This week we have ideas for celebrating the Feast of St. Isidore the Farmer (including a garden blessing), Our Lady of Fatima, and the International Day of Families; we reflect on Sunday’s Scriptures, which focus on God’s love for the people of all nations; and we have more Mother’s Day ideas, a new meal game, and a couple of holy Catholics you probably have never heard of: the Venerable Edel Quinn and the 14-year-old St. Pancras.
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The Week at a Glance
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Preview Sunday’s readings with your kids; find the full text at the USCCB, and reflection prompts below.
Find a wealth of resources for Mother’s Day at AmericanCatholic.
Monday, May 11
Venerable Edel Quinn
Remember the girl whose great trust took her great places. Read her story at the Legion of Mary.
Tuesday, May 12
Celebrate the 14-year-old martyr who turned down the emperor’s promise of wealth. Learn more about St. Pancras at Wikipedia.
Wednesday, May 13
Tell the story of how the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal, and the miracle of the sun witnessed by 70,000 onlookers. Read the story of Our Lady of Fatima at the Catholic News Agency.
Thursday, May 14
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
The Solemnity of the Ascension is celebrated on the following Sunday in most dioceses of the United States.
Friday, May 15
Remember the man who became a saint walking behind a plow. Read his story at AmericanCatholic. See the LIVE IN CHRIST and CELEBRATION section below for ideas for celebrating his memorial.
International Day of Families
Watch trailers from the video series Families of the World for a glimpse into family life around the world.
Saturday, May 16
Catholic Communications Campaign Collection
Special Collection to Aid Nepal
What To Do This Week
Practice lectio divina with the Scriptures
Read one of this week’s Scripture readings (or a few verses) slowly and prayerfully with your kids a few times. For more about how to do lectio divina with kids of all ages, see Lectio Divina for Kids: Praying with Sacred Texts.
Have the kids lead a Mother’s Day blessing
During your family prayer time, let your kids lead a short prayer service for Mom. Younger kids can use the very brief Mother’s Day Prayer at AmericanCatholic; help older kids adapt the Mother’s Day blessing from the Book of Blessings.
Pray the Rosary in honor of Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady of Fatima revealed herself to the three young children as Our Lady of the Rosary. You can honor her by trying to pray the rosary this week. For tips on how to pray the rosary with young kids, see 9 Ways to Pray the Rosary with Kids. Bonus: Pray one of the traditional prayers or devotions of Our Lady of Fatima.
Pray for the Pope’s intentions for May
The Holy Father’s universal prayer intention for May is: “That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbors who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.”
His intention for evangelization is: “That Mary’s intercession may help Christians in secularised cultures be open to proclaiming Jesus.”
LIVE IN CHRIST
In honor of the feast of St. Isidore the Farmer, get informed about—and maybe involved with—Catholic Rural Life. “Catholic Rural Life (CRL) is a national, Catholic nonprofit organization dedicated to the vitality of the American countryside,” according to the organization’s website. “Since 1923, it has been applying the teachings of Jesus Christ to the social, economic, and spiritual development of rural America, strengthening and sustaining the Church in the countryside by educating and inspiring leaders and advocating on their behalf.”
There are lots of ways to get involved with Catholic Rural Life; visit their website to learn how. Or learn more about ethical food and agriculture, and incorporate those ideas into your own family’s lifestyle.
Visit a farmer’s market
Shopping at a farmer’s market is not only fun, but supports family farmers, protects the environment, and promotes a healthier diet for your family. You can find a farmer’s market near you at the USDA website.
Meal game: Who’s coming to dinner?
Have each person name one person they would like to invite to dinner; the person could be from any time or place, real or fictional. Ask: Why did you invite that person? What would you talk about? What would you serve for dinner? After everyone has had a turn, imagine what all the “dinner guests” would talk about together. (Thanks to the Family Dinner Project for that idea.)
Talk about the Scriptures
Younger kids: Act out, paraphrase, or read a kids’ version of one of Sunday’s readings. Paraphrase the words of Jesus about love and friendship: “If you are my friends, love one another as I have loved you.” What are some ways that you love one another in your family?
Older kids: Boost your kids’ understanding of the Scriptures with these study activities and discussion questions:
Ask: What line from Sunday’s readings stood out for you, or was most interesting? Which “spoke” to you the most? (Remind kids that when we listen to the Scriptures prayerfully, the Holy Spirit speaks to us through them.)
Provide context for the first reading: Note that a number of verses are omitted from the episode in the first reading. Read all of Acts 10, then take a look at the notes. Note that:
- Note that in the Old Testament, God made numerous covenants with the Israelites, establishing them as his “chosen people.” Many Jews interpreted God’s promises as being exclusively for the people of Israel—not the Gentiles, or non-Jews.
- Much of the book of Acts recounts how Gentiles (non-Jews) were gradually incorporated into the Church. Like the companions of Peter in this episode, many Jewish Christians were “astounded” that God’s favor extended to the Gentiles. They had assumed that only observant (and circumcised) Jews would receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
- Note the connection between this reading and the Psalm response. Peter says that God has made clear that those in every nation who respect God are acceptable to him; the Psalm proclaims that “the Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.”
Ask: The Holy Spirit worked dramatically in the life of Cornelius and his family. How is the work of the Holy Spirit apparent in your own life? Have you ever prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
Ask: In the Gospel reading, Jesus extends his friendship to his disciples. What is the basis of that friendship? (Loving one another as Jesus has loved us.)
Ask: What does it mean to love one another as Jesus has loved us? What does that look like? What are the implications for your family?
Celebrate the feast of St. Isidore by planting and blessing your garden
Celebrate the feast of St. Isidore the farmer this week by planting your garden and then blessing it, using the Blessing of Fields and Gardens from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.
Let your kids do some of the planting in their own corner of the yard, or in a small window planter. Planting seeds and growing a garden offers many opportunities for talking about faith, especially since the Bible is full of planting, growing, and harvesting metaphors. Check out the Family Gardening section of the Kids Gardening website for a wealth of ideas.
You can read about St. Isidore celebrations around the world at Wikipedia.
This week in The Grace
What do you say when your daughter tells you she’s been demoted in the hierarchy of her girlfriends? Read the reflection by Sherry Antonetti at The Grace.
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