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Love Your Neighbor • Family Time

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Reading Time: 17 minutes



October 29-November 4: 30th Week of Ordinary Time

Blessed Chiara BadanoHalloween + All Saints’ Day + All Souls’ Day + St. Martin de Porres + St. Charles Borromeo




The best way to introduce your kids to the richness of the Christian prayer tradition 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. It’s packed with prayers, blessings, meditations, devotions, saintly wisdom, and artwork—all selected specifically for Catholic families to pray together. Pre-order during our crowdfunding campaign, and you’ll help us pay for the art…and you’ll save with big discounts! The crowdfunding campaign runs to Nov. 15.



1. Encourage your child to be a saint. Okay, your kids may not act like saints all the time (ahem!), but they’re definitely called to be saints. In preparation for All Saints’ Day, have your kids make their own holy cards, and use them as a springboard to talk about what makes a saint. We have all the details, plus a demo, right here.

Another way to encourage saintliness in your kids is to display pictures of the saints mixed in with pictures of your family members. The Koop family created a beautiful display for their foyer that integrates photos of modern saints with pictures of their family. Here’s how they use this unique display to stay focused on their mission of growing in holiness.

2. Take your family to Mass on All Saints’ Day. All Saints’ Day (Wed., Nov. 1) is a “Holy O Day,” as we say around here…short for Holy Day of Obligation, a day to gather and celebrate God’s grace. Here are the readings for the Mass, because we know you’ll want to prep your kids on the way. Put pictures of your favorite saints on your family prayer table and pray the Litany of the Saints, the oldest of all the litaniessometime this week.

3. Pray for the dead. All Souls’ Day (Thursday, Nov. 2) is a day when Catholics remember those who have died and acknowledge that our communion with God is not broken by death. Put pictures of deceased loved ones in your home oratory or prayer table; light a candle there, and pray for them. Make Soul Cakes, Fave de Morti, Eggs in Purgatory, or Dry Bones cookies for to celebrate the day. Here are ways to pray for the dead with your children, helpful suggestions for how to talk to your children about death, and some explanatory resources to boot.

4. Celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day with games and activities. We’ve been running ways to celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day all month long…but here are thirty more ideas for games, activities, food, and things to do, courtesy of Meagan Daoust.

Didn’t get your copies of The All Saints’ Day Party, the new children’s picture book about holiness from Peanut Butter & Grace? There’s still time to pick it up from Amazon or your local Catholic bookstore.

5. Love your neighbor. The readings for this Sunday tell us that the two most important of God’s commandments are two sides of the same coin: to love God with everything you have and to love your neighbor as yourself. See how last week’s readings are illuminated with this week’s explanation in Breaking Open the Word at Home.

6. Tell your kids the stories of the martyrs. Is it morbid of us to tell our kids the stories of the Christian martyrs, both ancient and new? Or by giving them these ‘resurrection stories,’ are we showing them the way to pass through pain and suffering to a new and larger life? Jerry Windley-Daoust makes the case for not shying away from the stories of the martyrs.

7. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is streaming on Netflix. Should your family watch? The live-action remake sparked plenty of buzz when it came out in theaters, thanks in part to its alleged homosexual agenda. Now that it’s streaming on Netflix, here’s movie reviewer Adrienne Thorne’s take on the film’s suitability for Catholic families.

8. Find healing after pregnancy and infant loss by reading Theresa’s story, But Not This Day: A Story of Pregnancy Loss and Healing. “Slowly my smile is returning; slowly the heartache doesn’t feel so dark….”

9. Celebrate St. Martin de Porres. The saint who was nice even to the mice has a remarkable story full of heroic virtue and miracles. Get our kid-friendly story: St. Martin de Porres: Friend of All (Even the Mice!).



Over in PB & Grace Parents we’re talking how to finagle chore time with kids who won’t stop fighting. It’s a closed Facebook group, so you’ll need to request to be added.



“We haven’t even had Halloween yet!” So say our kids in reaction to the Christmas trees set up in the big box stores. And yet, we know some of you like to plan ahead (because you’ve been e-mailing us!)…so, for those of you who like to beat the rush, we’re happy to announce that our Advent journals are ready for pre-order. The Children’s Little Advent Book is great for younger children; it features a simple coloring page and five-minute prayer service for each day of Advent. And MISSION:CHRISTIAN December-January covers the entire Advent and Christmas seasons, with special features on both. Check them out here.



Say a short prayer for a soul in purgatory each morning of the week. 

