June 25-July 1: 12th Week of Ordinary Time
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul + St/ Pelagius + St. Cyril of Alexandria + Ven. Pierre Toussaint + St. Junipero Serra
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7 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS THIS WEEK
|Make a personalized prayer box for your kids. Help even the youngest children take five minutes a day for personal prayer by making them personal prayer boxes. Here’s how.|
|Meet Venerable Pierre Toussaint! It’s his feast day at the end of this month, and we have a story for kids and lots of resources to celebrate the man who began life as a slave and ended it as a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and one of the most-respected figures in New York City.|
|Use the natural world as a springboard to prayer. Are you going camping or visiting a natural area on vacation this summer? Then you need to tap into the Catholic Church’s long tradition of connecting with nature as a way of connecting with God. Learn about the Church’s teaching about God’s revelation in his creation and some of the saints who were known for their close relationship with animals, then follow our suggestions for praying “the natural way.”|
|Don’t let fear rule your life. That’s the clear message of this Sunday’s readings; if you want to be afraid of anything, Jesus says, be afraid of losing your soul. You can preview the Sunday readings in this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home.|
|Check out the top five reasons for your kids to learn Latin this summer. Not on the list: it beats laying around playing video games!|
|Don’t miss the Fortnight for Freedom. June 21-July 4 is the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom. The event calls on Catholics to pray, reflect, and act on behalf of religious freedom; check with your diocese and parish for local events, or check the USCCB website for a wealth of resources . . . including a list of current threats to religious freedom in the U.S. and abroad.|
|Teach kids about the dignity of work. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question adults love to ask kids. But what happens when your child says they want to be a school bus driver? “We simply need to do a better job of teaching kids that all work, done with dignity, has value,” says guest columnist Lauren Cunningham in What We Should Teach Our Kids About Dreams, Jobs and Dignity.|
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SAINTS FOR YOUR KIDS TO KNOW & LOVE
St. Pelagius (Monday), who was captured by the Moors when he was ten, and imprisoned for three years. The caliph offered him his freedom if only he would convert to Islam, but Pelagius refused, saying: “Christian I am, and Christian I shall continue to be.” He is a martyr.
St. Cyril of Alexandria (Tuesday), the hot-tempered bishop of Alexandria who defended the teaching that Jesus was fully God and fully man, a teaching that Cyril said justified giving Mary the title, “Mother of God.” “Saints are not born with halos around their heads,” Franciscan Media notes delicately. “Cyril, recognized as a great teacher of the Church, began his career as archbishop of Alexandria, Egypt, with impulsive, often violent, actions.” Fortunately, he moderated his approach by the time of his death.
St. Irenaeus (Wednesday) was a bishop who used reason and gentle persuasion to help others understand that God’s creation is good, not evil. WIkipedia succinctly lays out his importance as one of the earliest of the Church fathers (130-202): “Against the Gnostics, who said that they possessed a secret oral tradition from Jesus himself, Irenaeus maintained that the bishops in different cities are known as far back as the Apostles and that the bishops provided the only safe guide to the interpretation of Scripture. His polemical work is credited for laying out the ‘orthodoxies of the Christian church, its faith, its preaching and the books that it held as sacred authority.’ His writings, with those of Clement and Ignatius, are taken as among the earliest signs of the doctrine of the primacy of the Roman see. Irenaeus is the earliest witness to recognition of the canonical character of all four gospels.”
Sts. Peter and Paul (Thursday), important leaders in the early Church; Peter was the first leader of the Church (the pope, as we would say today), and Paul preached the Gospel through his extensive travels and writings. “As early as the year 258, there is evidence of an already lengthy tradition of celebrating the solemnities of both Saint Peter and Saint Paul on the same day,” says the Catholic News Agency. “Together, the two saints are the founders of the See of Rome, through their preaching, ministry and martyrdom there.”
Venerable Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853), a former Haitian slave who became one of the most popular hair dressers in New York City; together with his wife, they used his earnings to free other slaves and do charitable work. He was widely respected among the New York society ladies whose hair he dressed; a biography written by an admirer contains several stories about his work: “He went continually from house to house performing the office of hairdresser, and was considered quite as a friend among the fair ladies who employed him. They talked to him of their affairs, and felt the most perfect reliance upon his prudence; and well they might, for never in this large circle was he known to give cause for an unpleasant remark. Once a lady, whose curiosity was stronger than her sense of propriety, closely urged him to make some communication about another person’s affairs. ‘Do tell me, Toussaint,’ said she, ‘I am sure you know all about it.’ ‘Madam,’ he replied with dignity, though with the utmost respect, ‘Toussaint dresses hair, he is no news journal.'”
St. Junipero Serra (Saturday), was a Spanish Franciscan missionary to Mexico and California, where he established many missions (including San Diego) and baptized thousands of Native Americans.
