Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

All Saints day Costume ideas - Preparing for All Saints Day Part 2

Part 1 is here!
Costume ideas:
When my kids were smaller,  I would try to encourage them to choose which saint they would like to be for All Saints Day and then we decide about which costumes to work on. I  had a lot of success in the past with Simplicity Pattern 4797.  Bible characters are easier to make because you don't require a lot of extra detailing or fitting.

  I had my boys wear white sweat pants and sweatshirts and just put the wings on their back. Gabriel had a trumpet, the Archangel Raphael carried a plastic fish and St. Michael had a breast plate and a sword!

John the Baptist. I took white long johns and died them brown and then made a tunic from fake fur. A wild wig added to John's rustic look and he also carried a honey jar and some fake books (John ate wild honey and locusts.

St. Peter:  A simple tunic with a set of keys and you have St. Peter!

Here are some samples of what my children have been over the years.

Juan Diego:  Noah as St. Juan Diego  - his older brother painted the simple portrait of Our Lady on some material I got at the fabric store.  I bought the hat somewhere very inexpensively. The roses are plastic.


Gabriel as St. Isaac Joques
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St. Tarcisius - patron of first communicates
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                 Two Archangels and John the Baptist
All Saints Day circa 1997

   An angel and the Saint Kateri  Tekakwitha

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 A block of wood with some holes to stick arrows in, hidden under a tunic and you have St. Sebastian! Martyrs are lots of fun and little boys like them because you can use lots of fake blood and that seems to appeal to their sense of gore that goes with Halloween.

Calvin once appealed to his sense of comedy by stuffing himself with pillows and a skull cap, which we glued fuzzy hair to, so that he could portray Thomas Aquinas! He carried a big old fashioned Ledger book as his Summa.

Sam as St. Francis, Gabe as John the Baptist, Calvin as St. Thomas Aquinas, Izzy and Noah as Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego.

Gabriel wears a black medieval frock that I bought for  a buck at our local community center's yard sale. With that, he has been Saint Isaac Joques and Father Damien the Leper. In another year we added a beard and voila - St. Ignatius Loyola!
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Father Damien, Saint Christopher and the Christ Child, Saint Tarcisius, Blessed Imelda

I made a medieval dress for Izzy when she was little.  Rosie wore it too. I also splurged and bought a  $30 medieval dress from a Halloween Store which was a great investment for us too.  There are a lot of female saints from that era.  Izzy wore it and Rosie wore it last year. Alas, this will be the last year that it fits!
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This year the kids are St. Anthony of Egypt,
Blessed Imelda (before she entered the convent!) and
St. Ignatius Loyola

Added beard to our St. Francis robe and we had an instant St. Anthony of Egypt the Hermit.

The kids with Grandma for the Halloween Brunch!

Izzy as an angel, and Rosie as St. Kateri.

Zelie Martin and The Cure D'Ars

Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego

October 2010 062 October 2010 064 G.K. Chesterton October 2010 071 St. Veronica

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Rosie as Blessed Imelda

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Same costume the next year dressed up as St. Elizabeth of Hungary - That was a costume I bought for $30 bucks at a Halloween store and it was worn at least four times by two different daughters- that was a real bargain!