Well, I somehow got through college without ever figuring out who Teilhard de Chardin is.  Now let’s see if our kids can get through the summer without learning any questionable theology from badly-drawn pandas.



  1. Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of these canned VBS and their dumb crafts and songs. Attempted hyper-orthodoxy doesn’t help. To wit, the one based on Tommy Tabernacle. Eye rolling of kids included gratis.

    But both of the last Popes have quoted Teilhard in encyclicals. Which is quite a rehabilitation for the old guy. And the ‘greenest’ world leader out there is Benedict XVI. You can take anything and make it a pool of heresy, or the same thing and sift through the chaff and offer the kids real kernels. I’d worry less about the pandas and more about the discernment and guidance of the adults in charge.

  2. I have to agree with Curmudgeon here. I asked our parish religious ed official on this and showed her the “bad” information about the Pandamania and she said the program they bought for the parishes had the imprimateur on it (so the reason they went with it). I think you have to worry more about WHO is teaching it and how they teach the Faith. That goes for any classroom these days (like in public schools with “health ed” issues, as one example).

    I personally think using cute, fun characters can help kids to have fun. Most young children will not get an overly religious event anyway. What I think is important is making the experience memorable in a way a child would appreciate (fun, exciting, colorful, warm and friendly), so that when they look back, they associate their fun experiences with the Church and realize that there were some major happy times there. 🙂

  3. We used a VBS in a box last year for the first time ever at our parish. It had been donated. This year I suggested that I would like to have explicitly Catholic catechesis in VBS, so I ran the thing, and we based it loosely on Heroes in Heaven. The kids responded really well to a lower key, non-gimmicky approach. They contributed their ideas on the fly, and we had lots of great conversations.

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