When speaking about the roles of parents, godparents, grandparents, catechists, and teachers in forming the faith of children, my friend and colleague, Tom McGrath, often emphasizes the need to “populate the imaginations” of young children with stories, images, signs, and symbols of our Catholic faith. At a very young age, children develop a “worldview”—a way of seeing the world. Some develop a positive worldview that recognizes truth, beauty, and goodness as more potent than that which is bad. Others develop a worldview that is primarily negative, seeing the world as untrustworthy and suspect. The Catholic imagination sees the world as infused with the goodness and beauty of God, and our efforts in faith formation must seek to “populate the imaginations” of young people with the stories and images of our Catholic Tradition.
With that in mind, Loyola Press is proud to announce our new preschool faith formation program, God Made Everything! The God Made Everything series, comprised of God Made Me (Age 3) and God Made the World (Age 4), is a comprehensive early childhood program designed to nurture and enrich the faith and spiritual lives of God’s youngest disciples. This program is carefully planned so that upon completion children are ready to continue their faith journey with either the Finding God or Christ Our Life program. Alternatively, God Made Everything can be used on its own as children engage with their Catholic faith.
The imaginations of young children will be populated with something, but the question is, with what? If left up to our popular culture, too many of the ideas and images that will populate their imaginations will be superficial and self-centered. Let’s be sure that their imaginations are populated with stories and images of a loving God who sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to teach us how to love one another as he has loved us.