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The Wise Watch for Wisdom • Family Time

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Reading Time: 18 minutes


November 12-18: 32nd Week of Ordinary Time

National Bible Week + St. Frances Xavier Cabrini + St. Gertrude the Great + St. Albert the Great + St. Margaret of Scotland + St. Elizabeth of Hungary + Ven. Henriette DeLille




Advent begins in less than a month…

…and it takes about a week to ship our Advent and Christmas journals to you, so order them now!

You can preview these books in their entirety at the link.



1. Watch for wisdom. As we approach the end of the year, Jesus advises us to be like the wise virgins who remained vigilant and prepared for the coming of the bridegroom, Preview the Sunday Scriptures with Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry in Breaking Open the Word at Home.

2. Teach your kids how to read, understand, and pray the Bible . . . because this coming week is National Bible Week. Here at Peanut Butter & Grace, get these Bible-related resources:

Over at the USCCB-sponsored Catholic Bible website, pick up these resources: Excerpts from the General Directory of CatechesisExcerpts from the National Directory of CatechesisExcerpts from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, and Enthroning the Bible in the Family—a cool ritual perfect for family prayer.

3. Take your kids to confession.  Kristen Soley, author of My Confession Handbook Jr., didn’t have a good experience of confession as a kid, but came back to the sacrament as an adult. Now, she really wants her own kids to have a positive, rich experience of the sacrament of mercy. Here are her ten tips for instilling a lifelong love of the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Other articles on the topic here at Peanut Butter & Grace include:

4. Teach your kids to care for the poor. The first World Day of the Poor is coming up on Nov. 19. Caring for the poor is essential to Christian faith…so how do we teach our kids this core practice? Here are seven strategies, an overview of Church teaching, and links to helpful resources.

5. Meet Elizabeth of Hungary. She’s one of a trio of awesome women saints whose feast days are celebrated at the end of the week; you can read a short story about her adventures, watch a 3-minute video biography, and download a free coloring page at Meet Elizabeth of Hungary! • Saints for Kids.

6. Start thinking about how to celebrate Advent. You know Advent is only a few weeks away (Dec. 3) when the USCCB posts its online Advent resources. We’ll be posting our own Advent resources beginning next week.

7. Collect money for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection Nov. 18-19. Get your kids involved in raising money for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection. Set out a giving jar and encourage kids to drop cash and coins in it. Children can scavange coins under seat cushions and on sidewalks; older kids can earn money or raise money with mini-fundraisers.

8. Bake a birthday cake for your bishop, ‘cuz this Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference. Do your kids know about your bishop—or that groups of bishops gather together in regional and national conferences? You can peek in at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall general assembly, which will be live streamed and live tweeted Monday and Tuesday; get details here. You can also make a lesson out of the timeline of the USCCB’s history, which offers an interesting peek into the history of the Church in the United States.

9. Catch the beatification of Fr. Solanus Casey. Fr. Solanus Casey (1870-1957), known for his great faith, attention to the sick, and ability as a spiritual counselor, will be beatified on Saturday (Nov. 18) in Detroit. You can find tons of resources on the website of the Fr. Solanus Guild.


What do you think of a t-shirt to go along with Amy Brooks’ Be Yourself! journal?
Take our survey.



…at discounts of up to 41% off the suggested retail price. The Catholic Family Book of Prayers is packed with prayers, blessings, meditations, devotions, saintly wisdom, and artwork—all selected specifically for Catholic families to pray together. Preview and pre-order on IndieGoGo; books will ship beginning Nov. 16. (Ovenbird Bindery editions may take longer to ship but will arrive well before Christmas.)



Over in PB & Grace Parents we’re evaluating different possibilities for a BE YOURSELF JOURNAL T-SHIRT…and one of our members has a superstar for how to engage little kids in saying the rosary. It’s a closed Facebook group, so you’ll need to request to be added.



Display a quote from one this week’s saints. 

