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Give Her a Reward • Family Time

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November 19-25: 33rd Week of Ordinary Time

 World Day of the Poor + St. Rose Philippine Duchesne + Presentation of Mary + Thanksgiving + Blessed Miguel Pro + St. Cecilia




Advent begins in two weeks…

…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. Be a productive worker in God’s kingdom. In the readings for this Sunday, Nov. 19, we’re reminded that, in our deep and loving relationship with God, we are invited to be our most authentic, resourceful, and fruitful selves. Get a preview of the Sunday Scriptures that you can share with your kids in this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home.

2. Plan an awesome prayer this Thanksgiving. Make your Thanksgiving prayer just as dressed up as your meal. We’ve got twelve ways to serve up gratitude as part of your feast in 12 Thanksgiving Prayer Ideas.

  • Plus (bonus!) encourage an attitude of gratitude between now and Thanksgiving by having kids fill out our one-page printable Gratitude Journal. Use the completed list of things your kids are grateful for as part of your Thanksgiving meal prayer.

3. Power up your Black Friday the Catholic way. More and more people are turning their backs on Black Thursday and Black Friday. If your family is one of them, here are eight other ways to spend your Thanksgiving weekend.

4. Shop Catholic. As you make up your Christmas gift list, author Jeanie Egolf has 17 suggestions from small Catholic entrepreneurs…plus an Instagram giveaway to win one of the items (enter by Dec. 18). Jeanie calls it “doing trade,” and she’ll have several more features as we get into the holiday shopping season.

5. Mark the World Day of the Poor this Sunday. Read Pope Francis’s message establishing the annual observance, then check out Peanut Butter & Grace articles about how to serve the poor with your kids, including Susan Windley-Daoust’s account of the special ministry that even the youngest kids can perform at a homeless shelter.

6. For the feast of St. Cecilia, read about this patron saint of music (and create a family theme song!). Not too much is known for sure about St. Cecilia, but legend holds that she was one super-brave evangelizer. Her story and an example of author Christine Henderson’s family theme song are in this edition of Playing with the Saints.

7. Get ready for Advent. Here are some resources to help:

8. Give to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection this Sunday. CCHD is an anti-poverty initiative of the U.S. Church: “The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by funding community programs that encourage independence,” according to the CCHD website. Prep your kids for giving by having them watch this CCHD video about the great work the Church is doing.

9. Introduce your kids to St. Catherine of Alexandria, the legendary young woman who converted fifty philosophers, by reading a story about her and downloading our free coloring sheet.



Over in PB & Grace Parents we’re running an Advent crowdsourcing contest. Share your favorite family Advent activities and you could be included in the next newsletter and be entered to win a gift card to Gracewatch Media. It’s a closed Facebook group, so you’ll need to request to be added.



Create a simple mural with notes and pictures of gratitude to display on Thanksgiving Day. 


Sunday, Nov. 19

World Day of the Poor

Special collection for Catholic Campaign for Human Development


Monday, Nov. 20

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852)
The French nun who founded schools on the American frontier and devoted the last years of her life to ministering to the Potawatomi Indians, who called her “Woman Who Prays Always.” She had this advise for her teaching sisters: “You may dazzle the mind with a thousand brilliant discoveries of natural science; you may open new worlds of knowledge which were never dreamed of before; yet, if you have not developed in the soul of the pupil strong habits of virtue which will sustain her in the struggle of life, you have not educated her, but only put in her hand a powerful instrument of self-destruction.”


Tuesday, Nov. 21

Presentation of Mary
The Memorial of the Presentation of Mary recalls Mary’s dedication to holiness from the time of her childhood. According to legend, when an angel told Mary’s mother, Anna, that she would bear a daughter, Anna responded by vowing that the child would be dedicated to the Lord. At the age of three, Mary was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem, where she was “presented” to the Lord. According to this legend, she was raised in the Temple.


Wednesday, Nov. 22

St. Cecilia (3rd century)
All we know for sure is that she is an early Christian martyr. Later legends said that when she was forced to marry the pagan nobleman Valerian, she “sang in her heart to the Lord” during the wedding. She is the patron saint of musicians. Check out Christine Henderson’s Playing with the Saints! story about St. Cecilia.


Thursday, Nov. 23

Our modern-day Thanksgiving is patterned off the meal the Pilgrims held in 1621. But did you know the very first Thanksgiving on American soil was celebrated on September 8, 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida, when the Spanish settlers held a feast and Mass with the local Native Americans? Here’s anther fun fact: Squanto, the Patuxet Indian who helped the Pilgrims, was Catholic. He had been captured by English settlers and sold into slavery in Spain, where he was freed by Franciscan friars and baptized.

Blessed Miguel Pro (1891-1927)
Father Miguel Pro defied laws banning priests from Mexico by serving the people in secret. Eventually he was arrested. At his execution, he blessed the firing squad. With a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other, he held his arms out wide and shouted, “May God have mercy on you! May God bless you! Lord, you know that I am innocent! With all my heart I forgive my enemies!” Photos of his execution were printed in the newspapers to scare people; instead, tens of thousands came to his funeral.


Friday, Nov. 24

St. Andrew Dung-Lac and companions (19th century)
A Vietnamese priest and one of 117 martyrs among the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese Catholics killed for their faith. St. John Paul II canonized all of them.


Saturday, Nov. 25

St. Catherine of Alexandria (c. 310)
Catherine was an 18-year-old convert to Christianity who turned down the emperor’s offer to spare her life if only she would marry him. He sent his best philosophers to persuade her to give up her faith; instead, she persuaded them to become Christian. Much of her story is legendary, based on the lives of several young martyrs. You can read a story and get a coloring sheet about her from Peanut Butter & Grace.



  • Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Nov. 26)
  • First Sunday of Advent (Dec. 3)
  • St. Nicholas (Dec. 6)
  • Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8)



…are checking out the World Youth Day Minute series. World Youth Day is just more than a year away, but the excitement already has started building. Every month, World Youth Day organizers promote the event with teen-narrated, minute-long updates, news and history about Panama, host of the next World Youth Day.



In light of the recent release of proposed tax reform, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called for prudence moving forward and urged lawmakers to give Americans needed time to process the implications of the bill. According to the statement, which can be accessed on the U.S. bishops’ website, Bishop Dewane stressed that lawmakers must examine the bill in light of respecting care for the poor, families and charitable giving. These points and others were sent in a letter to Congress, which can be read in full here.



Learn to let others do their share of the work. Things may be done less well, but you will have more peace of soul and health of body. And what temporal interest should we not sacrifice in order to gain these blessings?

—St. Rose Philippine Duchesne


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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