A few years after we started Cat.Chat, a friend of ours said to me: “Ger, I think you should consider doing Cat.Chat concerts for kids and families.” I can’t describe to you what happened inside me when she spoke those words. I quickly and abruptly said, “I rebuke that comment as concerts are not an option for me!” 

Those who were a part of the conversation were quite surprised at my reaction since I typically take a considerable amount of time to process and respond with a gentler approach. My stern reply was a sign that something in me required deeper reflection. In my heart, I knew it meant the possibility of jumping into the unknown. YIKES! That scared me.  It really scared me. 

Over the past two decades, we asked our five kids fun questions that prompted interesting replies and sparked meaningful conversations. We recorded their comments in a notebook and would like to share them with you. 

Hopefully, they can bring a smile to your face and warm your heart in this season of your life.

We asked: What’re the most beautiful words in the English language?

I Love You  (Jerome, age 7)

What do you most look forward to about growing old?

Peace & quiet in my house. (Dominic, age 10)

 

When I wrote this song, I was alone at a friend's cabin doing some songwriting. As I was telling God about all the unknowns and uncertainties of my life, I  found myself reflecting on the lives the Saints and how courageous they were amidst their own personal struggles.

The lives of the Saints have always challenged me to pursue holiness, but I often find myself saying the words of St.Therese of Lisieux, "Lord, make me a Saint, but please be gentle with me."

God is calling all of us, young and old, to become saints. Yes, this is a radical thought.

Most of us think it's unattainable, and yet, the whisper in our hearts is still there. “Come follow me” says Jesus the Saint Maker, who is calling us, as well as our kids, to embrace the challenge.  This challenge of becoming saints happens in the midst of our joys, struggles, sins, fears, uncertainties and most importantly, within the details of our own personal day to day life.

 

What age range is Cat.Chat At Home VBS designed for?

It’s designed for kids in Kindergarten to 5th grade, but can be enjoyed with the whole family.

 

Does the parish pay for a subscription and then send it out to potential VBS families?  What is the cost?

As a special introductory offer to parishes this summer, it is available for a flat fee of only $59. This new At Home VBS experience will be at no cost to your parish families. After your purchase, your parish will send out the initial sign up email to all of your VBS families. After they sign up they will receive the 5 consecutive days of the At Home VBS, which will be sent by Cat.Chat Productions, starting on the start date your parish chose.

Do you provide a list of all those who have signed up for our Parish At Home VBS?

We understand how a list would be helpful. We are presently working on an automated system to generate lists to DREs, of their parish families who have signed up.

With so many families signing up for the At Home VBS, we cannot customize these lists for individual parishes, which is why we are currently building an automated system for this.

In the meantime, email your parish families and ask them to let you know if they've signed up.

 

The Easter Triduum was always something we looked forward to as kids. Mom and Dad did a great job of instilling traditions that helped us enter into the spirit of Holy Week and grow in our faith and love for Christ. 

Without the opportunity to attend Masses, you might be looking for ways to make this Easter weekend meaningful for your family. We want to share a few of our Triduum traditions and provide a few free resources that you can do with your kids. 

 

In our home we try to keep Good Friday as a day of silence and prayer, free from electronics and other media. Here are 10 ideas you can do to help keep your kids focused on the meaning of this important day. 

 

Our family was having a lovely meal over the Christmas break, when I surprised everyone at the table and spontaneously popped a question: “If each of you could pick three positive words that would best describe our family, which words would you pick?”  Everyone was silent for a moment, and then Dominic, our oldest son, piped up with an encouraging smile and said: “Way to go, Dad!” Everyone chuckled because it’s usually Denise, my wife, who likes to ask meaningful conversation questions when the family gets together. So, I surprised them all!

We all started brainstorming and reminiscing about what we accomplished as a family, the places we traveled to while performing concerts, the people we met through our Cat.Chat ministry, our humble beginnings when the kids were really young, and some of the trials we walked through together. Each of our kids, including Jacob our son in-law and Catherine our daughter in-law, took their turns and shared words they thought best described our family. 

I started writing the words down on a piece of paper and got excited with the wide range of uplifting words that were being shared. After about ten minutes, we had collected over thirty words. 

 

The past couple of weeks have brought a lot of changes in our day to day life. Self-isolation and social distancing has probably made for a lot more time with your spouse and family. However, not being able to go out can make it hard to plan a romantic night as a couple. Here are a few date ideas to help you create some fun memories with your spouse in your own home. 

 

Toady we celebrate St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church! 

While on one of our concert tours, our family stopped to visit Canada’s largest church, St. Joseph's Oratory. We were all very excited to see and experience all that St. Joseph had accomplished through a humble saint named Andre Bessette. 

 

In Matthew 22, Jesus tells us a parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come. Again, he sent other servants saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast. But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business…” 

Christ has a banquet prepared for us, but so often we are too busy with our own affairs. We are consumed by distractions and do not listen to the voice that calls us to the feast.

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