"Only by praying together with their children can a father and mother- exercising their royal priesthood- penetrate the innermost depths of their children's hearts and leave an impression that the future events in their lives will not be able to efface."
~St. John Paul II
In this post last week, I wrote about using the idea of traveling shrines to encourage family prayer. I made the example shrine dedicated to St. Maximilian Kolbe, who is the patron Saint of my classroom. You could use this idea with any Saint, including our Blessed Mother. This Marian Shrine will be making the rounds with my Immaculate Conception CCD families, honoring Mary as the patron of our parish.
1. A simple introduction note, explaining the shrine, giving ideas for use, and a date for its return.
Update: click here for an editable version of the note that you can adapt for your program.
2. An icon, framed picture, or small statue of the Saint. It would be a nice idea to have your priest bless the item before sending it to the homes.
3. A prayer notebook for the families to record their intentions and thanksgivings.
4. Books for both the kids and the adults about the life of the Saint.
5. Holy cards (or something similar) for each family to be able to keep after their time with the shrine. Bonus points if the card includes a prayer asking for the Saint's intercession.
6. Simple activities that the families could choose to do about the Saint:
-coloring pages or activity sheets
-an easy craft with supplies included
-a list of recommended websites with more information
-a movie about the Saint or music CD that would encourage prayer
7. A bag to carry it all in. Make sure that the bag is labeled with where it should be returned (ex. a tag tied on that reads "St. Joseph School 5th Grade"). I would also recommend a card or paper that lists the original contents of the bag so that parents can pack everything up before sending it back.
For our Marian Shrine, I am including this beautiful statue of Mary.
Just Like Mary by Rosemarie Gortler. I liked how it didn't need to be read cover to cover, but told individual stories and prayers connecting the life of Mary to things a child also goes through, like trusting God, loving others, listening to God, etc.
Finally, I decorated a basic canvas bag with acrylic paint:
Have you tried a traveling family Marian shrine with your parish or school? I'd love to hear how it worked!
Also, if you are looking more ideas on teaching kids about Mary, check out:
Marian Typology Cards
Hail Mary Prayer Cards
Mary Garden Plant Labels
Mary and Discipleship
Mary Fact Flipbooks
My Soul Magnifies the Lord Theme
Pop Up Notebook Marian Shrine
Pop Up Marian Shrine in a Lapbook
Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue
Marian Paper Dolls
Mary as the Moon coloring page