July 15-21: 15th Week of Ordinary Time
St. Bonaventure + Our Lady of Mount Carmel + St. Hedwig +
Bartolomé de las Casas + St. Macrina the Younger + St. Margaret of Antioch + St. Victor of Marseilles
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5 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS
1. Practice thirty seconds of silence around family prayer. It sounds simple, but if you make a habit of it, taking thirty seconds of silence before (and after) your spoken prayer can improve your family prayer time and lay the foundation for kids to learn meditative prayer. Here’s what to do, and a couple of kid-friendly invitations to prayer.
2. Devise a rule of life for your family using the Rule of St. Benedict as an inspiration. The Rule of St. Benedict may be 1,500 years old and written for vowed religious, but it’s surprisingly full of good advice for today’s Catholic family as well. Here are four “rules” that every family might adopt.
3. Talk to your kids about physician-assisted suicide. Physician-assisted suicide is legal in seven U.S. states and all of Canada, with proponents actively pushing legislation in numerous other states. What can Catholic families do? Reclaiming the practice of dying well is a good start. In this excerpt from her new book, Why You Shouldn’t Kill Yourself: Five Tricks of the Heart About Assisted Suicide, author Susan Windley-Daoust offers a Catholic response to physician-assisted suicide that every parent should have at hand.
4. Go out and prophesy. This week’s Sunday Scriptures continue the theme of prophets and prophesy that was introduced in last week’s reading. You can preview those Scriptures with your kids with the help of Breaking Open the Word at Home, with Jen Schlameuss-Perry.
5. Share a story of saints and dragons. The feast of St. Margaret of Antioch is coming up on Tuesday; tell your kids Christine Henderson’s short, kid-friendly story of this saint who escaped the belly of a dragon, then do the paired activity in Playing with the SAINTS.
READER SURVEY: PDFs, VIDEO, SUPPORT GROUPS TOP LIST
Thanks to everyone who participated in our third reader survey! We received lots and lots of helpful comments that we’ll take into our brainstorming meeting later this week. The survey is still open if you want to put in your two cents.
Here were the top 10 responses to question #2, “What resources would you like to see us produce for Catholic families? Choose all options that you would actually want to get.”
- Printable PDF resources (53.6%)
- Weekly e-mail with family faith formation ideas (47.8%)
- A YouTube channel dedicated to faith formation for kids (46.4%)
- Parish-based study and support groups for parents (44.9%)
- Fiction for Catholic kids ages 8-12 (42%)
- Books for Catholic parents (38.4%)
- Picture books for Catholic children (37%)
- A family prayer journal based on the lectionary (37%)
- A how-to video series for Catholic parents (34.8%)
- Prayer books for Catholic kids (31.9%)
We’d like to ask a followup question about those PDF resources, so if you have a moment, click through to a two-question followup survey about just what kind of PDFs you’d like to see.
…to Rebecca Barber for pledging her support to Peanut Butter & Grace’s free online resources for Catholic families! As we meet this week to discuss future possibilities for Peanut Butter & Grace, the support of Rebecca (and all our patrons) will open up new possibilities.
Patrons power Peanut Butter & Grace.
Find out about patron membership levels.
ALL THE COOL CATHOLICS…
…are checking out our monthly promo thread on PB & Grace Parents, where you’ll find sales, deals, resources, interesting blog posts, and more. Hair Bows 4 Life has a great article with party ideas, activities, and coloring pages for the upcoming Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. And Amy Webb over at The Thoughtful Parent has an interesting three-part routine for stay-at-home moms that benefits both mom and baby. Check out the thread for even more resources!
…are apparently singing the praises of Catholic Fest in Bailey’s Harbor, Wisconsin…or at least one cool Catholic is…Peanut Butter & Grace author Becky Arganbright took her family and made this short video about the experience.
