Hartford, Conn., June 3 - Archbishop Henry J. Mansell of
Hartford has given his imprimatur to the K4J "Summertime BLAST"
Vacation Bible School, saying, "It would be difficult to exaggerate
the good that this children´s program can do."
The K4J ("Kids
for Jesus") Vacation Bible School is one of several programs
developed by Catholic Kids Net (www.catholickidsnet.org). The K4J programs
provide catechesis and virtue formation in fun and attractive presentations.
Parishes throughout the United States and Canada use the K4J
programs to complement other catechetical programs. Religious education directors report
K4J has helped make catechism classes much more appealing to
students and their families.
“The secret to the success of our
vacation bible school lies in our kid-friendly themes and dynamic
music,” said Kathleen Conklin, director of the K4J program and
member of Regnum Christi.
"The focus is on the Holy
Eucharist,” Conklin explained. “We begin by teaching kids about the
virtue of initiative -- finding good ways to bring Jesus´
love to others. This works well with the Holy Eucharist
focus since we pray to Jesus in the Eucharist, receive
Jesus in the Eucharist, then go out to share his
love with others.
“Jesus will give us all the good
ideas and grace we need to be able to complete
the mission he has for us. At the same time,
the virtue of initiative is learned and experienced by acting
as secret agents in the K4J Clubhouse,” she said.
Mansell says he is impressed by the quality of the
"Among its positive aspects," he said, "it is Scriptural;
it strives to be solidly doctrinal; it emphasizes the Catechism
of the Catholic Church; it encourages the Church´s missionary apostolate;
it recognizes the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary and
the saints; it is respectful of the ministerial priesthood; it
encourages the Church´s social justice doctrines; it evidences reverence for
the Mass and Eucharistic adoration. In our secularist educational climate,
it is a refreshing interlude."
The “Summertime BLAST” vacation bible school
gets students involved in imaginative role-playing. “´Secret agents´ are busy
at work, using gadgets and their own creative contraptions to
´build up the Church,´” Conklin explained. “Kids love it."
through eighth grade students can serve as K4J Captains, who
put on skits, teach the K4J Songs, teach scripture, help
with teams and other dynamic activities.
"We find that once kids
are engaged in an educational theme they find exciting, they
are particularly open to learning about their faith,” Conklin said.
“Once kids open themselves to learn and explore, it´s amazing
what they can accomplish with the assistance of the Holy
Spirit, prayer, and the sacraments!"
This year the K4J kids
are collecting money for Catholic World Missions to purchase Mass
kits for missionaries and help bring Jesus in the Eucharist
to the whole world.
For more information, visit www.catholickidsnet.org