October 1-7: 26th Week of Ordinary Time
Guardian Angels + St. Therese of Lisieux + St. Francis Assisi + St. Faustina + Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
We’re rallying to help the parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and Shrine in Port Arthur, Texas; see the ALL THE COOL CATHOLICS feature below for details.
9 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS THIS WEEK
1. Acknowledge when you mess up, and let God make you whole again. In the readings for this Sunday things escalate quickly in the God-isn’t-fair theme. Last week, we had to be happy for people who get stuff that we don’t, and this week we are told flat out that it’s not God who is unfair, but us. Preview the Scriptures with your kids and Jen Schlameuss-Perry in Breaking Open the Word at Home.
2. Celebrate the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Yes, her feast is suppressed this year because it falls on Sunday (October 1)…but we’re sneaking in a little celebration anyway. We’ve got a story for you to share with your kids, as well as a coloring page, in Meet St. Thérèse of Lisieux! • Saints for Kids. (Plus: Get Flowers for Jesus: A Story of St. Therese of Lisieux as a Young Girl from Amazon in time for the feast day.)
3. Celebrate the Feast of the Guardian Angels (Monday, October 2) by teaching your kids the Angel of God prayer; or, older kids can try out the Angelus. And if you missed last week’s newsletter, check out these articles for more celebration ideas: A Feast of the Archangels Party Plan and 7 Ways to Celebrate the Feasts of the Angels.
4. Help your kids practice almsgiving with these practical ideas for raising money for disaster relief. The church is collecting resources to help those recovering from the hurricanes that devastated parts of the Caribbean and southern United States as well as the recent earthquake in Mexico. It’s a great opportunity for your kids to practice almsgiving, a habit that is central to the Catholic faith. But before kids can practice almsgiving, they need alms to give, right? Here are nine easy ways your kids can remedy that situation.
5. Celebrate the feast of St. Francis (Wednesday, October 4) by blessing your pets; we’ve got links to the official Order of the Blessing of the Animals, as well as a video and other resources. Then, read your kids two stories about St. Francis: Meet St. Francis of Assisi! • Saints for Kids (comes with a printable coloring sheet) or Christine Henderson’s new story and saint activity in St. Francis of Assisi • Playing with the SAINTS! (And there’s still time to order Little Lessons from St. Francis of Assisi: A Prayer for Peace from Gracewatch Media—or, if you want the book by Wednesday, play it safe and order from Amazon.)
6. Celebrate the Feast of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (Thursday, October 5) with Divine Mercy Pierogies and a discussion about the relationship between empathy and mercy. Make these Polish potato-stuffed dough clouds with your family and talk about St. Faustina’s example of empathy for our salvation with Ryan Langr in Cooking with Catholic Kids.
7. Celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (Saturday, October 7) by making edible rosaries. Edible rosaries are an easy way to make our Catholic faith fun, memorable and “hands on”; Tracy Bua Smith offers several ways to do them, and shares the history behind the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in 9 Creative & Edible Ways to Celebrate Our Lady of the Rosary. (Plus: Get The Illuminated Rosary hardcover set for 15% off when you use coupon code GRACE15 at checkout at the Gracewatch Media store.)
8. Watch the LEGO movie and reflect on family relationships. Like others in the series, The LEGO Ninjago Movie is a fun animated movie for families. Continuing with their father relationship themes, this movie offers opportunities to talk about family dynamics. Check out a review of the movie with talking points by Jen Schlameuss-Perry in Bigger on the Inside.
9. Check out Pope Francis’ kick off of the global Share the Journey campaign. Pope Francis kicks off a big international campaign on behalf of refugees and migrants on this Wednesday, September 27. The campaign is spearheaded by the Church’s umbrella aid group Caritas Internationalis. Get involved by checking out the abundant resources provided here.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE…
Over in PB & Grace Parents, we’re asking whether you write down your sins before confession (a lot of people do!) and how to respond to daughters who want to be priests. It’s a closed (thank goodness!) Facebook group, so you’ll need to request to be added.
