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Lord, Send Out Your Spirit • Family Time!

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Reading Time: 16 minutes

May 20-26: Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

Pentecost + Mary, Mother of the Church + Blessed Columba of Rieti + Blessed Franz Jägerstätter + Christian de Chergé + Mary, Help of Christians + St. Rita of Cascia + Emil Kapaun + Maria of Jesus + St. Bede the Venerable + St. Philip Neri

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1. Celebrate Pentecost Sunday. What will you do with your kids to help mark one of the Church’s most important holy days? Here are nine ideas for praying, celebrating, and learning about Pentecost with your kids.

2. Pray for the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church to mark the Church’s newest feast day. Mary, Mother of the Church is to be celebrated annually the Monday after Pentecost to “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety.” Engage your kids in a bit of evangelization by brainstorming ways Mary would react to a problem in their lives, post it and hashtag #WWMD on social media. The idea comes from Pope Francis’ recent talk to members of the Focolare Movement in which he reminded Catholics that Mary, Jesus’ first disciple, was a layperson, and can be an inspiration in seeking answers to our tribulations. A super short history and context on the feast day can be found in this Vatican News report.

3. Eat cake with your kids. It’s the Church’s birthday after all! In the readings for Pentecost Sunday, known to many as the “birthday of the Church,” we celebrate the moment that the Apostles received the Holy Spirit through Jesus. Read a reflection, discussion questions and talk about the gifts of the Holy Spirit over cake with Jen Schlameuss-Perry in this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home.

4. Teach your kids about the unique treasures of the Catholic Church. How do you teach kids the unique beauty of the Catholic faith? With a treasure chest and a lesson plan, of course! Becky Arganbright shares her experience and a ready-to-go lesson plan in the latest Confessing the Blessings.

5. Cook up creamy polenta and play a game of cards to celebrate the feast of St. Rita. The feast of this patroness of impossible causes is celebrated this Tuesday. Her story is one of dashed hopes and a joyful future. Cook up a simple recipe using ingredients from her home region with Theresa Wilson in this week’s Cooking with Catholic Kids.

While you are waiting to dig in, read your kids the story of St. Rita in Playing with the Saints! by Christine Henderson. As always, Henderson includes a fun card game, too.

6. Be liturgically intentional on the road. With Memorial Day right around the corner, you might already be planning out your summer road trips. Here are three ways to remember your faith while away from home, by Heidi Indahl in The Intentional Family.

7. Pray for seafarers and sea merchants. Tuesday’s National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea gives your children an excellent example of how the Church is fully and naturally integrated into every part of life and society. If you do not live in a port community, your kids might not be aware of the hardships and benefits of working with and living near or on the ocean: sustainable fishing, transport of goods, securing national borders, tourism. Read about the Catholic maritime ministry, the Apostleship of the Sea, and say a special prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, for the 1.5 million seafarers in our country.

8. Practice saying “thank you.” Don’t you wish you heard the words “thank you” more often in your home—even for the small stuff? Here’s a simple, easy activity to make saying thank you fun for your kids…and a prayer session to make the habit stick.

9. Catch Father Geoffrey A. Brooke Jr. on Relevant Radio. Fr, Brooke (of our new Brick by Brick by Father Brooke feature) was interviewed on Relevant Radio about how to avoid “genie parenting.” You can listen to the full interview here. Stay tuned…Father Brooke’s newest video for Brick by Brick will be posted in next week’s newsletter!


Get Celebrating the Wisdom of St. Patrick in 10 Foldable Minibooks
it’s a fun way to teach your kids the basics of the faith using the wisdom of St. Patrick!

We’ll mail your First Communion Journal first class for free through May 31.
Preview it in the Gracewatch store.



We are talking about resources for discussing the religious vocation with kids, promoting personal blogs and businesses, and sharing book and parenting ideas over at our PB & Grace Parents page on Facebook. It is a closed group to keep threads private so you will have to ask to be included. Welcome!

Also, congratulations to Sara Dethloff, our Pinterest manager, on her recent graduation from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with degrees in business and theology. Sara’s next project for us will be launching an Instagram account, so look forward to that.



…to Theresa Clark and our 28 other patrons for helping to pay for the free family resources on Peanut Butter & Grace. Our patrons help us reach thousands of Catholic families every week…and they get access to free downloads. You can become a patron of Peanut Butter & Grace for $1 a month,



Our calendar web app features saints’ feast days and important Church events, with links to more resources, images, a variety of viewing options, and the option to sync with your own calendar.


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  • The Most Holy Trinity (May 27)
  • Memorial Day (May 28)
  • Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (May 31)
  • Corpus Christi Sunday (June 3)
  • Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 8)
  • The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (June 9)
  • Religious Freedom Week (June 22-29)



…are listening to Peanut Butter & Grace contributors on the radio! Jerry Windley-Daoust, publisher and chief instigator of Peanut Butter & Grace and Gracewatch Media, is featured biweekly on Dr. Gregory and Lisa Popcak’s talk radio show More2Life. You can listen to the trio on Ava Maria Radio on Wednesdays by clicking here.

…are taking their older kids to see “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.” Our review for Catholic families will be out soon, but here’s what we know so far from our fellow faithful Catholic reviewers. It’s been acclaimed as a movie that accurately depicts the personality of Pope Francis and his mission to save the world against its villains: natural disasters, terrorism, sin.

  • In his review for Catholic News Service, John Mulderig writes that although veteran filmmaker Wilm “Wenders also provides some narration, as his title suggests, he largely lets the pontiff speak for himself.” Mulderig cautions, however, that Wenders obvious admiration of the pope is exposed in guileless attempts at trying to counter his modesty by depicting previous popes as lavish. You can read his full review for CNS here.
  • Steven D. Greydanus writes in his movie review for the National Catholic Register, “Neither the life nor the papacy of the former Jorge Bergoglio is Wenders’ subject. Instead, Pope Francis focuses on characteristic themes of his preaching and teaching — particularly those most accessible to viewers of any faith or of none — as well as the engaging personality and common touch with which he advocates them.”
  • Common Sense Media will have its full review May 18, the date of the movie’s official release.



In the wake of deadly protests along the Israli-Gaza border following the relocation of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the archbishop of Jerusalem called for prayer for peace.

“As in a kind of vicious circle, we must condemn all forms of violence, any cynical use of human lives and disproportionate violence. Once again we are forced by circumstances to plead and cry out for justice and peace,” said Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa of Jerusalem. This report from Catholic News Service in Crux includes more information on the violence and the archbishop’s statement.



“We begin building peace in our homes, streets and workplaces: wherever we craft communion and community.”

— 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).

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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