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The Lord Is My Shepherd • Family Time

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Reading Time: 16 minutes


November 26–December 2: 34th Week of Ordinary Time

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe + St. James of the Marche + Our Lady of Kibeho + Servant of God Dorothy Day + St. Andrew + St. Edmund Campion + Blessed Rafal Chylinski



Advent begins in less than 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. Preview the Sunday readings with your kids. This Sunday is the last Sunday in the Church year, and the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (more on that later). But the readings for this triumphant feast all feature the image of the king as shepherd. Preview the readings, connect to other resources, and get family discussion questions with Jen Schlameuss-Perry at Breaking Open the Word at Home.

2. Get ready for Advent with these great ideas from readers like you. We asked readers to share their favorite ways to celebrate Advent. Colorful, meaningful, creative, and fun, here are more than 36 of your best ideas…plus reader-submitted photos to go with them!

3. Teach your kids to read the Bible in three easy steps. Do your kids know their Bible? Knowing the Bible is essential to knowing Christ, the Church says. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a Bible expert to teach your kids to read the Bible, says The Catholic Children’s Bible editor Brian Singer-Towns. In fact, his approach makes Bible literacy as easy as A-B-C.

4. Celebrate Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The Church year ends with a bang on the Feast of Christ the King. Here’s some background on the solemnity, some talking points for your kids, and a fun activity that asks: What if we celebrated the Feast of Christ the Superhero?

5. Meet St. Edmund Campion and play a silly game, too. During a time of Catholic persecution in England, Father Campion dressed in regular clothes, secretly said Mass and celebrated the sacraments with Catholics in hiding. In this week’s Playing with the Saints! with Christine Henderson, see how Father Campion gave up money and freedom to stay true to his faith.

6. Shop Catholic this Christmas with two more neat ideas. Last week Jeanie Egolf brought us 17 cool Catholic gift ideas. In this week’s installment of Shop Catholic this Christmas, knock off your list housewarming and new baby gifts.

7. Team up to save the world. Or at least watch a movie about a bunch of superheroes who do. In her latest Bigger on the Inside movie review, Jen Schlameuss-Perry shares her thoughts on Justice League, including its quality, appropriateness for kids, discussion points, a movie clip and more.

8. Pray for the pope’s intentions for December. Pope Francis’s prayer intentions for December focuses on the elderly: “That the elderly, sustained by families and Christian communities, may apply their wisdom and experience to spreading the faith and forming the new generations.” You can get a video to go with that prayer intention at The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.



We’re brainstorming ways to celebrate the eve of the liturgical New Year in the PB & Grace Parents Facebook group. Katie asks: “We’re hoping to celebrate liturgical “New Year’s Eve” this year on Dec. 2nd with some other Catholic families. Does anyone have suggestions of traditions we could incorporate as we prepare for a new liturgical year to begin?” Head over to the group and drop Katie some ideas. It’s a closed group, so you will need to request to be added.



Sunday, Nov. 26

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe


Monday, Nov. 27

St. Josaphat (dates unknown)

The legendary Indian prince who renounced his throne to seek “the pearl of great price” as a monk.


Tuesday, Nov. 28

Our Lady of Kibeho

The name given to a series of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Kibeho High School in Rwanda between Nov. 28, 1981, and Nov. 28 1989. During that time, the Blessed Virgin, calling herself “Mother of the World,” appeared to three teenage visionaries attending the high school, which was run by the Congregation of Benebikira Sisters. The apparitions are believed to have foretold the Rwandan genocide of 1994, in which one of the visionaries was killed.

Wednesday, Nov. 29

Servant of God Dorothy Day (1897-1980)

Pope Francis, in his address to the U.S. Congress, said of Dorothy Day: “Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.” Born in 1897 to a nominally Protestant family, Day followed in the footsteps of her father, a newspaper reporter, from an early age, publishing several short stories in a Chicago newspaper in her primary school years. Her lifelong search for God and compassion for the poor led her to mix with communists, activists, and prominent literary figures in 1920s New York City, where she wrote for various socialist newspapers. The birth of her daughter, Tamar, led to a profound encounter with God and her eventual conversion to the Catholic faith. She would go on to team up with a former Christian Brother, Peter Maurin, to found the Catholic Worker, a newspaper intended to communicate the Church’s social teaching to the Catholic working class, who at the time were being actively courted by Communists. The newspaper exploded in popularity, topping 100,000 before plummeting as a result of the paper’s pacifist stance during World War II (“Forget Pearl Harbor,” one editorial read). Nonetheless, “houses of hospitality” associated with the movement sprang up across the nation; more than one hundred continue in operation today, usually run by laypeople. The Catholic identity of the movement Dorothy and Peter started varies widely among these independent communities. Nonetheless, John Allen argues in Crux that it would make a lot of sense for Pope Francis to canonize her as a saint. “We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love, and that love comes with community.”


Thursday, Nov. 30

St. Andrew (c. 60?)

Originally a disciple of John the Baptist, Andrew began following Jesus at John’s urging. There are many legends about what Andrew did after the resurrection of Jesus; many say he preached the Gospel in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. Tradition says he was martyred by crucifixion. The skull of St. Andrewwas returned to the Greek Orthodox Church by Pope Paul VI in 1964 in a gesture of goodwill. “We have found the Messiah.”


Friday, Dec. 1

Saint Edmund Campion (1540-1581)

An English Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, Fr. Campion conducted an underground ministry in England at a time when doing so was punishable by death. During his ministry, he wrote a letter to the queen’s Privy Council in defense of Catholicism; the document became known (disparagingly) as Campion’s Brag. Eventually, he was captured, convicted of high treason, then hanged, drawn and quartered. “The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God; it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: So it must be restored.”


Saturday, Dec. 2

Blessed Rafal Chylinski (1694-1741)

Melchior (as he was known) quit a promising military career in the Polish cavalry to become a Franciscan monk (at which time he took the name Rafal). “Rafal was known for his simple and candid sermons, for his generosity, as well as his ministry in the confessional,” says Franciscan Media. A talented musician, he distributed food and clothing to the poor, and assisted with flood relief.



  • First Sunday of Advent (Dec. 3)
  • St. Nicholas (Dec. 6)
  • Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8)
  • St. Juan Diego (Dec. 9)
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12)
  • St. Lucy (Dec. 13)
  • St. John of the Cross (Dec. 14)



…are checking out Susan Howard’s new Mysteries of the Rosary Children’s Coloring Book. Susan has published I Can Be Happy Too and In the Realm of Mist and Mercy with us, so you know she does a quality job. Now, in her self-published coloring book, she offers really cute coloring pages for each of the twenty mysteries of the rosary; there’s also a simple rosary prayer guide that includes instruction, prayers, Scripture passages, and the fruits of each mystery.

And all the cool Catholics are also catching the contagious energy from these enthusiastic kids celebrating their faith at the National Catholic Youth Conference last week in Indianapolis. Around 22,000 high school students participated in the conference to embolden their discipleship.



Earlier this November at a Vatican conference on nuclear disarmament, Pope Francis strongly condemned the use and possession of nuclear weapons. In what seems to be a firmer directive than previous papal statements on using nuclear weapons as deterrents, Pope Francis said “the threat of their use as well as their very possession is to be firmly condemned.” Nuclear weapons exist “in the service of a mentality of fear that affects not only the parties in conflict but the entire human race,” he said. For more information and context on the statement and the conference, read this report from America Magazine and this story from Catholic News Service.



“The biggest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution that has to start with each one of us.”

—Servent of God Dorothy Day



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).

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.

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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