The Bread PDF
This week in The Bread:
- It’s the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul…tell your kids a conversion story of your own to #GetYourGraceOn.
- It’s also the feast days of Sts. Timothy and Titus, as well as St. Thomas Aquinas and Servant of God Brother Juniper…we’ll suggest a funny way to remember him.
- How do you help kids memorize prayers, and why is it worth the bother? Check out the article at pbgrace.com (link below).
- How do you talk to kids about abortion? Six parents share their approach (link below).
- “The pregnancy of death” and lessons in learning to breathe . . . a moving true story from Becky Arganbright (link below).
- Get Little Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux: An Introduction to Her Words and Wisdom, a book of short sayings from St. Thérèse of Lisieux lovingly illustrated by water colorist Jeanine Crowe. It’s the companion to The Little Flower: A Parable of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux children’s picture book.
- Ash Wednesday is just under three weeks away. If your Lenten practice includes the rosary, be sure to have The Illuminated Rosary books on hand. They help kids pray the rosary with sixty works of sacred art . . . one for each bead.
- Get Your Grace On with eight activity suggestions, including the Question Game. Plus…can your kids Stump the Parents when it comes to Mary?
- As always, Jen Schlameuss-Perry helps families preview the Sunday Scriptures with Breaking Open the Word at Home (link below).
In response to reader feedback, we’re tweaking the format of the PDF version of The Bread ever so slightly to make it easier to read and less overwhelming. Also, look for The Bread to arrive in your inbox earlier in the week.
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THE WORD THIS SUNDAY
SUNDAY, January 24, 2016
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God, interpreting it so that all could understand what was read.
—Nehemiah 8:2-4A, 5-6, 8-10
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
—1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27
He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
—Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
What roles do each of the members of your family play in the “body” of your family? Who is the “hand” or “foot”?
THE CHURCH THIS WEEK
MONDAY January 25
Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul
“…about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’”
TUESDAY January 26
Sts.Timothy and Titus (first century)
The close companions and helpers of the apostle Paul; Paul’s letters to them are in the New Testament.
WEDNESDAY January 27
St. Angela Merici (1470-1540)
The founder of a group of women dedicated to the education of girls; the group eventually became the Order of the Ursulines.
THURSDAY January 28
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
One of thegreatest theologians in Church history, known as the “Angelic Doctor”; he never completed his greatest work because it seemed like “straw” compared to what God had revealed to him.
FRIDAY January 29
Servant of God Brother Juniper (d. 1258)
The humble and generous companion of St. Francis who played with children, gave away everything to the needy, and comforted St. Clare on her deathbed.
SATURDAY January 30
St. Balthild of Ascania (620-680)
The queen of Burgandy who founded monasteries and freed enslaved children.
THE WEEKS AHEAD
1 week to Catholic Schools Week (Jan 31-Feb 6)
2 weeks to Ash Wednesday (Feb 10)
THE GRACE THIS WEEK
Try out a handful of these ideas this week . . . and if you want to “play for points,” record your points in the Get Your Grace On game in the PDF version of The Bread. You can add up your points at the end of the week, and give your kids an appropriate prize. Points are roughly equivalent to minutes, so adjust your points for extra time spent on family faith formation.
Preview this Sunday’s readings with your kids. 
Have you experienced the power of letting your kids lead? Have your kids plan and lead a family prayer service. (Works best with ages 4+ after you’ve been doing prayer for a while.) See “Let Kids Lead” at pbgrace.com. 
Make a list of the prayers your kids know by heart, and the prayers you’d like them to know by heart. Commit to reciting one prayer every day for a month to help your kids memorize it. See “Prayer by Osmosis” at pbgrace.com. 
Celebrate the feast of Brother Juniper by pulling out the old Brother Juniper comic strips by Fr. Justin ‘Fred’ McCarthy. The strip ran for 30 years in 150 papers, and featured Brother Juniper in a modern setting. Go to brotherjuniper.com for samples. 
National Poverty Awareness Month ends this week. Sign up for Catholics Confront Global Poverty for lots of practical ways to help combat poverty: confrontglobalpoverty.org. 
Consider sponsoring a child overseas through an organization such as Unbound; it’s a great way for your kids to make personal connections with kids in another country. See unbound.org. 
Teach your kids how to participate in polite, other-centered table conversation by playing the Question Game at your next family meal. The rules are simple: One person asks another person at the table a question about himself or herself (e.g., “What surprised you today?”). After that person answers, they can ask a question of another person at the table who hasn’t spoken yet. 
Share a conversion story with your kids in honor of the Conversion of St. Paul. 
Stump the Parents! Mary
This week’s theme: Mary
Get answers to this week’s questions in #94-100 in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online). Sample questions:
- What is the meaning of the expression “conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit…”? (#94)
- Why is Mary truly the Mother of God? (#95)
- What does the “Immaculate Conception” mean? (#96)
- How does Mary cooperate in the divine plan of salvation? (#97)
- What does the virginal conception of Jesus mean? (#98)
- In what way is the spiritual motherhood of Mary universal? (#100)
How to play: Older kids and teens skim the text to come up with questions to ask their parents. Parents score 10 points for correct answers; kids score 20 points for stumping the parents. All points get added up for the Get Your Grace On game. See “Stump the Parents” at pbgrace.com for more ideas.
EVEN MORE FOR YOUR WEEK
Learning to Breathe: How Faith Got Us Through the ‘Pregnancy of Death’
When I wouldn’t abort my high-risk pregnancy, friends left, doctors scolded me, and family braced themselves for my possible death. But little Henry? He had some breathing lessons to teach me. by Becky Arganbright
How Do You Talk to Kids about Abortion?
“What is abortion?” It’s a question pro-life parents dread hearing their kids ask, especially when they’re little. Here’s how six parents handled the question…and three proposals for educating your kids about this difficult issue. by Jerry Windley-Daoust
Celebrating the Law | Breaking Open the Word at Home
Today’s readings are a celebration of the Law of God. We should rejoice that we have a Father who cares enough to instruct and guide us. by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
And the survey says…
Our readers spoke, and we’re listening…and processing. Here’s some of what you said.
Persuasive Pro Life: How to Talk about Our Culture’s Toughest Issue
by Trent Horn
A complete guide to talking about the abortion issue from a pro-life perspective, without fear and with compassion. Get it at Amazon.com.