By Leo Woznick
What parent hasn’t had the following experience, undoubtedly more than once: It’s right during the middle of Sunday Mass, when that very lovable little son or daughter chooses to act up; well, like a little child does, which is another way of saying talking out loud, squirming, crying, shrieking, or maybe all the above.
This situation calls for one of the parents to work his or her way to the outside and, while they do so lovingly, the distraction causes the important messages of Sunday mass to be missed.
Sound familiar to you? If so, we want you to know that there is hope right here in St Thomas More parish.
And that hope is Little Lambs, a relatively new program developed by Jenn and Harold Siguenza.
“We have two young children of our own,” Jenn says, “and found it difficult to get involved in the parish because we were always having to leave mass to tend to our kids.”
They searched around nearby parishes that might have programs they could copy and implement in our parish, but found none that exactly fit their wishes.
Jenn says, “Most other programs we found for smaller kids fell short on delivering the gospel message like we had hoped to.”
After getting an okay from Fr. Jim, they began planning the program last summer and then offered it beginning in September.
Each week, parents can begin dropping their three- to four-year-old children off about 10 minutes before mass begins at one of the rooms in the parish hall.
The morning’s activities usually center around that Sunday’s gospel message. The lesson plan of the day begins with music and a prayer, followed by an age-appropriate reading of the gospel. A combination of games, crafts, coloring and a snack help drive the message home.
The lesson planning and program coordination are in the hands of Jenn and Gaby Franzoni of the parish’s Ministry and Development.
“But,” as Jenn stresses, “this program counts on a team of dedicated volunteers who make it successful.” Generally, there are at least two teenagers and two adults helping out during each mass.
”If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Gaby Franzoni or stop by the room in the hall before or after mass to talk to the volunteers about their experience,” Jenn explains.
Currently, Little Lambs is offered only during the 9:00 AM mass on Sunday. After Labor Day weekend, Little Lambs will return to its regular schedule of being offered during the 9 AM and 11 AM masses on Sunday.October 5, 2017