March 10-16: First Week in Lent
St. Eulogius of Cordoba + St. Maximilian of Tebessa + St. Nicephorus + St. Matilda + St. Louis de Marillac + Blessed Torello of Poppi
BOOK PREVIEW: 67 WAYS TO DO THE WORKS OF MERCY WITH YOUR KIDS
9 WAYS TO DO FAITH & FAMILY
A few options for Catholic moms and dads to try with kids next week.
1. Make acts of service and charity a priority for your kids. Did you know there’s a ton of research that shows long-term benefits for kids who engage in acts of service with their families? Author Heidi Indahl can attest to the power of doing service work with your kids; she shares her personal story and some practical advice in this excerpt from her new book: How Doing Works of Mercy with Your Kids Helps Them Grow in Faith.
2. Plan for St. Patrick’s Day. Shamrock shakes have been served for a while now, so you might as well get ready for the feast day, which is Sunday, March 17:
- The legends are fun, but don’t let them obscure the fascinating true story of the apostle of Ireland. To help you out, Steve Nagel has compiled a list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about St. Patrick…number 8 is a shocker! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
- Download a free coloring page and meet St. Patrick in this Saints for Kids.
- Curious adults and precocious kids might want to read the Confessions of St. Patrick: part autobiography, part sermon, it’s a fascinating self-assessment by the saint in his old age.
- Keeping in mind that it is a religious holiday, you might also want to pray the Lorica of St. Patrick with your kids; check out our version adapted for children. (We’ve also included two longer versions for older kids and adults.)
- And lastly, the fun part: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with 40 recipes from Catholic Cuisine, even more recipes and activities on our Pinterest page, and the Paddy in the Woods board game.
- Order our five-star children’s book, Paddy and the Wolves on Amazon, or go to the Gracewatch store for a full preview of the book, the coloring book, and the board game.
3. Resist temptation. This Sunday’s Gospel presents the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry has reflection questions that tie the Gospel to your family life in this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home.
4. Make a quiche for your family…and one to give away. Inspired by her young daughter’s giving nature, chef and mom Theresa Wilson shares a double melted leek quiche recipe for this week’s Cooking with Catholic Kids. Feed one to your family, and share the other with a family that needs a little help with dinner. It sounds a little fancy, but with pre-made pie crust and store-bought shredded cheese, it’s something you can master, even with your kids’ help.
5. Fast from the negative self-talk, wasteful screen time, and yelling. Try these three fasts for Catholic parents this Lenten season and reap the joyful benefits of the sacrifice. That’s what part-time stay-at-home father, clinical social worker and author James Otremba suggests in his article on three fasts for Catholic parents.
6. Try these fasts for Lent that benefit God’s creation. Lent gives us lots of opportunities to give and sacrifice. Try both by giving up warm showers, plastics and driving. Here are more extreme fasting ideas that care for God’s creation, from Ryan Langr.
7. Teach your kids lectio divina, the ancient practice of praying with Scripture. Introduce your kids to meditative prayer and the power and beauty of the Scriptures by trying lectio divina with them this week. Check out Lectio Divina for Kids: Teach Your Kids to Pray with Scripture for an overview of lectio, a family prayer service (from the Catholic Family Book of Prayers), a simplified approach for young children, an extensive list of Scripture texts, and links to additional resources. Also check out our guided journal, Lectio Divina for Teens.
8. Get ideas for Lenten practices from other parents. Still stumped on what your kids can do for Lent? Head over to the PB & Grace Parents forum and find the thread where we’re sharing Lenten practice ideas. It’s a closed group, so you will need to request to join.
9. Introduce your kids to the Seven Penitential Psalms. One way to nurture kids who aren’t afraid to admit their faults—and who trust that God’s mercy and healing lies on the other side of that confession—is to pray the psalms with them, particularly the Seven Penitential Psalms. Here are the psalms as well as tips on how to pray them with your kids.
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Family Time! and Peanut Butter & Grace is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust. Find out about our contributors.