When talking about the vocation crisis, Catholics often hear the complaint that parents, greedy for grandchildren as they are, don't do enough to encourage their children toward the priesthood.
Well that's not the case for an Indiana mother: When Michelle Newcomb's 4-year-old son (one of seven, might I add) said he wanted to be a priest, she started looking for ways to foster that desire. That put her on the path to developing The Priest Game, according a story in the Catholic Moment, the journal of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana (sent to me by Father Ambrose Ziegler, who also happens to appear in the game).
The game isn't exactly competitive, it seems, but more educational. It involves matching pieces that show religious items with appropriate sections on the 6 game boards. For the little kids, it teaches the names and uses of items associated with the Mass and Catholicism as well as colors and numbers.
Father Ziegler is also quoted in an article in The Lafayette Journal & Courier about the game:
"We're trying to get more religion into the homes. Modern technology is great, but there's something special about a family playing a board game together. This game is great for schools or to help vocations. There also are many adult Catholics who don't know their faith and could play this game with kids."
I think he might have a good point about the adult Catholics. It might be a little boring to play for adults, but I'll be the first to admit that I don't know a lot about the sacred items used in a church!
Time will tell if the knowledge (and subtle hint pushing them in the direction of the priesthood) imparted by the game will stick with children. Would you buy it for you little boys? (Girls need not play.)