During one of the daily press conferences at the Vatican this week regarding the Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, the topic of how difficult it is for parents to raise their children in the faith came up.
Ketty Abaroa De Rezende, who is participating in the synod along with her husband, Dr. Pedro Jussieu De Rezende, agreed that this is a major challenge in the Church today.
“That is our mission, to raise our children well, to love and serve god and to change our world for the better,” said De Rezende, who is a lecturer at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil.
At around the same time, an email popped up in my inbox regarding, of all things, dolls. The Kiczek family, who describe themselves as a "Catholic, pro-life family" is planning to create a series of dolls — the first of which is St. Thérèse of Lisieux — after realizing there were a dearth of companies that created dolls that encourage children to be saints.
"We created Dolls from Heaven with the goal of bringing young children closer to God through the lives of the saints," the family writes on its website, dollsfromheaven.com. "We hope that our dolls will encourage young children to make Jesus the focus of their lives."
The dolls are 18 inches tall and come wearing an outfit based on what he or she wore during life. In addition, each doll comes with a book “that will inspire children to become saints,” the family said.
The St. Thérèse doll will be available in November. Upcoming dolls could include St. John Paul II, St. Bernadette, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Patrick. The plan is to release one saint doll per year.
This seems to me to be an effort that De Rezende and others concerned with passing the Faith onto the next generation would greatly appreciate.
Gretchen R. Crowe is editor of OSV Newsweekly. Follow her on Twitter @GretchenOSV.