Editor’s Note: Matthew Chicoine interviewed Elissa Tiprigan, founder of Catholic Family Crate via phone call on September 4th, 2023. Some of the questions have been rearranged and edited to provide the best reader experience without losing any integrity of the answers given.
Describe your faith journey:
I’m a cradle Catholic and attended Catholic schools through middle school. We went to youth groups and went to a few Steubenville conferences. My husband and I got married and moved to Denver. We were awakened to the richness of the Catholic Church through the witness of large Catholic families. In my adult life, I learned more about our faith. It’s not just a Sunday experience but it’s a joyful and beautiful and a rich history.
When was Catholic Family Crate created?
We started it in 2018.
What led up to the creation of Catholic Family Crate?
My oldest was two at the time and I was learning more about the liturgical feasts (I knew about Advent and Lent). I felt overwhelmed with wanting to share all these rich Catholic traditions. My sister experienced a Catholic community in Steubenville and I was talking with her on the phone about how to learn about the faith. I started to research saint feast days. My sister suggested a monthly Catholic subscription box. For about a year or two I was hoping someone else would develop a company to create a subscription box for Catholics.
Enter in Catholic Family Crate. I formulated a team: my parish priest Fr. Luis Granados, DCJM- our theologian, a few writer friends, and a couple friends who were Catholic Montessori teachers.
Eventually we hired our own artist to help us create more of our own content. At the end of every box we provided a survey. The most popular items our customers selected were the items we created.
I was on a date with my husband at Barnes & Noble and remember telling him how we couldn’t find high quality Catholic products that were affordable. I wanted my kids to have good quality Catholic resources.
After the fourth box, it became apparent we needed to switch to include all our own products.
In 2019 we adjusted our mission statement: to provide high quality and affordable Catholic resources.
Do you have a specialized illustrator for your products?
Yes, since 2019 we hired an illustrator, new writer, and a new theologian.
I didn’t have a desire to be a business owner when I began this journey. It started as a need to fill for my family. I said “yes” to the little “yeses” God sent my way.
How did find your illustator?
We found her through Instagram. We also have had various graphic designers helped with colors and backgrounds when it comes to mass production.
What’s your favorite product you have created for Catholic Family Crate?
Our Pray by Sticker Book. It’s 10 different Catholic images. You match up the stickers with the numbers on the page. At the end you have a beautiful Catholic mosaic. It is an opportunity to keep your child busy with screen-free activity.
I’ve played with your Catholic Playing Cards and enjoyed the artwork and the saints you picked. Describe the symbolism and intention beyond the cards.
We planned to have the Jesus as the King, Mary as the Queen, Joseph as the Jack, and the Holy Spirit as the Ace. We did plan to have a diversity of older and modern saints along with having an equal number of male and female saints.
I could see doing other card themes such as boy and girl saint decks or a Marian deck.
What other products do you have in the works?
A Bingo deck for Catholic-themed party, an oversized activity sheet for the Doctors of the Church, and A Card Ring-Doctors of the Church Edition.
Why should you be Catholic?
Because of the Eucharist.
Elissa Tiprigan is the founder of Catholic Family Crate. Catholic Family Crate makes Catholic educational resources, games, art, stickers, subscription boxes, and more to make growing in the Catholic faith easy and fun. They are on a mission to revolutionize Catholic resources and make them affordable, accessible, high-quality, and engaging. In her mind, she’s an accidental entrepreneur, but she’s grateful for God’s wild plan for her life. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and four children.
Editor’s Note: Matthew Chicoine interviewed Allie Kintz via phone call on August 21st, 2023. Some of the questions have been rearranged and edited to provide the best reader experience without losing any integrity of the answers given.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your family.
I have two boys (5 and 8) and live in Central Oregon. I love teaching board games to family and friends. Our kids are in a local Catholic school. We live in a unique region of Oregon where there are lots of outdoor activities: snowboarding, hiking, and paddleboarding.
How did you develop a passion for playing board games?
When the rise of Settlers of Catan came about, my husband and I dove headfirst into board gaming as a hobby. We bought all the Catan variants. Then we went into more Euro-games, work-placement games and moved to Pandemic. During Covid we moved, and we spent more quality time playing board games. We expanded our collection to campaign style games. The games were fun, but the experience was different.
Our collection has grown exponentially in the past three years. Learning strategy and teaching games to people we found fun too.
How important is an easy to follow and clear rulebook?
Really, important. I have found video tutorials helpful too.
How many board games do you own?
At least 250 🙂
What are your favorite games of all-time?
Quacks of Quedlinburg; Space Base (similar mechanic to Catan); Arkham Horror Card Game; Three Sisters; Castles of Burgundy (Deluxe Version)
Describe your Catholic faith.
