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Take Up Your Cross Daily | MC:XE

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Dear readers,

Beginning this week, THE BREAD is giving way to MISSION: CHRISTIAN: EXTRA EDITION, a weekly e-mail newsletter especially designed to support families using our new MISSION: CHRISTIAN journals. Don’t worry—you’ll still find the best features of THE BREAD in this new product, in slightly different packaging. And beginning August 1, we’ll link to the journal pages online. As always, we welcome your feedback. Enjoy!

Jerry Windley-daoust
Jerry Windley-Daoust,

P.S. If you’d like to purchase the pilot volume of the MISSION: CHRISTIAN journal, you can still get it at gracewatch.media/mission.



Peanut Butter & Grace is now on Pinterest!

Thanks to our summer intern, Sara Dethloff, for putting up more than 400 pins! Check out our boards on Pinterest.


Wisdom for the Mission

Learning the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
When my parish asked me to attend a week-long training for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, I was reluctant, thinking it would be a watered-down faith formation program. Boy, was I wrong! Here’s what I learned. by Becky Arganbright

What a Trip to the ER Taught Me about Real Fatherhood
A recent trip to the ER with my daughter gave me a deeper connection to Mary and Joseph, and the meaning of real fatherhood.   by Ryan Langr

DIY Backyard VBS
My kids still remember the year we did summer VBS at home. Here’s a quick rundown of what we did.   by Heidi Indahl

Not What Peter Had In Mind | Breaking Open the Word at Home
Who do you say I am?” Jesus asks in Sunday’s Gospel. But Peter’s answer may not mean what he expects it to mean.

The Dangers of Idealizing the Birth Experience
There’s a danger in becoming too attached to an “ideal birth.” Instead, we should expect that things probably won’t go as we expected—and then look for God in that imperfect experience. by Susan Windley-Daoust


Missions for June 19-25

Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time + Father’s Day + World Refugee Day + Fortnight for Freedom + Nativity of John the Baptist



You can switch out these special missions for one or more of the daily missions.


SUNDAY, June 19

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Father’s Day

FIRST READING Zechariah 12:10-11; 13:1
They shall look on him whom they have pierced.

My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

SECOND READING Galatians 3:26-29
Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus.

GOSPEL Luke 9:18-24
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Preview the Sunday readings with your kids, using these basic questions as a starting point for conversation:

  • What is the common theme in these readings?
  • What line or phrase most spoke to you?
  • How is God’s Word in these readings calling you to live?

Get a family-friendly look at the readings plus reflection questions for kids, teens, and adults in this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home.


MONDAY, June 20

World Refugee Day

Summer Solstice

GOD’S WORD: Matthew 7:1-5
“Then you will see clearly.” You’ve got something in your eye—like maybe a whole chunk of wood! That’s Jesus’ funny way of telling us that we should pay attention to our own faults before the faults of other people.

HOLY MENTOR: St. Juliana Falconieri (1270-1341)
The woman who was so devoted to the Eucharist, the Host was found imprinted above her heart at her death.

TODAY’S MISSION: Stop judging others . . . but make a list of your own faults.


TUESDAY, June 21

Fortnight for Freedom

GOD’S WORD: Matthew 7:6, 12-14
“Do to others.” Jesus sums up the law and the prophets in one little “golden rule.” Do you know what it is?

HOLY MENTOR:.Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591)
The son of a royal family who showed great devotion to God from the age of seven; he eventually gave up his royal position to enter the Jesuits, and died serving the sick during a plague.

TODAY’S MISSION: Choose one person to focus on treating as well or better than you would treat yourself.



Fortnight for Freedom

GOD’S WORD: Matthew 7:15-20
“Bear good fruit.” Jesus says you can tell a tree by its fruit—and a person by their deeds. What kind of “fruit” do you produce in your words and actions?

HOLY MENTOR:.Thomas More (1478-1535)
A witty lawyer and chancellor of England who believed in education for girls before it was cool and stood up to King Henry VIII to preserve the Church’s freedom; the king had him beheaded. He is the patron saint of political leaders.

TODAY’S MISSION: Stand up for your faith today. Write or call someone in a position of authority about an important issue that you believe needs to be addressed.



Fortnight for Freedom

GOD’S WORD: Matthew 7:21-29
“A house on rock.” Jesus taught us everything we need to build our lives on a solid foundation of faith. How heavy is your foundation? What needs work?

HOLY MENTOR: St. John Fisher (1469-1535)
The theologian, defender of the faith, and cardinal who was executed along with St. Thomas More for defending the Church against King Henry VIII.

TODAY’S MISSION: John Fisher loved learning—in fact, for a long time he was in charge of building up Cambridge University. He knew that curiosity and the ability to reason are gifts meant to bring us closer to God. Today, your mission is to please God by learning something new.


FRIDAY, June 24

Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Fortnight for Freedom

GOD’S WORD: Luke 1:57-66, 80
“Strong in spirit.” Happy birthday to John the Baptist, a child who was “strong in spirit” and born for a special purpose. Are you “strong in spirit” too?

HOLY MENTOR: John the Baptist
Many miracles surrounded John’s birth: His mom was very old, his dad was unable to speak for nine months (then miraculously found his tongue), and he leaped in his mother’s womb when the baby Jesus was near. Everyone knew that John (who would become the Baptist) was chosen by God for a very special mission. Besides helping people to see their need for God’s forgiveness and mercy, John’s big job was to point the way to Jesus. He was eventually beheaded by King Herod for warning the king about his sins.

TODAY’S MISSION: John the Baptist’s father spent nine months unable to speak; John himself spent a lot of time in quiet contemplation in the desert. Today, your mission is to spend as much of the day as possible not speaking. Do a lot of listening. At the end of the day, think back on what you heard while you weren’t talking.



Fortnight for Freedom

GOD’S WORD: Matthew 8:5-17
“A man subject to authority.” Authority is the power to make things happen, and in today’s reading, a centurion—the commander of one hundred soldiers—turns to a higher authority for help.

HOLY MENTOR: Jutta of Thuringia (died 1264)
The noblewoman who gave up her wealth to live as a simple secular Franciscan serving the sick and the poor; she made it her mission to pray for the conversion of the Prussians.

TODAY’S MISSION: Like Blessed Jutta, give up something to help someone else today.


STUMP THE PARENTS: The Sacrament of Baptism

Have your kids look at the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church #252–264, then let them choose questions to pose to you; they get points if they can “stump” you, you get points if you answer correctly. See the full rules at “Stump the Parents” at pbgrace.com.

Sample questions:

  • What names are given to the first sacrament of initiation? (#252)
  • How is Baptism prefigured in the Old Covenant? (#253)
  • Who brought to fulfillment those prefigurations? (#254)
  • Starting when and to whom has the Church administered Baptism? (#255)
  • In what does the essential rite of Baptism consist? (#256)
  • Who can receive Baptism, why does the Church baptized infants, and what is required of one who is to be baptized (#257-259)
  • Who can baptize? (#260)
  • Is Baptism necessary for salvation and is it possible to be saved without Baptism? (#261-262)
  • What are the effects of Baptism? (#263)
  • What is the meaning of the Christian name received at Baptism? (#264)
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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