The Bread PDF
What’s happening in the Church next week, and how can your family participate?
- This week we’re celebrating the Second Week of Easter, the feast of the Annunciation, and Divine Mercy Sunday . . . we’ve got 10 ideas for what to do in the #GetYourGraceOn game, including ways to keep your kids safe during Child Abuse Prevention month.
- Celebrate the feast day of Blessed Ursulina of Parma, a teen defender of the Church, with a new coloring sheet from Carly Lobenhofer. Plus: St. Julie Billiart, St. John Baptiste de la Salle, and the saint whose vision led to the Feast of Corpus Christi.
- This week’s readings underline how the Resurrection of Jesus kick-started the Church; preview the readings with your kids using Breaking Open the Word at Home.*
- Did God really tell Eve she would give birth in pain as a result of the Fall? That’s the provocative question Susan Windley-Daoust takes on in chapter five of The Gift of Birth.*
- We’re debuting a new monthly feature, Pro-life at Home, by Laura and Mary Kizior. In their debut column, Laura and Mary look at three ways you can create a culture of life in your family.*
- Our bookstore is debuting The Catholic Children’s Bible and The Catholic Children’s Prayer Book, two great resources from Saint Mary’s Press.
- Heidi Indahl has a cool map-based family catechesis idea in The Intentional Family.*
- Check out even more new content, including some great Easter and April Fool’s Day resources, in Even More for Your Week at the end of this e-mail.
- Use your April coupon code (e-mail edition only) for 20% off at the new Gracewatch Media Store, where you’ll find books from Peanut Butter & Grace and other Catholic partners!
* Link to the article under MORE FOR YOUR WEEK, below.
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THE WORD THIS SUNDAY
SUNDAY, April 3, 2016
Second Sunday of Easter
Sunday of Divine Mercy
Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the apostles.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.
“Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. . . .”
—Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
THE CHURCH THIS WEEK
MONDAY April 4
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
“The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel, which means
‘God is with us!’”
TUESDAY April 5
St. Juliana of Liège (1192-1258)
The nun whose visions of a black spot on the moon led her to promote the idea of the Feast of Corpus Christi, instituted by Pope Urban IV in 1264.
WEDNESDAY April 6
Blessed Michael Rua (1837–1910)
The “second founder” and “living rule” of the Salesian Order.
THURSDAY April 7
St. John Baptist de la Salle (1651-1719)
The founder of the Brothers of the Christian School who gave away his status and fortune to educate poor boys; an innovative educator, he is patron of teachers.
FRIDAY April 8
St. Julie Billiart (1751-1816)
The founder of the Sisters of Notre Dame who taught the catechism as a teen and devoted the rest of her life to teaching the faith.
SATURDAY April 9
Blessed Ursulina of Parma (1375–1410)
The teen who traveled between Avignon and Rome, risking her life trying to end the Great Schism in which two men claimed the papacy.
THE WEEKS AHEAD
3 weeks to Earth Day (April 22)
Child Abuse Prevention Month (All Month)
GET YOUR GRACE ON
Try out a handful of these ideas this week! Numbers in brackets are points for the #GetYourGraceOn game.
Prayerfully preview the Scriptures for this Sunday with your kids. Jesus repeats the phrase, “Peace be with you” three times. What does this mean for the apostles? What does this mean for us? 
If your family likes to sing, there is no reason why you can’t incorporate that love of music into your prayer time. Check out “Sing a Prayer with Your Kids” at pbgrace.com for five ways to begin, plus suggestions for Catholic music that kids will love to sing along to. 
Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday by receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, praying for the intentions of the pope, and praying an Our Father, the Creed, and a pious prayer (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you) in order to obtain a plenary indulgence. Check out divinemercysunday.com for much more about how to celebrate the feast day. 
Remember the pope’s prayer intentions for April during your family prayer. His universal intention is that small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor; his intention for evangelization is that Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts. 
All throughout the Easter season, the sprinkling of the assembly with holy water replaces the penitential rite—a reminder of our own death and rebirth with Christ in the waters of baptism. Imitate this rite at home with your kids: Get some holy water from your parish; keep it in a homemade holy water font on your prayer table. Then, bless your kids with the holy water before saying your meal prayer, or before your family prayer time. 
Make a Divine Mercy Sundae as part of your celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday; check out Catholic Cuisine for details. 
Take older kids (ages 10+) to a meeting of a local government body: the city council, county board, school board, a parks commission meeting, or a court session. Talk about what you see, and about civic participation and responsibility. 
Recruit younger kids to help straighten up the pews after Mass by picking up left-behind items and straightening hymnals. They’re especially good at checking under pews! 
During Child Abuse Prevention Month, talk to your kids about how to stay safe. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has discussion guides for kids ages 5–17 at its website, missingkids.org. The organization recommends that you keep a card of your child’s identifying information; teach Internet safety with NetSmartz.org; and educate children about abduction prevention with KidSmartz.org. “Stranger danger” is out; young kids don’t understand it, and it can actually make them less safe. The website offers alternative messages for keeping kids safe. 
Stump the Parents! The Character of the Church
Have your kids look at the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online) #153–160, then let them choose questions to pose to you; they get points if they can “stump” you, you get points if you answer correctly. See the full rules at “Stump the Parents” at pbgrace.com.
- Why is the Church the ‘people of God’? (#153)
- What are the characteristics of the people of God? (#154)
- In what way does the people of God share in the three functions of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King? (#155)
- In what way is the Church the body of Christ? (#156)
- Who is the Head of this body? (#157)
- Why is the Church called the “Bride of Christ”? (#158)
- Why is the Church called the temple of the Holy Spirit? (#159)
- What are charisms? (#160)
EVEN MORE FOR YOUR WEEK
Sing a Prayer with Your Kids
If your family likes to sing, there is no reason why you can’t incorporate that love of music into your prayer time. Here are some ways to begin.
Did God Really Tell Eve She Would Give Birth in Pain?
Pain during childbirth has traditionally been assumed to be one of the consequences of original sin, but a better reading of the text suggests otherwise. by Susan Windley-Daoust
Doubting Thomas? Brave Thomas! | Breaking Open the Word at Home
Throughout the Easter Season, our first reading comes from the Acts of the Apostles instead of the Hebrew Scriptures because it tells the story of the first Christian Community—the continuation of the story of the Resurrection. by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
How Pro-Life Values Strengthen Your Family: Three Ways to Live the Culture of Life at Home
Building a culture of life in the home not only helps society, but transforms our families as well. Here are three ways to start. By Laura and Mary Kizior
A Story of Mercy for the “Challenging” Child
“I don’t think I’m going to heaven,” my eight year old son, Luke, frankly told me one day. “I’m not good enough.” by Becky Arganbright
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? Saints and Holy Fools Answer in Honor of April Fool’s Day
Why did the chicken cross the road? An assortment of answers from saints and holy fools to tickly your funny bone on April Fool’s Day.
Put a Christian Twist on April Fools’ Day
April Fools’ Day is not a Christian holiday, but maybe it ought to be. Help your kids be “fools for Christ” this April Fools’ Day with some of these ideas—and then read about some of the “holy foolishness” of the saints.