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Healing and Thanksgiving | MISSION:CHRISTIAN Parents

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Reading Time: 6 minutes



October 9-14: 28th Week in Ordinary Time

St. John XXIII + St. Teresa of Avila + Our Lady of the Pillar


We’ve streamlined your weekly family faith formation newsletter! Click to open the overview below, or scroll on and dive right in!

Dear parents,

With this issue, we’re changing things up a little to improve your experience of our weekly newsletter. (Yeah, this is about the eighth iteration of this newsletter, as the veterans among you know . . . but hey, it’s an election year—we’re all about hope and change!)

We’re aiming for a streamlined read, broken up into four skimmable sections:

  • Friends Your Kids Should Hang Out With This Week: A quick take on the saints, blesseds, and venerables whose feast days are celebrated in the coming week. For a more in-depth look at the week, we’re sending you to our monthly MISSION:CHRISTIAN printable PDF, which is now enhanced with live web links to the daily readings, saint bios, and other relevant resources.
  • Catholic Calendar: A heads up about upcoming events, so you can think ahead about whether and how to participate with your family.
  • Power to the Parents: A one-minute roundup of stuff to inspire and power up your Catholic parenting in the coming week. We’ll include new activity ideas on Peanut Butter & Grace as we have in the past, but also excellent resources from third-party content providers as well as media and merchandise reviews and recommendations.
  • Parting Words: A quotable bit of wisdom to carry you through the week.

That’s it! We hope you find the new format more readable and useful. As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback!


Jerry Windley-Daoust


Get an in-depth look at the week by downloading MISSION:CHRISTIAN (October 2016), which includes daily missions plus live web links to the daily readings and biographies of each day’s saint.

At the download page, you can purchase the PDF for $5 or download it for free. You can also get daily missions, with saints and readings, at our Facebook page: @peanutbutterandgrace.



St. John XXIII (Tuesday), the “caretaker” pope who ended up calling the first ecumenical council in eighty years, the groundbreaking Second Vatican Council. (His feast day falls not on the anniversary of his death, but on the anniversary of the first day of the Council.) Kids should also know that he used his authority as a Vatican diplomat to help 24,000 people escape the Nazis during World War II. He said: ““Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”

Our Lady of the Pillar (Wednesday), the first recorded Marian apparition; she was actually still alive when she appeared to the apostle James to encourage him in his mission in Spain. Do you know why she appeared standing on a pillar?

St. Gerald of Aurillac (Thursday), a cool saint you’ve never heard of before who should be way more popular than he is. He was a French count who wanted to become a monk, but was counseled that he could do more good in his position of worldly power. He took a secret vow to serve God and did so in the course of his duties. The Life of St. Gerald of Aurillac by St. Odo of Cluny contains a number of entertaining details and anecdotes, if you’re willing to dig through the original manuscript for them.

St. Teresa of Avila (Saturday), a giant of a saint and only one of four female Doctors of the church who, with St. John of the Cross, reformed the Carmelite Order; her spiritual writings continue to be widely read today, and numerous other saints took their inspiration from her.



  • Pro-life Cupcake Day (Oct 9 . . . yeah, it’s a real thing; check out cupcakesforlife.com)
  • Columbus Day (Oct 10)
  • Canonizations of Blessed Jose Brochero and Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio (Oct 16)
  • International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Oct 17)
  • Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity (Oct 18 . . . on Facebook at @prolifeday)
  • Halloween (Oct 31)



Get 20 percent off Peanut Butter & Grace books at the Gracewatch Media store in October by using the code JP20 at checkout.

Do something pro-life with your kids. October is Respect Life month; the USCCB has a whole passel of new resources, and Mary and Laura Kizior serve up a handful of great ideas in Your Respect Life Month Toolbox.

Teach your kids to dive deep into the Our Father, the preeminent prayer for Christians.

Encourage your family to try new ways of praying by prominently placing prayer prompts in creative places.

Preview this Sunday’s Scriptures with your family, one of the easiest ways of breaking open the power of the Mass for kids. This Sunday’s readings are all about people who received God’s healing, even if they didn’t deserve it.

Have a birthday coming up? Use this super-simple ritual to “unwrap” the birthday kid’s gifts.

Given that it’s the month of the rosary, it’s a great time for your family to pray the rosary with sacred art, thanks to our awesome collection of art from the Illuminated Rosary on Pinterest.



“Sport is a human activity of great value, able to enrich people’s lives. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, she is working in the world of sport to bring the joy of the Gospel, the inclusive and unconditional love of God for all human beings.”

—Pope Francis, speaking at the Opening Ceremony of a Vatican conference called “Sport at the Service of Humanity.”



You wanted the Illuminated Rosary in an affordable hardcover, and we listened . . . now you can purchase a hardcover set for just $80. That’s $20 per book, each of which runs about 130 pages and includes more than 60 works of sacred art. Get it exclusively from Gracewatch Media.

Flowers for Jesus: A Story of Thérèse of Lisieux as a Young Girl (softcover, $10.99)
Little Thérèse Martin could be a very stubborn young girl. All too often, if someone wanted her to say “yes,” she wanted to say “no”! But then, as she is preparing for her First Communion, Thérèse discovers a way to turn her everyday trials and tribulations into something beautiful for Jesus. Join Thérèse (and her family) as she learns to “gather roses from amid thorns.” With vibrant watercolors and storytelling, Flowers for Jesus introduces kids to St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s spirituality of “the Little Way.”

Little Lessons from St. Francis of Assisi: A Prayer for Peace (softcover, $10.99)
“Make me an instrument of your peace.” The Peace Prayer of St. Francis, beloved by people of all faiths around the world, beautifully captures the spirit of “the poor little man” from Assisi, as well as the aspirations of our time: for hope, for reconciliation, for peace. Join award-winning artist Jeanine Crowe as she meditates on this powerful prayer in words and watercolors.

Molly McBride and the Purple Habit (softcover, $10.99)
Meet Molly McBride! Molly loves her new purple habit — it’s just like the ones her friends, the Children of Mary Sisters, wear. She loves it so much, in fact, that she doesn’t want to take it off…not even for her sister’s big day! Join Molly and her wolf-pet Francis as they learn all about nuns, habits, and giving your heart to Jesus.

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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