From The Blog

A Little Child Shall Lead Them by Stephania Jackson

Have you observed the wonders that happen every Sunday in our Atriums? I invite you to experience the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in our beautifully created Level I, Level II, and Level III. Level I is for children ages 3, 4, and 5 this school year. Level II is for our children in grades 1st, 2nd and 3rd this school year. Level IV is for our children in 4th, 5th and 6th grades this school year. However, if your middle schooler would like to explore another option, I would greatly welcome their assistance in Level l. Our children’s ministries program is growing faster than I can recruit help so please feel free to take a peek in our atria.

Children are wonderfully made with a special spiritually all their own. They are so much more than miniature grownups, incubating to be adults one day. When we think that way, we detract from the true value of their childhood by focusing on the future adult they will become. It is invaluable to be fully engaged and mindful of the presence of our children by being fully present for them.

How well I remember when my own daughter reached up to grab my face and said “Look at me, I’m right here just look at me.” Was that ever a wakeup call! My face was buried in a book as I worked furiously on my thesis. I realized I was passing up a chance for which, I’d never get a “do over.” I don’t regret all gymnastic competitions and listening to the same music 60 times for all the graceful young ladies flying through the air. It was really brought home years later, when she said “Mom, I remember when you came to my plays, ballet performances, basketball games, gymnastic competitions and I remember when I didn’t see your face in the crowd. I did better when you were there and when you blessed my fast feet before a competition.” Lest you think I’m trying to portray myself as “Mother of the Year” I made plenty of mistakes such as getting lost and walking our family down Bourbon Street on Decadence Day no less. Who ever heard of that holiday? The bad thing is she still remembers the lewd sights she saw and still laughs about our adventure.

“If we want to help the child draw nearer to God, we should with patience and courage . . . seek to go always closer to the vital nucleus of things. This requires study and prayer: The child him (her)self will be our teacher if we know how to observe her/him.” Sofia Cavalletti [1917-2011]. Sofia is the originator of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd; a process that has worked for both children and parents for decades. We are fortunate to have an established program at Chapel. Our children are the teachers in the atrium and the adult’s job is to create the environment for the process and then fade into the wallpaper.

Join us one Sunday soon, you won’t be disappointed, rather you will be amazed. I’m so fortunate to part of our Children’s Ministries and I say thank you to Ben for that.

Stephania Jackson
Director of Children’s Ministries