The Bread PDF
What’s happening in the Church next week, and how can your family participate?
- This week we’re celebrating the Fourth Week of Easter . . . plus the feast days of St. George, St. Anselm, St. Gianna Molla, and a saint who was made bishop at age 27.
- This week’s readings present Jesus as both the paschal Lamb as well as the Good Shepherd. Learn about the connection in Breaking Open the Word at Home.*
- Holy hour with a four-month-old? It might be different, but it’s no less holy, says Heidi Indahl in The Intentional Family.*
- Our bookstore is debuting The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, a great catechism resource for teens from Saint Mary’s Press. Check it out!
- It’s Earth Day this week, and we’ve got suggestions for how to put a Catholic spin on the celebration.*
- Check out even more new content in Even More for Your Week at the end of this e-mail.
- Use your April coupon code (e-mail edition only) for 20% off at the new Gracewatch Media Store, where you’ll find books from Peanut Butter & Grace and other Catholic partners!
- Please welcome Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry, who is stepping in to help “bake” The Bread for a few months so Jerry and Steve and the rest of the Gracewatch Media crew can spend more time making books. Thanks for this issue, Jen!
* Link to the article under MORE FOR YOUR WEEK, below.
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THE WORD THIS SUNDAY
SUNDAY, April 17, 2016
Fourth Sunday of Easter
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth.
—Acts 13:14, 43-52
We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
—Revelation 7: 9, 14b-17
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.”
How are you “a light” to other people?
THE CHURCH THIS WEEK
MONDAY April 18
Blessed James Oldo (1364-1404)
A really rich guy who changed his life after two of his children died in the plague; he dedicated the rest of his life to caring for the poor and sick.
TUESDAY April 19
St. Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962)
Gianna was a wife, mother and doctor of medicine. She became ill when she was pregnant, but told her doctors she did not want any treatment that would harm the baby.
WEDNESDAY April 20
St. Conrad of Parzham (1818-1894)
Known for his kindness, patience and helpfulness, Conrad was a very prayerful Franciscan friar and the porter (doorkeeper) of his friary.
THURSDAY April 21
St. Anselm (1033-1109)
Anselm wanted to be a monk when he was a teen, but his dad wouldn’t let him. When he did become a monk, he became famous for his writings about the Christian faith.
FRIDAY April 22
St. Adalbert of Prague (956-997)
Made bishop at age 27, he was exiled and later martyred for preaching the Gospel.
SATURDAY April 23
St. George (d. 303)
An early Christian martyr who died for Christ; later, people imagined him as a knight who slayed dragons and rescued princesses.
THE WEEKS AHEAD
2 weeks to the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (May 5)
2 weeks to National Day of Prayer (May 5)
3 weeks to Mother’s Day (May 8)
GET YOUR GRACE ON
Try out a handful of these ideas this week! Numbers in brackets are points for the #GetYourGraceOn game.
Prayerfully preview the Scriptures for this Sunday with your kids. The second reading says that people from every “nation, race, people and tongue” were in heaven worshipping Jesus. The Church consistently prays for the whole world. Who in particular can your family be praying for? 
This week, take turns writing general intercessions for people who you know need prayers—people who are suffering persecutions in other countries, the poor in our own country, those who do not know God, those who are too hurt to have a relationship with God… 
Mark Earth Day with prayers inspired by nature. See “Prayers Inspired by Nature” at pbgrace.com, plus saints who had special connections to the natural world.* 
Keep all those who will be receiving the sacraments of initiation (First Eucharist, Confirmation) this spring in your family prayers. 
Sunday’s second reading and the Gospel both talk about shepherds and sheep; last week’s Gospel also refers to sheep. Give your kids a first-hand experience with these skittish, cute, and smelly little critters. Visit a petting zoo, or check out some videos on YouTube to see how sheep behave. Ask: What is the Bible saying when it uses sheep as a spiritual image? Then make a sheep craft together; search for “50 Cute Lamb & Sheep Crafts” for ideas. 
Mark Earth Day the Catholic way; see “5 Ways to Put a Catholic Spin on Earth Day” at pbgrace.com.* The article includes prayers, activity ideas, kid-friendly links, and an overview of Catholic teaching on the environment. 
For Earth Day, help your kids do a “home audit” to find ways to save energy and cut down on waste. Then take one more step: Make a plan for reducing waste; include a one-month goal for reducing trash and saving energy. Go to earthday.org for more ideas. 
Make paper flowers for your kids to give to other children who receive their First Communion this spring. Search “easy paper flower craft” for ideas. 
Most of this week’s saints experienced success. St. Gianna was a medical doctor; St. Conrad had an important job early in his career; St. Anselm was made an archbishop and was named a Doctor of the Church (i.e., one of the top teachers about the faith), and St. Adalbert became a bishop at age 27! All of them were focused on serving God—not on worldly success. Talk with your older kids: What is most important to you in your future? What factors will help guide the decisions that you make for your future? What do you hope for? What are your goals? 
Stump the Parents! The Hierarchy of the Church
Have your kids look at the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online) #177–193, then let them choose questions to pose to you; they get points if they can “stump” you, you get points if you answer correctly. See the full rules at “Stump the Parents” at pbgrace.com.
- When the Church talks about “the faithful”, to whom are they referring? (177)
- Why is there a hierarchy in the Church? (#179)
- What is the mission of the Pope? (#182)
- How do Bishop’s carry out their mission of teaching? (#184)
- When is the infallibility of the teaching body of the Church used? (#185)
- What are the three offices of the lay faithful (what three calls were we baptized into)? (#189,190, 191)
- What is the meaning of “consecrated life”? (#192)
- What does the consecrated life offer to the Church? (#193)
EVEN MORE FOR YOUR WEEK
Holy Hour with a Four-Month-Old
At first I wondered whether bringing my baby to adoration was a less-than-brilliant idea . . . until he began to show me Jesus through his four-month-old eyes. by Heidi Indahl
Lambs and Shepherds| Breaking Open the Word at Home
This Sunday’s readings are all about Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb, as well as the Good Shepherd who leads us to eternal life. by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
Five Ways to Put a Catholic Spin on Earth Day
The Church preached respect and care for the natural world long before it was cool. This Earth Day, share some of that tradition with your kids.