During this time of pandemic, we Catholics have experienced an unfamiliar isolation. Unable to attend Mass or participate in the sacraments, away from our friends in our parish home, we may feel unconnected to the Church which has meant so much to us. And children are not exempt from this loneliness! There is no children’s liturgy, no Sunday school or catechism classes. Confined to home, concerned moms and dads want to teach the faith to their children in creative and effective ways — but how?

On June 19 and 20 “Ocean of Mercy,” a free virtual Catholic conference for kids, will help parents to keep their children engaged and excited about their faith. The conference — which will include time for learning, laughter and prayer — features priests, puppets and performers with stories to share.

  • Jonathan Roumie, award-winning actor, director and producer, is a familiar face: Roumie plays the role of Jesus in the viral Bible series “The Chosen.” He’ll be on hand for the conference, answering questions from children around the world. Children are encouraged to send in a short (15-second) video clip of their question in advance, and some will be chosen to be answered live during the show!
  • The priests I mentioned? There are Fr. Adam Zettel and Fr. Daren Weisbrod, both Legionaries of Christ, who will use music to lead children in joyful prayer. And Father Steven, known for his role in the Opus Joy Show, will offer faith-filled, inspiring catechesis and song.
  • Children of all ages will be inspired and encouraged by 13-year-old Carson Kissell, who has a rare skin condition. Despite his medical challenges, Carson has a strong faith; and each day, he leads the Divine Mercy Chaplet on Facebook.
  • Popular Canadian acoustic-folk-pop duo Kathleen and Jesse LeBlanc, known together as “A Guy and a Girl,” use their gift of music to bring souls closer to Jesus.
  • Two talented artists will also teach and entertain during the Ocean of Mercy conference: Author and illustrator Carissa Douglas, a mom to 13 children, is known for the Little Douglings Catholic children’s books and junior fiction novels. And Sam Estrada, illustrator of four children’s books, uses his artistic abilities to educate young people through Catholic comics and cartoons.
  • And especially fun for the children, the illustrated and animated “talent” will include Brother Francis, a full-of-life friar; Lukas Storyteller, CCC of America’s friendly fish who’s joined by his friend Noah, a turtle survivor of Noah’s Ark, for some great stories about Jesus and the Saints; TomKin, EWTN’s Catholic Cowboy, and his whimsical steed Blaise; and Opus, a fun-loving Catholic puppet who will serve as emcee for the conference.

At the end of each day’s programming, children from around the world will pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet together. On Saturday, the prayer will be led by a group of children; on Sunday, as the conference concludes, 13-year-old Carson Kissell will lead the prayer.

The Ocean of Mercy virtual Catholic conference for kids is free! Register in advance at www.essentialcatholic.com/home.