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Shout for Joy • Family Time!

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December 16-22 • Third Week of Advent

St. Jose Manyanet y Vives + Blessed Anthony Grassi + BlessedPope Urban V + St. Dominic of Silos + St. Peter Canisius + Blessed Jacopone da Todi


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9 WAYS TO DO FAITH & FAMILY

A few options for Catholic moms and dads to try with kids next week.

1. Shout for joy! We call the third Sunday in Advent Gaudete Sunday because gaudete means “rejoice.” And there is lots of rejoicing in the readings for this Sunday…but what about John the Baptist’s call to repentance? Jen Schlameuss-Perry offers reflections and family discussion questions in this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home.


2. Celebrate Gaudate Sunday by lighting a rose candle, baking lemon-clove cookies, and watching the pope bless baby Jesus figurines. While those three candles burn brightly on your Advent wreath, try this relatively simple lemon-clove cookie recipe that symbolizes the light of summer in the darkness of winter, a reminder of Jesus’ impending birth as Advent draws to a close. And check out the Sunday noon Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, when the faithful gather with their baby Jesus figurines for a special papal blessing. You can read about this neat tradition in Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Tradition, a picture book by Amy Welhorn, and watch the Vatican live on YouTube to view St. Peter’s Square in real time (check out that beautiful Christmas tree!).


3, Find the heart of Advent with O Antiphons, Las Posadas, a Christmas Novena, and special celebrations…and find a way to be quiet. Tap into some ancient ways of praying the heart of Advent with our article on seven traditional practices for the heart of Advent. We offer explainers, videos, and links to resources…plus, suggestions for finding time for quiet anticipation.


4. Cook up some Christmas with your kids. Ryan Langr and Theresa Wilson have whipped up a handful of recipes for Christmas sides and sweets that are easy enough (and yummy enough) to make with your kids. Check it out in the latest Cooking with Catholic Kids!


5. Play detective with St. Peter Canisius. St. Canisius (whose feast day is Thursday, Dec. 21) helped save the Council of Trent by carefully transferring top-secret documents across unfriendly territory. Read more about this smart Jesuit and learn how to play a simple and fun game requiring careful observation skills in  Playing with the Saints!


6. Write a letter to Jesus. Do your kids write a letter to Santa? Encourage them to write a letter to Jesus, too. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asks us in the Bible; make the letter your response, keeping it simple enough for your children to be able to imitate.


7. Use these five easy ways to celebrate Christmas with your toddler. Christmas is a magical, fun time for every child. Presents, snow, time off school, and crazy family members — what’s not to love about Christmastime for a child? But with everything being thrown at them, sometimes the real meaning of Christmas gets lost in the mix. Here are five easy ways to show toddlers that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.


8. Send the pope a birthday card. It’s the pope’s 81st birthday on Monday, Dec, 17; celebrate with some birthday cake, and by sending him a birthday card that your kids make. Here’s where to send it.


9. Pray the Canticle of Mary with your kids. The first prayer of the Church, this is a paradoxical prayer of triumph through humility that leads us to Christ. It is Mary’s own prayer, which Luke uses to frame the meaning of the entire Gospel. Here are four reasons why to give it a try.

Miss out on some of our wall-to-wall Advent coverage? Get it all at Peanut Butter & Grace. And pick up lots of nifty resources from the USCCB Advent page.

RAISING FAITHFUL CITIZENS

BISHOPS APPLAUD GENOCIDE RELIEF ACT

hThe Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released a statement Tuesday applauding the enactment of the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390). The legislation will direct humanitarian relief to genocide victims in Iraq and Syria and hold ISIS perpetrators accountable. Read the full statement.

…AND CALL FOR REPEAL OF ‘PARKING LOT TAX’

The bishops also on Tuesday called for the full repeal of the so-called parking lot tax, a provision of the Trump administration’s tax reform package. “Unless repealed, this provision will require tens of thousands of houses of worship to file tax returns for the first time in our nation’s history and will impose a new tax burden on houses of worship and nonprofit organizations,” the bishops said. Read the full statement here.

EVEN SANTA HAS A SHIPPING DEADLINE

If our books are on your shopping list, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • If an item is marked as backordered, it won’t ship in time for Christmas ..but look for the book at Amazon.com, which has most of our books in stock and ready to ship, or check your favorite bookseller.
  • For free shipping, order no later than December 14.
  • For priority mail shipping, order no later than December 19.
  • For the Ovenbird Bindery Illuminated Rosary, order by Wednesday, December 6.
  • Almost all of our titles are available on Amazon.com and BN.com. If you’re ordering past our “delivery by Christmas” deadlines, consider ordering from these companies instead. You’ll find a link to the Amazon page on most of our titles’ catalog pages.
  • Don’t forget to use our coupons to get 15%, 20%, or 25% off the retail price. Click on “Coupons” in the navigation menu.

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Family Time! and Peanut Butter & Grace is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust. Find out about our contributors.

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