Monday, July 18, 2011

Educating Byzantine Catholic Children- Part 2

A Byzantine Catholic family doesn't have a lot of resources to work with that are exclusively Byzantine Catholic when educating the children. One usually has to decide between using Roman-rite materials in order to be loyal to our hierarchy or Orthodox Christian materials to be more 'in-line' with our spirituality and history. We do some of both, and my children are already learning to live 'in the middle.'

For parents who are considering taking over the reins of education and teaching from home- you have lots of decisions to make- will you insist that every math page has a Bible verse or is it okay if you simply live the liturgical year and also have theology with the kids? If your Byzantine Catholic church has few children, do you have the energy to go to a Catholic park day(most likely Roman-rite) so your children can be with like-minded friends? As the children get older, perhaps it is time to start a catechism class or a "Little Flower's" girls' club- maybe with a Byzantine twist. It is not easy when you are small- you have to force the issue.
a few more on-line resources:

Seton Books, a homeschooling resource, has some Byzantine Catholic books available in their on-line catalog. I'm going to order some.

The Faith & Life series by Ignatius Press works with the new Catechism of the Catholic Church- it is Roman-rite, but I have used it in younger grades with my children with Byzantine supplementation. The artwork is beautiful.

Crazy Acres is a blog written by a Byzantine Catholic mom of many- sometimes she writes a bit about homeschooling. She also writes icons.

Catholic Heritage Curriculum has some lovely Roman-rite materials that I am always drooling over.

St Vladimir's Seminary Press publishes some wonderful anthologies of early Church fathers- an Orthodox publishing house.

This post is about living Lent as a busy mom, but I think the thought is right for any day.


  1. Catechism of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, "Christ Our Pascha" Released
    I'm looking forward to the English release.

  2. We use many of Seton's books & have been very pleased with their high school Byz. Catechism series: The Incarnate God (Vol. 1 & 2) and The Living God (Vol. 1 & 2) -- both from St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. They also carry some nice books for the study of icons (How to Pray With Icons by Myroslaw Tataryn & Byz. Supplemental Studies: The Icon by Robert Wiesner). Seton also carries a lovely Catechism for elem. age children: Give Thanks to the Lord from the Committee for Ukrainian Christian Ed. I also picked up a wonderful book called The Divine Liturgy Activity Book: A Child's Intro. to the Meaning of the Liturgy (Orthodox Christian Ed. Commission) at the Icon & Book Service (Monastery of the Holy Cross) in Wash., DC. One of my favorites books from Catholic Heritage Curricula is The King of the Golden City (an allegory on the Holy Eucharist). God bless!

  3. Sorry for not popping in lately-- our internet connection is lousy.. thanks for these resources-I'll definitely be checking them out. I"m also reminded that a certain friend of mine has often thought of writing some Byzantine Catholic kid's books. .. hint hint!


  4. Anonymous Faith- I needed that kick in the patootie! I want to start with "A Byzantine Alphabet" easy, no??? Then WHY don't I do it???

  5. A Byzantine alphabet would be AWESOME. (And I'm not even Byzantine or a homeschooler.)

  6. I second that, about "A Byzantine Alphabet."
    But... would that be Greek or Cyrillic?

  7. N is for Narthex, P is for Pope, St Peter, Priest...but I could see expanding it to include Cyrillic & Greek- but I was thinking of writing a 'baby' book first

  8. Just joking, Preoteassa! Sounds like a great idea. Annie would be one of your first customers. Coincidentally we were just looking at children's books at an OCA mission bookstore this past weekend. We found a great little children's prayerbook with simplified Byzantine prayers, illustrations of different parts of the Divine Liturgy, the Altar, the priest in his vestments, icons, etc. A section on seasonal greetings, e.g. Christ is Born! Glorify Him! Annie was eating it all up, flipping through it during the Liturgy this Sunday, saying again and again, "Dad! Let me show you something!", since she recognized the pictures that come from an eastern Church.

    The ironic thing was, as it turns out, the book was published by the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Canada, in 1981. So it's most likely out of print.

    To other Byzantine Catholics out there, I wouldn't hesitate looking into resources from the Orthodox Churches.

  9. Ah, it looks like our little children's prayer book can still be had. It's called "Guardian Angel Children's Prayer Book". It can be ordered here:

  10. That Byzantine Alphabet idea...we once discussed that idea over at Kind Conversation (Light of the East):
    Your input would be valuable for those ABCs!

    There is also a "conversation" over there at Light of the East on "Resources Used in the Home" where others have shared resources that some might find helpful.

    Love that Guardian Angel Children's Prayer Book -- our parish sells them.

  11. There is an excellent series for children from preschool through 8th grade published by God With Us Publications; the books are full-year workbooks and there is a very detailed teachers guide for each year also available. These are approved and developed by the Eastern Catholic Bishops of the United States and the Board of Eparchial Directors of Religious Education, so they are developed to be appropriate for each age level and are not just little books. I highly recommend the whole series as a catechism teacher who has been teaching over 25 years at our Ukrainian Catholic Church. There are also many books and other resources for teens and adults at their website. Please visit them at


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