Yes, the title and subtitle above taken from the Kids’ Bulletin website best describes a liturgy project that is being well received by parents, teachers, clergy, religious, and most important, the kids.
The idea for the Kids’ Bulletin emerged in 2009 at a young children’s study group when Rose (Nolan) Langdon thought it would be nice for the group, which was made up of her little brothers and some neighbourhood kids, to do something other than just reading and listening to her. The kids group was inspired by a John Paul II Youth group that Rose was finding very beneficial to her own Faith life.
One of the main features of the kid’s group meeting was reading the following Sunday’s Gospel. Rose quickly realized reading and explaining wasn’t enough. There needed to be something else to engage the kids more deeply in the Gospel readings, while encouraging them to think. Hence, the Gospel reading was the impetus for the bulletin’s weekly theme.
Here is a sample of one of the first Kids’ Bulletins from Easter 2011:
During the first few years of creating the Kids’ Bulletins Rose was working for her Dad, who was very generous in allowing her to take the time during her work week to adapt the Gospel reading for the kids to understand, creating word puzzles, mazes, and other thought-provoking exercises based on the Gospel theme. “As with all things” Rose recalls, “I couldn’t have done it without my family’s support!” She still recall those moments she was stuck, and needed time to work through a block on how to bring the meaning of the Gospel to life for the Kids. Yes, and important to note the blessings she received in her research of the saints that fell within the week of the reading. How it was a wonderful exercise in discovering the importance of the saints as examples and encouragement.
Rose is very grateful to her younger sister Antonette, who while still in elementary school began drawing the illustrations for the lives of the saints. A true artist, as you will see, in her drawings for the saint captions and resurrection scenes below. Today, Antonette has her own graphic design business.
Here is a copy of the Easter 2011 Kids’ Bulletin, illustrations by Antonette Nolan, where you see the emergence of colour and detail in the drawings (Rose coloured the illustrations).
Rose, is very glad to hear that the kids’ bulletin is being so widely used! “It was a hit with my family right away and they started handing out copies at our parish on Sundays. Next, I began emailing them to friends of the family, and finally I realized I could put them online so anyone could find them. Most of the content I use now is from three years ago, as the bulletins follow the three-year cycle of readings, though occasionally I do need to illustrate the life of a saint because the weeks don’t line up exactly with three years ago.”
If you go to the website you will find the bulletin archive goes back a few years. There is also a Lent calendar and Children’s illustrated Stations of the Cross archived there as well. You may arrange online for the Kids Bulletin to be sent to your email each week. It comes out on Tuesday for the following Sunday.
Finally, it is important to note, teachers and parents I have spoken with are excited to have a means to open the Gospel to the children in their charge. Thank you Rose for being an apostle by bringing the Gospel to His little ones.