Young Family Ministry of
Transfiguration Catholic Church
Mustard Seed Ministry is all about families with kids ages 0-5 years old. We are dedicated to supporting families raising their children in the Catholic faith. This website can be a source for information and resources for you and your family
Life at Transfiguration for Young Families
Infant Baptism at Transfiguration
Contact: Linda Rega, 770-977-1442, Ext. 131, or
Contact: Lori MacDonald,
Women in Faith
Café con Dios
Transfiguration Weekday Pre-School
Women in Faith
Café con Dios
Sunday Morning Preschool
during the 8 AM, 10AM and Noon Masses. Registration information: www.transfiguration.com, click on Religious Education tab.
Women in Faith
Café con Dios
Parish Religious Education Program
Preschool & Kindergarten Sunday: 8:00 am, 10:00 am, and 12:00 Noon
Weekday Kindergarten classes, Monday, 4 PM, Tuesday, 4 PM, Wednesday 4 PM. Registration information: www.transfiguration.com, click on Religious Education tab.
Women in Faith
Café con Dios
Growing Up Catholic
What are your hopes and dreams for your child? From the moment you knew you were expecting, you began to think about your child’s future and the place he or she has within your family. Your baby is a wonderful blessing, and a big responsibility. In this year of change and adjustment, growth and joy, you will make many important decisions for yourself and your child. Among the many choices and decisions you will face, none is as important as the commitment to grow in faith yourself, and to raise your child as a person of faith. We at Transfiguration have made a commitment to you, to support you as you help your child to grow up as a faith-filled Catholic Christian.
Here are some things to think about and to do in your child’s first year:
Pray every day. Begin each day with a prayer that raises your mind and heart to God, and asks for the wisdom and guidance you need as a parent. Simply turning your heart to God in this way can be done while you’re on the run, if necessary.
Bless your child each day. Make the sign of the cross on his or her forehead and say a brief prayer aloud. Your child will grow, certain of the love of God and his or her parents. We know you have this child’s welfare in your own heart – this blessing connects you all to God’s heart as well.
Schedule Sunday Mass first. All else will fall into place. We promise! We welcome you, no matter what. And even, if you or your spouse is not Catholic, now is the perfect time to discuss how your family will live as Catholic Christians, with respect for the other faith in your home. (See the link at www.GrowingUpCatholic.com for some thoughts especially for the parent who is not Catholic, and for single parents to whom we pledge our support.
Find time for quiet. Balance is so important in life! As a new parent, you are pulled in dozens of directions, and it is often easy to overextend your time and energy. Finding time for quiet reflection, to read the Bible, or to read a good book will help you to live a healthy and holy life, and your child will learn from you as he or she matures. Not to mention you’ll be a much better parent if you’ve taken time occasionally to rest, exercise, or quiet yourself after a busy day.
Stay connected with us. If you are tempted to put faith at the end of the list of the many things that compete for your attention, consider this: those who regularly participate in church services:
o Live longer (7.6 years longer, on average);
o Experience less depression, drug use and abuse, and suicide;
o Experience a greater sense of well-being, hope and optimism, purpose and meaning, and self-esteem;
o Have a greater sense of satisfaction within their families, with closer parent-child relationships;
o Children exhibit higher performance in school and attain higher levels of education.
“For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.”
(Psalm 139: 13-16)
We’ve all heard the second year in a child’s life referred to as “the .” What’s a parent to do to survive and thrive in the second year? When the days seem long and the volume of life high, when every moment seems filled to the brim, take a few moments to pause, remember that God holds you, your child, and all in love and mercy. Add to the noise of life a “ to the Lord!” Take the “terrible” out of the twos by finding perspective and peace in Christ, and remember that Transfiguration is a place where you and your child are valued and for whom there is much love and care.
