Litany of Loreto Bingo

When I found the Litany of Loreto or Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Latin I was amazed.  It rhymes!  Granted the English sometimes rhymes, but the Latin beats it hands down.

Having grown up with the aspiration of someday being to recite the litany by heart, I hoped to inculcate this in my children.  So far it has not been popular.  Which is fair enough.  The version we listen to in the car is in Latin at the end of the Rosary in Latin (available here).

Somehow I got the idea of Latin as a buried treasure, a secret language, a tantalising mystery.  To my kids, Latin is a chore, a part of the furniture, a freaky thing that just about everyone else doesn’t care about.  Maybe that’s exaggerating a bit, I hope so.

So, Bingo, a silly game.  Take the invocations from the Litany of Our Lady.  Make flashcards using Quizlet.  Make Bingo Cards.  Play Bingo with your students!

And you know what my six year old said when he saw it: “Is this a trap?”

Here’s the word list for the Bingo Card Generator:

Sancta Maria, Sancta Dei Genetrix, Sancta Virgo virginum, Mater Christi, Mater Ecclesiae, Mater Divinae gratiae, Mater purissima, Mater castissima, Mater inviolata, Mater intemerata, Mater amabilis, Mater admirabilis, Mater boni Consilii, Mater Creatoris, Mater Salvatoris, Virgo prudentissima, Virgo veneranda, Virgo praedicanda, Virgo potens, Virgo clemens, Virgo fidelis, Speculum iustitiae, Sedes sapientiae, Causa nostrae laetitiae, Vas spirituale, Vas honorabile, Vas insigne devotionis, Rosa mystica, Turris Davidica, Turris eburnea, Domus aurea, Foederis arca, Ianua caeli, Stella matutina, Salus infirmorum, Refugium peccatorum, Consolatrix afflictorum, Auxilium Christianorum, Regina Angelorum, Regina Patriarcharum, Regina Prophetarum, Regina Apostolorum, Regina Martyrum, Regina Confessorum, Regina Virginum, Regina Sanctorum omnium, Regina sine labe originali concepta, Regina in caelum assumpta, Regina Sanctissimi Rosarii, Regina familiae, Regina pacis

Which makes me wonder, what is the point of the whole exercise.  Sure it gets them reading the Latin text.  You could make it trickier and read out one language and have them mark off the other language on their cards, but tricky and fun are two elements to weigh carefully.  You don’t want to make learning a game – not one where students are dependent on the teacher to come up with new gimmicks on a regular basis.  I guess the occasional game is good.  If you’re teaching at a co-op then games can help get unwilling participants in.

So, in fine, I offer this suggestion with no guarantee of merchantability, applicability, educationality, frivolity or edificationality.  I do not recommend the use of Bingo cards during family prayer time.  But I do endorse teaching children the meaning of the prayers they say – whatever language you use.

Baltimore Catechism Flashcards

For anyone wanting to memorise the Baltimore Catechism.

First, install Anki – a nifty little open source program available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, Android, FreeBSD and even Nintendo DS.

Next start up the program and go to File > Download > Shared Decks. Type Catechism in the search box and that should bring up “Baltimore Catechism”. Install that one and you are ready to go!

Anki defaults to introducing 20 new cards each day, but you can change this to 2 or 3 or whatever you’re more comfortable with. It aims to review each card just before you’re likely to forget it. It’s called a Spaced Repetition Learning System. You can read more about the theory in this Wikipedia article.

Baltimore Catechism No. 2The Baltimore Catechism No2 deck has 421 questions. You might be doing it bit by bit in another program such as the Classic Catechism course from CLAA. The cards are tagged by lesson and question number, so you can select which question numbers you wish to work on. Otherwise it just ploughs through from beginning to end.

The deck was made from the Project Gutenberg text of the Baltimore Catechism No 2 – etext #14552. The imprimatur is from 1885 but the fasting rules have been updated in accordance with the 1977 edition.

The text was converted using Vim with much reference to Vim Regular Expressions 101. It only took a few hours but if you find it useful, feel free to drop me a line. If you feel inclined to make a donation, consider Aid to the Church in Need or the Anki project itself.

UPDATE: ankiweb.net deletes accounts that haven’t been active, so I think the actual deck I made has been deleted, but this time I checked (July 2016) there’s a Baltimore Catechism No 3 available. Here’s my update with deck at Brandt Lab.