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Ephphatha! Be Opened! | The Bread for Sep 6 – Sep 12

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Reading Time: 4 minutes




This week in The Bread:

  • It’s the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary! Plus: Blessed Frederick Ozanam, St. Peter Claver, and a saint who was empress.
  • Resources for the September 11 anniversary.
  • The PB&J Game: Can you make a home oratory? Bless your kids? Find the saint with a holy cow?
  • Making your family mission statement with Heidi Indahl.
  • Becky Arganbright on what it takes to be an everyday leader.



The deaf hear and the mute speak in this Sunday’s readings, thanks to divine intervention. Jesus uses the word ephphatha (say ef FA tha)—”be open”—to heal a deaf and mute man; this week, ask your family: What needs to be opened in our hearts? Our home? Our society?

First Reading

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.

Isaiah 35:4-7


Praise the Lord, my soul!

Psalm 146:7-10

Second Reading

Did not God choose those who are poor in the world
to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?

James 2:1-5


. . . then [Jesus] looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.

Mark 7:31-37



SUNDAY September 6

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time


MONDAY September 7

Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813-1853)

The professor of literature who founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society, defended the Church in debates at the Sorbonne, and gave his wife a bouquet of flowers every month.

Labor Day

TUESDAY September 8

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Celebrating the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


WEDNESDAY September 9

St. Peter Claver (1581-1654)

The Spanish Jesuit and self-proclaimed “slave of the Negro” who spent forty years ministering to African slaves arriving in Columbia.


THURSDAY September 10

St. Pulcheria (399-433)

The empress who built churches, served the poor, and presided over the councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon.


FRIDAY September 11

Saint Ciarán of Clonmacnoise (c. 516–c. 544)

One of the “twelve apostles of Ireland.”

September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance


SATURDAY September 12

Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary



2 weeks to the World Meeting of Families and the papal visit to the United States (Sep 22-25)

4 weeks to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (Oct 4)



Color in a star for every item your family tries this week. Add up the points and celebrate your accomplishment next Sunday with a small treat or reward!

  • Mark the September 11 anniversary by talking to your kids about what happened. Go to 911memorial.org for tips on talking to kids about the anniversary and other resources. 25 points
  • Volunteer to do good on or around September 11. Go to the National Day of Service and Remembrance website at serve.gov for ways to serve and a handy tool for finding service opportunities in your area. 100 points
  • Celebrate the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary by reading the Gospel for the day (Matthew 1:18-23) and having a little cake and ice cream. (Head over to Catholic Cuisine for fancier ideas.) 25 points
  • Create a family “brand slogan” and mission statement (see article, below). 75 points
  • Which of this week’s saints had a “holy cow”? If you find out, earn 25 points
  • Bless your children before they go to school by signing their foreheads with the sign of the cross and saying, “May God bless you and keep you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Or use words of your own. 20 points
  • If you don’t have one already, create your home oratory or prayer corner (see article below). 125 points



Your Home Oratory: A Little Place for Family Prayer
Set aside a special place in your home for prayer and holy objects . . . here’s how.

When God asks us to lead
Like the personality test said, I am not a natural leader; I am a follower. But in following Christ, I learned to lead. by Becky Arganbright

What’s Your Family “Brand”? Writing a Family Mission Statement
What does your family stand for? If your family were a brand, what would its slogan be? Writing a family mission statement can help you stay on track to meet your goals. by Heidi Indahl

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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