So I thought I would do something a bit different and provide you with a review of a website and Ministry that I have long admired, used and hoped to share with as many people as possible. This forum seemed like a great way to do just that, so I hope you don’t mind me veering off the App road one more time to share Cat.Chat with you! Who knows, maybe this will inspire this wonderful ministry to create an app themselves – that would be a fabulous tool to add to their incredible ministry.
As outlined on the “About” page of their website, “Cat.Chat Productions” was founded by Gerald and Denise Montpetit about 15 years ago; their five children are actively involved in the Ministry. They found that although there was excellent resources out their for Christians families, there was a void of specifically Catholic resources available that were professionally done and engaging for children. In the 15 years they have been in operation they have created an excellent toolkit of materials which brings the Catholic faith alive for the “little” Catholics in our lives.
Cat.Chat has been a wonderful ministry for our children, who absolutely LOVE reading, singing and listening to audio stories. Cat.Chat provides excellent Catholic material that our children love listening to and singing along with. We have also used the Cat.Chat music books in our Church Ministry for children. We also had the opportunity to attend a live Cat.Chat concert with our kids a few years ago and it was so great to watch the kids sing along and learn about their faith in such a fun way. It was super cute to watch the kids sing and dance to the music like they were at a rock concert – they were all so into it! Their site has printable Catholic games and colouring pages as well.
So what exactly do they have to offer you might ask? Well let me see if I can do them justice!
Catholic Vacation Bible School (VBS)
VBS has become all the rage with Catholic and Christian Churches alike. It is usually a week long day camp that Churches run for kids in elementary school during the summer break. For a long time, all the VBS’ were created by Protestant organizations. I have nothing wrong with that, the curriculum is great and the materials are very well done. My kids have attended several of these VBSs over the years and have enjoyed each one. Cat.Chat has added to the growing number of VBS curriculum out there and they have ensured that each of their VBS curriculums is uniquely Catholic. As they indicate on their website, their goal with each VBS they create is to “lead kids closer to Jesus and to help them learn more about the treasures of our Catholic faith.” There are NO other Catholic VBS curriculums out there like this one – none that I know of anyway. So Cat.Chat has really filled a void in this area. There are currently six VBS Curriculum packages available – and their website does a great job of outlining each one.
These Catholic VBS series of materials are really excellent, and provide an EASY well thought through and well planned method of providing a VBS. Ask any parish that has used their materials.
Cat.Chat CDs & iTunes
We were first introduced to Cat.Chat through their collection of audio CDs. They have CDs with just their music on them (which have accompanying music books so you can play and sing along) and then they also have CDs with teachings on them – their “Catholic Audio Show for Kids”. The Audio show covers topics on Mary, Angels and Saints, the Mass, Christmas, Easter and having a relationship with Jesus. They all include great dialogue and music that kids LOVE. Again their website does a great job at laying each of these out and providing an opportunity for you to sample each CD.
BUT, what I really like is that their albums are available on iTunes! And they can be played and sampled from there. But what if you are part of the Google Play store? They have a limited number available through Google Play as well.
Here are some of our favourite ones:
Cat. Chat even ventured into television (with EWTN) with several series available on DVD. This isn’t a resource we have used much at all in our house, just because we prefer just audio, but from the information available on the website, there is a lot of good material available through this resource. We have watched episodes of the show though, and again my kids approved of them.
It’s my understanding that the Ministry has decided to do less travelling and concerts then they have in the past, so upcoming events are scarce. If you are in a location where they are holding a live event, GO. The target age group is elementary kids and I promise you, young kids will enjoy the concert and so will you! I would get your kids listening or watching Cat. Chat through their recorded material before attending though, it just makes it so much more fun when they know the songs and can sing and dance along! You can even meet their main character Moses the Cat and hopefully get your picture with him!
Their “Media” page has a variety of pictures, posters, etc. A little gem I came across, which I didn’t know was there until I sat down to review the site, is that they have all their song lyrics on their site! I wish I knew this existed a long time ago! A great resource if you are just entering the Cat. Chat world. Their songs are great and your kids will want to sing them over and over again.
You can follow Cat.Chat on Youtube.
Here is a super high energy song that has my kids singing!
Their Blog posts are always very well done and highlight an interesting Catholic topic, I’ve enjoyed each post I’ve read. A recent one focused on “Mercy Memorials: Pope Francis’ Latest Brainwave“. It was a very interesting article on a challenge the Pope gave all Catholics on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday in this Year of Mercy. “It would be very good for each diocese to consider: what can we leave as a living memory, as a work of living mercy…” Cat.Chat took this challenge a bit further and asks, what can your family do in this year of mercy to leave as a memorial of this year of God’s mercy? As all their blog posts are, it was thought provoking and faith inspiring. Definitely worth following and reading this blog.
Their store provides an easy shopping experience for purchasing their VBS kits, CDs and DVDs. Other resources for purchase include their Guitar and Piano Sheet musics, their Guitar Tab and Song Books, and their Catholic Saint Cards and Posters. I’ve seen their Saint Cards and Posters and they are of very good quality. I believe they keep adding to their list of available Saints as they are able to get the artwork completed and printed. They have quite the collection available, with many being connected to specific VBS curriculum – its nice they can be purchased separately for those who just want to collect saint cards.