The heart of The Little Pilgrim has always been getting beautiful, interactive books into the hands of children so they can grow in their faith while visiting holy sites. My favorite projects are the ones where I get to create interactive guide books for specific shrines, but of course due to the large number of shrines in our country, I’ll be at this work for a very long time!
Until there can be a Little Pilgrim book for a shrine near you, I created another resource the kids in your life can use closer to home…
The Little Pilgrim Kids Companion to Cathedrals & Basilicas in the United States.
How did I create a book that breaks down the numerous types and styles of churches that are cathedrals and basilicas into kid friendly pieces and can be used for a pilgrimage at pretty much any cathedral or basilica? Well, it wasn’t easy.
To begin with the book focuses on things all of these special churches have in common, such as what actually makes them a cathedral or basilica. Then what distinctive items do you always find, such as the bishop’s chair in a cathedral, or commonly found subjects, such as the the four evangelists.
Our churches have a lot in common if we look closely.
The Little Pilgrim books are always designed to be interdisciplinary, and the Cathedrals & Basilicas book is no exception! The Cathedrals & Basilicas book touches on art, architecture, history, science, nature, and of course ties it all in to our faith. With activities, coloring pages, quizzes, and prayers to make it all more fun and interesting!
Even the glossary becomes a scavenger hunt you can check off!
The Cathedrals & Basilicas book also includes two spotlights about the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and America’s First Cathedral in Baltimore – churches every American Catholic should know about.
My favorite section though is probably the St. Kateri Nature Corner section that’s all about roses and Mary Gardens. After all, churches have beautiful gardens to explore as well!
It’s a lot, I know! It’s 46 pages of information and activities. If you live close to your cathedral, it would be easy enough to visit often and work on the book over time. That’s how I’m using it with my kids. If traveling far from home to visit a cathedral, plan to spend at least an hour there.
To make it less overwhelming, I’ve included a list of pilgrimage challenges at the beginning of the book that breaks down the activities into smaller pieces and encourages kids based on their age to complete a certain number of activities.
The book would also be a great resource to use for a First Communion class, or religious ed class. What better field trip than a pilgrimage?!
Need help finding a cathedral or basilica, or want to keep a checklist of the ones you’ve visited? I’ve made a free directory of cathedrals and basilicas listed state by state:
I also created this free Cathedral & Basilica checklist for your kids to help them get excited to visit more cathedrals and basilicas!
Someday I hope the Cathedrals & Basilicas book will be available at cathedrals and basilicas all over the U.S. for their little pilgrims, but until then, you can purchase your copy here at Catholic All Year Marketplace!
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