Sunday, Nov. 12

100th anniversary of the U.S. bishops’ conference

National Bible Week


Monday, Nov. 13

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917)
A missionary to the United States from Italy, and the first U.S. citizen to be canonized. “Small and weak as a child, born two months premature, she remained in delicate health throughout her life,” says Wikipedia. “When she went to visit to her uncle, Don Luigi Oldini of Livagra, a priest who lived beside a swift canal, she made little boats of paper, dropped violets in them, called the flowers missionaries, and launched them to sail off to India and China.” Deemed too frail to join an existing order, she and six companions started her own, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Still dreaming of going to China as a missionary, she appealed to Pope Leo XIII for permission, but he sent her west, not east. She and her small congregation ended up ministering to poor Italian immigrants in New York City; she went on to found 67 schools, hospitals, orphanages, and other institutions across the U.S. and throughout the world. “I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him.”


Tuesday, Nov. 14

St. Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)
Until the age of 24, Gertrude was a fairly distracted and half-hearted nun; but then, on June 23 1281 (a date she recorded in her writings), she had a vision of Christ as a young adolescent that changed her life forever. She took up the study of Scripture and theology, and eventually became a prolific writer, not to mention one of the great mystics of her age. Her longest surviving work is Herald of Divine Love. She especially loved the sacred heart of Jesus. “O Jesus, you who are immensely dear to me, be with me always.”


Wednesday, Nov. 15

St. Albert the Great (1206-1280)

This German Dominican friar, bishop, and Doctor of the Church was one of the greatest philosophers and scientists of his age. “His scholarship laid the groundwork for modern scientific inquiry centuries later, including Galileo’s heliocentric model of the solar system,” says U.S. Catholic. His writings fill 36 large volumes and cover all fields of knowledge: botany, law, logic, geography, justice, astronomy, zoology, theology, and more. He helped the Church make sense of the writings of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, and taught the great theologian Thomas Aquinas. He is the patron saint of the natural sciences. “It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God.”


Thursday, Nov. 16

St. Margaret of Scotland (1050-1093)
The queen of Scotland who, with the support of her husband, King Malcolm, built hospitals, churches, homes for the poor, and monasteries throughout the land. She also called a council of bishops to bring the Church in Scotland more in line with Rome, worked to prevent wars between Scottish lords, and made sure all workers got to rest on Sundays. She and King Malcolm personally served the poor and sick at the castle on most days. You can read a kid-friendly biography of her life at the Baldwin Project“Lord Jesus Christ who, according to the will of the Father, hast by Thy death given life to the world, deliver me.”


Friday, Nov. 17

St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)

The queen who was so generous to the poor that royal officials worried she would give away everything in the castle. They expelled her and her children from the castle when her husband died; she kept serving the poor anyway. You can read a short story about her service to the poor in Meet Elizabeth of Hungary! • Saints for Kids or read a longer story at the Baldwin Project“Lord, you want to be with me and I want to be with you, and never do I want to be apart from you.”


Saturday, Nov. 18

Venerable Henriette DeLille (1812-1862)
Henriette DeLille was a free woman of color who had a religious conversion at the age of twenty-four that led her to break away from her social circle and comfortable way of life. Rejected by existing religious congregations, she founded an order of Creole women, the Sisters of the Holy Family, to serve slaves and the poor in New Orleans. As her obituary later stated, ” … for the love of Jesus Christ she had become the humble and devout servant of the slaves.” “I believe in God. I hope in God. I love. I want to live and die for God.” 


Beatification of Solanus Casey



  • World Day of the Poor (Nov. 19)
  • Thanksgiving (Nov. 23)
  • Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Nov. 26)
  • First Sunday of Advent (Dec. 3)



…are checking out the new book that collects Pope Francis’s teachings on the family, Wisdom on Love: Practical Advice for Families. It’s newly available from the USCCB bookstore.



In the aftermath of the recent and horrific attacks in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, urged national leaders to engage in a true debate about solutions to gun violence.

“For many years, the Catholic bishops of the United States have been urging our leaders to explore and adopt reasonable policies to help curb gun violence,” he said in a Nov. 7 statement. “The recent and shocking events in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs remind us of how much damage can be caused when weapons—particularly weapons designed to inflict extreme levels of bloodshed—too easily find their way into the hands of those who would wish to use them to harm others. Violence in our society will not be solved by a single piece of legislation, and many factors contribute to what we see going on all around us. Even so, our leaders must engage in a real debate about needed measures to save lives and make our communities safer.”

The full statement includes a list of policy positions the bishops have previously supported to curb gun violence.



“Learn from wonder; nurture astonishment. Live, love, believe. And, with the grace of God, never despair.”

—Pope Francis


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 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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