Got your own Catholic summer camp photos or videos to share? Tag us on Facebook or Instagram, or e-mail them to us directly.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
Follow us on our new Instagram page and tag us with photos of all the ways you practice the faith with your kids…we’re looking forward to seeing what you’re up to!
We’re doing another crowdsourcing contest in our PB & Grace Parents Facebook group…on books for children and teens. It’s a closed group, but request to be added and we’ll open the door for you. Welcome!
YOUR CATHOLIC CALENDAR
Our calendar web app features saints’ feast days and important Church events, with links to more resources, images, a variety of viewing options, and the option to sync with your own calendar.
Calendar of Events
COMING UP . . .
- St. James the Apostle (July 25)
- Sts. Joachim and Anne (July 26)
- St. Ignatius of Loyola (July 31)
- St. Alphonsus Liguouri (Aug. 1)
RAISING FAITHFUL CITIZENS
SUPPORT FOR ROE SHOULDN’T BE LITMUS TEST
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), wrote to the members of the Senate on July 6, urging them not to use support for Roe v. Wade as a litmus test for judicial nominees in their deliberations about the upcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States.
The letter makes clear that the USCCB “does not support or oppose confirmation of particular presidential nominees.” Instead, the letter expresses “grave concerns about the confirmation process…being grossly distorted by efforts to subject judicial nominees to a litmus test in support of Roe, as though nominees who oppose the purposeful taking of innocent human life are somehow unfit for judicial office in the United States.”
“By any measure,” the Cardinal says, “support for Roe is an impoverished standard for assessing judicial ability. For forty-five years, Roe has sparked more informed criticism and public resistance than any other court decision of the late 20th century.”
You can read the full statement here.
REACHING OUT TO ASIAN AND PACIFIC ISLAND CATHOLICS
The Asian and Pacific Island population in the United States is the fastest growing minority population in the U.S., according to research referenced in a new document just released by the U.S. Catholic bishops. Yet, this population “tends to go unrecognized in the wider US society, and there remains a need to bring more attention and support to the Asian and Pacific Island communities,” the bishops say in Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters. You can read the full document here.
“If you do not know your own dignity and condition, you cannot value anything at its proper worth.”
—St. Bonaventure, Holiness of Life
Family Time! is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust.
GET MORE PEANUT BUTTER! GET MORE GRACE!
Remember to grab 15% off your order at Gracewatch Media with coupon code GRACE15.
Here’s a list of most of our books, ordered by publication date (most recent first).
First Communion Journal
This beautiful First Communion journal is full of fun ways for Catholic kids to prepare for, remember, and live out their First Holy Communion. With its colorful design, prayers, devotions, special activities, and quotes from the saints and Scriptures, the My First Communion Journal can be used both before and after the child’s First Communion day.
The Way of the Cross Journal for Children
In The Way of the Cross Journal for Children, young readers are invited to enter into the story of Jesus’ suffering and death through story, prayer, coloring, and action. Appropriate for ages 5-8; younger children will need adult assistance. 62 pages.
The Stations of the Cross for Children
The Stations of the Cross for Children was designed especially for younger children, with colorful illustrations and simple text that introduces them to the Passion of Jesus Christ on their level. Each station takes about two minutes to complete, including about thirty seconds of silent prayer. Optional prayers and Scripture references for each station offer a variety of ways to adapt and expand The Stations of the Cross for Children for older kids. And the opening and closing prayers place the Passion in the larger context of Jesus’ mission…and every Christian’s call to continue that mission in the world today.
Molly McBride and the Party Invitation
Molly McBride is turning six, and her momma is planning a BIG party. Everyone in Molly’s class is supposed to get an invitation. But should a certain class bully be invited, too? Or would it be better if his were “lost”? Join Molly and friends as they learn that doing acts of charity, while always a good thing, isn’t always a party. It’s Molly McBride and the Party Invitation: A Story About the Virtue of Charity.
