle

Hope of the Sick, pray for us. Bridget Mersmann
Patron of the Dying, pray for us. Gabie Mammia
Terror of Demons, pray for us. Katherine Bogner
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us. Jamaica DeLisle

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord Marisol Calixto 
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord Katherine Bogner
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us. Beth Hopkins Mickle


I hope you go check out these other artists and their work!

In honor of the Year of St. Joseph, I'd love to send you some St. Joseph art to decorate your home! Click on any of the images below for a free 5x7" printable of my contributions to the St. Joseph Litany.

Holy Mary, Mother of God:

St. Joseph, Head of the Holy Family:

Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world:

St. Joseph the Worker:

St. Joseph, Lover of Poverty:

St. Joseph Terror of Demons:

Good St. Joseph, pray for us!