Children, youth and adults in remote mission territories can prepare for the sacraments and grow in their faith through religious education programs.
And while priests cannot always travel to remote communities, religious orders like the Sisters of St. Martha in St. Paul’s River, Québec, have lived and ministered there for more than 25 years. CMIC funding provides children’s religious education programs in this parish.
We hope to meet requests for religious education programs for children and adult, more than 75 per cent of which are from missionaries serving in our First Nations missions.
CMIC offers material support for growth of the local church—by educating children, youth and adults in religious and moral truths.
Here’s an example of how your support can help children grow in their faith.
Bringing Good Friday to the Children
By Sister Donna Kelly, C.N.D.
How to make liturgy meaningful so that children can have a positive experience of it is one of the challenges of parish ministry.
One of the celebrations that is most difficult for children is the Good Friday service. The long reading of the Passion, homily, multiple intercessions, the Adoration of the Cross and the Communion service can add up to a service that can last as long as an hour and a half.
In our parish of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Benoit’s Cove, we have adapted the Good Friday service and celebrate it as a special service for children.
We begin preparation several months ahead of time, as the First Communion and First Reconciliation candidates begin practising music for the celebration. The music chosen consists of short refrains that can easily be learned and some even have hand gestures and movement to enhance the music.
The service begins in silence (as does the solemn Good Friday service) and the cross is brought in by one of the students. The service continues with an Opening Prayer and then there is a simplified reading of the Passion Story.
Following this reading, the children (and their teddy bears) are gathered around and the story of Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection is told with large pictures to enhance the narrative.
Before the children return to their seats, they are invited to come and touch the cross as they say the words, “Thank you Jesus, for loving me.”
The experience is a good one for the children and helps them to understand more deeply the meaning and importance of the day.
Sister Donna Kelly, C.N.D., jointly with Sister Mildred Chabassol, C.N.D., serves as parish life administrator of Our Lady Star of the Sea parish in Benoit’s Cove, Newfoundland, in the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador.