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October 13, 1995     The Message
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October 13, 1995
 

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12 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Preschoolers learn faith in Minnesota chu ]By JOSEPH YOUNG Catholic News Service PRINCETON, Minn. (CNS) The tune was from "Happy Birthday to You," but the words emanating from St. Ed- ward's church basement in Princeton were "Good morning to you, good morning to you, we're learning to love God, good morning to you." The words pretty well de- scribed what the parish's preschoolers were up to Oct. 1. It was the first day of the school year for their weekly Sunday morning religious edu- cation program. As in other parts of the country, a growing number of parishes in the St. Cloud Dio- cese of central Minnesota offer informal religious education to kindergarteners and children as young as 3 or 4. "It's good to be together with God today," said Mary Blattner in the afterglow of the good mornings. Mrs. Blattner, an el- ementary teacher during the wee, was one of several volun- teers who gathered the chil- dren for a session of story- telling and music. The preschool program at St. Edward is built around the Sunday readings in the liturgy. "Jesus often told stories to the people," Mrs. Blattner told the children. "One story h'e told was about Lazarus .... This is the same story your parents are hearing upstairs, right about now." She told them that Lazarus was sick and hungry, with clothes "all torn and raggy," but when he asked for help, the rich man said, "I have too much to do to help you." "One day Lazarus died and God welcomed him to heaven. Lazarus was happy. Then the rich man died, but he wasn't happy because he hadn't helped Lazarus," she said. She asked the children, "What do you think God is try- ing to tell us with this story?" "To be helpful," chirped back one child. Mrs. Blattner talked with them about ways they could be helpful, like bringing food to church, for Sunday food drives, or putting money in an offering basket that will be used at Christmas "to buy toys for chil- dren who don't have a lot." When she finished the les- son, the children broke up by age into several separate classes, each with its own teachers and activities. While 5- and 6-year-olds col- ored angels with crayons, 4- and 5-year-olds down the hall practiced the Sign of the Cross and younger children cut pic- tures of "things that we might share with others" out of mag- azines. "At this age you just have to make them comfort- able," Mary Thompson, who was teaching 3-year-olds, told the Saint Cloud Visitor, dioce- san newspaper. Catechist Yvette Bambrink said she tries to combine learn- ing fun for her kindergartners. "Projects are good, too . . . so that they can take something home to their parents and say, 'Look what I did!'" At St. Mary Church in Mi- laca, preschoolers aged 4 and up meet monthly between Sun- day morning Masses. "We start out with a coloring page, then we read a Bible story, some- thing like Noah's ark -- you want to keep it as simple as possible at that age," said teacher Patty Cronin. St. Paul Parish in St. Cloud, which has had preschool reli- gious education since the late 1970s, serves about 90 3-to-5- year-olds a year. It taps the talents of more than 100 volun- teer teachers and student as- sistants for the program. Like St. Edward's, it uses simplified forms of the Sunday readings as a framework for the program. "We try to be their age and said Pat Mareck, d the program. She and other of preschool sized, however, grams are not just nurseries or baby- vices to keep the while Morn and Mass. "Things really Ms. Mareck said. come back and say, ! really do listen." As an example, lesson about the Lazarus, which teach the children follower of Jesus to others. "I gave each child to do with what she said. "Not Simple Christian beyond preschoolex They do get it." Parishioners set up impromptu meal service in wake of hu By STEVEN SIMS Catholic News Service FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (CNS) -- As other residents of the Florida panhandle plunged into cleaningup after Hurricane Opal devastated homes and businesses in the region, Ray and Julie Herbig headed instead to St. Mary Church. The couple loaded food into the car and went to their parish hall, where they began cooking spaghetti. "I asked our pastor, Father (Raymond) Mullins, if he thought this would be a good idea for those who don't have anything to eat," said Herbig, a retired Connecticut police offi- cer. He realized many people would have lost much of their refrigerated food when electric- ity went out and those without Washington Auto Trim 27 Years Service power or gas couldn't cook for themselves anyway. Damage to the church in- cluded blown-off siding and shingles, and now the small steeply tilts slightly. Damage was also done to the roof of the parish center, which was still unrepaired after Hurricane Erin blew through earlier in the season. St. Mary's parish hall be- came temporary quarters for two vacationing couples from Atlanta evacuated from their condo and for parishioners Bob and Lulu Waldron evacuated from their Holiday Isle home. The Waldrons' house appar- ently weathered the storm well, but it was to be days before they could return to the island and months before they can live there again, said Mrs. Waldron. "The power lines are down, water lines are broken, sand is covering the roads and there is just tremendous devastation on the island. Boats are sitting on the land," she told The Florida Catholic, diocesan newspaper. For the time being, the Wal- drons were staying with fellow parishioners Carmen and Kathie Luisi. But not long after the storm, they joined the AUTO TOPS . SEAT COVERS. BOAT COVERS STEREO SALES & INSTALLATIONS 254-3943 Come out and enjoy the Daughters of Charity's HWY 50 EAST, BEHIND UPS CENTER EUGENE WELP, OWNER i I Seton Brealdast/Bazaar AU-youc.anat pancake breakfast (includes pancakes, sausage, andbeverages) Raffle prizes Handmade items (ceramics, woodcrafts, clothing, and more) Delicious baked goods This annual fund-raiser will be held at St. Mary's Auditorium in The Manor building at the following times: Sunday, October 22 Breakfast: 8 a.m.- 12 p.m. Bazaar: 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. and Monday, October 23 Breakfast: 6 a.m.- 9 am. Bazaar: 6 a.m.- 4 p.m. Tickets to the Breakfast may be purchased through St. Mary's Pastoral Care Department. They are $3 for adults and 02 for children aged 12 and under. All proceeds will benefit the Daughters of Charity missions in Venezuela. To obtain ticket information, call (812) 479-4150. Herbigs at the parish soup kitchen. After setting up a kitchen about 2 p.m., two days after the Oct. 4 hurricane, the vol- unteers helped serve food for people being helped by the parish," Mrs. Waldron said. The Waldrons said they hadn't heard any plea for help, they just "knew" the be doing something. "There's no just happens," people and the food: up." Father Mullins of his time after checking on the parishioners.  MILLER & MILL "Funeral Since St'. Marie Edward, O.P. Hawthorne Dominicans, 600 Linda Avenue, Hawthorne, NewYork 10532 Tel: (914) 769-4794 E-IN Name Tel: Day or Evening? Address (:it), State Zip I. ...... ._:. .... j YOUR We would be you may provide about our and _ Datlttlcan $1ste'rs of lluu,tborn#t - MOI: gt*vm, Hdl /kme, Ilau/tw, ?D" q. I .I I 3airel lit, art ttmw. Itdag--l/ibta I:,! ,mr la' O/(,fMM (amd thin/c. 31 Pcul. MA' + tIdD" [ImgY, RrW IhaztborTlr Ihme. [;,ll h'lr" IL4 * (lr hl}' IJ] t'7'iud lldp if, lille. ,,lllalla,