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It Is the Hour to Awake from Sleep • MISSION:CHRISTIAN Parents

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November 27-December 3: First Week of Advent

St. Francis Xavier + Dorothy Day + Blessed Charles de Foucauld + St. Andrew + Our Lady of Kibeho



Download MISSION:CHRISTIAN Advent + Christmastide for daily missions and live web links to each day’s Scripture reading and saint biography throughout Advent and Christmastide. At the download page, you can purchase the PDF for $6 or download it for free. You can also get your daily MISSION:CHRISTIAN fix at our Facebook page: @peanutbutterandgrace.

Download The Children’s Little Advent Book for daily reflections and coloring pages specifically for children ages 4-7.



Get 25% off coloring books, storybooks, or beautiful rosary prayer books from Gracewatch Media through Monday, November 28, with coupon code THANKS25. 

Here are our shipping deadlines: For free shipping, order no later than December 14. For priority mail shipping, order no later than December 19. For the hardcover Illuminated Rosary set, order by December 6.



Get ready for Advent! Start by checking out these 8 Practical Ways to Get Ready for Advent. Then, break out your Advent wreath, buy new candles, and pick up free prayer resources from your parish or the USCCB’s Advent page.

Put out the color purple (and rose). Do you have a prayer table or home oratory? Have your kids switch up the linens and other prayer objects on it to mark the new season.

Party like it’s Year A. Celebrate the new Church year this Sunday. We’re entering Year A for our Sunday readings, which means we’ll be hearing a lot from the Gospel of Matthew. Our weekday readings will follow Cycle I. (Fun fact: Ever wonder why sometimes the daily reading repeats the Gospel you just heard on Sunday? Sometimes it’s intentional, but a lot of times it’s the way the daily and Sunday readings just happen to mesh up.) Take a few minutes with your kids to read the introduction to the Gospel of Matthew; you can find more Cycle A resources, including activities, at Loyola Press.

What do this Sunday’s readings have to do with Christmas? They’re all about getting ready and being prepared for the (second) coming of Jesus, which is part of what we anticipate during Advent. You can preview Sunday’s readings with your kids with the help of Jen Schlameuss-Perry and Breaking Open the Word at Home.

Get ready for the end times. We’re going to be hearing a lot about the end times in the coming weeks, as we do every Advent. Now’s a good time to provide some context and clarity for your kids. Here are some good resources for Mom and Dad to check out before breaking it down for kids: Bishop Robert Barron gives an insightful, beautiful homily on the end of the world (and why it is really good news!) over at Word on Fire; EWTN offers a succinct synopsis of Catholic teaching on the Endtimes, Millenialism, and the Rapture; and Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, offers an in-depth commentary on the readings for this Sunday over at Salt and Light.



Believe, in limited release Friday, December 2. Not to be confused with the widely panned 2013 Justin Bieber flick of the same name, Believe is the story of a small-town businessman who must choose between financial success and the well-being of his community. A faith-filled young friend helps him make the right choice (that couldn’t be a spoiler, could it?) in this Christmas themed film. Rated PG.

Catholic Culture: Despite its somewhat spammy fundraising pop-up ads and difficult navigation, Catholic Culture is a must-bookmark treasure of useful, in-depth resources, including a Catholic Dictionary, a library of Church documents not found elsewhere, more than 700 reviews of Catholic websites, and the most complete overview of each day’s liturgy anywhere on the web. Check out our full review of Catholic Culture at our Resource Directory.



Our Lady of Kibeho (Monday), the name given to a series of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Kibeho High School in Rwanda between Nov. 28, 1981, and Nov. 28 1989. During that time, the Blessed Virgin, calling herself “Mother of the World,” appeared to three teenage visionaries attending the high school, which was run by the Congregation of Benebikira Sisters. The apparitions are believed to have foretold the Rwandan genocide of 1994, in which one of the visionaries was killed.

