Catholic Design
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Blessings this holiday season
To all of you,
Welcome to the December 2008 edition of the Catholic Design Newsletter.
Again I bring you more exciting news from other teachers, and pastors who are enjoying the benefits of this website.
Also I am going to share with you new and exciting updates to the website especially designed for the Christmas season.
May you have many blessings this holiday season.
Exciting updates
You will find a new TAB in the GAMES section of the website entitled Classroom Tools.
In this section you will find a CCD tool that is also a gift. A way to share the true meaning of Christmas with students or with Children’s Lectionary at your parish.
It’s called MEANINGS and each season I’ll add more ideas for the classroom. This CHRISTMAS season “Meanings” is a way to share the true meanings of the items we use each year to decorate our homes. I shared with you last edition a poem entitled “Teach the Children” this is an addition to that.
See more on additional pages of this newsletter.
In the ADVENT TO CHRISTMAS section of the website I’ve added the following:
An Advent calendar that can be printed
right from the website and shared,
Lion and the Lamb – the words from Isaiah,
The Crib and the Glastonbury Rose,
The Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary recited on Christmas eve,
The crčche of St Francis of Assisi,
The Crib Blessing,
And the popular songs of the season and where they come from, including the 12 days of Christmas and Do You hear what I hear,
Along with Christmas stories and poems including “Twas the night before Jesus came” and the true story behind Rudolph.
Also the newest game; A walk with Mary (child’s version) to teach a child about Our Blessed Mother.
Through the Christmas season
A beautiful book written for parishes across the country tells a story of advent each day. It also shares some insight into other things we may have forgotten or never known about.
The message to earth from the Apollo 8 mission. – a message from astronauts in space on Christmas Eve telling the tale of how God created the heavens and the earth.
The legend of the Cherry tree – a cherry tree  that bent its arms to feed Our Blessed Mother while She and Joseph traveled to Nazareth, when Joseph wouldn’t stop to pick its fruit for Mary
Sr Thea Bowman – the first black nun in the south
Bride’s Tree Ornaments – how in Germany it is believed that a couple needs 12 specific ornaments to ensure a happy marriage.
Don Perignon – a Benedictine monk who was blind, that mixed the finest grapes in France to come up with the most famous of champagnes.
Radish Night – A festival in Mexico where all decorations are made from radishes.
Holiday stamps – how the famous Christmas stamp – Madonna and Child started in 1978 and almost got replaced by a Victorian angel in 1994.
The counsel of Ephesus – that finally recognized Our Blessed Mother as the Mother of God.
The Angel of Alcoholics Anonymous Sr Mary Ignatia – who after a nervous breakdown helped the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous get alcoholics in a hospital for continuing treatment.
Elizabeth Ann Seton- the founder of the Catholic school system in the US she is also the first canonized native American saint.
And much more information at your disposal for use in classroom activities
"why is Jesus better than
Santa Claus?"
Madonna & Child Stamp
The “Meanings” from page 1
This project is very simple. You simply print out the 11 pages and turn them into scrolls, take the scrolls and put them in a simple paper bag, decorated with the first scroll. Then attach on the outside of the bag a book format of the poem “TEACH the CHILDREN” – the first page has been changed into a letter to the parents of these children to read the poem as the child pulls from the bag the rest of the scrolls.
Each scroll has a picture of an item we commonly use each Christmas Season – such as a candle, tree, bell, or an ornament. And each scroll also has the true meaning of each on it, as well as what is written in the poem.
It’s a simple gift for children of all ages in a classroom, or at the Children’s Lectionary at your parish.
Season’s greetings! – a new game for Catholic Design
A second grade teacher writes: “I am so thankful for your game “Walk with Mary” (a child’s version) – recently produced for Catholic Design.  I had been trying to teach my class about Mary in the traditional way, when I was introduced to this new way of teaching by a friend. My students are so excited to learn and even want to more about each question that is asked and learned.
Thank you”
"My soul magnifies the greatness of the Lord.
My spirit rejoices in God my
savior."
What child is this?
'Away in a manger, no
crib for a bed
The Little Lord Jesus lay
down his sweet head."

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Did you ever notice what we do when we hold a small child?
We all do it. Priests as they baptize, Mothers, and Fathers, siblings, aunts uncles, grandparents, friends and family.
Our eyes –We look straight into the child’s face, and silently speak the wonder, awe, love that can’t be put into words.
Our lips-We use our lips when holding a baby. We purse them, make sounds that aren’t words, and we kiss the child from a distance.
Our arms-If ever arms expressed holding something precious, they do it when we cradle a tiny baby. Few could describe such grace, but everyone can picture it.
Our whole body- Did you ever notice that we never stand still when holding a baby? We slowly sway from side to side; turn in half circles, lean forward and back.
Did you ever stop to think that you were once held that way? Anyone who ever held you as a tiny child held you that way.
Did you ever stop to think that God holds you that way? Not just when you were a tiny child, but now. Even if things aren’t going well.- especially if things aren’t going well.
What child is this? It’s me. In God’s arms.
Merry Christmas.