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Create in Me a Clean Heart • Family Time!

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Reading Time: 15 minutes

March 18-March 24: Fifth Week of Lent

St. Cyril of Jerusalem + St. Joseph + St. Maria Josefa Sancho Guerra + St. Wulfran + St. Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello + Blessed Clemens August + St. Turibius of Mogrovejo + Blessed Oscar Romero


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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




1. Feed your kids, body and soul, with a little table catechesis. It’s important to take time explain the faith to your kids…but how do you find the time? Take a cue from Jesus himself, and try a little “table catechesis.” We’ll walk you through this simple strategy step by step.

2. Plant a seed and watch it grow. In the readings for this Sunday, God wants us to grow in our relationship with him. But for us to do that, we need to put aside our comforts and selflessly sacrifice for the good of others. Just like a grain of wheat must die before it produces new life, so must we find new life in death. In this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home, Jen Schlameuss-Perry explains the readings, offers discussion questions and suggests an activity to tie it all together.

3. Celebrate one super dad with a new recipe, activities, a prayer and a free coloring page. The feast of St. Joseph is this week, try these ideas with your children to help honor Jesus’ foster father:

  • Cook up some minestrone soup with your father and your children. Ryan Langr has an easy recipe you can make with your kids and some reflections on St. Joseph to ponder as you stir this hearty stew in Cooking with Catholic Kids for St. Jospeh.
  • This Saints for Kids includes an introduction to his life, a short story for children by Maria LaVoy, a coloring page, a Child’s Prayer to , some ’s Day traditions, and a short video about the saint.

4. Sing a musical round with your kids this Lent. “When Jesus Wept” is a beautiful song you can sing with your children to help teach them about Jesus’ divinity, as reflected in the story of Lazarus. Here is a brief introduction, video clip of the song, and talking points for your family.

5. Substance or flash? Read our review for Disney’s A Wrinkle in TimeIt got a lot of media buzz before opening day, but not a lot of acclaimed critical review. Is Disney’s newest film a good choice for your kids? See what movies reviewer Adrienne Thorne thinks in her review for Catholic families.

6. Adjust your calendars. Because there’s a new Marian feast day to celebrate! Earlier this month the Vatican announced the Monday after Pentecost Sunday as the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church. Monday, May 21, will be the first time to celebrate the new liturgical event. Here are resources to celebrate Mary during her month of May to get you in the mood.

7. Scrutinize the Scrutinies. If your parish has adults preparing to be received into the Church at Easter, your kids may hear the Scrutinies this weekend. The Scrutinies are a ritual in which the catechumenate make a commitment to “serious examination of their lives and true repentance” (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults #142). Ask your kids what that commitment would mean in their lives. See “The Scrutinies” at creighton.edu for more information.

8. Play a game of “hangman” and celebrate the feast of St. Wulfrand. In this edition of Playing with the SAINTS! with Christine Henderson, read about this missionary’s miraculous experiences spreading the Good News to pagans and play a familiar game with an interesting twist, too.

9. Wear lots of socks. And do a random act of kindness in solidarity with people with Down Syndrome on World Down Syndrome Day March 21. Down Syndrome International asks people to wear lots of socks or other unusual clothing to spark discussions about Down Syndrome, and to support the rights of people with the condition to participate in society. Learn more at worlddownsyndromeday.org.



We are sharing ideas for summer camps for Catholic kids, resources for summer retreats and catechists, and Catholic Easter baskets in our closed Facebook page for parents: PB & Grace Parents. Join the conversation, introduce yourself and find unique ways to teach and celebrate the faith with your kids. You’ll need to request to be added, because it’s a closed group to keep the threads private.



New! The Way of the Cross Journal for Children is a great way to make Holy Week really special for your kids, because it invites them to “walk with Jesus,” step by step, along the Way of the Cross in story, prayer, reflection, and action. Kids get to track their “acts of love and sacrifice” on the way to Easter with writing and coloring activities. It makes a great companion to our Stations of the Cross books and posters!

Remember to enter GRACE15 at checkout for 15% off.



Pack a rosary with you as you head out the door. Try to pray a decade a day.

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 18

St. Cyril of Jerusalem


Monday, March 19

St. Joseph


Tuesday, March 20

St. Maria Josefa Sancho Guerra

St. Wulfran


Wednesday, March 21

St. Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello


Thursday, March 22

Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen


Friday, March 23

St. Turibius of Mogrovejo


Saturday, March 24

Blessed Oscar Romero



  • Holy Thursday (March 29)
  • Good Friday (March 30)
  • Easter Sunday (April 1)
  • Divine Mercy Sunday (April 8)
  • Ascension of the Lord (May 13)



… are checking out the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s new Poverty USA website. It is fresh, organized and a fantastic resource to get your family’s faith in action. Preview a video marking a successful work of mercy, access information about poverty in the United States, pray and act.

…are super excited about the upcoming canonizations of five new saints, including Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero and Blessed Pope Paul VI. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved miracles attributed to three other individuals as well: Blessed Francesco Spinelli, Blessed Vincenzo Romani, and Blessed Maria Catherine Kasper.



Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, have called on Catholics to urge Congress to enact the Conscience Protection Act. A decision on whether or not to include the act in the 2018 funding bill will be made this week.

“Increasing and fierce attacks on conscience rights regarding abortion cry out for an immediate remedy. Nurses and other health care providers and institutions are being forced to choose between participating in abortions or leaving health care altogether. Churches and pro-life Americans are being forced to provide coverage for elective abortions — including late-term abortions — in their health care plans. Opponents and supporters of abortion should be able to agree that no one should be forced to participate in abortion. Congress must remedy this problem by enacting the Conscience Protection Act now as part of the FY 2018 funding bill. The full statement can be accessed here. 



“A Church that does not unite itself to the poor … is not truly the Church of Jesus Christ.”

— Blessed Oscar Romero



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 BookThe 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 WisdomLittle 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 PrayersSense 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.

Follow Jerry Windley-Daoust:

Publisher, Gracewatch Media

Jerry Windley-Daoust is a writer, editor, and father of five. He writes essays and stories at Windhovering and is the show-runner for Gracewatch Media, a small Catholic publisher. You can follow his latest publishing projects at gracewatch.org.

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