YOUR CATHOLIC CALENDAR
Write an encouraging quote from Scripture or from one of this week’s saints on an index card and slip it in your child’s lunch bag or spouse’s briefcase.
Feast of the Guardian Angels
Last week was the feast of the archangels, and today your family can celebrate the feast day of the angel assigned for your guidance and protection. As Pope Francis says in his beautiful homily for the feast day: “We all have an angel who is always beside us, who never abandons us and helps us not to lose our way.”
St. Theodora Guerin (1798-1856)
After her father was murdered when she was a teen, she became a religious sister. With other Sisters of Providence, she left her native France to teach pioneer children in the woods of Indiana. “We are not called upon to do all the good possible, but only that which we can do.”
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)
St. Francis wrote a beautiful song called “The Canticle of the Sun” in which he praised God through the natural world: “Brother Sun,” “Sister Moon and Stars,” “Brothers Wind and Air,” “Sister Water,” and “Mother Earth.” “Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no living man can escape.”
St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)
The Polish woman religious canonized by St. John Paul II, she is the force behind the image of Divine Mercy. You can take the opportunity to talk about mercy with your kids, or practice a work of mercy. “Jesus, I trust in you.”
St. Bruno (1030-1101)
A famous teacher from Germany, Bruno and a few companions retreated into the mountains to live as hermits—that is, people who live alone in order to devote themselves to prayer and copying manuscripts by hand. The group they started eventually became the Carthusian order. He said: “Only those who have experienced the solitude and the silence of the wilderness can know the benefit and divine joy they bring to those who love them.” This is your big chance to explain to your kids all about hermits and read about a modern-day hermit here in this article by the National Catholic Register.
Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
In honor of this Marian feast day, here are nine tips for praying the rosary with your children.
COMING UP . . .
- October is Pregnancy and Infant Awareness Month; Respect Life Month; and Domestic Abuse Awareness Month
- Week of Prayer and Action (Oct. 7-13)
- 25th Anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Oct 11)
- 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima (Oct. 13)
- Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day (Oct. 15)
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.
ALL THE COOL CATHOLICS (PART 1)…
…are banding together to help out Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and Shrine in Port Arthur, Texas. Earlier this week, Peanut Butter & Grace reached out to our followers on Facebook to ask about who needed help with disaster relief. We heard back from Lety Gonzalez, who pointed us to the parish, which suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Harvey: “They had about a foot of floodwater, but the immediate surrounding area received approximately six feet so the church was inaccessible for nine days. They lost everything due to mold,” she says. We reached out to Fr. Urbano Sáenz, pastor of the parish. While damage to the church building itself is covered by insurance, many of his parishioners lost everything and have been coming to the parish daily for donations to help them get by. “What they need most is money,” he says; they need it for staples like food and diapers, but also to replace the contents of their houses. “The streets are still piled high with all the debris,” he says. Fr. Urbano has been distributing gift cards (mainly to Walmart) to parishioners, screening them to verify their need.
Besides money for needy parishioners, the parish’s two youth programs lost all of their materials, according to Lety Gonzalez: “They could use crayons, games, pencils, and general school supplies for their religious education classes,” she says. “And they also had two active youth groups, a Catholic Youth Organization and a bilingual youth group, that lost all their activities and games that had been collected throughout the years.”
Want to help? You can send monetary donations or gift cards (marked “hurricane relief”) directly to the parish: Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and Shrine . Oh, and they’re asking that you not send clothing—they don’t have anywhere to store it.
ALL THE COOL CATHOLICS (PART 2)…
… are also helping Theresa and Charles Pobee-Mensah, the couple behind My Catholic Kids, reach their Kickstarter goal to create a new product for Advent, My Jesse Tree: Magnet Set. My Catholic Kids offers products like “Bible Characters for Advent: The Stories That Brought Us Christmas” to help raise your children in the Catholic faith in a fun and creative way. To be funded, the Kickstarter goal must be reached by Oct. 10, so check it out today!
“Joy multiplies when you share it!”
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).
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.
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 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.