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I Am With You Always • MISSION:CHRISTIAN Parents

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May 29-June 3: Seventh Week of Easter

Solemnity of the Ascension + Memorial Day + St. Joan of Arc + Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary + St. Justin Martyr + St. Kevin + St. Charles Lwanga and Companions


Is it going to be a great summer? Yes it is! Preview and order MISSION:CHRISTIAN June-July 2017 today.



Get rid of 3/4 of your kids’ toys. That’s what we attempted one Saturday morning, on the advice of experts who say that our kids are drowning in toys and actually benefit from having fewer of them. It’s a move that teaches kids to value being over having, too—a key component of St. John Paul II’s culture of life. Check out how we did in The Toy Purge Challenge . . . complete with pictures of the mountain of toys filling our living room.

Preview the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (or not). Some of us will be celebrating the Solemnity of the Ascension this Sunday; others will be marking the Seventh Sunday of Easter. Either way, Jen Schlameuss-Perry, who never ever gets the two confused, has you covered in the latest Breaking Open the Word at Home.

Meet the Maid of Heaven. It’s the feast day of St. Joan of Arc on May 30. One of the Church’s most popular and enigmatic saints, her path to holiness was rough-and-tumble and full of adventure. Introduce your kids to St. Joan with Meet St. Joan of Arc! • Saints for Kids . . . and then download the free coloring sheet from Carly Lobenhofer. The same article includes a trailer from the Joan of Arc film by Ignatius Press Films, as well as a three-minute video bio from Catholic.org.

Make it a pro-life summer. Mary and Laura Kizior have seven ideas for acting on behalf of life with your kids this summer; check them out in 7 Pro-life Summer Activities for Your Kids.

Sing the Song of Mary on the Feast of the Visitation of Mary on Wednesday; if you don’t go to Mass with your kids, then read Luke 1:39-47 and pray the beautiful Canticle of Mary. Speaking of the Magnificat, it’s a good prayer for your kids to memorize, since it is Mary’s very own prayer. See Why Not the Magnificat? Mary’s Song of Humble Joy Ought to Be Our Song, Too.

Pray for the dead. This Memorial Day, live up to the name of the holiday by remembering those who have died, especially those who died as a result of war. Find out how and why in Pray for the Dead with Your Kids.

Meet the saint who let a bird build a nest in his hand. We’re sure that St. Kevin was a good and holy man—he was a hermit for seven years who was asked to start a monastery—but it is the legends that surround this early Irish saint that will entrance your kids. Storyteller and speaker Christine Hendersen shares some of those fascinating legends in the latest Playing with the Saints!

Prepare for Pentecost. This week, try praying a Novena for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit with your kids. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (Catechism 1831).

Meet St. Rita. This past Monday was the feast of St. Rita, whose Playing with the Saints! article was accidentally omitted from our last newsletter. But in the spirit of better late than never, go find out how to play with St. Rita!

Hey, it’s still (barely) Easter! Check out 10+ Ways to Celebrate the Easter Season.



St. Joan of Arc (Tuesday), who led the French army to break the siege of Orléans in just nine days. She did not carry a sword into battle, only her banner, and ordered the lives of prisoners to be spared. True to her word, she stood by the side of the dauphin as he was crowned King of France. But then, the French court turned against the teenaged Joan because she was so popular with the peasants. She was captured by the English, who put on a sham trial on false charges, burning her at the stake. But she had saved France from defeat, and a Church investigation later cleared her of all charges. (See Meet St. Joan of Arc.)

St. Justin (Thursday) as a young man explored all the popular philosophies of his time, but none satisfied him until he discovered Christianity. Justin (d. 165) became a Christian philosopher, opening a school and writing many explanations of the faith for the Romans. He was eventually martyred. He wrote: “In every race of human beings God inserts an understanding of righteousness, that is, what is always and universally just.”

St. Kevin (Friday), the Irish saint who, according to legend, spent one Lent with his arms outstretched while a blackbird built a nest and raised its young in his hand. According to another legend, the trees sang songs to him in his hermitage. See this week’s Playing with the Saints! for more information.

St. Charles Lwanga and Companions  (Saturday); Charles and his companions were new converts to Christianity who served in the court of the Ugandan king. When the king demanded that they perform immoral sexual acts, they refused on the grounds of their faith and were executed in 1886.



» The price of ILLUMINATED ROSARY books will be going up June 1 due to pricing changes at our print vendor. Order now to get your books before the price hike. We’ll be coming out with a revamped second edition in the fall that should be priced more affordably for most families. «



“Um…no.” That’s what the U.S. Catholic bishops are saying about the proposed budget released by the White House this week. “Sharp increases in defense and immigration enforcement spending, coupled with simultaneous and severe reductions to non-defense discretionary spending, particularly to many domestic and international programs that assist the most vulnerable, would be profoundly troubling,” the bishops said in a letter to Congress. “The moral measure of the federal budget is how well it promotes the common good of all, especially the most vulnerable whose voices are too often missing in these debates.” You can read the entire letter with your older kids at the USCCB website.



  • Pentecost (June 4)
  • Most Holy Trinity Sunday (June 11)
  • Father’s Day (June 18)
  • World Refugee Day (June 20)



“I am with you always, until
the end of the age.”

—Matthew 28:16-20 (from Sunday’s readings)



We’re talking about how to encourage grandparents to cut down on the toys over at our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents. Join us! It’s a closed group, so you’ll need to request to be added.



Join us on Facebook @peanutbutterandgrace and on Pinterest.



Remember to grab 15% off your order at Gracewatch Media with coupon code GRACE15.

MISSION:CHRISTIAN June-July 2017 includes features on Pentecost, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, St. Pierre Toussaint, St. Kateri Tekawitha, and more. A checklist of fun summer activities, plus “Christian missions,” Scripture readings, prayer prompts, and saint profiles for every day will keep your kids busy!

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 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.

Molly McBride set. Kids love the spunky young Molly McBride and her feisty sidekick, the wolf-pet Francis. Get books one and two for one low price while supplies last.

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.

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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