Peanut Butter & Grace recommends families use Give Us This Day or another daily missal for daily readings, saint stories, and prayers. Give Us This Day is available at Amazon or directly from Liturgical Press. The app is available from your favorite app store.
MARK YOUR (CATHOLIC) CALENDAR FOR . . .
- Fortnight for Freedom (June 21-July 4)
- Peter’s Pence Collection (July 1-2)
- St. Thomas (July 3)
- Independence Day (July 4)
- St. Benedict (July 11)
RAISING FAITHFUL CITIZENS
In the wake of their spring meeting, the U.S. Catholic bishops have been extra busy reacting to policy developments out of Washington, D.C. Individual bishops have released several statements on behalf of the bishops’ conference:
- The draft health care bill released by the U.S. Senate was declared “unacceptable” by Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development: “It must be made clear now, however, that this proposal retains many of the fundamental defects of the House of Representatives-passed health care legislation, and even further compounds them,” he said in a statement. “It is precisely the detrimental impact on the poor and vulnerable that makes the Senate draft unacceptable as written.
- Numerous bishops wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, John F. Kelly, urging him to defer deportation of dozens of Iraqis, particularly Christians and Chaldean Catholics, who pose no threat to U.S. public safety.
- Responding to the administration’s restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, expressed regret: “The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in solidarity with the bishops of Cuba and the Holy See, has long held that human rights and religious freedom will be strengthened through more engagement between the Cuban and American people, not less. For decades, we have called for the U.S. travel ban and embargo against Cuba to be lifted.”
Even if we speak with a low voice, even if we whisper without opening the lips, even if we call to him only from the depths of our heart, our unspoken word always reaches God, and God always listens.
—Clement of Alexandria
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
We’re talking about teaching kids meditation and contemplation, and also what resources people use for family prayer time; join the discussion on our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents. It’s a closed group, so you’ll need to request to be added.
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Here’s a list of most of our books, ordered by publication date (most recent first).
I Can Be Happy, Too: A Book about Attitudes uses simple rhyme accompanied by Scripture verses and sweet, expressive illustrations, to teach children that while we can’t control the bad things that happen to us, we can control how we respond to disappointment and adversity.
Blessed Is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss invites grieving mothers to let the Blessed Mother accompany them on their journey of grief and healing. Mary not only understands their loss, but wishes to bring mothers to healing through the saving work of her son. For each mystery of the rosary, author Heidi Indahl compassionately shares her own experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss, offering insights about how those losses are connected to the experience of Jesus and Mary as revealed by the mysteries of the rosary.
MISSION:CHRISTIAN June-July 2017 includes features on Pentecost, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, St. Pierre Toussaint, St. Kateri Tekawitha, and more. A checklist of fun summer activities, plus “Christian missions,” Scripture readings, prayer prompts, and saint profiles for every day will keep your kids busy!
In the Realm of Mist and Mercy, our new YA fantasy/adventure novel with a Catholic heart and sensibility; it comes with an accompanying Lesson Plan book that helps parents and kids connect the story to teachings of the Catholic faith.
The Illuminated Rosary hardcover complete set. “I can lead the rosary now!” That’s what we hear kids saying when they have one of the Illuminated Rosary books in their laps. The words of the prayers are printed on every page, opposite a sacred artwork depicting the mystery of the rosary being said. Kids love these books, but so do adults and grandparents! Available in hardcover (allow extra time for shipping) or softcover sets.
The Stations of the Cross for Children. Here’s a downloadable PDF with sacred art depicting each of the Stations of the Cross, along with a simple reflection and prayer, geared for young children.
77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids, now in hardcover from Dynamic Catholic; to celebrate, we’re offering hardcover copies for $12, about 50% off the cover price, while supplies last. Whether you are just getting started with family prayer or wish to broaden your horizons, 77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids can help, offering practical, kid-friendly guides to Christian prayer practices both ancient and new. Features include: age-appropriate adaptations for young children, older kids, and teens; articles on a wide range of practices; Talking Points…explanations of prayer practices that kids might have questions about; cross-references to the Catechism, Scripture, and church documents; an appendix containing thirty-three common and useful Catholic prayers; a quick-find index makes it easy to find prayer ideas, and doubles as a checklist to track your progress.
Molly McBride and the Plaid Jumper. Kids love the spunky young Molly McBride and her feisty sidekick, the wolf-pet Francis. In this book, Molly faces off against the dreaded plaid jumper that she’s going to have to wear when she starts school in the fall. Along with her new friends, Dominic and Fr. Matt, she learns all about uniforms and our true identity in God.