Here are some things to think about and to do in your child’s second year:
Pray, alone and with your child. Keeping God first and all else in perspective will help your family to grow in holiness. Take your child’s hand and help him or her make the sign of the cross as you begin your prayer; bless your child before bedtime; if you do not already do so, include grace before meals. If you need a place to find all the various Catholic prayers and blessings, go to: www.GrowingUpCatholic.com.
Make a prayer center at home. Include a crucifix, image of Mary, or statue of a favorite saint. Have a Bible at the center as well as a child’s picture Bible or Gospel story book. Place a small holy water font in the center and bring blessed water home from church to fill your font. Teach your child to bless him or herself with the holy water as you pass by the font each day. If you need any of these supplies, give me a call. Here is my phone number: .
Tell your child sacred stories. Use a children’s Bible or Gospel story book for bedtime stories at least a few times each week. Reading and studying the Bible yourself will help you to tell the stories as though they are your family’s stories, and they are! Our family of faith has many wonderful stories of the ways God acts for and with us; now is a great time to begin or continue a pattern of prayerfully reading the Bible and a perfect time to begin to share our stories of faith with your child.
o And remember, your own family stories are SACRED, too! Spend time with your child with the TV turned off, just being together, looking at pictures, and telling your child at this age about the family in which you live. This, too, is a holy activity.
Go to church a few minutes prior to, or linger for a few minutes after, Mass and walk your child around the church, pointing out the pictures, stained glass windows or statues. Ask your child to point to Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the cross, the candles, the water, or anything that catches his or her eye! This is the best way to introduce your child to the parish. We warmly welcome you for Sunday Mass regardless your situation in life.
Make sharing & forgiving the norm. As your child becomes more aware of the people around him or herself, teach sharing, cooperation, and respect for others. It is early in your child’s life; patterns set now will reap great rewards later, or will bear negative habits that will take time to undo. You can teach this best, of course, by showing them how, rather than merely telling.
Keep a journal. As you talk to God during these years, why not take the time to write down some of those prayers? Revisiting or sharing them later will be a rich experience! Many people find a prayer journal helps them to talk to God in a natural way, and having your thoughts recorded in writing will also help you see your relationship with God in the perspective of time. Include in your prayer journal your joys and challenges as a parent and the milestones of your child’s development so you will remember them in the future.
Your child’s third year is a wonderful time of discovery, increased independence (with its challenges and delights), and ever-increasing activity and physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth. As the parent of a three-year-old, you may find yourself running to keep up at times. You may wish for the days when your child was an infant whose mobility depended upon you to carry or stroll; you may revel in the times of play and deepening sense of self of your child; you may already experience that feeling known to parents throughout the ages of “Where is the time going? They grow so quickly!” As your child’s world expands through exploration and learning, allow yourself to see the world and all who dwell in it as the magnificent creations of God they are, and allow that vision to fill your heart with gratitude.
At Transfiguration, we are ready to support you during this year and always! Within our community, you have a family of faith in which you and your child truly belong.
Here are some things to think about and to do in your child’s third year:
Look at the world through the eyes of your child. Discover with him or her the blessings of earth and sky, stars and water, animals, and especially other people. Talk with your child about how everything he or she sees, hears, touches and experiences is a gift from God. Include the things your child has discovered in your nighttime prayers of thanksgiving, such as “Thank you, God, for the water we played in today.”
o One of the ways you can do this at this age, is to ask your child to help you recycle your garbage. This is a holy act of caring for the earth itself, and by sharing it with your child, he or she will learn from you how important it is.
Pray with your child and on your own. If your prayers aloud with your child until now have been mostly spontaneous expressions of gratitude and praise, wonderful! Now is a good time to add some of our traditional prayers such as the or the Hail Mary. It will be a while, but before long your child will be able to speak the prayer with you, learning “by heart.” Let your child see you praying. And if you need a complete source for Catholic prayers and devotions, you’ll find it at: www.GrowingUpCatholic.com.
