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Archives Carthage girls learn about virtues in a club that features faith, friends and fun
Little Flowers bloom at St. James

March 21, 2018

By Mary Lou Kilian

Carthage – Sixth grader Bethanee Motes is a one of the original members of the Little Flowers Girls Club at St.Little Flowers James Parish and loves being part of the group.

Along with the craft projects, she enjoys the chance to “help the younger kids with everything they need help with at Little Flowers.”

One of the little ones, Kelly Carey, a second grader, said "I like being a Little Flower because we get to do really fun crafts, we decorate cookies and we do a lot fun things with saints. All the saints helped in different ways. My favorite one to learn about was the story of Fatima.

Bethanee and Kelly are among 19 current members of the parish girls’ group started three years ago by Talitha Workman and Mary Bracy.

“Little Flowers is a club for Catholic girls that teaches virtues by focusing on female saints,” Mrs. Workman said.

“Girls are able to learn in a club-like atmosphere with friends while engaging in fun activities and community service.”

In the beginning
“I personally was involved with another Little Flowers Club with my oldest daughter when we lived in Germany and we both really enjoyed the experience,” she said. “Mary Bracy has a sister who also organized a club with her parish in Potsdam so she was also somewhat familiar with the club. 

“Mary and I met and became friends while two of our daughters were in preschool together,” Mrs. Workman said. “She and I had been considering starting a club for a long time because we feel that it would be very beneficial to our own daughters and also the other young girls of our parish.

“We must have discerned the call to start a club for two years,” she said. “Finally we felt that the time was right in 2015.”

At that time, two of Mrs. Workman’s daughters and two of Mrs. Bracy’s daughters were at the ages to participate (K-8th grade). 

“We both felt that a Catholic girls club would be wonderful opportunity for the girls of our parish to learn about our church's faith and traditions, develop strong virtues, and learn about female saints, all while building self-esteem, gaining friendships, and having fun,” Mrs. Workman said.

Saint of the month
Little FlowersDuring the first year, the girls learned about one female saint each month, focusing on that saint's life and a virtue which that saint demonstrated. 

“We introduced the girls to these virtues and taught them how important these virtues are in our Catholic faith and ways that they can emulate the saints by practicing the virtues,” Mrs. Workman said.  “Badges or petals were earned for each virtue, including truthfulness, industry, faith, and piety, just to name a few. As petals are earned they are sewn onto their sash to make up a flower wreath.”

Mrs. Workman said that the “best part about Little Flowers is that the girls learned all these different virtues during the course of the years, all while having fun in a club-like atmosphere with friends.”

“They sing together, pray together, do crafts, read stories, and play games,” she said. 

Also, over the course of the year the girls participated in several community service projects.   They made patriotic thank-you cards to be distributed at the local VFW on Veteran's Day.  They also organized a trip to Country Manor Nursing facility in Carthage in December of that year to carol and give residents handmade Christmas ornaments as they completed their work toward earning their ‘Love of Neighbor’ petal.

Learning about Fatima
Now in its third year, the club is providing different opportunities for the girls.

Behold Publishing offered a special badge that the girls are eligible to earn this year to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Fatima.  Earning this badge required the girls to become experts about the story of Fatima. 
“We spent our first three meetings of this year focusing on Fatima, the visionaries, the messages,” Mrs. Workman said. “They were all very excited to participate in learning this information and enjoyed a trivia/jeopardy type game testing their knowledge at the last Fatima meeting.

Since then, the girls have earned one patch per month focusing on patron saints, including St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, in December and St. Bernadette, the patron saint of embroidery in January.

“With a generous donation of supplies from one of our parishioners, the girls were able to learn some basic embroidery stitches and complete a small embroidery project,” Mrs. Workman said. “I was amazed at how well the girls did with this; all of the girls were so enthusiastic about learning this handicraft.” 

For the remainder of this year the Little Flowers will learn about one saint per month and will do activities or learn a skill associated with, for example, the patron saints of cooking and knitting. 

“The club has become very popular and something that we all enjoy very much,” Mrs. Workman said. “Mary and I have really enjoyed watching these girls grow (many of the girls have been with us for all three years!) and feel blessed to get to help mold them into faith-filled young ladies.

“We plan to continue leading this group as long as we can,” she said.

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