January 13-19 • First Week in Ordinary Time
The Baptism of the Lord + Blessed Peter Donders + St. Macarius the Elder + St. Joseph Vaz + St. Anthony of Egypt + St. Margaret of Hungary + Ven. Frederic Baraga
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7 WAYS TO DO FAITH & FAMILY
A few options for Catholic moms and dads to try with kids next week.
1. Remember your child’s baptism on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This Sunday is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord…the perfect time to talk about your own kids’ baptisms and plan to celebrate their baptismal anniversaries. Here are nine ways to celebrate, and a helpful baptism backgrounder.
- If you want to teach your kids about baptism in a hands-on way, try out Heidi Indahl’s simple yet elegant Child of Light activity.
2. Help your kids memorize their prayers. When you help your kids memorize prayers, you give them a “mental prayer book” that they’ll carry with them wherever they go for the rest of their lives—plus, you’ll help to connect them with the rest of the Church . . . and God. Here’s how.
3. Celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. This Sunday’s readings are centered on the first event in Jesus’ public ministry…his baptism in the Jordan River. Listen for echoes of the first reading (Isaiah) in the Gospel. (Note that multiple options are available for the readings.) Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry will help you break open this Sunday’s readings with your kids in Breaking Open the Word at Home.
4. Get ready for your child’s First Communion. Even though parishes usually take the lead in preparing children for First Communion, parents still have an important role to play, according to veteran catechist Cindy Coleman, who offers five ways parents can help their kids prepare for First Communion.
- Have you seen our First Communion journal? Fun activities and features help kids learn about the significance of the Eucharist while recording their own thoughts and observations. Check out a full preview of the journal at the
5. Participate in Nine Days for Life. The annual nine-day prayer experience sponsored by the U.S. Catholic bishops begins Monday, January 14. Find out the many ways to participate at the USCCB website.
- Get your kids ready to participate in the March for Life or other local events calling for the legal protection of unborn children.
6. Pray for Christian unity. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins Friday, Jan. 18, and runs until Jan. 25. During this time, the Church asks Catholics to pray that all Christians are united as brothers and sisters, and work to answer Jesus’ prayer “that they all may be one” (John 17:21). A little confused why there is so much division between all of us Jesus-loving people? Sin, of course. Some helpful information on the topic is listed below:
- Tweeting With God is an excellent online resource to help you explain to your families how Christians are similar despite many differences and how we became that way. Click through the many discussion topics broken down in language your older kids can understand.
- Ask your kids what questions they have about the faith traditions of their friends, and then explore answers together.
- For you academia types, head over to the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute, a ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. The institute offers links on the history of Christian unity and resources for purchase to get your parish involved. And here is an explainer on the week’s theme: Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue.
- The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs offers this video, one in a series of 14, explaining the call for Christian unity.
- Familiarize yourself (and your teens) with the importance of ecumenical dialogue by reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church 813-822 and 830-856.
7. Change up your prayer table or home oratory. The Christmas season ends this Sunday, so change your prayer table or home oratory to reflect our move into ordinary time.
Bonus: Check out the
THE FUN WAY FOR KIDS TO PREPARE FOR FIRST COMMUNION
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Family Time! and Peanut Butter & Grace is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust. Find out about our contributors.