Monday, December 30, 2013

Anxious to Leave

No photographs for this one....
(and clearly a far pre-written post ;) )

I had a herd of children anxious to leave the atrium this morning (as of the day I typed this). They had a great morning, starting with walking on our new permanent line, followed by meeting with the priest who went over the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3-5:
A voice cries out, "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord!"...

The children then selected prophecies for tracing or copying, illuminating (beginning stages) and placing in their prayer journals; or practicing calligraphy strokes. It was a hard-working, quieter morning.

But with 3 weeks of being out (parish end of year Mass, Thanksgiving weekend, bad weather) and the coming of Christmas, the children were anxious.

I truly thought they would fly out the door and that would be it. I typically shake their hands as they leave, saying their name, thanking them for coming, and wishing them a good week or month until the next atrium. Many of them try to sneak past me, hiding behind a friend; or give me a dead limp fish for a hand; or try to do it so quick they don't even look me in the eye and they are walking past me with my hand still in theirs.... Ah well, I thought - it's been 3 weeks of no atrium, I'll let it go this time - I dismissed them from the prayer table and didn't even look at the door.

As I stood up and turned around to speak with another adult, I realized that the children had herded themselves in the doorway, waiting to shake my hand and say, "Goodbye".

Yep, they still had attempted sneak-outs, and some joking attempts at not looking me in the eye - but every last child said 'Merry Christmas,' gave me a firm handshake and said, "Thank you for being here too" or something to that affect.

Reminder to self: Just because a child fights it, doesn't mean he doesn't want it. 
Said without the repeated words:
A child may fight what he wants the most: consistency. Love.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Atrium!

After studying the prophecies for several weeks, and while listening in on a level 2 meditation on the infancy narratives (with the 5-7 year olds), a pair of young ladies (a level 2 (2nd grade) and a level 3 (5th grade) created this prophetic-fulfillment art to share with all of you:

There is so much benefit in having the level 2 and level 3 children together; perhaps a similar benefit in keeping 1st through 6th graders together in an academic Montessori setting (rather than splitting into lower/upper elementary). Hm. Something to ponder.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Advent Prophecy Themes 2013

Each year, it seems that particular themes are honed in on by the children - even across two geographical locations and educational lifestyles. I wonder how much is affected by our readings in the Liturgy perhaps - and in the world at-large.

This year our focus has been on emphasizing the First Coming of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ.

Some points the children hone in on:

Historical Context:
  • Periods of light and darkness in the history of Israel
  • Moments of light in the deepest darkness - bring us HOPE
  • Ancient Church's historical practice of fasting and penance during ALL of Advent and Lent. 
Interesting tidbits learned: 
  • Which season has Gaudete Sunday - which has Laudete Sunday (or Laetare - we're doing some research on that one --- either way the 4th Sunday of Lent starts with an L to match Lent - and that's how we remember which one goes with which season ;) )
  • Why THAT Sunday of each season? 1 Sunday past the half-way mark - to give us hope that the penitential time is coming to an end soon. Don't give up now! 
  • Who knew Ms Jessica could connect prophecy studies to the sacraments. Wait - does that mean our faith is INTER-connected? Just like the VINE? Oh. Oops. Guess we need to keep paying attention (yeah, some stories there - the children are so intuitive this way)

First Coming
  • We can't really prepare for a Baby to be born in the PAST - but we do prepare our individual hearts and lives to receive the gifts He gave us with His first coming: His Life (Eucharist) and His Light (received at Baptism, spreading throughout the world)
  • The prophecies prepared the Hebrews for the First Coming - but also prepared the world for His Second Coming. Not all prophecy has been fulfilled. 
  • Some of the Jews at the time of Christ thought that all Messianic prophecies would be fulfilled at one time. But now we look and see that with TWO comings, He will come once as a Child - and once a Glorious King. 

Second Coming
  • As we prepare ourselves to receive more and more fully the Gifts of the first coming - we are also preparing ourselves to spread the light of Christ - and therefore be ready for the Parousia, at whatever moment it begins. 
  • As we prepare, we know there are still going to be times of darkness and difficulty - but God always wants us to come back to Him. 

