Project helps children/seniors at Mass

INDIALANTIC | Nadia Curri remembers being a distracted child during Mass. It was the same for her brother. So when she had to select a project to earn the Girl Scout’s prestigious Gold Award, she thought of creating an interactive reading aid to help children follow along and participate in the Mass. Little did she know the project for her home parish, Holy Name of Jesus in Indialantic, would garner national attention.

The Gold project has to be something sustainable over time, identifies and addresses an issue, educates and inspires. Curri’s plan was for “The Mass for Children (Interactive Missal Book)”. “I felt there needed to be something there for the children, but for the older people as well, if they couldn’t see the screens that had the responses,” said Curri who created all of the graphics herself.

Curri’s mother, Laura, says Nadia’s idea did not surprise her neither did the fact that it went so well. “It is so touching to me it brings me to tears—to see her have that faith inside of her and wanting to give back to her community,” she said.  Laura credits a family steeped in faith and Catholic school as the seeds that took root in Nadia when she was young.

“The Mass for Children (Interactive Missal Book)” took about a year to complete. With the help of her pastor, Father Scott Circe, she made sure the Mass guide included all the prayers and followed Church teaching.

As expected, the children loved the new book. “Even if (the children) can’t read it, they look through it and are learning something, visualizing things that are going on during Mass,” Nadia said. Yet it was the response from the older adults that surprised her. Many picked it up and thanked her for creating the visual aid with larger type. “People have told me they’ve learned things and it helps them be more engaged during the Mass. I think that’s really cool.”

Father Circe added, “It also helped some adults who may be visiting from a different faith background or who had been away from the Church. It was a big hit and people requested that we also place them in our gift shop for purchase. We began to sell them for $5 a copy to cover production costs and so far we’ve gone through two orders.”

Curri’s notes, “Once I saw everyone using it, it really opened my eyes to see that my passion about my faith has really done this. The whole experience has brought me closer to God… Working with my pastor, making sure everything was right made me pay really close attention to the Mass. It made me stop think about how powerful small things like this can be, and how powerful God is.”

By Glenda Meekins