Paddy and the Wolves. Young Paddy can’t sit still during morning prayers, but he’s more than happy to help the shepherd, Barra, watch sheep for the day! But who will watch Paddy when he wanders into the woods? As he explores the wilderness of coastal Britain, Paddy encounters many delights and dangers—and ultimately, the One who watches over him through it all. Available as a hardcover or softcover storybook, or a coloring book with complete text; also available is a downloadable board game. Features the art of Catholic folk artist Jen Norton.
The Children’s Little Advent Book. The Children’s Little Advent Book is designed to help parents with children ages 4-7 on a journey through Advent to Christmas. Each day’s entry includes a brief Scripture reading, a reflection, discussion questions, a brief prayer, and a simple coloring page for children to complete after praying with their families. With The Children’s Little Advent Book, parents have an Advent resource specifically designed for short family prayer services with young children.
Corporal Works of Mercy Cards. Teach a lesson about the Works of Mercy with these downloadable cards and teaching guide.
Little Lessons from St. Francis of Assisi. “Make me an instrument of your peace.” The Peace Prayer of St. Francis, beloved by people of all faiths around the world, beautifully captures the spirit of “the poor little man” from Assisi, as well as the aspirations of our time: for hope, for reconciliation, for peace.
Flowers for Jesus: A Story of Thérèse of Lisieux as a Young Girl. Little Thérèse Martin could be a very stubborn young girl. All too often, if someone wanted her to say “yes,” she wanted to say “no”! But then, as she is preparing for her First Communion, Thérèse discovers a way to turn her everyday trials and tribulations into something beautiful for Jesus. Join Thérèse (and her family) as she learns to “gather roses from amid thorns.” Available in hardcover and softcover editions.
La Florecita de Jesús: Una Parábola de Santa Teresita Del Niño Jesús. This is the Spanish-language edition of The Little Flower. La autora Becky Arganbright ha adoptado las enseñanzas de las orecitas de santa Teresita en esta encantadora parábola para niños. La joven Teresita aprende que aunque es pequeña, con la ayuda de Dios, su pequeñez puede ser una manera de hacer grandes cosas para Dios. La ilustradora Tracey Arvidson da vida a la joven Teresa Martín, y a sus ores en la parábola, con sus maravillosas ilustraciones.
Molly McBride and the Purple Habit. Meet Molly McBride! Molly loves her new purple habit — it’s just like the ones her friends, the Children of Mary Sisters, wear. She loves it so much, in fact, that she doesn’t want to take it off…not even for her sister’s big day! Join Molly and her wolf-pet Francis as they learn all about nuns, habits, and giving your heart to Jesus.
Living Sparks of God: Stories of Saints for Young Catholics to Color. Here are fourteen lively two-minute stories to introduce young Catholics to some of the Church’s most beloved saints. Each story is accompanied by two coloring pages: a gorgeously detailed portrait of the saint, and a scene of the saint in action.
The Gift of Birth: Discerning God’s Presence During Childbirth. Is the process of giving birth a medical problem to be solved, a hurdle to be overcome on the way to motherhood . . . or is it something more? Could it be, as Susan Windley-Daoust proposes, that giving birth is a gift from God, laden with signs that speak to women about their identity, their calling, and their destiny? If so, then learning to read those embodied signs during pregnancy and labor could transform the way women experience childbirth. These signs reveal that God is not only powerfully present in the whole birthing process, but desires to actively work with women to bring forth new life.
Little Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux: An Introduction to Her Words and Wisdom. Little Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux presents brief excerpts from Story of a Soul as a way of introducing those unfamiliar with Thérèse to some of the essential themes of her spirituality. The words of St. Thérèse are accompanied by the artwork of award-winning watercolorist Jeanine Crowe, a wonderful aid to prayerful meditation on the words and wisdom of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Little Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux includes twenty-one selections from the words of St. Thérèse, twenty artworks, and ten questions for reflection and discussion.
The Little Flower: A Parable of St. Thérèse of Liseux. Becky Arganbright has adapted St. Thérèse’s lesson of the little flowers into a delightful parable for children. The young Thérèse learns that even though she might be little, with God’s help, her littleness can be a way of doing great things for the Kingdom of God. Illustrator Tracey Arvidson brings the young Thérèse Martin (and the flowers of her parable) to life in gorgeous illustrations.
Sense of the Sacred: Illuminated Book of Catholic Prayers. Sense of the Sacred: Illuminated Book of Catholic Prayers contains thirty traditional Catholic prayers every child should have at hand, each accompanied by a beautiful, hand-drawn illustration to aid in prayerful meditation on the mysteries of the faith.
Sense of the Sacred: A Coloring Book for Young Illuminators. For centuries, the Catholic Church has used art to illuminate the sacred mysteries of the Faith. Now, your child can follow in that tradition by making sacred art with the help of Sense of the Sacred: Coloring Book for Young Illuminators. This book contains 30 hand-drawn illustrations and accompanying Bible verses, drawing on the rich legacy of statues and stained glass in our Catholic Faith.