Scroll down to read and listen to 4 inspiring stories that share how Cat.Chat has helped families, parishes, and schools make the Catholic Faith come alive.
Please leave us a comment on how Cat.Chat has impacted you and your family.
The Luna's Story
In 2011, my husband Tony came across a Cat.Chat CD in the Lighthouse Media rack at vestibule of our church. It was bright and colorful and the only CD on the rack geared towards children, so on a whim he picked one up and popped it in our car's CD player on the way home. We weren’t really paying attention to it much, but the kids were completely mesmerized and asked us to play it every day when we were driving. Since they were so taken with it we started paying closer attention. The music was actually kind of catchy, and a lot better than listening to Barney or the Wheels on the Bus all day! And the stories that were interwoven throughout were wholesome, family lessons inspired by our awesome Catholic faith (in fact - as parents, we even learned a few things)!
We ordered more of the Cat.Chat CDs, and while clicking through their site, we noticed that the Cat.Chat family behind the great CDs (the Montpetits from Saskatchewan, Canada) were touring and performing concerts at schools and churches. Tony was immediately ready to jump in with both feet, but I was a little more hesitant. What did we know about concert promotion? Contracts, ticket sales… and then I worried whether anyone would even come to the show. After some prayerful discernment, we thought of how much joy the music had brought to our family and we wanted to share that with others, so we wrote the Cat.Chat family back and said YES (just like Mary said :) to hosting a concert here in Pennsylvania. We were so excited.
As we waited for the concert promotional materials to arrive by mail from Canada, we received some devastating personal news. While pregnant with our 4th child, Sean Vincent, we were told he had Trisomy 18, a chromosomal disorder that is almost always fatal. Shock, anguish, fear, anger and sadness overcame us. It truly was the darkest and most disorienting time in our lives. The day the genetic counselor called to confirm the diagnosis was the same day the Cat.Chat promotional materials arrived on our doorstep. My first reaction way to cry out...we can’t possibly do this now! But before I could finish the sentence I did a complete 180….we HAD to do this...we were going to do this no matter what because it was the only thing that any of us felt like smiling about. And Sean Vincent (our baby) was our inspiration. We would do this to honor his life, no matter how short, in bringing other children closer to Jesus through the concert.
Once that was decided I reached out to our church mom’s group. The outpouring of support was amazing. Sean Vincent was born and baptized on April 23, 2012. He was beautiful, and his brief life lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes. Two weeks later, the Cat.Chat family arrived for the concert. As the Cat.Chat man walked into our kitchen - my husband Tony smiled at him and tears started flowing from his eyes as he said - you are here - you don’t understand - you are right here!
One woman in particular said that she was so moved by our leap of faith moving forward with the concert that she wanted to honor our Sean by taking a leap herself. She had always wanted to bring Vacation Bible School to our parish, but she never took the initiative. In the summer of 2012, 80 children took part in the first Cat.Chat VBS. This will be the 7th year the tradition has carried on in that parish, and it brings us so much peace to know that our son’s life was the impetus that began it.
The concert, by the way, was a great success and we hosted several more. The Montpetits stayed at our home each time and we were blessed in so many ways by the witness of their faith and their fellowship. Our Cat.Chat experience taught us that trusting God and taking bold leaps of faith over our “what ifs” will bear unimaginable fruit in our family and community, even in, especially in, moments of trial. We are forever grateful to God for the Cat.Chat family and so thankful that He brought us together in a way that could only have happened through His abundant mercy and grace!
Growing up, I was certain about two things; that Jesus was my best friend and He loved me very much. This is something that was nurtured over time, and I owe it to my parents who were intentional about raising me up in the faith. They taught me that a personal relationship with God is possible, and they emphasized the importance of being a disciple of Christ wherever you go. I remember my mother telling me a story about when I was in gymnastics class and I asked everyone, "Hey, do you know who Jesus is?" Most of the time I got a reply, but the best part was when I would jump on the trampoline, spread my arms across like a T and yell to my teacher, "Look, look coach! I’m on the cross like Jesus!" Needless to say, my ways of spreading the Good News have changed a bit since those early days.
Whether we were in the house or the car, my family almost always had the Cat.Chat CDs playing. I learned to pray the Hail Mary from listening to the Mary Leads Me Closer to Jesus CD, and for a long time, I couldn’t say it unless I was singing the Hail Mary song that I loved so much. It’s crazy to look back on those memories, because I now know that the voice singing the Hail Mary song belonged to the girl I’m now engaged to marry. Reanne (the eldest of the Cat.Chat kids) and I just got engaged at the beginning of this year, but because of that CD, you could say that I’ve been praying the Hail Mary with her since we were both in Kindergarten. It’s so amazing to see how God works!
I also grew up going to Cat.Chat concerts, and whenever the Cat.Chat family came to perform at my parish, we would host them for a BBQ in our backyard. I remember my siblings and I playing all sorts of games with Reanne, Dominic, and Jerome, from frisbee to Dutch-blitz and Spoons. Spending time with the Cat.Chat family and seeing how they reached out to thousands of kids made a big impact on me. In many ways, it felt like they could be our distant cousins, and it helped make the Catholic faith a lot more personal and real. Little did I know that many years later, I’d be marrying into the family that I’d felt close to for so many years.
