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What the Wicked Say • Family Time!

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Reading Time: 17 minutes

September 23-29: 25th Week of Ordinary Time

Sts. Padre Pio + Blessed John Henry Newman + Blessed Hermann of Reichenau + St. Therese of Couderc + St. Vincent de Paul + St. Wenceslaus + Feast of the Archangels

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1. Teach your toddler to pray with a prayer box. How and when do you begin to teach kids to pray? Start around age two, says Brian Smith, but keep it simple—like with this prayer box craft that helps toddlers pray for distant friends and relatives.

2. Celebrate the feast of Sts. Gabriel, Michael and Rafael. Are you ready for the big feast of the archangels next Saturday (Sept. 29)? We are!

3. Talk about being first and last.  This weekend’s Gospel is one of several times we hear Jesus tell his disciples that in order to be “first” in the kingdom, they must be “last” in the world…that is, they must practice humility. Jen Schlameuss-Perry has a family-friendly reflection and discussion questions to help you preview the readings with your kids in this week’s edition of Breaking Open the Word at Home.

5. Celebrate the feast of St. Padre Pio. Celebrate one of the most-beloved saints of modern times with “Farfalle a la Pio,” an easy and humble Italian sausage and pasta dish. It’s an encore edition of Ryan Langr’s Cooking with Catholic Kids. The feast of St. Padre Pio is technically suppressed this year because it falls on a Sunday (Sept. 23), but we’re sure Fr. Pio wouldn’t mind if we made this yummy dish anyway.

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The autumnal equinox is upon us (Sept. 21), which means it’s time to roll out fall books from Peanut Butter & Grace!


All of the new Illuminated Rosary books have arrived at our fulfillment vendor’s warehouse and are ready to ship. You’ll receive a confirmation e-mail when yours ships next week. When you get them, do us a favor and leave a review on Amazon, will you? It’s where we sell most of our books, and your reviews are extremely helpful.

We have imprimaturs for our Stay Connected journals, and two of the three journals have arrived…we’re waiting for the third to ship from our printer, thanks to a technical error that caused printing to be delayed. We expect pre-orders of Explore the Catholic Classics and Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life to ship early next week; copies of The Gift of Invitation and three-book bundles will ship early the following week.

Bulk discounts are available on all our titles.


We’re told by our vendor that it may be weeks before our calendar app is fixed. In the meantime, here’s an old-style rundown of this week’s saints and feasts!

Sunday, Sept. 23

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968)

The Capuchin friar who received the stigmata (the wounds of Christ) in his hands and feet. Thousands of people visited him to receive the sacrament of Penance; many said he “read” their souls. Others reported medical cures as a result of his prayers. He used his influence to build a large hospital: “The surest test of love consists in suffering for the loved one, and if God suffered so much for love, the pain we suffer for Him becomes as lovable as love itself.”

Monday, Sept. 24

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

The famous Anglican priest, historian, and theologian whose research into early Church history led him to enter the Catholic Church, and eventually to change the way the Church did things. “To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.”

Tuesday, Sept. 25

Blessed Hermann of Reichenau (1013-1054)

Born with congenital birth defects and unable to walk after an aggressive childhood disease, this 11th-century Benedictine monk and scholar composed “Salve Regina.”

Wednesday, Sept. 26

St. Therese Couderc (1805-1885)

Founder of the Religious of the Cenacle, Therese gave retreats for women. She had a vision in which she saw the word goodness stamped on everything, leading her to understand that God had given some of his goodness to everything in the world. “Oh! If people could understand beforehand the sweetness and the peace enjoyed by those who would hold nothing back from the Good God!”

It’s also the birthday of Johnny Appleseed, the pioneer who planted trees and preached the Gospel.

Thursday, Sept. 27

St. Vincent de Paul (1580-1660)

The priest who worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor in the French countryside. Others joined his work, and they became known as the Congregation of the Mission (now the Vincentians). Later, he teamed up with St. Louise de Marillac and her Daughters of Charity to form mutual aid societies in each parish. “Go to the poor: you will find God.”

Friday, Sept. 28

St. Wenceslaus (907-935)

Good King Wenceslaus (cue Christmas music here) defied his own mother’s anti-Christian ways in an effort to support Christian values, make peace with warring Germany and promote nationalism for his country. He was ultimately murdered by his brother for his political views. Older children can read more about him in “Treachery and Truth” by Katy Huth Jones.

Saturday, Sept. 29

Sts. Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael

Angels appear many times in the Bible, but the only ones who are named are Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael. Gabriel appears in the visions of Daniel, and appears to Mary in the Gospel of Luke. Michael appears in the Book of Daniel as the defender of Israel, and in the Book of Revelation leading God’s army against Satan. Raphael is featured in the Book of Tobit, guiding a young man on a fantastic quest. “God sent me to heal you . . . I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One.”

Today is also known as Michaelmas (short for St. Michael’s Mass)


  • Feast of St. Jerome, doctor of the church (Sept. 30
  • Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux (Oct. 1)
  • Feast of the guardian angels (Oct. 2)
  • Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (Oct. 4)
  • Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (Oct. 7)


…are checking out the September Promotions thread over at PB & Grace Parents! It’s full of cool businesses that you guys run, so head on over and check it out…knowing that you’re supporting a Catholic family with your patronage. What will you find? Arts and crafts…downloadable lesson plans…a knife-sharpening service…a BACKYARD CHICKEN supply provider (!)…fancy purses and totes…holy cards…Catholic hair bows…stuffed animals…art…books for Catholic teens…copy editing services…security camera installation (again: !!!)…and a few people who will help you reduce the toxins in your home. 


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Administrative Committee issued a statement Wednesday outlining actions they took in their recent meeting.

“When each of us was ordained as a bishop, we were told:’Keep watch over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has appointed you to shepherd the Church of God.’We, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, assembled last week in Washington at this time of shame and sorrow. Some bishops, by their actions or their failures to act, have caused great harm to both individuals and the Church as a whole. They have used their authority and power to manipulate and sexually abuse others. They have allowed the fear of scandal to replace genuine concern and care for those who have been victimized by abusers. For this, we again ask forgiveness from both the Lord and those who have been harmed. Turning to the Lord for strength, we must and will do better.”

The committee outlined four steps it had taken, including initiating the development of a Code of Conduct for bishops. “This is only a beginning,” the bishops said.

You can read the entirety of the statement at the USCCB website.


“Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity.”

― St. Vincent de Paul

Family Time! is edited by Regina Lordan and Jerry Windley-Daoust.


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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).

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 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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