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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Erin
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Posted: May 14 2008 at 8:34pm | IP Logged Quote Erin

I am desperate, I have a 22 month old who is being totally difficult at Mass and now that we are attending a Latin Masshis behaviour is even more noticeable. Dh and I are both spending large amounts of time outside and dh is pretty sad that he hasn't even got to hear a sermon yet.

So I have come up with the idea of creating a 'Mass bag' filled with religious items geared to a 22 month old boy. These will be kept for Mass only, I am needing ideas of what to put in the 'bag'. So far I have a Bible board book and a Mass picture prayer book. I was thinking of a key ring with holy cards on it. Does anyone have any other ideas?

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Posted: May 14 2008 at 9:15pm | IP Logged Quote PDyer

We made photo albums with the mysteries of the Rosary and the stations of the cross. We bought the Catholic Children's Treasure Box books for Mass. And we took turns going to the top of the stairs, outside the interior doors where she couldn't be heard quite as well, but where my dh or I could see through the glass. Hope this helps.

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MarilynW
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Posted: May 14 2008 at 9:36pm | IP Logged Quote MarilynW

My dd has made them for her two younger brothers. I will get a list of things tomorrow and post.

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missionfamily
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Posted: May 14 2008 at 10:35pm | IP Logged Quote missionfamily

You can turn the holy cards on a key chain into lacing cards by pasting them on card stock or construction paper, then laminating and punching holes around them. Tie a shoe string onto the key chain and he can lace and unlace.

I'm thinking of trying to make a little mass felt board set for mine--a small folded background that opens up like a book, then an altar and a chalice and a cross, etc, for him to put on there.



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Posted: May 14 2008 at 10:55pm | IP Logged Quote CathinCoffeland

You can take pics of things in your Church (Father, the altar, the Tablernacle) to make your own mass book. It makes it more personal than just a drawing of a priest etc.

My dc like little decade rosaries or chaplet beads- full rosaries have too much "swing"

We have a tiny (less than 2 inches) holy water bottle that is empty that the dc like screwing the lid on and off (though you have to watch for pew banging and choking)

I have a tiny lion and whale and sheep from those animal toobs. I put in just one out a week- ok its a stretch but hey they are in the Bible

For one dc every week I brought an index card and a half sheet of religious themed stickers. I recieved the Eucharist more than once with a sticker on my backside but she was quiet .

Good luck and congrats on your new Mass- it is unlikely a Latin mass will ever be said in our diocese.

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mary
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Posted: May 15 2008 at 6:23am | IP Logged Quote mary

here's what's in mine:
crayons
coloring book for the season
lift the flap bible book. i have 4 of these and i rotate them weekly.
mass board book
tissues (sometimes just taking them out buys me some time)
fruit leather (not as messy as goldfish)
rosary that is knotted - no beads to break

good luck!
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SusanJ
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Posted: May 15 2008 at 7:32am | IP Logged Quote SusanJ

We have holy cards connected with a metal craft ring. That is interesting to my kids only when the find it at home, for some reason. We've found that pen and paper is the only thing that keeps our kids entertained for any length of time.

Just a thought about food--we are very strict about not allowing our kids to eat or drink during Mass. We'll bring a cup of water if its going to be a long, hot ordination or something but otherwise nothing. It is very hard when a family sits in front of us and is feeding their kids. Just my two cents.

Susan

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Posted: May 15 2008 at 7:53am | IP Logged Quote mary

SusanJ wrote:

Just a thought about food--we are very strict about not allowing our kids to eat or drink during Mass. We'll bring a cup of water if its going to be a long, hot ordination or something but otherwise nothing. It is very hard when a family sits in front of us and is feeding their kids. Just my two cents.

Susan


i understand this but wanted to give another perspective. i go to a very small church. there is no cry room, foyer, and the sides of the pews are against the wall, so if my baby is not happy, there is no way for me to get out of the pew without climbing over pple. our mass is early, often the kids will have barely woken up before we leave. i have 4 children and have never had to resort to allowing them to eat in church. frankly, if a fruit leather lets me sit through mass peacefully, then i'm going to give it to her.
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Posted: May 15 2008 at 11:48am | IP Logged Quote Sarah M

We have mini magna-doodles for each of the kids. They only get them during mass. This is all we bring for them, but they are still "special" enough, that they seem to do. Also, we don't give them anything to do until the liturgy of the Eucharist begins. Otherwise, they scribble on their magna-doodles for the first 15 minutes of Mass and then all heck breaks loose.

