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I Will Give You the Keys • Family Time

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Reading Time: 13 minutes



August 27-September 2: 21st Week of Ordinary Time

St. Augustine + Passion of St. John the Baptist + St. Margaret Ward + World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation + French Martyrs of September



We’re pleased to announce a new children’s picture book from Peanut Butter & Grace!

Maggie and Max can’t wait for the All Saints’ Day party: there will be games and candles and treats . . . and costumes! There’s just one problem: they can’t decide which saint to dress up as . . . and the party is just a week away!

The siblings turn to their friends and family for help, and get introduced to six saints, each of whom had his or her own way of being holy: St. Martin de Porres, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Joseph, St. Josephine Bakhita, and St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

Which saint will they be? It’s a surprise—you’ll have to read the story to see!

Join Maggie and Max as they learn about what it takes to be a saint…and how each of us is called to be one.

Both the hardcover and softcover editions of this book are also available at Amazon, or wherever books are sold.



Turning Grief Inside Out: Surviving Pregnancy Loss with God’s Help is now available on Amazon.com. In it, author Christine Henderson shares her own stories of loss and offers practical and spiritual advice for both moms and their families and friends in a heartfelt, conversational style. Look for this title to be available directly from Gracewatch Media and on Amazon Kindle in the next few weeks.



1. Celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on Sept. 1. Okay, it’s not as snappy as “Earth Day,” but hey, it’s more spiritual…and it’s Catholic! Pope Francis established the day jointly with the patriarch of the Orthodox Church in 2015 to help Christians address the global environmental crisis. The Global Catholic Climate Movement has several ideas for prayer and activities at its web page for the day, including joining the day’s Facebook prayer event. And if you want even more ideas, check out Six Ways to Put a Catholic Spin on Earth Day. 

2. Get the key to this week’s Scriptures. When you preview this week’s Sunday Scriptures with your kids, have the little ones listen for the word, “keys.” It occurs in both the first reading and the Gospel. Jen Schlameuss-Perry helps you “unlock” this week’s Scriptures with your kids in Breaking Open the Word at Home.

3. Take your faith on the road. Going on an end-of-summer road trip with your family before Labor Day? Then take your faith on the road! Heidi Indahl has 3 Ways To Be Liturgically Intentional on the Road. (The article includes a link to a new-excuses way to find Mass when you travel, too.)

4. Play with St. Margaret Ward. Wednesday is the feast of St. Margaret Ward, the Englishwoman who was executed for helping a priest escape the Tower of London. Read about her exciting adventure in the latest Playing with the Saints from Christine Henderson.

5. Get a little bossy. So recommends Adrienne Thorne in her latest Catholic family movie review of Boss Baby

6. Celebrate the Passion of John the Baptist. The feast day of the Passion of John the Baptist is Tuesday; celebrate by reading the Scriptures for the day (or going to Mass!); see the link in your Catholic Calendar below. Then, make honey cakes with Ryan Langr, who first posted the sweet treat for the Nativity of John the Baptist a few weeks ago.

7. Add some “smells and bells” to your family prayer. Kids, especially young kids, really connect with the tangible “smells and bells” of Catholic prayer. Why not try some of them out in your family prayer time? Here are a few simple things you can do.



Over at our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents, we’re running a crowdsourcing contest. Answer the question: “What quote from the saints or Scriptures would you like your kids to know?” and you’ll be entered into our drawing. We’ll be giving away an $11 Amazon or Gracewatch Media gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter for every eleven people who participate…making your odds of winning a respectable 1-in-11 or so.

This is a closed group, so you’ll need to request to be added.



Make sure you don’t miss a Peanut Butter & Grace post on Facebook (@peanutbutterandgrace). Go to our FB page, then click on Following, and select See First. 



Post one or more quotes from this week’s saints in a prominent place in your home.

Monday: Augustine of Hippo (354-430), the man who spent years searching for the truth before converting to Christianity; he told the story of his conversion in his famous book, Confessions. He became one of the most important bishops of his time, and one of the greatest theologians of the Church. “Too late have I loved you, O Beauty ancient yet new! Too late have I loved you—and behold, you were with me all the time.”

Tuesday: Memorial of the Passion of John the Baptist

Wednesday: St. Jeanne Jugan (1792–1879), the former house servant who, with two friends, rented an attic apartment where they offered hospitality to the poor and elderly. Others joined them, opening more houses of hospitality; they became known as the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Wednesday: St. Margaret Ward, the Englishwoman who was killed for helping a priest escape from the tower of London.

Friday: World Day of Care for Creation

Friday: St. Dryhthelm (died 700), the man who died, only to come back from the dead the next day, scaring away the neighbors and shocking his wife. He gave away all his property (giving some to his wife) and became a monk. He told few people what he saw in the afterlife, but impressed everyone with his holiness. “Hereafter I am to live not as I have, but in a very different way.”

Saturday: French Martyrs of September (died 1792). During the French Revolution, religion was outlawed. Catholic priests and religious were arrested, sent into exile, or executed. This included 192 clergy and religious who were massacred by a mob in Paris on this date. “Here I am at your disposal, gentlemen, ready to die.”



  • Labor Day (Sept. 4)
  • Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Sept. 8)
  • Patriot Day (Sept. 11)
  • Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (Sept. 14)
  • Hispanic Heritage Month begins (Sept. 15)
  • Catechetical Sunday (Sept. 17)


Peanut Butter & Grace recommends families use Give Us This Day or another daily missal for daily readings, saint stories, and prayers. Give Us This Day is available at Amazon or directly from Liturgical Press. The app is available from your favorite app store.



…are playing FISHING FOR SAINTS, a new card game from My Catholic Kids. Think Go Fish!…but with saints. The art is cute, the price is right, and pre-orders get a set of holy cards for each of the saints featured in the game.



The U.S. Catholic bishops announced on Wednesday that they have established a new Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. “Recent events have exposed the extent to which the sin of racism continues to afflict our nation. The establishment of this new ad hoc committee will be wholly dedicated to engaging the Church and our society to work together in unity to challenge the sin of racism, to listen to persons who are suffering under this sin, and to come together in the love of Christ to know one another as brothers and sisters,” says Cardinal DiNardo, president of the USCCB. You can read the full statement (or watch a video announcing the committee) at the USCCB website.



“The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”

Pope Francis, in his proclamation establishing the World Day of Prayer for Creation




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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).

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.

MISSION:CHRISTIAN June-July 2017 includes features on Pentecost, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, St. Pierre Toussaint, St. Kateri Tekawitha, and more. A checklist of fun summer activities, plus “Christian missions,” Scripture readings, prayer prompts, and saint profiles for every day will keep your kids busy!

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 BookThe 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 WisdomLittle 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 PrayersSense 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.

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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