Thus not only are we seeing songs of preparation and of Advent (Light One Candle, Light the Advent Candle (I can't recall the name of that tune precisely at the moment), Come Lord Jesus, O Come Emanuel, etc.) --- we are also seeing songs of Reconciliation, tying in perfectly with the children in one of my sacramental preparation groups who are receiving this sacrament for the first time in the month of December.

Our favorite?

Create in me a clean heart - 
Help me start over again. 

Please Lord don't leave me, 
I need your Spirit, 
I cannot make it alone. 

Restore to me the Joy of Salvation - 
Oh my God. 

~Based on Psalm 51 (also our source for the Lavabo prayer!)~

It is OH so time for a YouTube video of that song. I'll see if a group of parents will let me record their children singing if I just videotape the words with the children's voices in the background....

Additional observations: 

I have one young man, 3rd grade, who insists on always mentioning "judgment" before mentioning "Parousia". Perhaps it is time to pull out the level 3 work on "Holy Bible and Parousia" for him. Seriously. This child canNOT get off the judgment portion of Parousia - and there is SO MUCH MORE to it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Sheep is Crying

I had a few questions prompted by the post on Atrium Weirdness: Chicken Nuggets in the Atrium - And Butterflies too!

I have a photo in there of a boy explaining to a group of us why a sheep is crying. I WISH I could remember all the details - perhaps he will tell me the story again some day (he's not one for repeating himself often).

What I can say:

These tears were sad tears - being lost.

These tears were happy tears - being found.
No, they were JOYFUL tears.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

When there is Too Much Atrium !?

For those of you waiting for this story for the last several months??? I told you it would be long ;)

I used to be known for saying, "One can never have too much atrium."

It's not that I take back those words, but after 9 years, I add a caveat:
it needs to be group or individual-based - not an individual moving from one atrium group to another to another throughout the week.

Many catechists have the question of what to do with their own children if the catechist will be in an atrium several times a week. I had this question since my son was an infant, because as the mom of a nursling, he came with me everywhere - and as a single mom his entire life, he comes with me everywhere. And we homeschool.

Here is our experience:

Until age 3 1/2: 
Not-yet-dubbed Legoboy was with me while transitioning a preschool/kindergarten religious education classroom into a level 1 atrium: 2 years in this atrium, with a child "not old enough." I watched him phase into all the early 3 year old work, one by one. The "light" came first; then the colors; then the infancy narratives - from there it went several directions, but I recall geography early on. He has always been notorious for doing his work in a south-north orientation. He routinely turned our globes upside down (he figured out how to remove them from their holders); he would turn the topographical map upside down. At 3 he began working with the regions maps (he wasn't talking much during this time either - which left him LOTS of time for just taking things in - so he knew the names of the regions - we could get through part 2 of the 3 period lesson on ANYTHING - he just couldn't say the words to do the 3rd period) --- so that regions map? Yep. Upside down.
(Note: to THIS DAY he still does this - he can work in any orientation - and will "check" his work using the control in a different orientation than the mutes - talk about spatial reasoning!)

We did have problems with him, at age 1, standing on a table and dropping some glass items to the carpeted floor (nothing broke). I was in a presentation and my aide refused to do anything with him (yet I had to be in charge of her two boys... hmmm.) Some rough waters there.

From 2 onward, he really honed in on the altar work, the Good Shepherd, beginnings of the liturgical calendar - he was 9-15 months "ahead" on most of the work; with some things being spot-on to the suggested ages in the album pages. Never behind.

In his case, we had so much time to just go with the flow - complete observation and respond only when needed.

During these two years, I had Sunday mornings (religious ed), Tuesday evenings (children of the RCIA parents - so infants through age 12) and a varying day homeschool session (3-12 year olds). I also had a partial atrium in my home where I ran a family daycare and rotated materials in/out as space and the liturgical time suggested. 3 sessions a week for Legoboy, plus access at home. It was GREAT! Looking back, I think it was because level 1 is about "individual construction of the human being."

3 1/2 - 4 1/4
rolling mats at home (paper in this case)
for the fun of it
Attended an atrium in the city where I had my primary Montessori training. He was pulled from his Montessori school one morning a week to attend the atrium. At first, this caused quite the ruckus with the directress and the school board, but in the end, Legoboy's ability to move between these two very-Montessori environments AND have his spiritual needs fulfilled, won out over the adults perceived/inserted issues and the matter was laid to rest within a month.

