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Header - Family Tip 13 - Catholic Storytelling

 

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.  Robert McKee


Benefits, Method, Preparation and Helpful Tips to become a good storyteller at home.

 

Benefits:

1. Storytelling will unite the family and provide quality time with the children. It will make them love the storyteller. It will also help the children learn better and assimilate quicker.

2. Stories will keep the TV, the Internet and Hollywood at bay. They will help children’s imagination grow and develop in a wholesome manner.

3. The heroes of the Faith will come alive in children’s minds and become a point of reference.

4. A good moral lesson taught through storytelling lays the foundation for solid Catholic knowledge and behavior in the future. Children will learn to distinguish Good from evil in the stories and thus do the same in real life as they grow older.

5. Their innocent souls will further expand as they admire the beauty of creation. This admiration will help increase the Love of God in their souls.

Catholic Storytelling - image 16. Children love to be able to tell a good story. Storytelling will help children spread the Faith in their own way to their peers by passing on the stories.

 

Tips:

* Keep the stories short and simple.

* Stories should be adapted to the audience and the age of the children.

* Choose the right moment. Before bed is an ideal time as children have hopefully expended their energy and will fall asleep thinking about the story.

* Eye contact is very important as well as a cozy atmosphere.

* Tell the story with a certain degree of passion. The storyteller’s conviction and passion will help inscribe the good story into the child’s memory and help children live the moral of the story.

 

Preparation:

Choose a topic.

Do a little bit of reading or research beforehand (10-15 minutes).

 Think and meditate about it. And literally ask the Divine Storyteller what He would say.

 Pray on it, so that every story told will be an instrument of God’s grace in children’s lives.

 

Method:

Let your personality shine through. It will be the life-breath of the story that you tell.

If you read a story, try to memorize parts of it…and tell those by heart. It allows you to have more eye contact with your audience and to use more body language. (more than 50% of all communication is non-verbal)

Describe the characters in the setting of your story. Introduce them and talk about them just as you would introduce and talk about a living person.Catholic Storytelling - image 2

Remember the details. Describe them with enthusiasm to stimulate the senses. With your words, your eyes, your facial expressions, your tone of voice and your gestures make your audience feel the rain, hear the trumpets sound, see Our Lord as He calms the wind and the waves, smell the flowers across the plains, and allow them to taste the manna from Heaven.

Highlight Beauty. It cultivates and nourishes the sense of wonder in a child. Children are naturally attracted to beauty and it nourishes their innocence and leads them to the Truth.

Do not rush the story….If it will not all fit into the allotted time that works for the family schedule, then use that wonderful tool to keep everyone on the edge of their seat: To Be Continued….Make sure that you stop at an exciting or key point in your story.

Variety is the spice of life. The same applies to storytelling. Let your stories be varied. Some about the Faith, some about the of lives of saints, some about heroism, some about good manners, some about adventures, some about dignity, some about trips and travels, some about professions like doctors or nurses or bakers or candlestick makers. Let your stories be as varied as life itself. This will convey valuable lessons to young listeners and help prepare them for the many situations they will face in their own lives.

Remember to use your stories to pass on family history and traditions.

 

And never forget that children of all ages (whether 1 or 100) love a good story…
and children are eagerly waiting to hear yours…




A few extras:

Word of caution:

When choosing a time for stories, be careful and cautious, about storytelling at meal times. Meals are better suited to conversation and allowing children to interact with the rest of the family. Storytelling is about taking children on a marvelous journey, but one person will be doing most of the talking. Don’t let storytelling override the times devoted to developing the art of conversation in the home.

 

Objections:

But what if I am not a good storyteller? Children will not care. They will appreciate and honor the time devoted to them. And storytelling like so many things in life is a matter of practice. The greater the number of stories, the better the storyteller.

But I am so busy and I have no time? Time is like every resource. We allocate it to the things that are of importance to us. If children are important to you, then you will shave a little time from your own activities and devote it to storytelling. The rewards will be priceless.

 

Helpful Suggestions and Ideas:

Rosary Guide BookletA good story can help to set the stage for the Family Rosary. A short story about one of the mysteries before the Rosary begins will engage children’s attention, provide them with material for thought and meditation, and make them look forward to the next story (and Rosary).

Stories provide a completely understandable reason to ask that all electronic devices be switched off or put on silent. With time and more stories, children will not want the story interrupted. Eventually, they will take the initiative to turn off the distractions.

Once the habit of storytelling is established in your home, once in a while, maybe once a week, let one of the children tell a story. A different child could then tell a story each week. This way, the children will become storytellers themselves. An art that will serve them well throughout their own lives.

 

A Starting Point:

  1. In Search of Christmas
  2. Family Series
  3. Reading list from Family Tip #8 - The Power of A Good Book
  4. Saints & Heroes

 


 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for November 18, 2019

Better a few staunch and sincere Catholics, than many compli...

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November 18

 

Better a few staunch and sincere Catholics,
than many compliant with the enemies of the Church
and conformed to the foes of our Faith.

St. Peter Canisius


DEFEND Our Lady's HONOR !

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

During the French Revolution, the Sisters of the Visitation...

