April 30 – May 1: Third Week of Easter
Sts. Philip and James + St. Joseph the Worker + St. Athanasius + St. Dominic Savio
6 THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS
Celebrate Mary’s month. May is “Mary’s month,” and we’ve got lots and lots of ways to celebrate, from Mary gardens to May crownings and Marian art, plus links to more cool resources about Mary. Check out May Is Mary’s Month: Ideas and Resources for Celebrating with Your Kids.
Open your eyes! That’s what happens to two of Jesus’ disciples in this week’s Gospel; they spend the afternoon and evening with him in deep conversation, but don’t recognize him until he breaks bread with them. Jen Schlameuss-Perry breaks it open for parents, kids, and teens in Breaking Open the Word at Home.
Teach your kids the ways of St. Dominic Savio, child saint. Here’s a boy whose example proves that kids don’t need to wait to respond to the call to holiness. You’ll find his story (and other resources) in our Saints for Kids article, and then check out What St. Dominic Savio Taught My “OMG Police” about how Dominic learned to respond to people abusing the name of God.
Do a little work in honor of the feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1, or at least tell your kids his story with the help of St. Joseph • Saints for Kids You can also purchase a two-page coloring spread as part of the Living Sparks of God coloring book download. Check out Teach your kids how to turn work into prayer for more tips about teaching kids about the rich Catholic teaching about holiness of work.
Mark the National Day of Prayer. It’s May 4th, and the organizers have a website full of resources. You can also use the day to recommit to praying with your kids; check out our list of 77 ways to pray with your kids.
May the fourth be with you. If you caught that reference, then you need to read resident Catholic sci-fi geek Jen Schlameuss-Perry’s article, 7 Ways to Celebrate Star Wars Day (Catholic Geek Style). Your kids will think you’re cool for it. Well, not really, but it’s a good excuse to join in the fun.
Hey, it’s still Easter! Check out 10+ Ways to Celebrate the Easter Season.
A new journal just for Catholic girls? Yes, please! Catholic blogger and journal fanatic Amy Brooks has written a fun, faith-filled journal just for girls: Be Yourself! A Journal for Catholic Girls. The title is based on a quote from St. Catherine of Siena, who said, “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire!” Every page is colorfully designed by Agape Design Studio, with contributions from award-winning Catholic artist Vicki Shuck.
You can check out sample pages and a table of contents at our IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign and while you’re there, you can pre-order the journal to help us pay for art and design costs. Pre-order today and we’ll get it to you by the end of June, making it a perfect mid-summer activity for the Catholic girls in your life!
SAINTS FOR YOUR KIDS TO KNOW & LOVE
St. Joseph the Worker (Monday). Pope Pius XII established the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955 to counter the communists’ May Day observances. This feast day, we remember St. Joseph in his role as a worker, and the contribution of all workers to the good of society. St. Joseph likely taught Jesus the trade, carpentry, that was his work for most of his adult life.
St. Athanasius (Tuesday), an Egyptian bishop and Doctor of the Church who was exiled from Alexandria five times for preaching against the popular Arian heresy, which denied that Jesus Christ was one in being with God. A prolific author, Athanasius (295-373) is also responsible for the cool formula, “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God”—not a bad line for kids to know.
Sts. Philip and James (Wednesday), two of Jesus’ Apostles. Little is known about them, but St. James is the traditional author of the Letter of James. Philip the Apostle shouldn’t be confused with Philip the Evangelist, who is featured in the Acts of the Apostles.
St. Dominic Savio (Saturday), a student of St. John Bosco who was canonized for his display of heroic virtue…even though he died at age 14. Dominic (1842-1857) once stopped a fight by telling the fighting boys, who were his friends, to throw their stones at him instead. Whenever he heard someone abuse God’s name, he would say: “Blessed be the name of Jesus.”
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOUR KID IS THE ONLY ONE NOT INVITED TO THE PARTY . . .
“That’s very disturbing.” So said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, in response to an announcement by the Democratic National Committee’s chair pledging support only for pro-abortion candidates. “In the name of diversity and inclusion, pro-life and pro-‘choice’ Democrats, alike, should challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position,” Dolan said in a statement. Democratic leaders had mixed reactions to the ban; you can read about their statements at Catholic News Agency, and read Cardinal Dolan’s full statement here.
What to say when Arkansas plans to execute seven death row inmates in 11 days. . . .
“Infuse justice with mercy.” That was the gist of a statement released by the U.S. Catholic bishops calling for a halt to the plans, which went ahead anyway. The USCCB statement cited Pope Francis’s call for “the global abolition of the death penalty” in his 2015 address to the U.S. Congress. “I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes,” the pope said. “[A] just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.”
- Star Wars Day (May 4)
- Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
- World Day of Prayer for Vocations (May 7)
- Mother’s Day (May 14)
“The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you do not, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.”
—Pope Francis, speaking in the first papal TED talk
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONLINE
We’re talking about what moms want for Mother’s Day over at our Facebook group, Peanut Butter & Grace Parents. Join us! It’s a closed group, so you’ll need to request to be added.
GET MORE PEANUT BUTTER! GET MORE GRACE!
BOOKS FOR SPRING
Remember to grab 15% off your order at Gracewatch Media with coupon code GRACE15.
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 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.
Molly McBride set. Kids love the spunky young Molly McBride and her feisty sidekick, the wolf-pet Francis. Get books one and two for one low price while supplies last.