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The People Have Seen a Great Light • MISSION:CHRISTIAN Parents

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January 22-28: Third Week in Ordinary Time

St. Frances de Sales + Conversion of St. Paul + Sts. Timothy and Titus + St. Thomas Aquinas



MISSION:CHRISTIAN Volume 3 (Feb. – May) is shipping NOW. If you want it for your kids, grab it before all the copies are gone. The “safe to arrive by Feb. 1” order deadline is Monday. (We’ll order more, but they’ll come after February 1.) Get it here.



Mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade by affirming the goodness of every human life. Our friends at American Life League have four ways to prepare your kids for the March for Life, along with a whole raft of other useful articles about fostering a holistic pro-life attitude at home. And if you’re wondering how to broach the subject with your younger kids, check out what some of our readers had to say last year about talking to your kids about abortion.

Let your kids do a flash fundraiser for the Church in Latin America. It’s the annual collection for the Church in Latin America next weekend (Jan 28-29). If you feel inspired, let your kids do extra chores or set up a lemonade stand (if you live in Alabama) or hot chocolate stand (if you live in Michigan) to raise money for the collection. The U.S. Catholic bishops have several cool resources to use with your kids.

Drop your cell phone to follow Jesus. That’s what Peter and Andrew do in this weekend’s Gospel reading. Well, they dropped their nets, not their phones, but if they lived today, it would probably be their phones, right? Check out all of the readings with your kids before you go to Mass and see what a difference it makes: Breaking Open the Word at Home.

Teach your kids to develop a spirituality of work. No, it’s not just a clever trick to get them to do more chores! Really! Okay, so maybe a little bit. But our faith teaches us that work, done well and for the right reasons, is sacred—even a way to God. Get them started on the right path with these tips.

Send your kids to school with a prayer or a blessing. Why? Because it will help them through the day as much as that oatmeal bar you made them eat . . . or more. Plus, you’re forming a habit that (fingers crossed) might just carry over into their adult lives. And you’re making great memories, too!

Visit a food shelf with your kids. Because it’s still Poverty Awareness Month, you know.


Do you look forward to this newsletter? Do you find it useful? Say “thanks” with a small donation . . . it just takes a moment.



Bishop Robert Barron’s video review of Martin Scorsese’s new film Silence. (N.B. In case you haven’t heard, this is the critically acclaimed, gorgeously produced film about two Jesuit priests who, under great pressure, apostatize.) While Bishop Barron “warmly recommends” this thematically complex film, he also critiques it, convincingly arguing that today’s cultural elite—much like the cultural elite of Japan—wants a Christianity that is “divided, splintered, unsure, vacillating, privatized, and harmless.” Ultimately, the real heroes of the film are not the main characters, but the Japanese lay Christians who choose an extended martyrdom rather than give up their faith.

Children’s books about Thomas Aquinas: Yes, the “Dumb Ox” would have been tickled to know that he was the subject of not one, but at least two, children’s books about his life. Check them out at our growing Catholic parents resource directory.

MISSION:CHRISTIAN Volume 3 (Feb. – May) . . . now shipping.



Ven. Sotoko Kitahara (Monday), who qualifies as one of those holy Catholics you’ve never heard of but wish you had. After her city (Tokyo) was leveled by firebombing and her country defeated in World War II, Sotoko experienced a spiritual crisis that eventually led her into the Church. She began serving the garbage-pickers in a nearby slum, and soon went to live with them, becoming known as “the Mary of Ants Town.” She said: “I experienced a desire to
serve . . . which seemed a natural accompaniment to being a follower of Christ.”

St. Francis de Sales (Tuesday) who, as a young man, despaired that he was doomed to hell; through prayer, he learned to trust in the God of love. As a priest and bishop, Francis was a zealous evangelizer of those who had fallen away from the Church, winning their respect with his gentleness. He wrote many popular books on the spiritual life, and is a Doctor of the Church.

Sts. Timothy and Titus (Thursday), the close companions and helpers of the apostle Paul (you know, the guy whose conversion we celebrated on Wednesday). Paul’s letters to them shed light on what the early Church was like. Paul gave both men lots of advice about how to take care of the Church—along with occasional personal advice: “Stop drinking only water,” he told Timothy, “but have a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses” (1 Timothy 5:23). Okaaay, “Dad.”

St. Thomas Aquinas (Saturday), nicknamed “the dumb ox” by his fellow students, not because he was stupid, but because he was very quiet and a large man. His teacher, St.
Albert the Great, reportedly told those students, “We call this man the dumb ox, but someday his bellow will be heard throughout the whole world!” And how. Thomas still ranks #1 among theologians in polls of seminarians everywhere. But his greatest work, the Summa Theologica, went unfinished after he had a mystical experience that apparently placed it in perspective.





“All virtues are very dear to
God, but humility pleases
Him above all the others, and
it seems that He can refuse it

—St. Francis de Sales


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The Catholic Children’s Bible Coloring Book from Saint Mary’s Press, available now from Gracewatch Media for just $5; it’s 40 big, bold coloring pages carefully adapted from the art in The Catholic Children’s Bible. The coloring book features a wide variety of scenes from both the Old Testament and the Gospels, with handy cross-references at the bottom of each coloring page to the appropriate page in the Bible. Some of the pages include colorable quotes from the Bible, while others contain three different scenes to help kids remember the story. Preview pages aren’t available for this third-party product, just released, but we’ve got some pictures at the catalog page.

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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