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St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

Born on August 29, 1769 in the French city of Grenoble, Rose Philippine was baptized in the Church of St. Louis. She was educated at the Convent of the Visitation of Ste. Marie d'en Haut and, against her father’s wishes, became a novice there when she was eighteen years old. However, the French Revolution caused much disruption for the nuns, and when the Sisters of the Visitation were expelled from their convents, Rose returned home.

She cared for the sick and the poor, helped fugitive priests, visited prisons, and taught children. Some time after the Revolution ended, she unsuccessfully tried to reestablish the Visitation community, and ultimately gave the convent to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and joined the Order. When the Bishop of New Orleans, William Du Bourg, requested nuns for his thriving diocese in Louisiana, Rose and four other nuns made the trip to America in 1818.

Rose and the nuns were sent to Missouri, pioneers of the New World. There, as well in neighboring states, they established multiple schools, built a convent, an orphanage, a mission school for Indian girls, a boarding academy and a novitiate for her Order. However, the strenuous and difficult regime of work for her apostolate took its toll on her body. She died in St. Charles, Missouri in 1852 after spending more than 30 years as a pioneer in the evangelization of the New World. She was canonized in 1988. Rose was truly devoted to God, and prayed in her every spare moment. Because of this, the Indians began to call her “Quah-kah-ka-num-ad,” or "Woman-Who-Prays-Always."

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared stan...

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The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Born in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was from a family of wealthy, well-known Jewish bankers in Strasbourg, France. In 1827, Alphonse’s older brother, Thèodore, converted to Catholicism and entered the priesthood, thus breaking with his anti-Catholic family whose hopes now lay in the young Alphonse. At 27, Alphonse was intelligent and well mannered. He had already finished his law degree, and decided to travel to Italy before marrying and assuming his responsibilities in the family business. However, God had other plans for him.

While in Rome, Alphonse visited works of art, and strictly out of cultural curiosity, a few Catholic churches. These visits hardened his anti-Catholic stance, and nourished his profound hatred for the Church. He also called on an old schoolmate and close friend, Gustave de Bussières.

Gustave was a Protestant and several times had tried, in vain, to win Alphonse over to his religious convictions. Alphonse was introduced to Gustave’s brother, Baron de Bussières, who had recently converted to Catholicism and become a close friend of Father Thèodore Ratisbonne. Because of the Baron’s Catholicism and closeness with his turncoat brother, Alphonse greatly disliked him.

On the eve of his departure, Alphonse reluctantly fulfilled his social obligation to leave his calling card at the Baron’s house as a farewell gesture.

Click here to Order your free Miraculous Medal and Novena

Hoping to avoid a meeting, Alphonse intended to leave his card discreetly and depart straight away, but was instead shown into the house. The Baron greeted the young Jew warmly, and before long, had persuaded him to remain a few more days in Rome. Inspired by grace, the Baron insisted Alphonse accept a Miraculous Medal and copy down a beautiful prayer: the Memorare. Alphonse could hardly contain his anger at his host’s boldness of proposing these things to him, but decided to take everything good-heartedly, planning to later describe the Baron as an eccentric.

During Alphonse’s stay, the Baron’s close friend, Count de La Ferronays, former French ambassador to the Holy See and a man of great virtue and piety, died quite suddenly. On the eve of his death, the Baron had asked the Count to pray the Memorare one hundred times for Alphonse’s conversion. It is possible that he offered his life to God for the conversion of the young Jewish banker.

A few days later, the Baron went to the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte to arrange for his friend’s funeral. Alphonse reluctantly went with him, all the while making violent criticisms of the Church and mocking Catholic practices. When they arrived, the Baron entered the sacristy to arrange the funeral while Alphonse remained in the church.

When the Baron returned just a few minutes later, the young man was gone. He searched the church, and soon discovered his young friend kneeling close to an altar, weeping.  Alphonse himself tells us what happened in those few minutes he waited for the Baron: “I had only been in the church a short while when, all of a sudden, I felt totally uneasy for no apparent reason. I raised my eyes and saw that the whole building had disappeared. Only one side chapel had, so to say, gathered all the light. In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar. She was grandiose, brilliant, full of majesty and sweetness, just as she is in the Miraculous Medal. An irresistible force attracted me to her. The Virgin made a gesture with her hand indicating I was to kneel.”

When de Bussières talked to Alphonse, he no longer found a Jew, but a convert who ardently desired baptism. The news of such an unexpected conversion immediately spread and caused a great commotion throughout Europe, and Pope Gregory XVI received the young convert, paternally. He ordered a detailed investigation with the rigor required by canon law, and concluded that the occurrence was a truly authentic miracle. 

Alphonse took the name Maria Alphonse at baptism, and, wishing to become a priest, was ordained a Jesuit in 1847. After some time, and at the suggestion of Pope Pius IX, he left the Jesuits and joined his brother Thèodore in founding the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, dedicated to the conversion of the Jews. Father Theodore spread his congregation throughout France and England, while Father Maria Alphonse went to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem, he established a house of the congregation on the plot of land where the praetorium of Pilate had formerly stood.

The two brothers died in 1884, both famed and well-loved for their exceptional virtues.  

By Armando Santos  

Click here to Order your free Miraculous Medal and Novena

In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar"

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