The Catholic Family Book of Prayers
Do you want to introduce your kids to the richness of the Christian prayer tradition? The best way to do that is to pray with them, and now there’s a beautiful collection of Catholic prayers and meditations designed just for that purpose: The Catholic Family Book of Prayers: A Treasury of Prayers and Meditations for Families to Pray Together. It’s packed with prayers, blessings, meditations, saintly wisdom, and artwork—all selected specifically for Catholic families to pray together. Available in digital, softcover, hardcover, and handcrafted editions.
Lectio Divina for Teens: Reading God’s Messages to You
Lectio Divina for Teens: Reading God’s Messages to You introduces young people to the ancient prayer practice of lectio divina in a guided journal format. It features a brief, accessible introduction to lectio divina, walking readers through the method step by step, then turns them loose to try the method themselves in eight pre-selected readings. Seven additional blank journal entries provide space for readers to choose their own readings; a list of suggested texts is included. The colorful, beautifully designed interior provides a warm and welcome space for reflection and prayer. Lectio Divina for Teens has received an imprimatur from the Diocese of Winona.
The All Saints’ Day Party
Maggie and Max can’t wait for the All Saints’ Day party. There’s just one problem: they can’t decide which saint to dress up as…and the party is just a week away! Join Maggie and Max as their friends and family tell them about six holy men and women who offer living examples of what it means to be a saint…even if you’re a kid!
Turning Grief Inside Out: Surviving Pregnancy Loss with God’s Help
Drawing on her own personal experience of pregnancy loss, Christine Hendersen offers practical and spiritual advice—as well as a hopeful path forward—for grieving mothers and the people who love them.
Be Yourself! A Journal for Catholic Girls: “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire!” Those words are at the heart of Be Yourself! A Journal for Catholic Girls, which is designed to help girls explore their identity and purpose in life in light of the wisdom of the Catholic Church, including half a dozen female saints. Ages 9 and up.
I Can Be Happy, Too: A Book about Attitudes uses simple rhyme accompanied by Scripture verses and sweet, expressive illustrations, to teach children that while we can’t control the bad things that happen to us, we can control how we respond to disappointment and adversity.
Blessed Is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss invites grieving mothers to let the Blessed Mother accompany them on their journey of grief and healing. Mary not only understands their loss, but wishes to bring mothers to healing through the saving work of her son. For each mystery of the rosary, author Heidi Indahl compassionately shares her own experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss, offering insights about how those losses are connected to the experience of Jesus and Mary as revealed by the mysteries of the rosary.
In the Realm of Mist and Mercy, our new YA fantasy/adventure novel with a Catholic heart and sensibility; it comes with an accompanying Lesson Plan book that helps parents and kids connect the story to teachings of the Catholic faith.
The Illuminated Rosary hardcover 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.
The Stations of the Cross for Children. Here’s a downloadable PDF with sacred art depicting each of the Stations of the Cross, along with a simple reflection and prayer, geared for young children.
77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids, now in hardcover from Dynamic Catholic; to celebrate, we’re offering hardcover copies for $12, about 50% off the cover price, while supplies last. Whether you are just getting started with family prayer or wish to broaden your horizons, 77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids can help, offering practical, kid-friendly guides to Christian prayer practices both ancient and new. Features include: age-appropriate adaptations for young children, older kids, and teens; articles on a wide range of practices; Talking Points…explanations of prayer practices that kids might have questions about; cross-references to the Catechism, Scripture, and church documents; an appendix containing thirty-three common and useful Catholic prayers; a quick-find index makes it easy to find prayer ideas, and doubles as a checklist to track your progress.
Molly McBride and the Plaid Jumper. Kids love the spunky young Molly McBride and her feisty sidekick, the wolf-pet Francis. In this book, Molly faces off against the dreaded plaid jumper that she’s going to have to wear when she starts school in the fall. Along with her new friends, Dominic and Fr. Matt, she learns all about uniforms and our true identity in God.
