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Upon You the Lord Shines / Epiphany + Twelfth Night

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The Bread PDF


This week in The Bread:

  • It’s the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord this week (Sunday, actually)…plus Twelfth Night, the traditional celebration of Epiphany. We’ve got a primer for you, plus six options to celebrate (including the blessing of your home!).
  • It ought to be Catholic Schools Week (even though it isn’t), because we celebrate a pair of saints who helped found the Catholic school system in the U,S,: Sts. Elizabeth Ann Seton and John Neuman.
  • It’s National Migration Week; do you know what the U.S. bishops are asking our government to do to help out with the European refugee crisis? We pass along their suggestions for how you can help.
  • We get back at our march through the Catechism in Stump the Parents! with a look at creation.

The Bread is a little late and a little thin this week as we take time to celebrate the holidays with our families…our apologies for the inconvenience!


Spread The Bread! If you find it useful, send it along to your friends, or sign up to receive it weekly by e-mail:


Sunday, January 3, 2016
Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
» National Migration Week begins

See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
—Isaiah 60:1-6

Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
—Psalm 72

…the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
—Ephesians 2:2-3, 5-6

And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
—Matthew 2:1-12

If Jesus was born today, who do you think would be the shepherds and Magi today?
—Jen Schlameuss-Perry

This reflection continues in Breaking Open the Word at Home has more Sunday Scripture resources, including reflection questions for kids and adults; by Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry.



MONDAY January 4
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821)
The convert to Catholicism and mother of five who founded the first Catholic girls’ school as well as the Sisters of Charity.

TUESDAY January 5
St. John Neumann (1811-1860)
The Redemptorist bishop of Philadelphia who built up the U.S. parochial school system.

St. André Bessette (1845-1937)
The French Canadian Holy Cross brother who served as doorkeeper for forty years, and whose gift of healing drew thousands of pilgrims.
» Twelfth Night

THURSDAY January 7
St. Leonie Aviat (1844-1914)
The woman who found her vocation ministering to young women factory workers.

FRIDAY January 8
Ven. Pauline Jaricot (1799-1862)
The 19-year-old woman who organized the women in her father’s factory into a network of prayer, then went on to found the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the “living rosary” movement.

SATURDAY January 9
St. Adrian of Canterbury (d. 710)
The scholar who made the monastery of Sts. Peter and Paul in Canterbury one of the foremost centers of learning of its time.

2 weeks until the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan 18-25)



Try out a handful of these ideas this week . . . and if you want to “play for points,” record your points in the Get Your Grace On game in the PDF version of The Bread. You can add up your points at the end of the week, and give your kids an appropriate prize. Points are roughly equivalent to minutes, so adjust your points for extra time spent on family faith formation.


Preview this Sunday’s readings
with your kids. [20]

Bless your home and household on Epiphany. You can find an Epiphany blessing of the home in Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers (or at the USCCB website).*[20]

Download the prayer card, prayer service, or migration prayer booklet from the USCCB National Migration Week website, and incorporate prayers for migrants (especially those fleeing conflicts in the Middle East) into your family prayer. [30]



On the Feast of the Epiphany, read the Gospel account of the visit of the three wise men (see Matthew 2:1-12), then have your children march through the house holding the figures of the three kings and singing “We Three Kings,” finally enthroning the king in the manger set by the baby Jesus. Find more ways to celebrate Epiphany at pbgrace.com.* [30]



Have your older kids urge President Obama and members of Congress to expand U.S. resettlement efforts of Syrian refugees and to provide
development aid for refugee host countries near Syria that have borne the brunt of the crisis. [60]

Contact your local Catholic Charities agency and offer to help their effort to resettle refugees. [120]



Discuss the policy recommendations of the U.S. Catholic bishops regarding the European refugee crisis. Find a policy summary at the USCCB website. [50]


Stump the Parents! Creation

This week’s theme: Creation.
Have your kids check out questions 51-65 in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online), where they’ll also find the answers. Then let them try to stump you. (Find complete directions for Stump the Parents at pbgrace.com). Some sample questions:

  • Who created the world? (#52)
  • Why was the world created? (#53)
  • How did God create the universe? (#54)
  • If God is omnipotent and provident, why then does evil exist? (#57)
  • Why does God permit evil? (#58)
  • What did God create? (#59)
  • Who are the angels? (#60)
  • What does Sacred Scripture teach about the creation of the visible world? (#62)
  • What is the place of the human person in creation? (#63)
  • What kind of bond exists between created things? (#64)

How to play: Older kids and teens skim the text to come up with questions to ask their parents. Parents score 10 points for correct answers; kids score 20 points for stumping the parents. All points get added up for the Get Your Grace On game. See “Stump the Parents” at pbgrace.com for more ideas.




Six Family Traditions for Epiphany

Epiphany | Breaking Open the Word at Home: Epiphany

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.