The Holy Father will turn 77 on December 17, and you can send him the gift of your prayers! To sign a giant birthday card for Pope Francis and add your prayers to a spiritual bouquet, just click over to this opportunity from Catholic to the Max.
Today is the feast of Saint Francis Xavier, probably the greatest missionary in the history of the Church since Saint Paul. He was a friend and fellow classmate of St. Ignatius of Loyola and one of the original men in what would eventually become the Jesuit order. One day, St. Ignatius told him that he sensed Francis was being called to the mission field. So great was his zeal that he went home, repaired a hole in his extra pants and was ready to leave the next day! Through his cooperation with the Holy Spirit, Francis was personally responsible for converting and baptizing thousands of people and he is a great intercessor for us as we work to help our families toward deeper conversion.
From today’s Liturgy of the Hours:
O God, who through the preaching of Saint Francis Xavier won many peoples to yourself, grant that the hearts of the faithful may burn with the same zeal for the faith and that Holy Church may everywhere rejoice in an abundance of offspring.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Just a quick reminder that our Monday Family Formation is tonight (at Church of Saint Paul) and you will definitely want to be here! Among other great things, Catholic Academy is going to be AWESOME!!!
Tags: The Wisdom of the Church
Pope Francis has officially presented his first Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (the Joy of the Gospel), at a press conference in Rome. The Exhortation marks the end of the Year of Faith celebrated by Catholics around the world, and was presented to a bishop, a priest and a deacon in St Peter’s Square by the Pope on Sunday. It aims to encourage believers to “embark upon a new chapter of evangelisation marked by joy”, and presents a vision for the life of the Church in the future.
In the document, Pope Francis declares that all Catholics are called to proclaim the Gospel and to see the responsibility to evangelise as their own. He reminds the faithful that “the word of God constantly shows us how God challenges those who believe in him ‘to go forth’”.
Source for the article quoted above.
Source for the announcement from the Vatican News Service
And, of course, source for the document so you can read it for yourself!
Categories: Sue's Suggestions
This is one of those basic topics that is really easy to take for granted – everyone knows how to pray, right? The thing is, there are so many types and places and depths of prayer that even though it’s simple enough for a tiny child, it’s also something that we’ll all spend our lives learning to do well.
This lesson moves in a couple directions. First we are going to take a look at the four main parts of prayer using the Our Father as the “recipe.” Petition, Thanksgiving, Intercession, and Adoration are all words that may not be part of your kids’ vocabularies, but this lesson redefines them in terms anyone can understand.
The second major direction deals with issues we all have with prayer – consistency, distraction, focus … the parts we keep working on well after we understand the basics. For this part, the Pauline family has lots of practical advice for pray-ers of all ages!
One more practical tip – the Prayer Tree activity is a great one to do with your younger kids (or assign your older kid to lead your younger ones through it). The only drawback is that the leaves can be a pretty challenging outline for a kindergartner with a safety scissors to follow. If you think it’s going to be too frustrating for your little ones, cut out all the leaves ahead of time and spend your energy focusing on the different types and places for prayer instead of dealing with a scissors-related meltdown.