March 24-30: Third Week of Lent
Solemnity of the Annunciation + St. Margaret Clitherow + St. John of Egypt + St. Tutilo of Gall + St. Ludolf of Ratzeburg + St. John Climacus
7 WAYS TO DO FAITH & FAMILY
A few options for Catholic moms and dads to try with kids next week.
1. Check in on your family Lent plan. Did you make a family Lent plan? Check in on how everyone is doing. (If you’re really grooving on Lent this year, you could check in every night, or every Wednesday and Sunday.) It’s not too late to get started! Here’s our extensive list of resources, ideas and a printable planner for your family.
2. Teach your kids how to forgive with the help of prayer. Lent is a time for repenting from sin…and forgiving those who need our forgiveness. But forgiving others is hard, which is why this simple prayer process from Fr. David Smith is so helpful. Try it out with older kids…or just use it yourself.
3. Repent! In this Sunday’s Scripture readings, God reveals his name to Moses, and Jesus calls on all of us to repent…while offering a parable about the Father’s patience. 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. Teach kids to build up their community through service. In our ongoing series of excerpts from Heidi Indah;’s new book, 67 Ways to Do the Works of Mercy with Your Kids, Heidi Indahl offers eight ways you and your kids can build a stronger, safer community through acts of service.
Plus, bonus: Get Heidi’s handy list of children’s picture books about the works of mercy. It’s on her website, Work and Play, Day by Day.
5. Say a decade of the rosary with images of the Annunciation. The solemnity of the
6. Go to confession as a family. Sunday’s Gospel gives us a not-so-subtle reminder that repenting for our sins is crucial for salvation. Thankfully the Church gives us the sacrament of Penance. Take a moment this week and use this examination of conscience for the entire family to get you and yours started
7. Feed your kids, body and soul, with a little table catechesis. It’s important to take time to explain the faith to your kids…but how do you find the time? Take a cue from Jesus himself, and try a little “table catechesis.” We’ll walk you through this simple strategy step by step.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS POSTERS & BOOKLETS
Get the Stations of the Cross for Children books and posters and the Way of the Cross Journal as digital downloads at the Gracewatch store, or get the print versions at Amazon (links from individual product pages).
RAISING FAITHFUL CITIZENS
BISHOPS OPPOSE EQUALITY ACT
Three chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have written in public opposition to the Equality Act (H.R. 5 / S. 788), which was introduced in Congress on March 13, 2019. The Act would add the new terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the definition of “sex” in federal civil rights laws, which has wide-reaching impacts on health care, women and girls’ legal protections, charitable services to needful populations, schools, personal privacy, athletics, free speech, religious liberties, and potentially parental rights.
With respect to those who identify as “LGBT,” “each and every person should be treated with dignity and respect. Part of that dignity, as Pope Benedict stated, is every person’s right to gainful and decent employment free of unjust discrimination. Also included is each person’s right to services that address their needs for health and safety,” affirmed Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty; and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; in their letter to members of Congress.
“Rather than offering meaningful protections for individuals, however, the Equality Act would impose sweeping regulations to the detriment of society as a whole,” they explained. The chairmen proceeded to elaborate on some of their several concerns with the Act’s consequences. In state and local jurisdictions with similar laws, many of these have already been coming to fruition – with students, charities, and businesses owners facing privacy violations, penalties, or litigation.
Stressing their desire to work toward social inclusion without divisiveness or harm to the common good, the bishops emphasized to members of Congress that “we readily stand with you, and are willing to assist you, in developing compassionate and just means to eradicate unjust discrimination and harassment from our country.”
The letter to the House and Senate is available online here.
BISHOPS ENDORSE AMERICAN DREAM AND PROMISE ACT
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration endorsed the American Dream andPromise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6), legislation that would provide permanent legal protection and a pathway to citizenship for qualifying Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.
“We need a permanent legislative solution for those who have spent their lives contributing and living in the United States,the country they know as home,” said Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. “Dreamers and TPS holders are vital members of our community who are going to school, working to make our communities better and raising families.They have lived in limbo for far too long and now is the time for a solution.”
On Wednesday, March 6th, Most Reverend Mario Dorsonville-Rodriguez, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of
CREATE A CULTURE OF SERVICE IN YOUR FAMILY
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Family Time! and Peanut Butter & Grace is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust. Find out about our contributors.