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The Spirit Came to Rest on Them Also • Family Time!

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Reading Time: 17 minutes

Sept. 30-Oct. 6: 26th Week of Ordinary Time

St. Jerome + St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus + Feast of the Guardian Angels + St. Theodora Guerin + St. Francis + St. Maria Faustina Kowalska + St. Bruno

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Get Family Time! as a one-page printable! We’re experimenting with this format (yes, again), so let us know what you think. What would make it better (and keep it simple)? Drop us a line at info@Gracewatch.org; put “Family Time printable” in the subject line.

1. Do an October family devotion. October is the month of the rosary, and Brian Smith has lots of ideas about how to observe that devotion…including a kid-friendly backgrounder on the rosary, a list of major feast days and memorials for the month, a Bible verse, prayer prompts, and ways to live the devotion in faith, hope, and charity.

(In case you hadn’t already heard, we’ve just released the second edition of The Illuminated Rosary, a set of books designed to help kids say the family rosary with sacred art. You can find out more at our family rosary page.)

2. Encourage your kids to be an altar serverErin Broestl has fond memories of her own time as an altar server growing up in the Anglican church, and recommends this form of service as a way for children to learn from good adult role models, and to become a role model themselves.

Also, check out this related article: How Max Learned the One Thing That Matters

3. Celebrate the feast of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. The feast of St. Thérèse is Monday, October 1, and you can read your kids a story about the saint, plus get a coloring page and seven sayings from the Little Flower, in Meet St. Therese of Lisieux

And in case you missed it, we do publish several books about the saint for children; here are links to the books on Amazon, which will ship them in time for the feast day (or buy them from the Gracewatch store and get 15% off with coupon code GRACE15):

4. 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.

5. Teach your kids to read the Bible. The feast of St. Jerome would be September 30, if it weren’t suppressed this year because it lands on a Sunday. But that shouldn’t stop you from honoring the guy who gave us the first translation of the Bible into as vernacular language (Latin) by teaching your kids how to read the Bible. Brian Singer-Towns, editor of the Catholic Youth Bible, tells us how in The ABCs of Teaching Your Kids to Read the Bible.

6. Cut off a body part or two. That’s the shocking, over-the-top advice Jesus gives us in this week’s Gospel. Check out Breaking Open the Word at Home to preview the Sunday readings with your kids!

7. 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 story and saint activity in St. Francis of Assisi • Playing with the SAINTS! 

7. 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. 

Plus, introduce your kids to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. This simple devotion introduced by St. Faustina Kowalska in 1935 focuses on God’s mercy, and is easy for kids to learn.

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If you did, then thank you! All pre-ordered copies of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women and the second edition of The Illuminated Rosary: An Illustrated Rosary for Kids and Their Families should ship by Friday. If you don’t receive a shipping confirmation by e-mail, get in touch with us on Monday.


Sunday, Sept. 30

St. Jerome (345-420)
The hot-tempered, outspoken scholar who spent years learning the languages in which the books of the Bible were written. Then he spent an even longer time translating them into Latin, the language of the people. St. Jerome didn’t hesitate to defend the truth, sometimes with harsh words and sarcasm. At the same time, he was also critical of his own sharp tongue and hot temper. St. Jerome completed his translation of the Bible in 400. “Begin now to be what you will be hereafter.”

Monday, Oct. 1

St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897)

Thérèse Martin was born in France on January 2, 1873, the last of nine children, four of whom died in infancy. After losing her mother to breast cancer at the age of four, Thérèse became a very sensitive child, crying over almost anything. But under the loving guidance of her father and four older sisters, she grew in holiness and wisdom far beyond her years.

By May 1887, Thérèse was determined to enter the Carmelite community at Lisieux. After overcoming objections from Church officials over her young age, the fifteen-year-old Thérèse entered the convent where she would live for the rest of her life with three of her sisters who also became Carmelite nuns (another sister became a Visitation nun). Over the remaining nine years of her life there, Thérèse blossomed in strength and holiness. In 1895, she was ordered to write a memoir of her childhood; this, together with some of her other writings, was published after her death as Story of a Soul. She died of tuberculosis in 1897 at the age of twenty-four.

Story of a Soul quickly became one of the most popular spiritual writings of the twentieth century. Despite its apparent simplicity, many have found in it a profound wisdom, so much so that Pope John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church, one of only four women so named.

Tuesday, Oct. 2

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.”

Wednesday, Oct. 3

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.”

Thursday, Oct. 4

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.”

Friday, Oct. 5

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.”

Saturday, Oct. 6

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 (Oct. 7)
  • St. Theresa of Avila (Oct. 15)
  • St. Paul of the Cross (Oct. 20)
  • St. John Paul II (Oct. 22)


…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. 


New rule would limit legal immigrants’ access to social services, bishops sau

On September 22, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that dramatically alters certain longstanding government policies related to legal immigrants’ access to essential safety net programs.

Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the Committee on Migration and Bishop of Austin, Texas, together with Bishop Frank Dewane, Chair of Committee on Domestic and Social Development and Bishop of Venice, Florida stated: “Yesterday’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking undercuts decades of administrative policies and guidelines on how immigrants are treated by the United States government. This further compounds strict eligibility guidelines already in place preventing many immigrants from receiving federal aid. While just beginning to review the Proposed Rule, upon initial analysis, it appears that this will be very harmful to families, raising fear among immigrant families already struggling to fulfill the American Dream. Further, it is likely to prevent families from accessing important medical and social services vital to public health and welfare.”


“Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.”

― St. Therese of the Child Jesus

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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