Sometimes I get stumped for creative and modern gift ideas for our godchildren or when our family is invited to a Baptism celebration, First Communion reception, or Confirmation party. How many rosaries will the child receive? How many prayer cards, books, missals, and statues? These are, of course, all wonderful gifts, but kids are often inundated with these items and perhaps overwhelmed.

Mom and creator of Catholic Cards, Erin Lilly, thought something similar. She wanted to make passing on the traditions of the Faith interesting and fun to her children, rather than dull and boring. Noticing that Protestants have “discarded much of what makes [the Catholic Church] sacred,” she wanted to rediscover why our faith has a “beautiful, very old, and sacrosanct feel to it.”

In turn, she created a deck of what appears to be playing cards that fit in the palm of one’s hand. On one side are sacred images, the other side various interesting facts that fall into several different categories, such as “The why behind the ritual,” “Look closer,” “Ancient religion, interesting traditions,” and “The meaning behind the symbol.”

Derived from the Catholic Encyclopedia and Catholic for Dummies, Lilly says that she created the cards “in an attempt to ‘modernize’ or make the church interesting to young people.” Now she is promoting a digital set of cards, which can be viewed as part of a home school curriculum, on any digital device, and can be a fun way to pass time on a road trip. Lilly believes the cards are powerful conversation starters among parents and their kids or even grandparents and godparents and their spiritual children.

As I perused the cards, I realized they are most suitable for kids who are prepping for their First Holy Communion on up. Beyond the suggestions Lilly offered for their use, it seems that religious education instructors could incorporate these into their classes, especially since the cards make it easy to shuffle subjects and are in a user-friendly question/answer format.

For example, one card asks:

When you see people lightly pound their chest during Mass, it means:

a) This parishioner will not go to Communion
b) This parishioner has indigestion
c) This parishioner is making a traditional gesture symbolizing sorrow for their sins.

Answer: C
This gesture is an ancient traditional sign of repentance (showing sadness and asking for forgiveness. It is a symbol of HUMILITY.

Catholic Cards cover a variety of topics pertaining to the rubrics of the Mass, virtue development, theological concepts regarding the Blessed Trinity, and even fascinating facts about the saints. To view or purchase a set of the cards, please visit http://www.catholiccards.faith.

Text (c) Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.