April 2-8: Fifth Week of Lent
Venerable Carla Ronci + St. Benedict the Black + St. John Baptist de La Salle + St. Julie Billiart
BOOKS FOR BASKETS
Get 15% off your order, plus free shipping, with coupon code easter15
THE ILLUMINATED ROSARY softcover set: “I can lead the family rosary!” Kids enjoy THE ILLUMINATED ROSARY because it includes the words of each prayer they need to say the rosary, along with beautiful sacred art to help them meditate on the mysteries.
Catholic coloring books: Gorgeous coloring books from Dominic de Souza, Mike LaVoy, Jen Norton, and more.
Catholic storybooks: Stories of young saints (and kids who aspire to sainthood!)
TOP 7 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS
1. Teach your kids to do some chores. Yeah, it’s easier to do it yourself . . . in the short run. But the benefits of teaching your kids to do chores around the house are so significant, both for them and for you, that you’re going to want to read Heidi Indahl’s 12 tips for teaching your kids to do chores. (You can send her a thank-you note in a few years.)
2. Meet St. John Baptist de La Salle. Friday is the feast day of St. John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers and founder of the Christian Brothers; we’ve got a fun story to introduce kids to his charism, plus a free coloring sheet and links to more resources about the saint.
3. Play with a saint who had big brother problems. Tuesday is the feast day of St. Isidore of Seville, who you probably remember as the bishop and “last scholar of the ancient world.” But as Christine Hendersen reminds us, he was also once a little boy with an overbearing big brother. Get the story and a game suggestion in the latest Playing with the Saints!
4. Sing a little Resurrection song. All three of this week’s readings are about how God, in the fullness of time, will overcome death; the big show number is the raising of Lazarus in the Gospel reading. You can preview the readings with your kids in Breaking Open the Word at Home.
5. Give alms . . . to your kids. Lent is about more than what we give up; it’s about what we give, too . . . especially what we give from the heart. What do you have to give your kids from your heart this Lent? Here are a few suggestions.
6. Plan your kids’ Easter baskets. Here are more than a dozen fun Easter basket ideas that honor the religious meaning of the holiest day in the Church year. Join us at our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents, where we’re discussing even more Easter basket ideas.
7. Invite the poor to your family table. The Book of Blessings, in its introduction to table blessings, says that “as a sign of Christ’s love (Christians) will on occasion invite the poor to their own table.” Yeah, that’s a stretch goal for us, too. Here are some thoughts for how to proceed.
SAINTS FOR YOUR KIDS TO KNOW & LOVE
Venerable Carla Ronci (Monday): Helping Ursuline nuns care for abandoned children changed the 14-year-old Carla Ronci (1936-1970) for life. As an adult she became a leader in Catholic Action, zipping around Italy on her motor scooter to visit the sick and the poor, and organizing religious education programs for children. “I am content with everything around me, because in everything I detect a gift of God. All the grace that fills and pervades my heart comes from possessing Jesus.”
St. Benedict the Black (Tuesday) was born into a family of slaves owned by a wealthy Sicilian family who set him free as a child. Even at a young age, he was very patient, kind, and devoted to God. Once when he was being harassed for his skin color, a passerby invited him to join a local Franciscan community. Benedict became so respected for his wisdom and holiness that he was made their leader. Eventually his fame spread, and many sought his advice.
St. John Baptist de La Salle (1651-1751) was a French priest who started free schools for poor boys with the idea of teaching them the faith and helping them escape poverty. He gave up a respected position and all his family wealth to do so. His efforts were fiercely opposed by schools that charged fees and by those who didn’t like his practical new ideas, such as
teaching in French rather than Latin, training the teachers in effective methods, and treating the children with kindness. His legacy carries on today with schools for the poor in more than 80 countries.
St. Julie Billiart (Saturday), who, by the time she was 7, was teaching other kids in the town the faith; by 14, she had taken a vow to commit herself to doing the works of mercy for her poor neighbors. This got her in trouble during the French Revolution, and she had to be smuggled out of town and kept in hiding for a while. Her good humor and faith attracted others, who eventually became the Sisters of Notre Dame.
MARK YOUR (CATHOLIC) CALENDAR FOR . . .
- Palm Sunday (Apr 9)
- Easter (Apr 16)
- Earth Day (Apr 22)
“Your children watch you continually; even if you don’t notice, they observe everything and learn from it,”
—Pope Francis, addressing parents at a Confirmation preparation session March 25
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
We’re talking about Easter baskets over on our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents. 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.