Bless you!
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Posted: May 15 2008 at 5:09pm | IP Logged Quote SusanMc

My son is a few months younger than yours, but I have a Noah's Ark glove book that is fantastic for mass. Each of the fingers is an animal and the book is on the palm. Because it is securely on Mom's hand, my son can't pitch it over the pew.
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Posted: May 15 2008 at 8:30pm | IP Logged Quote K&Rs Mom

Some favorites in ours have been:
blank notebook (3x5 size) & pencil
WikkiStiks
books about the saints (even before they can read, these usually have nice pictures with lots of detail)
Holy cards in a small envelope (though the key ring is a much better idea)
coloring pages about the readings from catholicmom.com

I try to rotate the books every couple of months, so they will continue to be interested. Our rule for the 5yo is no books except during the homily; 3yo is allowed to use the "Church bag" as she needs to, but often she doesn't bother with it much at all.

Aubrey
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Posted: May 16 2008 at 5:23am | IP Logged Quote jennthmg

A decade rosary made of fabric (like a panty-hose stuffed & tied for beads). Those wooden ones are REALLY NOISY on the pews.

Something that has worked for some of my kids is a massage during the readings & homily. I sit with them tucked next to me with their arms on my lap. Barely touching them and slowly as I can stand, I glide my finger over their palm, in and out of their fingers, then slowly turn their hand over and do the backside, up their arm to their elbow. It's worked even for some of my wiggly kids and we're not using up their attention on things in their Mass bag and they sit very quietly.   The only time I do this massage is at Mass. I had one child who wouldn't sit for this.
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Erin
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Posted: Sept 15 2008 at 5:21am | IP Logged Quote Erin

I wanted to thank you all for your many ideas and thought I'd share a photo of my son's Mass Basket. Thank you

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Posted: Sept 15 2008 at 6:07am | IP Logged Quote MarilynW

What a wonderful basket Erin. My dd thought it was awesome and is going to "pinch" some ideas.


OK - but what about my 14m old who has turned into a loud, mobile tornado in Mass - forget the basket of mass items - he just wants to move about and shout! I feel like I have been in the boxing ring with Mike Tyson each Mass. Does not help with people who do not like kids in our parish - I went to a weekday mass last week and as soon as we entered out pew, a very sourfaced lady behind us asked me why I bring children to a daily mass - and then she made a point of moving to the other side of the church

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Posted: Sept 15 2008 at 7:47am | IP Logged Quote Michaela

MarilynW wrote:
a very sourfaced lady behind us asked me why I bring children to a daily mass - and then she made a point of moving to the other side of the church


Oh my goodness, Marilyn! I am so sorry that happened to you.

My little one (20 months) cannot make a sound or I get the sour looks. It's so quiet during Mass, you could hear a pin drop, and normal sounds from young children are too loud. Actually, not just young children...one cough or clearing of your throat can get you that sour look.

why don't men seem to have the sour face problem?
Often after Mass, we have women tell us that our children (older children because I had been out walking with Teresa!) are very good...they don't like sitting close to children because they are a "distraction" -- I get so uncomfortable when I hear that. They are complementing me, but at the same time they have let me know what they really feel. It just makes me leave Mass with Teresa at the slightest sound...walking...walking around the parish or sitting in the little chapel hoping someone remembered to turn on the sound system so I can hear the Mass.

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Posted: Sept 15 2008 at 12:20pm | IP Logged Quote MarilynW

I refuse to use the cry room at our church - it is really horrible - just full of children and adults misbehaving - eating and drinking (everything from cookies to Burger King), running around, shouting, changing diapers - the smells and noise are overpowering - and there is not attempt at training little ones to listen or participate in the Mass. With infants I nurse in a little meeting room.

Michaela - I get the same comments with my older ones - how "good" they are. But to be fair - it is not often we have sulky people who do not respond to a smiley toddler - yesterday's Mass was unfortunately one - my little guy kept turning round and giving this family the most gorgeus cutie pie one year old grins - they totally ignored him!



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Posted: Sept 15 2008 at 4:42pm | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

Sometimes, I think people are just weird in how they respond whether your kids are good or bad. After daily mass, we get comments about our boys good behavior including, "Do your parents give you pills before they bring you?" Um, no

Probably once a week, we have to take the two year old out--so, it isn't as if they are perfect, but I think that daily mass has been good "practice" as their behavior is overall better.

My dh has been known to keep holy cards in his breast pocket for the two year old to fish out and share with his brother. The ultimate, though, is a wallet. My two year old will be happy for some time pulling out credit cards and such--but we save that for when we are desperate!

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Posted: Sept 16 2008 at 2:12pm | IP Logged Quote UK Mum

Marylin, what the lady said to you reminded me of the disciples in Mark 10:13-16

And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

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Posted: Oct 03 2008 at 9:12am | IP Logged Quote MarilynW

We had the same lady today at First Friday mass. I wrote about it

Let the little children come to me

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Posted: Oct 03 2008 at 11:23am | IP Logged Quote Bridget

Pipe cleaners. They aren't religious, unless you make crosses with them, but they're quiet and versatile.

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