Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.

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Posted: May 05 2006 at 12:30am | IP Logged Quote ElisabethGrace

Our parish is having a Children's Retreat this summer and the saints (specifically Our Lady of Guadalupe, St.Francis, St.Kateri & St.Elizabeth Seton) is the theme. Our DRE wrote the program herself after years of using the "Catholic version" of Protestant VBS materials. My prayers were answered!

Anyway, I am doing the craft portion & would like to ask you for "20 minute" craft ideas. I would also like to know if you have any ideas for games. I thought perhaps for OLG, children could wear a "tilma" and try to catch as many roses (just the heads of artificial flowers) in the "tilma" in a certain amount of time. Does this sound disrespectful? Part of me thinks so.

I am constantly amazed at the wealth of creativity on this board, so I turn to you all for advice!

Thanks so much!
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Posted: May 05 2006 at 12:55am | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

Elisabeth, I love the tilma game idea and do not think it sounds disrepectful.

For Our Lady of Guadalupe, there are some great ideas posted at the Blessed Mother Notebook thread including photos of Guadalupe notebook pages (from Elizabeth Foss) and a Juan Diego paper doll the girls and I made together. (If you would like detailed instructions and a materials list for the paper doll, I would be glad to send them to you.)

For Saint Francis of Assisi, you might want to try a bird craft. It is incredibly easy to make bird finger puppets out of felt and a feather or two. St. Francis' sermon to the birds could be read aloud to the children, and, perhaps they could even use the puppets to participate in some way.

I remember going to the American Martyrs shrine in Auriesville, NY years ago and learning that, when St. Kateri was being oppressed by other Mohawks, she made a rock rosary to pray in secret. This month, my daughters have been finding and painting stones in lovely floral designs, and we hope to amass enough to make our own rock rosary for the garden. Depending on how many children you have, this could be a group project and might even be something to permanently display on the grounds of the school--perhaps around a statue of Our Lady.

For St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, it might be worth checking the craft store for school themed accessories. St. Elizabeth did so much to foster Catholic schools in America that it would be meaningful to have the children paint a school-shaped wooden plaque, adding a picture of Mother Seton in the center. A cross and American flag could be included to represent Catholic schools and serve as a reminder that St. Elizabeth was our nation's first native born saint.

Love, Alice
mother of seven!

Cottage Blessings
Brew yourself a cup of tea, and come for a visit!
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Posted: May 10 2006 at 12:36pm | IP Logged Quote ElisabethGrace

Alice, I'm so sorry not to have thanked you before! I think we can make these ideas work very well. And I LOVE the rock rosary idea! I think I may have another family project in the wings!

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