I am currently studying Marketing at the University of Saskatchewan. I also play on the University soccer team, help out with Catholic Christian Outreach, and lead faith studies on my campus. If it wasn’t for the formation that my parents gave me and the impact that Cat.Chat had on my faith life as a child, I don’t believe I would be as involved in my faith as a young adult. As Reanne and I prepare to start a family of our own, I know that we’ll be wanting to instil in our children the same passionate love for Christ that we were able to experience, and I’m so grateful there are resources like Cat.Chat to help us do that.
A New Springtime: Serra's Family Story
My husband, RJ, and I are different in many ways. When we’re in a restaurant, RJ will order the most adventurous food on the menu, while I tend to want a dish that I’ve tried before. When we’re travelling, RJ wants to see all the exciting places, while I prefer to stay in the hotel and relax. Though we are opposite in many ways, RJ and I share the same passion when it comes to our faith. Clearly spelled out in our vision, my husband and I have an intense desire to raise our children for heaven.
Team Serra In Heaven Together.
Love God. Love our Family. Love Others.
In 2014, we went to a Catholic Bible Study orientation where someone promoted the “Lighthouse Catholic Media” booth. I asked if they had something for children and I was given an audio drama CD entitled “Mary Leads Me Closer To Jesus” by Cat.Chat. Our whole family listened to it right away and we were so impressed and blessed!
The next thing we did was purchase all of Cat.Chat’s songs and audio dramas that were available as digital downloads. We didn’t hesitate to purchase other Cat.Chat materials, too, and had them shipped all the way to the Philippines, where we live. Since there are only limited Catholic materials for kids here, finding Cat.Chat then was really like finding a great treasure!
My family has many favorite Cat.Chat songs, and one of them is definitely "Who Am I". It reminds us of our highest identity as children of God and that we are created for heaven. Whenever our family gives a retreat, my husband would introduce each family member, our family vision, and we would all invite the audience to sing and dance to "Who Am I" with us. We’ve done this not only in the retreats we’ve conducted in the Philippines but in our mission trips to places like Paris and the Netherlands.
In 2017, the Holy Spirit inspired my husband and I to help our children do their own Marian Consecration. We realized then that if we already know and believe that Mother Mary is the safest, easiest, shortest, most perfect way of approaching Jesus and becoming a saint, we immediately had to teach this to our children.
Not really knowing how and where to start, our first inspiration was to use another favorite Cat.Chat song, “Immaculate One”. We played it in constant loop every morning while our children got ready for school, and it became our way of planting the seeds of loving Mary in the hearts of our children. It was also through this song that I was inspired, along with two other close friends, to put together a simple program called “Family Marian Consecration.”
This program became a tool for us to teach our children and godchildren—with their families’ help—how to respond and embrace to the invitation of Jesus at the cross when He said to John, “Behold your Mother.” Like John, we are all beloved disciples who are invited to bring Mary into our homes and hearts.
The Family Marian Consecration program sparked the beginning of a new springtime of our relationship with the Mother of God as a family. Currently, our three older children Augustine (10), Fiel Marie (9), and Benedict (7) recite their consecration prayer in their prayer spot every day (the prayer spot is an inspiration from Cat.Chat too!). Our three-year-old Francis says a daily simple prayer that goes, “Jesus, I love You. Mama Mary, I love you, you’re my Mommy and My Lady!” As for our one-year-old Faustina, her act of daily consecration is her butterfly kisses to Mother Mary’s image at home.
My whole family would like to thank the Holy Spirit through Mary for leading us to Cat.Chat. It has made a great impact on our family. The Cat.Chat family is one of our model families. My five children know each member of the Cat.Chat family by name, and they never tire of watching all their EWTN episodes and Concerts. In fact, we love Cat.Chat so much that our family’s bucket list includes: Watching a live Cat.Chat concert in the US or Canada (or probably in the Philippines!) and bringing their products to the Philippines to bless more Filipino families!
Thank you, Cat.Chat for being a gift to our family. May Jesus through Mary continue to use you to set the world on fire!
Jo Anna Marie Serra
Married for 11 years to Ronald Joseph “RJ” Serra
Children: Augustine Joseph (10), Fiel Marie (9), Benedict (7), Francis (3), Faustina (1)
Why is Cat.Chat in so many parishes?
What is your story?
Leave us a comment or two below. We want to hear your story about how Cat.Chat has impacted your life.
If you need some help, you can try and answer the questions below. They are meant to be a roadmap for you but are not needed.
Thank you so much!
1. What were some problems you had to teaching your kids about the faith before you discovered Cat.Chat?
2. What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve that problem?
3. What was different about Cat.Chat?
4. Take us to the moment when you realized Cat.Chat was actually helping you to solve that problem.
5. Tell us what life looks like now that your problems solved or being solved.