Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 19, 2008
Cat. Chat focuses on Mary in program for summer Bible camps
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"We decided to focus on Mary because of the need for something that was distinctively Catholic."
- Dean Schneider
It even provides high quality graphics so leaders can print their own professional looking posters and t-shirts.
Close to 300 parishes in the United States and Canada have already used the program, including parishes in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario. Several bishops, including Archbishop Thomas Collins and Bishop Albert LeGatt of the Saskatoon Diocese, where the ministry is now based, have endorsed the Cat.Chat ministry, according to Schneider.
The ministry moved from Radway, Alta., to Bruno, Sask. last September.
The Vacation Bible School program is run over five days. "Each day's theme is supported with straightforward teaching, relevant Bible verses, meaningful prayer and even snacks that reinforce the day's lesson," explains Schneider, director of marketing for Cat. Chat Productions.
Each theme is also connected to a cardinal virtue and story of a saint or blessed.
The theme of the first day, for example, is Mary said yes to God and because she said yes to God the virtue is obedience. "And the saint that we bring into day one is St. Dominic Savio, a boy that really exemplified saying yes to God just like Mary did," Schneider pointed out.
Day two focuses on how Mary remained pure her whole life - she never sinned. "And so the virtue connected to that is the virtue of purity and the saint that (best) personifies that virtue is St. Therese of Lisieux."
The theme for day three is Mary is Queen of Heaven and Earth: she brings our prayers to Jesus. "The virtue here is faith and trust in God and St. Joseph is the saint of that day because he exemplifies that same kind of faith in God," Schneider explained.
The Vacation Bible School also includes five stations and throughout the day participants spend a certain amount of time at each of the stations.
There is a faith station where there are specific teachings given by a person based on his or her own personal experience. There is a fun and games station where children play faith-based games that are included in the kit.
Then the next station is the music station where participants learn how to sing new songs that are Catholic in nature. There is also a craft station filled with Catholic crafts focused on the theme of the day. The final station is a snack station where children have different snacks that are geared toward bringing out the faith message as well.
"The heartbeat of any good Vacation Bible School program is the music and here is where Cat.Chat really shines," said Schneider.
The program features the dynamic, original music that Cat.Chat has become known for - catchy, upbeat and prayerful worship songs of outstanding quality, he said.
Schneider said taking part in the Vacation Bible School can transform a child.
"If all goes well, our hope is that a person will come out of this program more excited about their faith, more understanding about Mary and her role in the Church and her role in our lives and hopefully also they would come out with a better understanding of how to live their lives for God like Mary did," he said.
To learn more about Cat.Chat's Vacation Bible School program visit the ministry's website: www.catchat.ca.
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