PSA: Shy Introverts at Mass

One might think Mass is an ideal location for shy introverts. And, for the most part, it absolutely is. I mean, it’s an event where no one is expected to talk  except for the priest, deacon and a few others. Other events perfect for shy introverts include going to the movies, visiting libraries and hanging out at cemeteries.

But at Mass, there’s one part, albeit very short, that is the exact opposite of perfect for shy introverts. In fact, it ranks right up there with attending parties with people you barely know, running into an acquaintance at the grocery store and public speaking.

The Sign of Peace.

Yes. This beautiful part of the liturgy, where we extend peace to our brothers and sisters in Christ before partaking of the Eucharist, is actually quite the minefield for those of us that fall on the more awkward part of the social spectrum.

Below is a short PSA that shows what shy introverts go through at every Mass. EVERY MASS. Yes, you heard that right. This happens every single time. Sure, the shock wears off after the first few Masses. After that it’s just an expected socially awkward occasion where our hearts get the effect of cardio without the exercise. And there’s sweating without the exercise too. Try not to be jealous of the glamour.

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During my research, I came across this hilarious article about the Sign of Peace and the socially awkward by none other than Jennifer Fulwiler. Or as my husband and I refer to her in our household, JFul. It’s the hip hop name we’ve given her. 

The Life of St. Nicholas

I spent most of my life not knowing how big my family really is.

When I became Catholic, it was like this curtain was opened and I was introduced to so many people!

“Hey!  Where did you guys come from?!”

Sure, I can’t see them physically.  My limitations are quite severe while I’m here on earth.  But it doesn’t mean that these people aren’t part of my family, and that when they died they quit participating as members of the body of Christ.

We are all part of the body of Christ, and He has only one body.  Christ doesn’t have one body on earth, and another in heaven.

Well, one of my favorite people I’ve gotten to know over the past few years is St. Nicholas.  He’s remembered every year during the Christmas season, although sometimes he’s referred to as Santa Claus.

There are so many great stories about the life of St. Nicholas.  Last year, I wanted to create something for my kindergarten CCE class so they could learn about St. Nicholas.  First, I went to the internet to see what was out there.  Once again, I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I gathered online resources and took to powerpoint.

Thanks to The St. Nicholas Center for all the free resources!  Please check out their site for what seems like an endless amount of activities about St. Nicholas.

I’ll be showing this to my kindergarteners the week before Christmas, and wanted to share it in case someone else was looking for something.  Again–please disregard my imperfect narration!

My favorite story about St. Nicholas I didn’t include in my presentation, due to the graphic nature of the story, so I’ll present it here.

Sometimes it’s a butcher, other times an innkeeper, but either way a small business owner was very wicked, and these stories led to St. Nicholas being the patron saint and protector of children.

The story goes that an innkeeper robbed and murdered three students traveling to Athens, and hid their remains in a large pickling tub.  St. Nicholas was traveling and happened to stay at the same inn.  During the night, he dreamed of the crime, got up and found the innkeeper.  He went to the pickling tub and prayed earnestly to God.  The students were restored to life.

In France, a butcher captures three small children, who had wandered while playing and gotten lost.  The Butcher chops them up and stores them in a large container, perhaps to pass them off as food for the townspeople.  St. Nicholas comes across the butcher shop, and is made aware of the crime.  He appeals to God and the children are restored to life.

I hope my video helps you get to know St. Nicholas!

If you’re interested in learning about the communion of saints and why Catholics talk to their brothers and sisters in heaven, check out Patrick Madrid’s article Any Friend of God is a Friend of Mine.  

All About Advent

Interested in a simple, straight-forward explanation about Advent that even a kindergartener could understand?

Well, you came to the right place.  I teach a kindergarten CCE class at St. Theresa’s in Sugar Land, Texas and this year I was looking for a simple image or video to help me explain Advent and what the parts of the wreath mean.  Nothing I found was exactly what I was looking for, so I opened up Powerpoint and made my own.

To be fair, what I made isn’t exactly what I’m looking for either, but until I become more tech savvy, this is the best I got.  And, please, disregard my very non-radio voice.

Happy Advent!

And for a virtual advent wreath, see the slideshow below.

Check out these links for more resources for Advent:

Family Conversations about Advent

Advent Wreath Prayers

Advent Prayers

Daily Scripture Readings for Advent
powerpoint file:  The Advent Wreath

powerpoint file:  Our Advent Wreath