This year we have a total of 12 girls. Two are returning SS Little Flowers. We start every meeting with First Saturday Mass. For many of the girls it was their first time without being with their parents at Holy Mass. Nonetheless, the girls were thrilled to be together to attend mass and even more elated about being able to sit up front, close to Jesus.They wore the kerchiefs, which they referred to as veils, proudly. The girls participated in Mass without one trial and not one of the girls asked to be excused for a restroom break. Praise be to God!
After mass, the girls joined Rosa Mystica (the older girls' group) for recreation and snacks. Some of the girls went to tackling jump rope, some had girl talk, and others admired the snack table. We retreated to our room when Father S came to talk to Rosa Mystica.
We took that short time before snack to become acquainted with each other. We had an ice breaker where I read a series of statements. The girls had to identify if the statement applied to them. If so, they would stand and share briefly. The girls are very perceptive and started identifying another LF that the statement applied to. Some girls even learned new facts about themselves due to a temporary memory loss. Overall, they loved sharing about themselves. I may quiz them on the statements from time to time to see how their relations flourish.
Fr. L dropped in for an impromptu visit. He will be the Little Flowers' advisor this year. He introduced himself to the girls and had the girls share their name. He became further acquainted with them and introduced the girls to our topic of the day, St. Therese and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He reassured the girls that he would be praying for them and requested their prayers. The girls professed their commitment to pray for him with a splendid and loud, "YES!!"
Father left and the girls continued with their snack (having never really stopped). We role played the proper way to greet a Priest when he enters a room; stop what you're doing, stand, make eye contact and greet him with the proper salutation.
I then re-introduced them to the Saint and beatified nun that we would be discussing. The first clue was the letter 'Tt.' ( I will be assigning a letter to each meeting). I then read a page from An Alphabet of Catholic Saints, T - St. Therese of Lisieux. I gave them an overview of her family life and call to the religious life.
I discussed the number of siblings she had (9, 4 of which died early), her order (the baby of the family) and the fact that it was an all-girl household. The girls became giddy at the fact that it was an all-girl household. Each Little Flower has at least one brother and just as they began to imagine their family life without brothers we had a timely surprise.....all of our eyes were caught off guard by T, a brother of G and C. He was peeking through the window with his mouth wide open and hands waving in the air. It was a typical brother move that brought us all to laughter. We gave thanks for brothers.
The girls were reminded of her endearing title, Little Flower. I informed them that she is the patron of the Little Flowers Catholic Girls' Clubs. I honed in on her Little Way and desire to be pleasing to God at an early age. We then focused on a gift that St. Therese's sister gave her, Sacrifice Beads. They were used by Therese to track her sacrifices to offer as presents to Jesus. She identified the beads as a tool to become a saint. Each LF acknowledged that they are called and desire to become a saint.
We started on our craft for the day, Sacrifice Beads (each meeting will have a craft that relates to the saint and/or virtue that is discussed). As I distributed beads we worked on our counting skills. The girls counted aloud (from 1-11) as each girl received her beads. They counted fast, slow and even backwards. The girls worked diligently and required minimal direction. Miss. C and I kept them together at the same pace so no one girl was finished far before another. They were very encouraging of each other and were invited to help their neighbor move along. The girls even brainstormed ways that they have sacrificed and/or can sacrifice. Moms, be on the watch for tidy rooms. As they continued working on their beads I introduced the girls to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Saturday was her feast day. She had a devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux and took the name as her religious name. Many of the girls were acquainted with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She too had a call to the religious life at an early age. We spoke of those that Mother Teresa helped, the poorest of the poor. I described the condition of Calcutta and the girls identified why she served those in destitution, "because she loves God." It amazes me how easily the young girls get the message of love. I believe it is the same language they speak.
We ran slightly over on time and we're unable to get to the housekeeping. So, for now the girls are to be focusing on sacrifices, small things they can do JOYfully and with great love. They should be trying to use their sacrifice beads, moving a bead (for each sacrifice) towards Jesus on the crucifix. If called to, they can even move a bead away from Jesus back to the medal if they fail to JOYfully sacrifice. This was a pious act that St. Therese adopted. The beads should be kept in their pockets and secretly* used. The girls can review the beads at the end of the day and offer up all their sacrifices to Jesus as a presents. They can then place the beads under their pillow until morning. The sacrifice beads are not to be bragged about or used for competition.
The resounding message that the girls reiterated was,
The resounding message that the girls reiterated was,
"Do all things with love, for Jesus."