At this atrium, he showed the catechist the "proper" way to roll mats (as learned at Montessori school ;) ), and he continued to receive both 3yo and 4yo presentations. The catechist was so wonderful of an observer, that she knew when he was ready to work with the 4 year olds and when he needed to be with the 3 year olds.

I helped out in this atrium when I could, but most of the year I was working (at his Montessori school) or had my observations and student teaching at other schools, so a generous family from church offered to transport him there/back (they didn't even have a child in atrium! they had a kindergartener in the parish school; while the times didn't perfectly line up, they went out of their way to make it happen).

4 1/4 - 5 1/4
We moved to our current area to set up two level 1 atriums, and begin on level 2. The Sunday morning level 1 atriums ran at the same time and he attended both of them at various times. No consistency in location but fantastic experiences with a variety of catechists - he also ended up being of assistance to some of them ;) I also offered a weekday session to alleviate our high Sunday morning numbers - he attended that one and I counted that as his actual atrium time for the sake of consistency.

During this year, one catechist and I worked with the 2nd graders and 2 1st graders to prepare for First Holy Communion and Reconciliation. We modified our preparation experience based on having a partial level 2 atrium, a mostly complete level 1 atrium, and children with ZERO atrium experience. Legoboy attended every one of these sessions, including the 2 retreat days. At the first retreat (in December, he was still 4 years old), the priest visited; as he prepared to leave he asked me if Legoboy would be coming to Reconciliation. Legoboy said he was not yet ready. Father said, "If he is ready before the other children do First Communion, just bring him to Reconciliation one day. He can also receive First Holy Communion with the other children, if he believes he is ready."

To be short-winded about it, Legoboy was indeed prepared, but free will and desire were able to be respected. He did not receive the sacraments that year; he was ready the following, but circumstances changed so he received what "would be" his 1st grade year.

With the sacramental preparation and my work with homeschoolers, this sometimes meant 5 or 6 times a week in an atrium for him at both levels 1 and 2.

I began level 3 formation that year, but the bit of work I did was with Legoboy playing with other younger children. So he did not start level 3 that year ;)

5 - 6
This "kindergarten year" we did atrium at home in pieces; I worked with homeschool families and mentored the local catechists. It was actually nice to step back and consider the essentials again. Get away from parish politics; besides the new DRE closed the 2 level 2 atriums I had started - she wasn't ready to be DRE over them. Since we were not part of the religious ed program at the local parish, Legoboy requested the sacraments from our parish priest who refused him - he will only give these sacraments to children who are age 7, going on 8. (we attend a parish further away than our local parishes - variety of reasons - not applicable to this blog)

6 - 7
I continued to work with homeschoolers in small groups at various times, which worked out fine for Legoboy because he could play with the younger children if I had the older children and only come for presentations at the right time. The level 2 atrium at the local parish, now with a different priest, opened back up and my request to have Legoboy attend was granted. I spoke with our parish priest again and he said Legoboy could be prepared for the sacraments at the local parish and receive the sacraments "per the plan outlined". Haha! The plan outlined included the following:

  • preparation is done through CGS at the local parish
  • priest family friend from the other side of the country travel to our area to hear Legoboy's confession at the local parish (with the permission of the local priest) in February; CGS retreat in March for 2nd Reconciliation; 3rd Reconciliation the morning of 1st Holy Communion
  • seminarian family friend (Legoboy's Godfather) to be ordained that May - the only priest to be ordained at that ordination - to provide First Holy Communion at the ordination Mass. Second Holy Communion that evening at Father's first Mass; Third Holy Communion Sunday morning at Father's second Mass. 
  • We let our priest know when all is done so he doesn't "skip" him at the Communion rail. 

7 - 8
Continue the above minus the sacramental preparation - some homeschoolers at various time, attend the local parish level 2 atrium. Lots of atrium, but still flexible in presentations.

8 - present
Here is where the fun begins. I opened the level 3 atrium last year at our local parish.
  • I now lead the new level 3 atrium at our local parish(es)/parish (there's another post). Twice a week. 
  • Last year, I also taught at a Montessori school once a week; this year twice a week. 
  • Last year, I still worked with some homeschoolers at home; this year, I have rented the level 2 atrium at the local parish to work with level 2 and 3 children once a week. Nothing more at home.
  • Half of last year I worked with a family one afternoon a week at the local parish; this year they are in the homeschool atrium. 
Legoboy was functionally a 3rd grader his "second grade year" - and really wanted to move to level 3 last year, what would have been his "3rd grade year" if in school. I wasn't 100% comfortable with him moving into level 3 - I was already getting the niggling notion that something wasn't quite fitting into place. I picked up a position teaching a combined level 2 and 3 atrium at a Montessori school - so he "attended" that one due to the inherent flexibility of ages/experiences; joined me for Sundays anyway; and went to tae-kwon-do Wednesdays. Sundays were not always easy - I had tried to pull him out but the CRE insisted I keep him in there - lovely lady, but she didn't understand the issue at hand.

Then we added in our Thursday family --- and the issue became VERY clear: Legoboy had atrium many times a week, lots of time for exploration, meditation and personal work - DEEP work - but the other children weren't staying up with him, because they were once a week. The homeschool families helped because of their at-home work - but it wasn't quite enough. He finally met his match with our Thursday family though, because even though they were once a week, the spiritual depth/intensity was there, matching his own - perhaps because of shared emotional history. I began giving him specific assignments on Sundays with the 6th graders to keep him fed until we could finish the year and fully re-evaluate.

This year, I did NOT want to repeat that experience. He was SO frustrated because he couldn't move forward WITH someone - he was always either alone, or constantly moving groups. This is where the Thursday family really worked out well, because here was someone he could at least move along with. I was very frustrated because my son who had been in the atrium since age 1 wasn't receiving what he needed and I couldn't pinpoint his needs right away.

That is where we can have too much atrium:
one person ready to move forward and deeper
groups of children once a week who aren't at the same depth just yet

So this year, Legoboy has the following:

  • Sunday morning: personal Bible study he is doing - reading through Books of the Bible and illustrating each chapter - in the CRE's material making area
  • Tuesday afternoon: assists me in the level 1 atrium or does his own work
  • Wednesday evening: attends tae-kwon-do or joins atrium working on individual projects - focus on social benefits
  • Thursday afternoon: attends tae-kwon-do (sometimes joins but works on art projects - again, social benefits)
  • Friday afternoon: attends the homeschool atrium as a full participant
This actually really works out well, except for all the driving to tae-kwon-do. He is also working with the younger children in a meditative environment, which supports his working with the lower belts and younger children in the very active tae-kwon-do environment.

Now that we have identified the reality of "too much atrium" in the wrong combinations, we can address the issue at each atrium session and he can even attend every atrium all week and be just fine.

An interesting side benefit: experience proving that calling small groups is MUCH better than working with large groups - meet the children where they are at, worry less about grade level or age, focus on capability and NEED, and allow such children who are in different experiential places to be just where they need to be. We have mixed age classes to focus on the individuals after all!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

God's Prepared Environment

An important Montessori principle maintained in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is the principle of the prepared environment (one leg of the tripod: prepared environment, prepared child, prepared adult).

As a catechist and a Montessorian, I believe that the prepared child is out of my control because I cannot control the child's home life (unless I am the parent of said child); and that I do have control over both the preparedness of the adult (myself!) and that of the physical environment.


God has other ideas about who is in control of the prepared environment:

I missed picturing the making of snow angels in the parking lot ;) 

Here is our atrium one beautiful, if somewhat treacherous, snowy day. 

This particular day, the most appropriate prepared environment was the one created by the Father Himself.

It would seem God has the only properly prepared environment for His children! 

Anything I can prepare is a poor second - and I know He will still use it for His glory. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

All Faith Formation is Sacramental Preparation

Everything we do to explore our faith, to make it ours, to deepen it, to strengthen it, is preparation for reception of the sacraments.

Every Sacrament is a sharing in the Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ.
And what is the Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ, but the Paschal Mystery?

This photo taken from so far away, cropped from a much larger photo
Amazing what cheap cameras can do these days ;)

To prepare for this Paschal Mystery participation, we have to LIVE the faith of our ancestors: the Hebrews - longing for the Savior. Preparing to receive Him by listening to the words of the Prophets.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a Great Light.

The Hebrews had many dark times in their history; we too have dark times in our lives. There is always hope: the Light of Christ.

Previous post on "Prophets of the Lord"

As we spend this Advent preparing for the SECOND coming of the Lord, we can see in the prophecies clues to His first coming as well as clues to His second coming. We can see both the messianic message - and the moral message: how to prepare our hearts to receive Him, both in the sacraments and when He comes at Parousia.

