Monday, May 13, 2013

A Great Investment for the Catholic Homeschool

Over the years I have tried different things to teach the younger ones about the Mass.  My hope has been that the more engaged they were at a young age, the more they would grow to appreciate it as they got older.  I also hoped that understanding would improve behavior during Mass. 
Years ago I purchased the Mini Mass Kit from Our Father's House listed below and at a Catholic Homeschool Convention I found the vestments.  These were quit pricey.  I probably invested a little over $300 in a few years creating the Mass Box that the kids could only play with respectfully and properly.  This means that we only allowed the boys the play priest and wear the vestments. 
Jumba grew up with the Mini Mass Kit in the house and was not interested.  When shopping for Confirmation gifts a month ago I found this cloth version called My Mass Kit.  It was only $70.  I liked it because it was very portable and self contained.  It was also quiet making it just the trick I needed to engage my "very bored" 5 year old at church.  He brought the kit to the car the entire first week but not into daily Mass.  He would get to the car after Mass and then pull the pieces out and try to remember how the priests had used them.  The second week he took it inside two times and only one time did we take it into the cry room and actually get the pieces out.  We were alone for daily Mass and I let him set it up and then watch the priest to compare the real items to his kit versions.  This is not a toy that I think should be brought to church all the time.  I think of it as a tool that works wonderfully at teaching a young one about the Mass. 

The learning book that came with the kit is pretty good.  If you only have girls I would still get this version.  They don't really play Mass with  this version, it isn't real enough.  I still think it is a fabulous teaching tool.
Wee Believers My Mass Kit
I was even more thrilled when I got home and examined the packaging.  My favorite Cardinal is quoted on the box!
" . . . will capture the imagination of little children with regard to the most sacred realities of life." 
~Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, D.D., J.C.D., Prefect, Supreme Tribunal of the Apostoic Signatura

Now it is time to go old school.  I ordered this kit years and years ago, probably to help with teaching Pooker for her first Holy Communion.  I know it is well used but I could not find old pictures.

Our Father's House Mini Mass Kit
The goal was never to try to convince the boys that they needed to be priests but to make the option real.  Just like having a doll and pretending to be mom and dad, the kids have also played Mass over the years.  In our play they don't have two girls get married and in the same way they only have a boy as a priests.  This isn't political it is just the way it is. 
Bear is actively looking onto several different seminaries and trying to decide which one is the better fit for him.  I don't know that he will be a priest for certain but I do know that today he thinks that is what his vocation truly is.  Pickle declared a few weeks ago that he also would like to become a priest.  His true desire is to be an NFL star but a good back up option is the priesthood.  I thought J was going to panic about the family name living on when Jumba announced the other night that he too wants to be a priest.  I am not sure about any of them but most of all doubting the current dreams of this loving 5 year old.  I say all that to let you know that even if none of them end up as priests I still think that the these investments were money well spent!  (Oh and in your spare time, Please offer up a prayer for my boys and their vocations, whatever those vocations might turn out to be.) 

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