April 1-7: Octave of Easter
Easter Sunday + Blessed Giuseppe Girotti + St. Francis of Paola + Ven. Carla Ronce + St. Benedict the Black + St. Vincent Ferrer + St. Mary Crescentia + St. Juliana of Liege + St. John Baptist de La Salla
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9 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS
1. Celebrate Easter! It’s the high point of the entire liturgical calendar, after all! Check out 10+ Ways to Celebrate Easter with Your Kids. It’s a roundup of liturgical things your kids can watch for, traditional foods to try, games to play, and prayers to pray. Hey, the Easter season lasts seven weeks…plenty of time to try them all!
2. Preview the readings for Easter Sunday. In the readings for this Sunday, April 1, we experience the fulfillment of God’s promise to humanity — the Resurrection. In Breaking Open the Word at Home, Jen Schlameuss-Perry offers a reflection, questions for your family, and a bonus activity for everyone.
3. Mark the Octave of Easter by reading a different account of the Resurrection every day. Every day during the Octave of Easter, we hear a different Resurrection story. Share these stories with your kids to learn not only about the Resurrection, but its implications for all of us. Here are all eight readings, along with some brief notes and discussion questions for each one.
4. Plant an Easter garden. Gardening with young children is like cooking with them: messy, stressful, and unlikely to produce perfect results. Still, helping your kids get their hands dirty in a small backyard garden can be worth the trouble, especially from a faith perspective. See how planting an Easter garden with your kids can help grow their faith.
5. Cook a vibrant vegetable side salad to complement your main Easter dish. This Easter, be inspired by signs of new life by getting your kids to help you make a simple, vibrant spring vegetable side dish featuring seasonal asparagus, radishes, sugar snap peas, and hard-boiled eggs. Chef and mom Theresa Wilson shares her recipe in this week’s Cooking with Catholic Kids.
6. Devote the month of April to the Blessed Sacrament. In popular practice, April traditionally has been devoted to the Most Blessed Sacrament. Brian Smith gives us some ways to practice that devotion with your family this month.
7. Break out the hot cross buns! Hot cross buns have been a traditional treat on Good Friday for centuries (probably without the frosting), but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy this sweet bread throughout the Easter season. We’ve got the perfect (printable) recipe for you!
8. Be a holy fool! April Fools’ Day is not a Christian holiday, but maybe it ought to be. “We are fools for Christ,” St. Paul said. Help your kids be “fools for Christ” this April Fools’ Day with some of the following ideas — and then read about some of the “holy foolishness” of the saints in the Talking Points section. And for more silliness this Easter Sunday/April Fools’ Day, share these Catholic answers to the age-old question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
9. Meet St. John Baptist de La Salle. Find out all about the life and mission of this saint who saved the lives of poor boys with his schools. Included is a free, downloadable coloring page.
SNEAKY PEEK: MY FIRST COMMUNION JOURNAL
It’s not quite ready to come out of the oven yet, but we’re excited to offer a sneak peek of our new children’s journal, My First Communion Journal. Filled with colorful art from Jen Norton and others, the journal features pages that help kids get psyched up for their First Communion, plenty of ways to record details about the big day, and pages for family and friends to write messages of encouragement. Our favorite feature? Profiles of four child saints’ First Communion experiences…and accompanying activities based on those stories.
You can get a sneak peek of the journal over at our Patreon page. If you’re a patron of Gracewatch Media, you’ll also find a beautifully designed printable unleavened bread recipe from the journal (perfect for Holy Thursday!). Want to help our ministry to Catholic families grow? Become a patron for as little as $1 a month.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
Over in PB & Grace Parents, we’re talking about plans for Easter mass, sharing prayer requests, and more. Join the closed group by requesting to be added, and introduce yourself on our introductions thread.
YOUR CATHOLIC CALENDAR
Read the Resurrection narratives all week. During the Easter Octave, the readings at Mass focus on the Resurrection. Try reading them all, focusing on the difference versions of the same great and glorious story.
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, April 1
Monday, April 2
Tuesday, April 3
Wednesday, April 4
Thursday, April 5
Friday, April 6
Saturday, April 7
COMING UP . . .
- Divine Mercy Sunday (April 8)
- Annunciation (April 9)
- Ascension of the Lord (May 13)
ALL THE COOL CATHOLICS…
…are checking out the Ken Perry Band, an acoustic Catholic rock band that is “all about passion, and a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ.” Ken Perry is a Catholic worship leader at his local parish, and the band brings its Spirit-inspired music to churches, coffeehouse and Catholic youth conferences in the New Jersey area. You can also catch his album, Be Brave Again, on Amazon.
RAISING FAITHFUL CITIZENS: CONSCIENCE PROTECTION ACT
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, expressed disappointment that the Conscience Protection Act was not included in the recently released 2018 appropriations bill.
“The failure of Congress to include the Conscience Protection Act in the 2018 omnibus appropriations bill is deeply disappointing. The CPA is an extraordinarily modest bill that proposes almost no change to existing conscience protection laws on abortion — laws that receive wide public and bi-partisan support. The CPA simply proposes to provide victims of discrimination with the ability to defend their rights in court to help ensure that no one is forced to participate in abortion,” they said in a statement that can be read in its entirety here.
“Dear young people, you have it in you to shout. It is up to you to opt for Sunday’s “Hosanna!” so as not to fall into Friday’s “Crucify him!”… It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?”
— Pope Francis, in his homily for Palm Sunday
Family Time! is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust.
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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.