Paddy and the Wolves. Young Paddy can’t sit still during morning prayers, but he’s more than happy to help the shepherd, Barra, watch sheep for the day! But who will watch Paddy when he wanders into the woods? As he explores the wilderness of coastal Britain, Paddy encounters many delights and dangers—and ultimately, the One who watches over him through it all. Available as a hardcover or softcover storybook, or a coloring book with complete text; also available is a downloadable board game. Features the art of Catholic folk artist Jen Norton.
The Children’s Little Advent Book. The Children’s Little Advent Book is designed to help parents with children ages 4-7 on a journey through Advent to Christmas. 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.
Corporal Works of Mercy Cards. Teach a lesson about the Works of Mercy with these downloadable cards and teaching guide.
Little Lessons from St. Francis of Assisi. “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.
Flowers for Jesus: A Story of Thérèse of Lisieux as a Young Girl. 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.” Available in hardcover and softcover editions.
La Florecita de Jesús: Una Parábola de Santa Teresita Del Niño Jesús. This is the Spanish-language edition of The Little Flower. La autora Becky Arganbright ha adoptado las enseñanzas de las orecitas de santa Teresita en esta encantadora parábola para niños. La joven Teresita aprende que aunque es pequeña, con la ayuda de Dios, su pequeñez puede ser una manera de hacer grandes cosas para Dios. La ilustradora Tracey Arvidson da vida a la joven Teresa Martín, y a sus ores en la parábola, con sus maravillosas ilustraciones.
Molly McBride and the Purple Habit. 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.
Living Sparks of God: Stories of Saints for Young Catholics to Color. Here are fourteen lively two-minute stories to introduce young Catholics to some of the Church’s most beloved saints. Each story is accompanied by two coloring pages: a gorgeously detailed portrait of the saint, and a scene of the saint in action.
The Gift of Birth: Discerning God’s Presence During Childbirth. Is the process of giving birth a medical problem to be solved, a hurdle to be overcome on the way to motherhood . . . or is it something more? Could it be, as Susan Windley-Daoust proposes, that giving birth is a gift from God, laden with signs that speak to women about their identity, their calling, and their destiny? If so, then learning to read those embodied signs during pregnancy and labor could transform the way women experience childbirth. These signs reveal that God is not only powerfully present in the whole birthing process, but desires to actively work with women to bring forth new life.
Little Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux: An Introduction to Her Words and Wisdom. Little Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux presents brief excerpts from Story of a Soul as a way of introducing those unfamiliar with Thérèse to some of the essential themes of her spirituality. The words of St. Thérèse are accompanied by the artwork of award-winning watercolorist Jeanine Crowe, a wonderful aid to prayerful meditation on the words and wisdom of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Little Lessons from St. Thérèse of Lisieux includes twenty-one selections from the words of St. Thérèse, twenty artworks, and ten questions for reflection and discussion.
The Little Flower: A Parable of St. Thérèse of Liseux. Becky Arganbright has adapted St. Thérèse’s lesson of the little flowers into a delightful parable for children. The young Thérèse learns that even though she might be little, with God’s help, her littleness can be a way of doing great things for the Kingdom of God. Illustrator Tracey Arvidson brings the young Thérèse Martin (and the flowers of her parable) to life in gorgeous illustrations.
Sense of the Sacred: Illuminated Book of Catholic Prayers. Sense of the Sacred: Illuminated Book of Catholic Prayers contains thirty traditional Catholic prayers every child should have at hand, each accompanied by a beautiful, hand-drawn illustration to aid in prayerful meditation on the mysteries of the faith.
Sense of the Sacred: A Coloring Book for Young Illuminators. For centuries, the Catholic Church has used art to illuminate the sacred mysteries of the Faith. Now, your child can follow in that tradition by making sacred art with the help of Sense of the Sacred: Coloring Book for Young Illuminators. This book contains 30 hand-drawn illustrations and accompanying Bible verses, drawing on the rich legacy of statues and stained glass in our Catholic Faith.