Celebrating Children Every Day
To Our Members at Prince of Peace and ALL guests:
The way we welcome children directly affects the way they understand God, the Church, and Jesus' love for them.
The presence of children is a gift to the Church, and reminds us that our church is growing. We need this growth as much as their family needs the church.
We cannot afford to discourage their presence.
Please smile warmly or offer a word of encouragement to parents and grandparents who have made the effort to bring their young, active children to Mass-we don't know what it took to make that happen today.
If you find yourself distracted, trust in the creative wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
God can nourish our souls in ways we least expect...
even through a wiggly, talkative child .
Remember, if a baby's not cryin', the church is dyin'!
To the Parents of Young Children
Thank you for the blessing of your family's presence. RELAX! God put the wiggle in little ones; do not feel like you need to suppress it in God's house.
Try sitting toward the front - it is easier for little ones to see and hear what's going on.
Quietly EXPLAIN what is happening during Mass. SING the hymns. PRAY the responses, and LISTEN.
Children learn by watching you.
If you need to leave church because of an overly fussy child, please know you are welcome back anytime.
There are books and coloring sheets in the Gathering Space for your little one.
Let them know THEY ARE AT HOME in this house of worship.
As Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me."
- Matthew 19:14
Areas for Kids & Families
On the Prince of Peace (POP) grounds, we have a lovely playground set, a gaga pit (when there's no snow), plus two basketball hoops on the back end of the parking lot.
POP Play Dates
Inside The Building
Inside our building we have children's books to borrow in a basket near the fireplace (extra books are in the cabinet under the Holy Family picture), plus coloring sheets at the kiosk.
We also welcome any family in need of a "family bathroom" to use the restroom inside our Bridal Room. Feel free to use that area if needed for a private nursing area as well.
We even have little step stools for children in each bathroom and near the drinking fountains.
Kids ages 3+ can attend Gospel Time DURING the 10 AM Sunday Mass. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Mass at their level.
To learn more about Gospel Time, check out our Gospel Time page.
Activities For Kids
Building A Household of Faith
This is an important time for your family, as you start setting your priorities and routines. It is so easy to let the busyness of lift-housework, jobs, shopping, information and communication overload-completely take over and make decisions far us.But what values does your family stand for, and how can you hold fast to them? Here are some principles and practices that you can build into your routine, even with very young children.
1. Set the Foundation
Have regular meals together as a family. This may not seem important when your child is just a baby, but it's never too early to make this commitment. Whether macaroni and cheese is on the menu again or not, the point is to all sit down together for the ritual of eating and sharing stories of the day. As children get older and start to go off in different directions, the regular meals together ensures time to regroup and connect.
Go to Mass and take everyone with you. Yes, it is challenging to make this weekly commitment (especially with little ones!) but once you get in the habit, it will become easier. Attending Mass is perhaps the single most important thing you do to help your children grow up Catholic. That hour can become cherished family time
without outside distractions: simply resting, singing, praying and being together.
2. Care for Yourself
Refresh your own soul. As a parent you are likely incredibly busy and often stressed. Experiment with ways to steal some time for yourself to do something that refreshes your own soul:
Take a few minutes to talk to God before getting out of bed or going to sleep at night.
Read the Bible, a spiritual book, or a blog.
Listen to inspiring music while you do the dishes or when driving.
Find a special place in nature you can escape to occasionally.
If your children grow up seeing you nurture your interior life, they will learn to as well.
Prioritize your partner. It is common for young parents to put an intense focus on raising their young children, while putting their love relationship on life support. But one of the most important things you can do for your child is
to nurture your marriage and keep it healthy. It is possible to commit to regular dates and couple time if you make it a priority.
Get the help you need. There is a lot of pressure in our society to be a perfect parent, but there is nothing Christian about trying to go it alone. It is easy to feel isolated and alone as a new parent, and even more so as a stay-at-home parent. Reach out if you need help of any kind, or help your partner get the help he or she needs. We encounter Christ when serving others and letting them serve us.
3. Build Simple Rituals
Pray before meals. Memorized prayers or informal ones are just fine. Even children who are still too young to speak will begin to recognize a ritual of holding hands around the table and singing a short grace. Once kids are toddlers they can join in by sharing one thing they are thankful for or one thing they want to pray for that day. For ideas for simple mealtime prayers with young children, see: GrowingUpCatholic.com/mealtime
Bless your child each day. A natural time to do this is when you are rocking your child to sleep or tucking him or her in bed at night. It can be as simple as saying "Good night. I love you and God loves you" when you hug and kiss them. It might involve helping them remember all the people they encountered that day who love them ("Mommy loves you, Daddy loves you, Sissy loves you, and God and Mary and Jesus and Joseph love you.") Find more ideas for bedtime prayer routines at: GrowingUpCatholic.corn/bedtime
For more tips about building a household of faith, visit us at: