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Scriptures come to life for Irish families through Jesse Box

By ANN SCHNEIBLE
Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy - A new initiative out of Ireland is using Biblical dioramas to engage parents and children in Scripture. The Jesse Box, says one of its creators Sebastian Kraszkiewicz, aims “to help pass the faith to the children and to encourage family liturgy.”
Kraszkiewicz said, “the most important job of a parent is to pass the faith to the children.”
“It is a help for parents to equip their children for the future,” Kraszkiewicz said, noting how it is becoming increasingly difficult for children “to receive Christian values” in today's society.
Moreover, by engaging with the Scripture stories in a tangible way, Kraszkiewicz continued, children can relate the various stories to their own lives, especially if they are  experiencing difficulties.
Because it is difficult to keep the attention of young children for long periods of time, he said, the Jesse Box helps to get them involved in the Bible stories: “they cut out, create their own characters,” and therefore feel as though they are taking part in the story. “If you are creating something then you take a little bit ownership of so you feel that story becomes yours.”
This is the core idea behind the Jesse Box, said Kraszkiewicz: “to help pass the faith to the children and to encourage family liturgy.”
“The Jesse Box is not a mere toy, but rather a tool that while simple to use, also probes into the meaning of our faith on all levels... Our faith should bring families together and the Jesse Box should be the catalyst to accomplish this goal.”


“The family is the nucleus of society and it is critical that it is whole in order to restore the culture,” she continued, and the Jesse Box does just that. “Older siblings can guide younger siblings, family members can learn together or learn from one another.”
“Students not only learn about events and characters throughout the Bible, they come to know who these characters are and learn how to relate to similar faith journeys. Through the Jesse Box, the Word becomes flesh, it comes alive for students.”
Ignatius Press is the distributor for the Jesse Box in the United States. Julie Johnson, a consultant for the publishing house, told CNA that the initiative is a unique catechetical tool because it helps “students become an active part of God’s love story…where it becomes their story.”
Since medieval times, the Tree of Jesse has often been depicted during Advent, offering a visual representation of Christ's genealogy. In a similar way, Malone said, the makers of the Jesse Box not only wanted to provide a tool for discovering the genealogy of Christ, but for all “salvation history.”
The name for the Jesse Box was inspired in part by Isaiah 11:1: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”
Speaking of their meeting with Bishop Laffitte, Gerry Malone told CNA that the prelate expressed “the need of initiatives like the Jesse Box box to help our children and families grow discovering the love of  God in the Scripture. Because the family faces extraordinary challenges in today’s society.”
Barnes, along with fellow Jesse Box creators Gerry Malone and Sebastian Kraszkiewicz – who is married to Malone's daughter – where recently in Rome to bring this initiative to Bishop Jean Laffitte secretary for Pontifical Council to the Family.
“Even though this is for children, it is really for the whole family,” he said.
“The family gets together, reads some Scripture and then make that story using the components that you find in the story manual for that story,” Barnes said. “And the basic components are the backgrounds you put in three background scenes, you make the characters and you make the props for that story and as you are doing that, of course, you are talking about the story.”
The Jesse Box, co-creator said Paul Barnes in an interview with CNA, has the potential for engaging the entire family – parents and children alike – to learn more about the faith. It is designed in such a way that, by helping the children assemble the dioramas and guiding them through the stories with the provided study guides, parents also engage with the Scripture stories.
The diorama kit provides tools for children who, with the help of their parents, can create and act out different stories from the Old and New Testament. The biblical stories currently available include the Creation account, Exodus, the Christmas story, and Pentecost. The set is accompanied by study manuals and activity books to help guide the children through each story.

 

 



 

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Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

 

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