A Prayer Box and a Prayer

I could wallow in self-pity and lament about how crummy the last two weeks have been with Luke, or I can remember my word for 2012:  positivity.  I’m choosing the latter.  On Monday, I’ll have more to share about little Luke after we visit his gastroenterologist.  Yes, it’s really that bad.

Waa, waa.

Onward and upward.  Several months ago, I volunteered to be the gala coordinator for John Paul’s second grade class.  {what was I thinking?!}  I was just excited to have a little free time to give back to the school.  We haven’t had much of that lately and I had a passion for the second grade.  It’s a big sacramental year for many of them – First Reconciliation and First Communion.  If you’re not familiar with how many Catholic schools work, there are usually a few fund raisers throughout the year to make up for the difference between what we pay in tuition and what it takes to operate the school.  Yes, the school could just charge what it costs, but that’s not really making a Catholic education available to as many people as possible now is it?

Anyhoodle, in years’ past every class has done one project and then auctioned it off in the live auction at the annual gala.  Super idea except that some families (US! US!) can never really afford to bid hundreds or thousands of dollars on a class project.  I approached the development director about having the kids help us create an individual project and then making it available to every family for a suggested donation.  Long story short, they were willing to let us be the guinea pigs and try it out.

May I present…the second grade Angel Prayer Boxes.  All 52 of them.

Inside each felt-covered box is a space for all their religious articles – rosaries, prayer cards, medals, bracelets, etc.  That was my big criteria.  If we were going to ask parents to pay for these, I wanted them to be functional.  I despise paying money for something that just collects dust or gets shoved in a closet.

The boxes were painted in blue and silver, the school colors.  We took photos of every student and then had them draw a picture of the Holy Family (because, you know, that’s who we are!).  Here’s JP’s pictures.

Aside from how amazing they turned out – totally a Holy Spirit inspired project – I found myself saying some sweet prayers over those boxes as I worked on them.  John Paul is practically beside himself about First Communion.  He’s counting down the weeks.  That makes my heart so happy.  I remember what an amazing day it was for Will.  Life-changing, really.  He treasures all the things he received as gifts.  What a gift it will be to put all those same treasures in John Paul’s box, made a little more special in that I helped create it.  It’s my sincere prayer every second grade parent will know just how much love and care went into those boxes.  Our team spent hours painting, assembling and touching them up; I’m quite sure we would do it again.  Fr. Ron’s blessing of the medal, rosary and prayer card was especially touching.  Clare and Luke were with me when he blessed them all.  They probably won’t remember their wide eyes, but I do.

Holy Family – pray for us!


  1. Kathleen on February 2, 2012 at 6:53 am

    They are so beautiful. What a special keepsake!

  2. Elizabeth on February 2, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Awesome idea, Kathryn! Go Holy Spirit! Go you!

  3. Molly on February 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Great idea for our auction, Kathryn. We are getting prepared! Could you send me directions on how you made these?

  4. Katrina on February 3, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Beautiful! Hope Lonestar Luke is hanging in there – keep us updated.

    moline fam

  5. carla whitaker on February 8, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    So proud of you John Paul. Good job. Love Granny

  6. Running in the Rain on October 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    […] for a couple of weeks now. I was crazy/smart/delirious enough to volunteer to make the infamous prayer boxes again for the second grade classes at school. Perk of being in a Catholic school, right? Today was picture day and I was hoping our […]

  7. Veronica Lopez on April 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Hello, This is so precious! Can you share where you got the boxes from and how you made it. I really would appreciate it. Thank you!

    • Kathryn on April 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      For painting, we used a blue acrylic paint, then a silver paint around the photo edges. It took two coats of each. For the “sparkle” we added one coat of glimmer silver paint. The inside of the box has a piece of cut felt, glued down with Elmer’s glue. All the religious items were ordered from Autom.com

  8. Trasi Mullin on November 1, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Hi – LOVE your memory box idea. I’m just a little confused how you incorporated it into your auction? Did each and every parent actually attend the auction and/or pay for the box? What if one parent didn’t – what do you do with the unpurchased memory boxes then? Thanks for your advice and guidance!

    – Trasi Mullin

    • Kathryn on November 2, 2015 at 8:46 am

      These were not sold the night of the auction. They were sold, instead, individually to each family. We provided a “suggested donation” amount, but parents were free to pay what they could afford. And, no matter the donation, every child received the box. That only amounted to 1 or 2 families a year.

  9. Jane Wilson on January 24, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    You use to have a post where you gave some DYI tips for making these boxes but I can’t seem to find it. Is it possible to get them or directed the page they are on. The boxes are lovely by the way!

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