Servant of God Dorothy Day (Tuesday), of whom Pope Francis, in his address to the U.S. Congress, said: “Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.” Born in 1897 to a nominally Protestant family, Day followed in the footsteps of her father, a newspaper reporter, from an early age, publishing several short stories in a Chicago newspaper in her primary school years. Her lifelong search for God and compassion for the poor led her to mix with communists, activists, and prominent literary figures in 1920s New York City, where she wrote for various socialist newspapers. The birth of her daughter, Tamar, led to a profound encounter with God and her eventual conversion to the Catholic faith. She would go on to team up with a former Christian Brother, Peter Maurin, to found the Catholic Worker, a newspaper intended to communicate the Church’s social teaching to the Catholic working class, who at the time were being actively courted by Communists. The newspaper exploded in popularity, topping 100,000 before plummeting as a result of the paper’s pacifist stance during World War II (“Forget Pearl Harbor,” one editorial read). Nonetheless, “houses of hospitality” associated with the movement sprang up across the nation; more than one hundred continue in operation today, usually run by laypeople. The Catholic identity of the movement Dorothy and Peter started varies widely among these independent communities. Nonetheless, John Allen argues in Crux that it would make a lot of sense for Pope Francis to canonize her as a saint.

St. Andrew (Wednesday), one of the twelve apostles; he told his brother Simon, “We have found the Messiah.” Originally a disciple of John the Baptist, Andrew began following Jesus at John’s urging. There are many legends about what Andrew did after the resurrection of
Jesus; many say he preached the Gospel in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. Tradition says he was martyred by crucifixion.

Blessed Charles de Foucauld (Thursday), an officer of the French Army who became a Trappist monk. As a young man, Charles rejected his Catholic faith in favor of a life of sensual pleasure, squandering his inheritance on gambling, prostitutes, and fine food. After quitting the army, he wandered the desert country of northern Africa disguised as a Russian Jew; he eventually wrote a book about his travels. The Jews and Muslims he met during his exploration of Morocco inspired him to take up his faith again; he became a Trappist monk, and eventually went to live as a hermit in the Algerian desert among the Tuareg people, where he offered hospitality to travelers of every religion. He dreamed of forming a religious institute, but was martyred by bandits in 1916. While the religious institute he had dreamed of founding was never realized during his lifetime, after his death, his writings and way of life eventually inspired others to form religious communities and orders, most notably the Little Brothers of Jesus.

St. Francis Xavier (Saturday), was one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). He was sent on missions all over Asia, including India, Japan, and Malaysia. Wherever he went, he lived with the poor and tried to learn the local language and customs; he even adopted Japanese dress to better evangelize the people. Overwhelmed by the need of the peoples he met, he begged for more missionaries to be sent; in the meantime, he trained the children of one village to visit the sick, reciting the creed and assuring them that if they believed, they would be healed. According to his testimony, many were; he baptized thousands into the faith, leaving flourishing churches wherever he went.



  • First Sunday of Advent (Nov 27)
  • Giving Tuesday (Nov 29)
  • World AIDS Day (Dec 1; check out resources from the USCCB)
  • Feast of St. Nicholas (Tue Dec 6)
  • Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Thu Dec 8)



“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”

—Dorothy Day



mc-adventchristmas-2016-front-coverGet 25% off most Gracewatch Media titles through the Monday after Thanksgiving (November 25) when you use coupon code thanks25 at checkout at Gracewatch Media.

MISSION:CHRISTIAN Advent+Christmastide 2016
This special Advent/Christmas edition of the MISSION:CHRISTIAN journal covers the period from Thanksgiving through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. It includes all the same content for those dates from Volume 2 (October – January) in a smaller, more affordable package.

The Children’s Little Advent Book: Daily Reflections and Coloring Pages for Children Ages 4–7, an Advent resource that helps parents guide their younger children on a journey through Advent to Chrlittle-advent-book-front-coveristmas. Each day’s entry includes a brief Scripture reading, a reflection, discussion questions, a brief prayer, and a simple coloring page for children to complete after praying with their families. With The Children’s Little Advent Book, parents have an Advent resource specifically designed for short family prayer services with young children.

Get a snazzy Advent and Christmastide journal for your kids with the MISSION:CHRISTIAN Advent + Christmastide 2016 journal, available now while supplies last.

Teach your kids about the works of mercy with the Corporeal Works of Mercy Cards and Lesson Plans from Heidi Indahl—it’s available to download now.

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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