"In the wilderness (of our own hearts), Prepare THE way for the Lord!"

Friday, December 6, 2013

Calligraphy - Introduction to the Children

We finally introduced our calligraphy cards! I am already making notes for upcoming changes, based on observation and feedback. But, I'd say - we are definitely in success-mode. Even the children who have not yet received presentations on calligraphy are taking more interest in creating beautiful work, in tracing some of the cards that are meant for tracing and copying.

Now that we have a dedicated area for calligraphy materials that only some children can use (must have had a presentation on it first so as to receive proper instruction - the same as with ANY material), the inspiration is provided for the other children who see the beautiful work done by their classmates, see the beautiful samples we have, see the beautiful materials and their desire to work with them.

These girls (among many others not photographed here) have been waiting two years to get their hands going on calligraphy. When they saw the title on the folder I had in my hands, this was their response.

But not just the girls are interested. Here is Legoboy proudly displaying some of his work. You'll have to trust me he did some work there - all capital letters practice, but he used the names of the other children in the room which I cleared from the paper. He has started calligraphy in the past, but with materials that weren't essential enough. He took a break for a time, waiting on me to have the keys ready, but continues to ask. Now we are ready - and so is he!

For some reason, this one surprised me with his interest. Perhaps he wanted to get away from continuing work with sacraments, perhaps he just wanted to work with me for a change of pace, I don't know. But there he was, ready to work with the calligraphy markers, when several others were done for the day after practicing their shaded writing.

The children have produced beautiful work - thus far, they have been working on their own names a lot - and I don't feel like editing them all. I'll get some of their work posted soon.

A concern presented to me: if the children are working on calligraphy, will they have time to work with the "core" materials?

Result based on observation: The children are inspired in their "core" work when they can do something SO beautiful with it. Calligraphy and illumination (which I am incorporating into our calligraphy practice) also connect us with our Church heritage - we have copies of the Book of Kells, Book of Hours, and other samples of historical and modern work. Our prophecies are written in beautiful calligraphy (done by one of our level 2 catechists) - and the children get to JOIN into that connection with other peoples of other times and places, the next atrium over and centuries away.

This is the work of their hands - with which, when their fundamental needs are fulfilled, frees their ears and hearts to hear the other teachings we have in the atrium.

We can drill them on the core material - but how much better to make it a beautiful experience :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Science and Faith

God the Geometer imageWhile exploring our options with the History of the Kingdom of God material (how much science? how much faith? what is our focus here? what about the fact that the Catholic Church allows the Faithful to discern for themselves the age of the earth, not dictating it as a matter of faith ---- yet how many CGS formation leaders insist (because of that very teaching/allowance of the Church) on keeping the billions of years of evolution - when there are many Catholics who, um, believe the Bible.

I don't know who is right - who is wrong - who is prideful - who is humble.... What I do know is that if the Church leaves it open, then it is NOT for us to teach one way is wrong or another way is right.

What I also know is that we, as a modern world, are in a BIG MESS.

I chanced upon this article, that shows that 'knowledge' as translated in the Bible could have been translated as 'science'.
Who You Know is More Important than What You Know

And reiterates something I already knew (the Church teaches this too) - there canNOT be conflict between science and faith - because science comes from the Creator! Science is the study of HIS Creation - so as long as we are looking at the evidence without attempting to twist it to mean what it doesn't, there's no conflict here!

Now, if we could just leave out the "billions" and "millions" of years references in all the Kingdom of God material, so that it truly teaches the FAITH and doesn't suggest to children that their scientist parents who believe in 6-day Creation are nutties (yes, I know some children in this very situation), we'll be doing well.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Three Branches of Our Church

The Church has three branches, all waiting for the moment of Parousia:

  • Church Militant (us here on earth)
  • Church Suffering (those souls in Purgatory)
  • Church Triumphant (those souls who have already attained the Beatific Vision)
Each branch has particular roles and particular responsibilities. 

A small group of girls discussed this very topic last month.

And this month (actually on November 1st and 2nd ;) ), the Church lives it out very consciously.

The funny thing is - we Catholics don't fear cemeteries at night - we RELISH them!

Not much to see - it was DARK!!!

