Monday, January 31, 2011

Shopping for a First Communion Dress

This is something I've looked forward to ever since our little Princess was born!  I can't believe we are beginning the process of catechesis for her First Communion Day which will be coming up this May.  

More importantly than the dress is the reason for this occasion, which is the children receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the very first time.  I think it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and lose focus on the reason.  That being said, I admit that I am loving getting the chance to pick out a First Communion dress for her.  I want it to be something really special for a REALLY special day.  It is almost like picking out a wedding dress. 

Besides our local Catholic book store, which I will most definitely check out-- I really love supporting that business because it is so nice to have a Catholic store nearby-- I have found some online sources to be very helpful in comparing what the dress looks like. Nordstroms carries some nice dresses. I have picked two that I really like:
This one:
And this one:

We have plenty of time before making any choices, but this is such an exciting milestone for any Catholic as the next step in the faith journey and the second step to full initiation with the Church.

On Wednesday we have a meeting which will discuss all the details as far as what is required. The children need to attend classes specifically for learning all about the Eucharist and the importance of the Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I like how our children come fully into the Faith in stages, just how they grow into full understanding in stages.

The usual way a child is initiated into the Catholic Church is through Baptism, preferably shortly after birth but it can be anytime before age 7; the next step is receiving First Holy Communion at around second grade or age 8; and finally Confirmation which is conferred during the teens.  The age of Confirmation varies depending on the rules of the Diocese in which they belong.  For example, in our Diocese, Confirmation takes place in the Junior or Senior year of High School after two years of preparation.

So, it seems, my little princess is growing up.  She will be able to receive Communion with us at Mass starting after her First Communion in May.  I remember when she was a toddler, one time my husband was carrying her in his arms up to Communion.  She was perplexed at why she didn't receive the Host when my husband did and I think maybe felt a little left out.  She held her hands out but instead of receiving a Host, she was given the usual blessing, as would anyone Catholic or non-Catholic who isn't able to receive.  The next Sunday, I think she must have thought to try a new tactic.  When she got to the front of the line, she looked up sweetly, held out her hands and asked, "Please?"  Which was very cute but still she received a blessing.  Soon, very soon, she will receive Jesus in the Eucharist and all the graces that come along with that.  We are very excited!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kicking off another Catholic Schools Week!

Catholic schools week is always celebrated the last week of January.  This year's theme is A+ for America.   Our school is commemorating this week by having lots of fun and enriching activities for the kids.  Today, the kids will receive a free dress pass for wearing their school uniform to Mass.  Most of the kids love free dress days as they are few and far between! 

Catholic school for us means quite a commitment and financial sacrifice as it does for most of the other families who choose this as a way to educate their children.  It means paying a steep tuition and other fees.  It means commuting each day to and from.  It means investing our time with share hours that each family is required to meet.  We have done a mix of public school and private school and their are pros and cons to each.  By sending our children to a primary Catholic school, we believe that they are getting a good foundation both spiritually and academically.  Going to our parish school also connects us more closely to the faith community in which we belong.  

One of the best things about Catholic school is the structure and discipline it provides but you won't see any nuns with rulers at our school.  The teachers our children have had through the years have all been dedicated professionals who see their teaching as not just a job but a calling.  They realize that they are helping to shape minds and souls, that teaching the whole child means addressing their spiritual needs as well as their academic needs.  It is the reason we have chosen this road, because we know that both are important.  Our children will always have a firm foundation because of their years spent at a Catholic school!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Auction Project 2011

This is my third year working on our class auction project. The first two years we made a firepit which was purchased at and personalized by the students. I'm sure I posted the pictures here on my blog at the time. It was a big hit, both years. This year we wanted to try something different. We are going to create a window seat chest that will have on the top, embedded in epoxy, digital word "clouds" created by the students. These word clouds will describe all their favorite things, hence, our calling this project "My Favorite Things". My husband is getting ready to purchase the supplies, as he is making the wooden portion of the project. My assistant and I will be figuring out the sizing and placement of the word art for the top. We have a budget of about $350.00, so if we go over it is out of our pockets.

I will keep you updated on this project and post last year's auction entries in a separate post. I know that I like to go to websites for ideas, so hopefully you will get some ideas from mine as well.