Sunday, Oct. 29

Blessed Chiara Badano (1971-1990)
Blessed Chiara was an “average” Italian teen who liked tennis and swimming and dreamed of becoming a flight attendant. She attended her parish youth group and joined the Focolare Movement. But it was as she was dying of cancer that her true spirit shone out, amazing everyone with her holy joy and love of God even as she suffered. “The light in your eyes is splendid. Where does it come from?” a visitor asked. Her reply: ‘”I try to love Jesus as much as I can.” Quote: “I suffered a lot, but my soul was singing.”

Get gorgeous coloring pages of Blessed Chiara Badano, St. Marcellus, and St. Martin de Porres in Living Sparks of God: Stories of Saints for Catholic Kids to Color.


Monday, Oct. 30

St. Marcellus (d. 298)
The Roman centurion who ruined the emperor’s birthday by casting away his sword and declaring he could only serve Jesus Christ. Quote: “I serve Jesus Christ the eternal king. I will no longer serve your emperors!”


Tuesday, Oct. 31

St. Wolfgang of Regensburg (c. 924-994)
As German bishop, Wolfgang aided and taught emperors, including St. Henry II. Later in life, he withdrew to the woods to become a hermit. After much prayer, he threw his ax into the woods, and built his hut on the spot where it landed. The ax is still displayed in the town that later grew up around his home.


All Hallow’s Eve
The day we remember the reality of evil and darkness, over which the saints will ultimately triumph. Check out Make It a Catholic Halloween and Halloween Is the “Holy Day” Catholic Kids Shouldn’t Miss for help to make your Halloween fun with a Catholic twist.


Wednesday, Nov. 1

All Saints’ Day
Enjoy the fun feast day with your family using these great ideas from readers like you:Your Best Costume and Party Ideas for All Saints’ Day. And here are seven more ideas for the best All Saints’ Day party ever.


Thursday, Nov. 2

All Souls’ Day
Here’s a quick explainer for your kids: “Not everyone who dies is ready to go straight to heaven. Before anyone can be with God in heaven, they need to get rid of anything that isn’t true, good, and beautiful. They need to be made perfectly pure. Th e Church calls this process of being made pure purgatory. God and the angels help people get through purgatory, and so do the prayers of the Church on Earth! We can pray for those who have died because we are united by God’s love as one family, and death cannot separate us.”


Friday, Nov. 3

St. Martin de Porres (1579-1639)
St.Martin de Porres was born in Lima, Peru in the year 1579; he is known as the first black saint of the Americas. He helped in every way that he felt that he could. Often, he would bring home the poor and give them his own bed. He even had compassion for stray dogs and cats, sending them to live in his sister’s home (with her permission!). Often, rather than killing the mice, he would lead them to a separate area far away from the monastery and feed them there so they wouldn’t go back to the monastery.


Saturday, Nov. 4

St. Charles Barromeo (1538-1584)
Charles Borromeo was made a cardinal and appointed to important leadership positions by his uncle, the pope, at a very young age. Fortunately, he was a good leader, caring for the poor in times of famine and helping to write a new catechism.





In an Oct. 25 letter addressed to all members of Congress, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called for legislators to consider bedrock moral principles as they approach tax reform.

“The U.S. bishops have long emphasized that ‘[t]he tax system should be continually evaluated in terms of its impact on the poor,'” Bishop Dewane wrote. Quoting Pope Francis concerning the family, Bishop Dewane stressed that “[t]hose services which society offers its citizens are not a type of alms, but rather a genuine ‘social debt’ with respect to the institution of the family, which is foundational and which contributes to the common good.”

As Congress formulates proposals for tax reform based on the “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code,” Bishop Dewane’s letter articulated six moral principles that should guide lawmakers’ decisions:

  • Care for the poor;
  • Strengthening families;
  • Maintaining progressivity of the tax code;
  • Raising adequate revenue for the common good;
  • Avoiding cuts to poverty programs to finance tax reform; and
  • Incentivizing charitable giving and development.

Bishop Dewane called on legislators to remember the poor and the common good when considering taxes, writing that “you are urged to recognize the critical obligation of creating a just framework aimed at the economic security of all people, especially the least of these.”

The full letter is available at the USCCB website.


“Paradise is not a fairy tale, nor is it an enchanted garden. Paradise is an embrace with God, (who is) infinite Love, and we enter thanks to Jesus, who died on the cross for us.”

—Pope Francis, speaking on Oct. 25


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).

MISSION:CHRISTIAN December-January includes a saint, Scripture reading, Christian mission, prayer prompt, and fun facts in every daily entry…plus, special features and activities for Christmas and Advent.

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.

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 Regina Lordan:
Regina Lordan, a digital editor at Peanut Butter & Grace, is a mother of three with master’s degrees in education and political science. She currently reviews books for Catholic News Service and is a former assistant international editor of Catholic News Service.

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