Cradle Catholic. Both my husband and I were raised by devout Catholic parents. After my husband and I got married, we were thinking about our value system: I went through several bible studies with other women. I heard God’s call and sensed his presence in the decision making. This experienced nudged me closer to trusting in God. Another mini-conversion – occurred when my mom passed away five years ago. We were present for her last rites. Witnessing the last rites, I felt God’s presence. The room was so spirit-filled that no one was afraid. It was a beautiful thing to be a part of.
Do you have a favorite saint(s)?
I love Saint Joseph (as a model for my boys and husband); Saint Therese of Liseux (her life is fascinating, to know in suffering there is a purpose).
Do you find parallels between playing board games and Catholicism?
I’ve been listening to the Catechism in a Year and learned there is a reason for things we do, and a structure for why we pray or believe what we believe. In board games, at the end of a game you take what you were given and the strategies you were given, and the result is good and beautiful (whether you won or lost). Our Catholic faith can be overwhelming just like a thick rulebook in board games. We are given so many wonderful tools to help us grow in the Lord and raise our children.
How do you pass on the faith to your children?
Helping them grow in appreciation for the Mass and the symbolism in the liturgy. Teaching them the why. Revisiting the importance of each major part of the Mass.
Making it a point to put our children through Catholic schools. Being surrounded by catechesis each day is important to us.
Encouraging our children to participate actively in what our church community provides. Giving back to our community and being actively involved. Our older son is currently altar serves.
Thanks for taking time today to chat with me about board games and our Catholic faith!
Allie Kintz | Board Game Mom Devout Catholic and tabletop gamer, Allie has been married to her husband Jason for 12 years. They live in Central Oregon with their two boys, ages 5 and 8. When she’s not gaming with friends and family, you can find her enjoying outdoor activities, cooking, and traveling!
In the tapestry of Christian history, certain individuals shine as beacons of faith and devotion. Among these luminaries are Saints Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, both figures who play pivotal roles in the Gospel narratives surrounding the life, death, and teachings of Jesus Christ. Their stories reflect profound spiritual truths and lessons that continue to inspire believers across the world.
Jesus and Nicodemus: Embracing Spiritual Rebirth Through Baptism
The encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus, as recounted in the Gospel of John, offers a glimpse into the transformative power of spiritual rebirth through baptism. Nicodemus, a Pharisee, seeks wisdom under the cover of night. This darkness can be seen as symbolic of his initial lack of understanding or hesitation to fully embrace the truth of Jesus’ message. Yet, by approaching Jesus, Nicodemus takes the first step out of this spiritual darkness.
Their conversation centers around the concept of baptism—a second birth that ushers believers into the realm of the spirit. Through baptism, individuals shed their old selves, emerging as adopted children of God, free from the constraints of original sin. Nicodemus’s willingness to engage in dialogue, despite his initial reservations, demonstrates his openness to spiritual growth. He becomes a beacon of hope for all who seek understanding and a deeper connection with divine truth.
Joseph of Arimathea: Honoring the Dignity of the Human Body
In the final chapters of the Gospel of John, we find Joseph of Arimathea alongside Nicodemus, participating in one of the most poignant moments of Christ’s crucifixion and burial. Their actions serve as a testament to the sanctity of the human body and the importance of performing corporal works of mercy, such as burying the dead.
Joseph of Arimathea’s pivotal role in taking down Jesus’ body from the cross and providing a dignified burial emphasizes the reverence that must be accorded to every human being, even in death. This act of devotion aligns with Isaiah 53:9, portraying Joseph as fulfilling the prophecy that the Messiah would find rest among the wicked, despite his innocence.
Saints Nicodemus and Joseph: Symbolizing Life’s Bookends
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea represent the bookends of human existence, each illustrating crucial aspects of the Christian journey. Nicodemus, encountered at the beginning of the Gospel of John, serves as a reminder that even in moments of uncertainty or darkness, approaching Jesus with an open heart can lead to enlightenment and spiritual rebirth. His story encapsulates the truth that the seeker of truth will find illumination, even when grappling with fear or doubt.
On the other hand, Joseph of Arimathea’s appearance at the close of John’s Gospel encapsulates the significance of the body in Christian theology. His act of compassion and reverence for the body of Christ in death echoes the belief in the resurrection of the body and the Christian hope for eternal life. This reflects the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which underscores the respect and charity due to the bodies of the departed.
Saints Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, though living in different times and contexts, share a common thread in their interactions with Jesus and their roles as witnesses to profound spiritual truths. Nicodemus teaches us the importance of seeking the light of truth, even when it seems shrouded in darkness. Joseph of Arimathea, by honoring the body of Christ in death, reinforces the Christian commitment to the dignity of every human life.
Their stories remind us that the Christian journey spans from the moment of spiritual awakening to the final resting place, each step infused with profound meaning. The lessons they offer continue to guide believers in understanding the transformative power of faith and the compassionate responsibilities we hold toward one another, both in life and in death.