Last week we celebrated Catholic Schools Week, one of the favorite weeks of the school year for the kids. The extra activities are fun and different … even if we teachers miss our regular schedules just a tiny bit. 🙂
My schedule was double different. Not only did we do things to celebrate in my classroom, I visited kindergartners and 1st-graders at Jordan Catholic School in Rock Island, Ill. My goal? To introduce them to the idea of a religious vocation.
I used the book, “What Does a Nun Do?” My PowerPoint was all set up to show pictures of real Sisters (mine!) doing their ministries (praying, working in parishes, serving at a food pantry, teaching). But when I pushed the button: Nothing.
I’m so glad I had the real book!
After reading it, I pulled out poster board images of Saints Benedict and Scholastica to illustrate my next story. I told of Benedict visiting his sister, Scholastica. They had a wonderful visit, and Scholastica asked him to stay longer. “No,” he said. “I have to get back to the monastery for prayers with my brothers.”
I asked the kids if they have sisters or brothers. Most little heads nodded. I asked if they ever got into arguments with them. They nodded and giggled. I asked them if they thought Scholastica and Benedict might argue about whether he would stay or not … and why Benedict had said no.
Benedict was refusing to stay with his sister, because his Rule said he had to go home at night. Scholastica argued against it, saying his love for her should be stronger than his desire to follow rules.
Both arguments seemed reasonable. But Scholastica prayed to God about it, asking God to keep her brother there. God created a violent thunderstorm right then, making it impossible for Benedict to leave!
The children loved the story. They weren’t too young to “get” a fight with a sibling, and they weren’t too young to understand that the love they have in their hearts is a powerful force.
We talked and shared for a while after the stories. Then I gave the children Benedict and Scholastica stickers that I was able to find on happysaints.com. All in all, it was a great day, and I went home a happy nun!