July 16-22: 15th Week of Ordinary Time
St. Hedwig + St. Margaret of Antioch + Servant of God Bartolomé de las Casas + St. Mary Magdalene
Get 15% off coloring books, prayer books, storybooks, and more at the Gracewatch Media store with coupon code GRACE15.
7 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS THIS WEEK
|1. Try out “couch catechism” time. Every morning after breakfast, Tracy Bua Smith’s kids gather on the couch for prayer and a little lesson about the faith. Get all the details about what she does, then try it in your family this week.
|2. Get inspired to create a home oratory. Whether you already have a little home oratory (prayer space or altar) or you’re looking for ideas to get started, check out Stephanie Kung’s cool home oratory for inspiration.
|3. Sow some seeds and be fruitful. This Sunday’s readings are all about sowing seeds…and reaping the harvest. Preview the Sunday readings with your kids in Breaking Open the Word at Home.
|4. Celebrate the feast of St. Margaret. St. Margaret of Antioch was more than just another early Christian virgin martyr: she was a dragon-slayer, too! Her legend makes for a great story for children. Check it out in Playing with the Saints!
|5. Make magdalenas for the feast of Mary Magdalene. Spaniards have been celebrating the feast of Mary Magdalene with magdalenas—small, sweet sponge cakes—for centuries. When Ryan Langr and his daughter tried them out this past week, and have a complete recipe and step-by-step directions, plus an appropriate prayer to go with it.|
|6. Get a little awesome this weekend. The LEGO Batman movie is finally out on DVD, which is good, because it’s great fun for the whole family (with one small caveat). Get Adrienne Thorne’s review for Catholic families.
|7. Pump up your bedtime prayer. Is your kids’ bedtime prayer routine feeling a little flat? Summertime is a great time to change things up, and we’ve got 14 Ways to Do Bedtime Prayer with Your Kids…plus a couple bonus ideas!|
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SAINTS FOR YOUR KIDS TO KNOW & LOVE
St. Hedwig (Monday). As queen of Poland, she established churches, hospitals, universities, and ordered the Scriptures to be translated into Polish. She even funded a team of priests who sang the psalms day and night in Krakow’s cathedral!
Servant of God Bartolomé de las Casas (Tuesday). As a child, Bartolomé witnessed the return of Christopher Columbus to Seville with Native Americans, an event that led him to travel to the Americas after becoming a priest. There, he owned a plantation and Indian slaves, and witnessed the cruel way the Spanish conquistadors treated the Native Americans. This led Bartolomé (1484-1566) to give up his own plantation in Cuba and join the Dominican Order. He made it his life mission to win justice for the natives, insisting that Christ was being crucified in their suffering, which he described in great detail to anyone in authority who would listen. “I leave in the Indies Jesus Christ,” he wrote, “our God, scourged and afflicted and beaten and crucified, not once, but thousands of times.”
St. Margaret of Antioch (Thursday). When she was 15 years old, the governor ordered her executed because of her Christian faith. According to legend, she was swallowed by a dragon, but escaped when he gagged on the cross she carried.
St. Mary Magdalene (Saturday). After Jesus cast out seven demons from her, Mary Magdalene and some other women began to follow him. These women remained with Jesus during the crucifixion, and Mary was one of the first to witness his Resurrection. “Mary Magdalene is mentioned in each of the four gospels in the New Testament, but not once does it mention that she was a prostitute or a sinner,” notes the BBC. “At some point Mary Magdalene became confused with two other women in the Bible: Mary, the sister of Martha, and the unnamed sinner from Luke’s gospel (7:36-50) both of whom wash Jesus’ feet with their hair. In the 6th Century, Pope Gregory the Great made this assumption official by declaring in a sermon that these three characters were actually the same person: Mary Magdalene, repentant saint. The Catholic Church did later declare that Mary Magdalene was not the penitent sinner, but this was not until 1969.” Celebrate her feast by making magdalenas!
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 . . .
- St. James (July 25)
- Ignatius of Loyola (July 31)
RAISING FAITHFUL CITIZENS: NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
A joint declaration issued July 6 by U.S. and European Catholic bishops calls for all nations to work together to develop a “credible, verifiable and enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.” Entitled “Nuclear Disarmament: Seeking Human Security,” the declaration was issued to coincide with the conclusion of a meeting hosted this week by the United Nations “to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” Although the United States and most European nations are not joining these negotiations, the Catholic bishops acknowledge, “[t]he fact that most of the world’s nations are participating in this effort testifies to the urgency of their concern, an urgency intensified by the prospect of nuclear terrorism and proliferation.”
“The teaching of our Church – from the Catechism to Saint Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis – about the urgent need for nuclear disarmament is clear,” said Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace. “It is time for us to heed this moral imperative and promote human security both within the United States and Europe, and globally.”
The full text of the joint declaration is available at the USCCB website.
“Pick up the Gospel, select a passage, read it once, read it twice; imagine, as if you see what is happening, and contemplate Jesus . . . . And in this way, your knowledge of Jesus will be greater and your hope will grow.”
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
We’re brainstorming ways to get kids to stop talking over one another at dinner (no brilliant ideas yet) and discussing the finer points of “how much Mass can you miss for it still to count” over 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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Remember to grab 15% off your order at Gracewatch Media with coupon code GRACE15.
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.