Candles were placed on the headstones or front of them; and each site was blessed with holy water. This work was done by the members of our parish - the Church Militant - the members of the Faithful here on earth. Following All Saints Mass (in thanksgiving for and honor of those who have attained the Beatific Vision and provided us examples here on earth), the cemetery can be visited in honor of All Souls (November 2nd - all those who have gone before us, including those we don't know are in heaven yet or in purgatory (and we pray they are not elsewhere)).

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Chicken Nuggets in the Atrium ??? Yes - and Butterflies too!

If the reality of a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium is to aid the children in connecting with the Holy Spirit, providing the essentials and the depth and lots of time for nurturing that relationship....

then we have a God with one seriously *awesome* sense of humor. 

The atriums I have the privilege to be the catechist of tend to bring out the weirdness in all of us:
(some of the following samples are not necessarily "weird" as much as "what typical non-atrium child even has the opportunity to THINK of this stuff?" and/or are definitely out of the usual for the particular child at hand)

adapting a presentation: the people have turned their backs on God
they go to Reconciliation and come back to the Eucharist

replacing the History of the Gifts - with FOOD

The Bible is SO our favorite book ever! 

chilling with the Bible

spending hours, VOLUNTARILY, copying Scripture

squeezing level 3 legs under a level 2 table - OWWW!!!
(but they refuse to adjust their positions)

1st chance these L3 girls get = mad dash for the miniature altar

caught in action! Setting up the gestures work

still torturing themselves with the too-low table

what is SO funny about the Origin of the Liturgy of the Word !?

general antics
begging for a photo op
they were trying to hide their joy ;) 

yeah, we carry flames
a lot

yelling at the camera - and dancing by the baptism shelf

do NOT take photo-taking too seriously ;)
because seriously, that would be SO boring! 

atrium is NOT complete without the CHICKEN DANCE!

because we can
they have 5 photos of variations on this pose
so they could get JUST the right one. 

Our God IS indeed an awesome God
but really - how many times do we need to SING it ;)
(in another atrium group, it is "All God's Critters"

Internalizing the Atrium:
if you can't walk on the line yet, eating is definitely the next best thing

nap on the large prayer table
(he's not really napping - but he wants us to believe he is)

the Mommy-"HUH"-look
us adults use these a LOT in the atrium

so what prompted the "Huh" look?
the merchant knew how to use his head ;) 

he is SO capable of smiling
he was smiling before the photo
he was smiling after the photo
he even gave me permission to take his photo
But do NOT smile! ;) 

making butterflies
(I heard these are actually centipedes?)

we're never sure what she's doing... any moment

beautifully bright!

the butterfly sprouted more wings!!!

panting for the Life of Christ

just because she can

L3 children taking off with the catechist's camera...
and taking VERY cool photos!

roly-polies in the atrium!

singing 'Blunt the Knives' and 'Under the Lonely Mountain'
while creating an altar scene.
Sure, they're connected. Really.
Altar - Mountain
damaging the dishes - Jesus changing Passover
Yeah. Sure.
Longing for, even fight for, HOME.
That one I can buy. 

Explaining why a sheep was crying
(one of the sheep has a gray spot under his eye - it looks like a tear)
the explanation got pretty elaborate and I don't recall enough details
to be coherent - it included being lost and found though!
And he was OH so serious about it! 

Ta-DAH! Our beautiful prayer table! 
singing silent opera on the line
(because the line is silent)

tight-rope walking! 

So with all this FANTASTIC personality, how could I possibly even bat an eye at, much less question, the fact that the BOYS (just the boys - not the girls) walk around the atrium with our Bread from "The Story of a Bread" - silently and seriously processing around the room with it held in two hands like it is Jesus Himself being taken for the Sacrifice. When asked, no matter the actual question asked, the only answer they will give while the Bread is in their hands is a very quiet, "It's a chicken nugget."

what they typically do:
hold it
and walk around
serious faces
They call it a chicken nugget.

Yes, I'll be adding some wheat grain parts - gluing and polyurethaning.

But really. A chicken nugget. I'm not just batting an eye - I'm batting them both - multiple times.
A chicken nugget.
And they're SERIOUS.

Well, maybe not just SO serious: 
on display for this post
Catechist: What is it boys?
Boys: It's BREAD!
Catechist: Good answer!