March 25-March 31: Holy Week
Palm Sunday + St. Margaret Clitherow + St. John of Egypt + St. Tutilo of Gall + Holy Thursday + Good Friday + St. John Climacus + Easter Vigil
9 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS
1. Preview Holy Week with your kids and help them better participate in its liturgies with our handy-dandy list of 25 things to watch for during Palm Sunday and the Triduum — and challenge them to notice each item during the services. Download an abbreviated version of the article to give to your kids, and show them a two-minute video overview all about Holy Week.
2. Preview the readings for Palm Sunday and celebrate the Triduum at home. In the readings for this Sunday, us humans pull the ultimate flip flop. We welcome Jesus with palms then demand he be crucified. In this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home, Jen Schlameuss-Perry offers a reflection, discussion questions and ways your family can celebrate the Triduum without leaving home.
3. Make hearts of palm salad and welcome Jesus into your heart. The quickest way to a child’s heart is through his or her belly, right? Use this simple, zesty salad to spark a conversation with your littles ones about Palm Sunday and welcoming Jesus into their hearts with a simple prayer. The recipe and more are in this week’s Cooking with Catholic Kids by chef and mom Theresa Wilson. When you’re finished, check out Fish Eaters, which offers more traditions related to Palm Sunday, including step-by-step directions for making crosses out of palms (for after Mass, of course).
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4. Celebrate Holy Thursday with your kids. Make unleavened bread, eat festive food, strip your prayer table, and try out these other creative and simple ways to mark Holy Thursday at home with your family.
5. Take your kids to your diocesan chrism Mass. The chrism Mass is when the bishop of each diocese comes together with all of the priests in the diocese to bless the holy oils that will be used throughout the coming year for sacramental celebrations. It’s an impressive Mass! Jen Schlameuss-Perry has all the details of its significance and historical context, plus discussion questions and activities you can do at home with your kids.
6. Let your kids follow Jesus’ Passion with a Good Friday timeline. Becky Arganbright created a progressive timeline featuring pictures of Jesus’ passion that she updated throughout the day on Good Friday. She explains what she did, and her kids’ wonderful response, in Make a Good Friday Timeline.
If you’re not as artistically inclined as Becky, you can now download our Stations of the Cross for Children posters in a printable letter-size format. Or order the large cardstock posters now to get them in time for Good Friday.
7. Be quiet, fast, and pray together on Good Friday. How do you observe the most solemn day of the Church year with your kids? Here are a few suggestions and links to more resources.
8. Take your kids to the Easter Vigil. Yes, you can take your kids to the Easter Vigil, the high point of the Church’s liturgical year. Here’s how, plus eight cool things for your kids to spot.
9. Get parenting inspiration from the Beatitudes. The Eight Beatitudes are a surprising but often overlooked source Catholic men can turn to for guidance in becoming the men, husbands, and fathers our families need. Dr. Gregory Popcak shares eight “BeDaDitudes” for Catholic dads in his inaugural column for Peanut Butter & Grace. Dr. Popcak is the author of many books, including The BeDADitudes: 8 Ways to Be An Awesome Dad. To learn more about Dr. Popcak and his ministry, visit CatholicCounselors.com.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
Over in PB & Grace Parents, we’re welcoming Fr. Geoffrey Brook to Peanut Butter & Grace. He’ll be fielding your questions for a new video feature geared toward helping parents explain the faith to kids. Get your questions in now by leaving a comment on his intro video.
We’re also talking about homeschooling, puberty curriculum in schools, bullying, and other topics related to Catholic parenting. Join the closed group by requesting to be added, and introduce yourself on our introductions thread.
GET BOOKS NOW FOR EASTER
So many books…so little time to order before Easter. But be sure to take 20% off for a limited time with coupon code #bookbasket.
YOUR CATHOLIC CALENDAR
Say an extra prayer for the catechumenate in your parish or diocesan community.
Our new calendar web app features saints’ feast days and important Church events, with links to more resources, images, a variety of viewing options, and the option to sync with your own calendar.
Sunday, March 25
Monday, March 26
Tuesday, March 27
Wednesday, March 28
Thursday, March 29
Friday, March 30
Saturday, March 31
COMING UP . . .
