March 26 – April 1: Fourth Week of Lent
Laetare Sunday + Blessed Giuseppe Girotti + Blessed Sibyllina of Pavia + St. John Climacus
THE EARLY BUNNY GETS THE BOOKS
Celebrate all seven weeks of Easter with your kids by getting them MISSION:CHRISTIAN Easter 2017, the journal for Catholic kids on a mission. Order early, as quantities are limited.
And order by March 27 to get hardcover copies of THE ILLUMINATED ROSARY set for Easter; we need a little extra time for printing and delivery.
Discounts: Use coupon code kenosis15 to get 15% off any Peanut Butter & Grace book. Ordering 10 or more for a Catholic institution? Use coupon code i35 to get 35% off.
TOP 6 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS
1. Take your kids to a funeral or two. Ever wonder whether it’s appropriate to take younger kids to a funeral? We’re making the case for them to go (with exceptions, of course) in Kids and Catholic Funerals: Why They Should Go, and How to Prepare. This article grew out of a discussion in our PB & Grace Parents Facebook group, which you can join by sending us a request.
2. Learn how to see. Do your kids enjoy those hidden picture puzzles or magic eye illusions? Well, if they pay close attention to this Sunday’s readings, they might notice a not-so-hidden theme: light, and learning how to see as God sees! Preview the Scriptures with Jen Schlameuss-Perry in Breaking Open the Word at Home.
3. Celebrate Laetare Sunday. Laetare means “rejoice,” which is what we’re urged to do this Sunday, because Lent is more than half over! Here’s one super-simple idea for celebrating, if you have little kids: Dance your prayer! Not into dancing? Try making Laetare Sundaes . . . use strawberry ice cream for the rose vestments, and put a cherry on top, just because.
4. Put a Christian twist on April Fool’s Day. Kids of a certain age (and certain adults, cough cough) really enjoy April Fool’s Day, which is coming up on Saturday. If that’s your family, here’s how to put a Christian twist on the day.
5. Get kids involved in the Catholic Relief Services collection. The annual Catholic Relief Services collection is this weekend, and it’s the perfect opportunity for kids to practice almsgiving this Lent, either by tithing their income or doing something to earn some cash for the poor. Missed the collection? You can still donate online at the CRS website.
6. Sign your kids up for Catholic summer experiences. Get your calendars and/or spreadsheets ready—with the arrival of spring, it’s time to plan out your kids’ summer experience. Here are some Catholic options.
ALL THE COOL KIDS . . .
. . . are apparently reading Raymond Arroyo’s best-selling Will Wilder series, according to Catholic News Agency. The series kicked off last year with Will Wilder: The Relic of Perilous Falls and continues with this month’s release of The Lost Staff of Wonders. The series revolves around twelve-year-old Will Wilder and his unique ability to see the supernatural creatures threatening his hometown, Perilous Falls. Arroyo is well-known for his work at EWTN, so it’s not surprising that Kirkus reviews finds the series has “surprising spiritual depth with a hearty helping of monsters and miracles.” Sound fun? Check out the reviews on Amazon.
WHAT TO SAY WHEN THE KIDS KNOW YOU KNOW THEY DID IT:
“Time to ‘fess up.” That’s what Pope Francis is urging in advance of this year’s 24 Hours for the Lord, an annual event encouraging Catholics to participate in the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Pastors should make confession a pastoral priority, the pope said this past week, offering it whenever the faithful asking for it—not just during set hours. OSV is offering resources for participating in 24 Hours for the Lord, including a downloadable guide, at its website.
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In other news . . . the U.S. Catholic bishops praised a group of Republican lawmakers who introduced a resolution calling on Congress to tackle climate change. “The co-sponsors of this resolution add their voices to an important conversation, and are demonstrating that stewardship of creation is an issue that rises above political partisanship. The dialogue is about what Pope Francis has called “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day, climate change,” said Bishop Oscar Cantu. You can read the full statement here.
SAINTS FOR YOUR KIDS TO KNOW & LOVE
St. Tutilo of Gall (Tuesday). St. Tutillo (850-915) is one of those saints you never heard of, but once you do, you wish you knew more. He was a large, friendly Irish monk known for his talent as a boxer. However, he became most famous for his excellent work as a musician, composer, wood carver, and painter. He was an astronomer and mathematician, too, and created an astrolabe to show the course of the planets.
St. John Climacus (Thursday), the monk who wrote The Ladder of Divine Ascent, which describes thirty steps to holiness. Once, when his fellow monks criticized him for being too chatty, he stayed silent for an entire year!
Blessed Sibyllina of Pavia (Friday), the girl who, after going blind at the age of 12, prayed constantly for her eyesight to be restored. One night, she had a dream in which St. Dominic told her that her sight would return only in heaven. After this, she decided to become an anchorite, walled up in a room attached to a church. Two windows let her participate in Mass and receive the many people who came to seek her prayers and advice.
César Chávez (Friday), a thoroughly Catholic labor leader who organized a union to secure decent wages and working conditions for the agricultural workers of California in the 1960s. In his 2012 essay on Chávez in Crisis magazine, Dr. Christopher Shannon made this assessment: “The development of an authentic Catholic politics in a pluralist society requires an ability to speak a common language with non-Catholics even as one tries to lead them beyond the lowest common denominator to a fuller understanding of a distinctly Catholic position open to people of good will.. . . . The last Catholic in America to achieve this cultural/political synthesis was César Chávez.” His essay is called The Passion of César Chávez.
Blessed Giuseppe Girotti (Saturday), an Italian priest who ran a secret network that helped Jews escape the Nazis by providing shelter, transportation out of Italy, and fake baptismal papers. When his work was discovered, he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp with 3,000 other clergy, where his joy and faith impressed everyone. “According to Don Angelo Dalmasso, another priest with whom he was imprisoned, Girotti stood out for his generosity and openness toward the other inmates with whom he frequently shared the Word of God,” says the Order of Preachers website. He became sick and died on April 1, 1945; his fellow inmates wrote on his bunk, “Here slept Saint Guiseppe Girotti.”
MARK YOUR (CATHOLIC) CALENDAR FOR . . .
- St. John Baptist de La Salle (Apr 7)
- Easter (Apr 16)
“Let the remembrance of Jesus be present with your every breath, and you will then understand the meaning of stillness.”
—St. John Climacus
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
We’re talking about kids, chores, and faith over on our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents; also, what do you do when your seven-year-old says she doesn’t love God? Join us! It’s a closed group, so you’ll need to request to be added.
GET MORE PEANUT BUTTER! GET MORE GRACE!
BOOKS FOR SPRING
Easter ordering deadline: April 7
MISSION:CHRISTIAN Easter 2017. Did you know that the Easter season lasts longer than Lent? Help your kids celebrate Easter to the fullest with this colorful daily journal. It’s full of missions for every day, plus prayer prompts, saint stories, fun facts, and much more. Order early; quantities are limited.
The Illuminated Rosary complete set. “I can lead the rosary now!” That’s what we hear kids saying when they have one of the Illuminated Rosary books in their laps. The words of the prayers are printed on every page, opposite a sacred artwork depicting the mystery of the rosary being said. Kids love these books, but so do adults and grandparents! Available in hardcover (allow extra time for shipping) or softcover sets.
Molly McBride set. Kids love the spunky young Molly McBride and her feisty sidekick, the wolf-pet Francis. Get books one and two for one low price while supplies last.
And coming next week, In the Realm of Mist and Mercy, a novel about an orphan named Waljan and the secrets he discovers behind a mysterious, unassailable wall. The novel is an allegory of faith, and comes with an accompanying catechetical study guide.