One of the best parts of my job as an Instructional Media Specialist is being in the classroom.  The time spent in the schools with teachers and children is guaranteed to put a smile on my face.  Another great part of my job is working with a team to develop projects that are technology-based, academically sound, and engaging for students and teachers.  When the two meet, it is blog worthy!    Dial a Priest originated from a CTN department meeting while developing our CTN Vocations Project. How much do students know about being called? What kinds of questions do they have about the Priesthood and Religious Life?   So we set out to find a few willing volunteers who were comfortable with Skyping and prepared for the “inquiring minds” of students ranging in ages of 6-14. We were fortunate to find 4: Fr. Fonti, Fr. Lee, Fr, Bethge, and Fr. Edel.   We have had about 10 classes participate.  Each one had a personalized call an opportunity to ask questions and listen. Sometimes the questions were entertaining, like when a 5th grader asked “what do you do the rest of the week besides Sunday when you work?” or “Are you allowed to take a vacation?”.    The 4th grader who asked, “How do you know how many Hail Marys to give out after confession?”.  Although funny to us, real questions in the mind of a child.  Sometimes they were thoughtful, “How will I know what I am being called to?”, ‘How did you know?”.   Children respectfully listened to each priest share his ‘Story” of concerns, outside influences, and opposers. But most importantly, they learned to really listen you need to open not just your ears but your heart.  The feedback has been overwhelming form students, teachers, and priests.   We are continuing this next year because watching children and clergy interact in faith, respect and laughter is PRICELESS.

Submitted by:  Laura Hickey, CTN Media Specialist