- Easter Sunday (April 1)
- Divine Mercy Sunday (April 8)
- Annunciation (April 9)
- Ascension of the Lord (May 13)
ALL THE COOL CATHOLICS…
… are jamming out to the Catholic music playlists compiled by The Catholic Playlist Show, which dubs itself as “the best and newest contemporary Christian music from Catholic artists.” Rock on, fellow faithful.
RAISING FAITHFUL CITIZENS: PRO-LIFE PREGNANCY CENTERS & FIRST AMENDMENT DEFENSE ACT
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, praised pro-life pregnancy centers in a statement marking oral arguments recently heard at the Supreme Court.
“Pro-life pregnancy care centers embody everything that is right and good in our nation: generosity, compassion and love that is offered to support both mother and child. But rather than applauding and encouraging the selfless and life-affirming work of these centers, some governments want to force them to provide free advertising for the violent act of abortion in direct violation of their pro-life convictions and the First Amendment,” he said in the statement. “The United States Supreme Court cannot let this happen. We pray that the court will do the right thing and uphold our fundamental right to free speech when it decides this case.”
The case, NIFLA v. Becerra, refers to a California law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise information about abortions.
In other news, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, expressed support for the First Amendment Defense Act. The act, which recently was introduced in the senate, would protect people and agencies from federal government penalization based upon the person or agency acting in accordance with the belief that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.
The Church leaders sent their support in a letter to Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), who introduced the act. It can be read in its entirety online here.
“Living the encounter with Jesus means allowing yourself to be turned inside out by grace every day.”
— Pope Francis
Family Time! is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust.
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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).
The Stations of the Cross for Children
The Stations of the Cross for Children was designed especially for younger children, with colorful illustrations and simple text that introduces them to the Passion of Jesus Christ on their level. Each station takes about two minutes to complete, including about thirty seconds of silent prayer. Optional prayers and Scripture references for each station offer a variety of ways to adapt and expand The Stations of the Cross for Children for older kids. And the opening and closing prayers place the Passion in the larger context of Jesus’ mission…and every Christian’s call to continue that mission in the world today.
Molly McBride and the Party Invitation
Molly McBride is turning six, and her momma is planning a BIG party. Everyone in Molly’s class is supposed to get an invitation. But should a certain class bully be invited, too? Or would it be better if his were “lost”? Join Molly and friends as they learn that doing acts of charity, while always a good thing, isn’t always a party. It’s Molly McBride and the Party Invitation: A Story About the Virtue of Charity.
The Catholic Family Book of Prayers
Do you want to introduce your kids to the richness of the Christian prayer tradition? The best way to do that is to pray with them, and now there’s a beautiful collection of Catholic prayers and meditations designed just for that purpose: The Catholic Family Book of Prayers: A Treasury of Prayers and Meditations for Families to Pray Together. It’s packed with prayers, blessings, meditations, saintly wisdom, and artwork—all selected specifically for Catholic families to pray together. Available in digital, softcover, hardcover, and handcrafted editions.
Lectio Divina for Teens: Reading God’s Messages to You
Lectio Divina for Teens: Reading God’s Messages to You introduces young people to the ancient prayer practice of lectio divina in a guided journal format. It features a brief, accessible introduction to lectio divina, walking readers through the method step by step, then turns them loose to try the method themselves in eight pre-selected readings. Seven additional blank journal entries provide space for readers to choose their own readings; a list of suggested texts is included. The colorful, beautifully designed interior provides a warm and welcome space for reflection and prayer. Lectio Divina for Teens has received an imprimatur from the Diocese of Winona.
The All Saints’ Day Party
Maggie and Max can’t wait for the All Saints’ Day party. There’s just one problem: they can’t decide which saint to dress up as…and the party is just a week away! Join Maggie and Max as their friends and family tell them about six holy men and women who offer living examples of what it means to be a saint…even if you’re a kid!
Turning Grief Inside Out: Surviving Pregnancy Loss with God’s Help
Drawing on her own personal experience of pregnancy loss, Christine Hendersen offers practical and spiritual advice—as well as a hopeful path forward—for grieving mothers and the people who love them.
Be Yourself! A Journal for Catholic Girls: “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire!” Those words are at the heart of Be Yourself! A Journal for Catholic Girls, which is designed to help girls explore their identity and purpose in life in light of the wisdom of the Catholic Church, including half a dozen female saints. Ages 9 and up.
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.
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.