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A Catholic VBS program? January 5, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, scandals, Virtue.

A commenter over the Christmas holidays pointed out a Catholic Vacation Bible School program, noting that I had lamented that so  many parishes (all that I have encountered) use protestant-based VBS programs.  The program is called Growing With The Saints, and it is intended to have a Catholic focus.  This is important, because personal experience, and numerous comments of others, have shown that there are problematic aspects to these protestant-based VBS programs.  I have been told by some VBS leaders, who are frequently volunteers helping out in charity for these summer programs, that they felt compelled to amend some of the program content in order to delete some false aspects or to add distinctly Catholic content into the programs. 

Anyway, this program appears to have a more Catholic focus.  The one sort of odd aspect is that they are claiming that they are “sold out” of the program for this coming summer 2012.  They are taking orders for 2013.  I guess they only printed a certain amount of material, or…………..? 

Those who are interested in these summer programs may want to check them out.  When I have blogged on the use of protestant type VBS programs in the past, I have thought there must surely be a Catholic alternative.  Well, there is.  It seems to be somewhat similar to the protestant-based programs in appearance – lots of cartoons, sort of kid oriented, etc.  It appears to be a viable alternative, although I have not reviewed the program in depth.  I’d say it definitely bears checking out.



1. Susan Lawson - January 6, 2012

Thank you for posting information about Growing with the Saints. We do have a NEW 2012 VBS Program available. It is our fifth program called The Vatican Express, Don’t Miss the Bus Catholic Kidz Camp! The program format and materials are similiar to a VBS Program, but they are solid Catholic where we celebrate our Catholic Identity in EVERY element of the program to include Sacred Tradition, Sacraments, Mother Mary, Saints, Catholic prayers – we teach the Bible from the Catholic perspective. It has taken a tremendous amount of time and resources to develop these programs from the ground-up. We worked very hard to find that balance – creating materials to be engaging while teaching the truths. The other programs are in revision and will be available when updated. I apoligize if this is not clear on our website. The Vatican Express was just released and following are 2 comments that just came in:

Reviewed it yesterday and it is fabulous! I am always excited about VBS week as a DRE it rejuvenates me for the next year. But this one is special and I am so excited to present it to our children and families. Thank you for giving us solid Catholic VBS opportunities.

From what Amanda and I have viewed in the kit, I believe this will be a great program and just in time to coincide with the Beatification of Pope John Paul II.

I know this is a lengthy email, but I wanted you to see the difference it can make with a fun solid CATHOLIC comperhensive program. We had a pastor call the other day and say it is so much more than a VBS, but a parish evangelization program – we do have an opportunity to bring parents back to Mass through the children. Anyway – this is a comment hot of the press from a parish who participated in The Assorted Saints and the Virtues in 2011. I want you to read it so you can get a better feel for what we are about. We are a tool and we need more enthusiastic people who are on fire for their faith: Dear Susan,
I forgot to let you know about Last Summer- Assorted Saints and Virtues—We couldn’t believe it but people said it was even better than last year’s program! I thought that we could never do better than Parade Around the Our Father!

The kids all loved the saints. The lessons were wonderful and the activities too. We had a different adult each day act out a certain saint and they did a beautiful job. They told their stories during snack time, while the kids ate. All the Crafts were a hit! We simplified some- Martin’s mouse magnets for everyone!
Decorations included huge posters of all the saints and the theological virtues of the program. Also, ladies of the parish mad gorgeous 48’ X 36’ Colorful burlap and felt banners-one saint on each-with their names below-so pretty! These hung in our chapel, where we gathered each morning for morning ceremonies.
We had all the background of the church sanctuary hung with sky blue paper and fluffy clouds—like Heaven- and we had banners of the three theological virtues hung in the clouds.
We sang “Queen of Peace” together and we prayed a decade of the rosary every morning just after singing this. Our Lady of Guadalupe (a teen all dressed up) lead us each morning). We all memorized the main scripture “You shall love the Lord your God with all your ….and we had motions for this scripture..the skits were awesome!! Better than ever!
We had several charities going all week. The children filled their personal shoeboxes full of little gifts and hygiene items for girls and boys their ages. On Friday, the kids wrapped the boxes in bulletin board paper-nice and strong and colorful- and cute religious put stickers all over these. Then, we labeled them girl or boy with age level of toys and laid them under a giving tree which was center stage for the closing ceremony..a Christmas tree-decorated with paper saint dolls the kids made. Finally, we brought these boxes to local charities for children. Besides this, we had a St. Brigid’s pantry(-shopping carts set up at carpool-)so the parents could drop off canned goods and such as they dropped off the children.
We labeled our areas
Kateri’s Café (food) St. Nick’s Novelties(crafts) St. Martin’s Medics (nurses station), Diego’s Drive-thru (carpool area) Brigid’s Brigades (our high-school play actors who did the skits) and others…
Our classes each had special names—

Loving lambs
Faithful friars
Hopeful halos
And so on..

Thanks for a beautiful program!

Maryalice Beach - January 7, 2012

I am a teacher at a Catholic school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Our parish has used Growing with the Saints programs for the past five years. I can assure you that they are totally Catholic. This year we ordered The Vatican Express. I had an opportunity to preview the program before meetings with the VBS team. This program is OUTSTANDING! The kids will learn about the early history of our Church with the focus on St. Peter and the apostles. The DVD on the Vatican Treasures is amazing. This year they produced a Song/Action DVD so the kids can enjoy actiion movements to the great songs. I encourage everyone who is involved with summer vacation bible school to ask you priest and those in charge to use this Catholic program.

tantamergo - January 9, 2012

Very good! I appreciate the additional information!

2. Cori - January 6, 2012

Groovy! It’s worth it to have something good and Catholic to stick the kids in to get a break one week out of the year to go SHOPPING ALONE!

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