Create plays that tell the stories of Sacred Scripture. Act as the narrator, and invite your child to use finger puppets or simple costumes to “make-believe” with a familiar story from the Bible.
Help your child learn to say “I’m sorry” when it is appropriate, and accept your child’s expression of sorrow with forgiveness. We learn about Christ’s love, forgiveness, and mercy by experiencing these qualities from each other. As a parent, you help your child learn about God’s forgiving love through the love you show him or her.
Teach your child that God is always present. While at this age your child will readily focus on things that can be directly experienced, use stories and examples to show your child that God is with us always, even though we cannot see or feel God’s presence in the ways we can the things of this world. Your child will come to know God only through your eyes and ears, your hands and feet. Be explicit about introducing your child to the wonders of God.
Get ready for pre-school, if you’re not already there. We offer opportunities for the early childhood formation in faith you may want. And we include you in this process, not just your child! We want you to be part of your child’s formation throughout his or her young life. Here are some opportunities this year:
Your child’s fourth and fifth years are likely to be marked by moments of intense happiness and equally intense animosity. Don’t worry – it’s all part of the process of learning, growing, and becoming more independent. Hold the good moments tightly, as Mary did, “treasuring them in your heart.” The difficult moments will pass, as your child becomes more sure of his or her place in the world. Continue to create a household of faith, rely on the to guide and strengthen you, and be assured that your child, like Jesus, will “increase in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.” (Luke 2: 51-52)
Here are some things to think about and to do in your child’s preschool years:
Take a hike or a walk. Talk with your child as you visit a park or enjoy an outdoor activity. Draw his or her attention to the beauty of nature and ask him or her to name the features that he or she most appreciates. When you return home, read Genesis 1: 1-2:3 from a children’s Bible, and invite your child to draw illustrations of the story, drawing on all he or she saw on your hike. If you need a children’s Bible, you can find a link to one at: www.GrowingUpCatholic.com.
Re-tell Sunday’s Gospel. As you are driving home from Mass on Sunday, or later at Sunday dinner, re-tell the Gospel, leaving easy details for your child to remember and share. The more you do this, the more actively your child will listen and pay attention at Mass, creating a more prayerful experience for you and your child!
Add “God bless” prayers to your bedtime routine. Begin the prayer by making the sign of the cross on your child’s forehead (your pattern for many years now!), saying, “God bless (your child’s name)” and ask your child to name others for whom he or she wants to pray. Not only does this actively involve your child in the prayers, but it raises his or her mind and heart to others. Alternate “God bless” prayers with “Thank you, God” prayers and teach the importance of gratitude.
Begin family meals by inviting each person to share a detail of their day, and to offer a brief prayer of thanksgiving for the day that is passing. Remember to thank God aloud for something positive about your child as often as possible. If you need examples of table prayers, you’ll find them at: www.GrowingUpCatholic.com.
Participate in a parish collection for the poor, and bring your child with you to deliver the gifts to your church, explaining that your family is acting as Jesus does by giving to those who are in need. Bring the world’s needy people into your home and let your child see you preparing clothes to give them, writing checks for them, or volunteering your time to assist them. Your model now will become their pattern later.
Get ready for pre-school, if you’re not already there. We offer opportunities for the early childhood formation in faith you may want. And we include you in this process, not just your child! We want you to be part of your child’s formation throughout his or her young life.
Praying with Children
As children grow, they can take a greater role in family prayer life. Build their interest by giving them parts to say and tasks to perform, such as bringing the prayer book or lighting a candle.
As they begin school, they should begin learning the common prayers of the Catholic tradition. Teach them the Sign of the Cross, the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary as well as the responses said at Mass.
Praying families make lasting impressions on all their members. Though children grow up and leave home, they never forget the faith environment of their earliest years. As you pray together you will recognize God's presence within your ordinary family life.
From A Prayer Book for Catholic Families, edited by Christopher Anderson, Susan Gleason Anderson and LaVonne Neff, www.loyolapress.com.
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