October Memory Verses

Posted October 6, 2015 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized


memory verseWe just wanted to let you know that you can find this month’s memory verses set to music by clicking the “Memory Verses” link on the sidebar (right side, under the “Pages” list).  It’s a simple download that you can access from any computer, phone, tablet, etc.

Actually, they’re all there for the entire year.  Feel free to listen ahead or to use them for review throughout the year!  Singing is a fantastic way to memorize something!

September pictures

Posted October 3, 2015 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized

Thanks to these two families for sharing pictures of their September Home Lesson!

FF Precepts of the Church


The School of the Heart: Parents as Primary Catechists

Posted October 1, 2015 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized

We’re still sorting through all we learned and experienced at last week’s World Meeting of Families, but one of the highlights was definitely attending Archbishop J. Michael Miller‘s session on family catechesis:

Parents are the primary catechists of their children.  Because of baptism and the grace of marriage, they are equipped to fulfill the mission of handing down the faith to their children.  A mother and father’s witness of faithful love establishes their domestic church, which is a school of virtue for the family.  It introduces children to the richness of Catholic teaching, the encounter with the Word of God and the sacraments, and the generosity of selfless service.  “Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith” (CCC 2226).  This session will offer help to parents to carry out their often daunting mission.

It was a great affirmation of one of the reasons why we made the trip and opened up opportunities to talk to many people about Family Formation!  I heard a rumor that eventually all the talks will be available to view/hear on their site, but until then, I think you’ll like the notes Deb took during the workshop, especially the last part with the Archbishop’s 10 practical tips for parents to catechize and evangelize their children.  Enjoy!

Parents fail as primary educators because:

  1. The faith is not so much denied, it is just ignored.
  2. They feel insecure in passing on the faith – we have at least one, if not two, generations who are not well catechized and, therefore, not equipped.
  3. They are bewildered and confused about what the Church teaches.
  4. Of societal influences and pressures: long work hours; children spending little time at home and when they are, they are with social media – each family member lives in an isolated world.

We need to affirm parents as the first evangelizers of their children. Parents’ primary place of evangelization is in the home, which is the closest and often toughest place.

Home is the epicenter of the new evangelization – the daily witness of love.

Children have the right to be:

  1. Instructed
  2. Educated in the faith
  3. Supported in the Christian life

Catechesis will not be effective unless it is preceded and accompanied by fostering the personal relationship of children with Jesus Christ.

Nothing and no one can replace the influence of parents on those entrusted to their care.

The parish is an essential element. It should provide:

  1. The point of contact for families to meet and discuss problems they have
  2. Adult catechesis aimed at helping them carry out their mission

Ten practical tips for parents to evangelize and catechize their children:

  1. Be present to your children – REAL presence: stay home, eat together, do things together, tuck them into bed
  2. Be joyful witnesses to the Gospel. The father is the most critical factor. Share your personal testimony. Faith is caught, not taught.
  3. Know your stuff! Study the CCC! YOUCAT is a great resource, even for parents.
  4. Stick to the core message – important to teach the kerygma
  5. Pray with your children and teach them to pray! It may be the most effective and successful way to pass on the faith. It leaves an impression on children. Pour out your joys, sorrows, and the desires of YOUR family. Start small. Just DO IT!
  6. Go to Sunday Mass together. It sends the message that life is not just about sports and entertainment and work, etc. Also, go to the sacrament of Reconciliation together. Prep for Mass as a family.
  7. Read the Bible together as a family. Faith demands familiarity with the Word of God. Begin with the Gospel – a little at a time, a few verses, stuff the children can understand
  8. Sacramentalize your home. Help your children to know beauty has its origin in God. Children are fascinated by rosaries, palms, statues, etc. A Catholic culture sustains our ability to pass on the faith.
  9. Share your experience of faith amongst each other. Share age appropriate stories of your own journey and encourage your children to share theirs (while respecting their privacy).
  10. Form your children’s moral conscience and teach the need to obey a well-formed conscience.

More Francis Effect

Posted September 29, 2015 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized

Talking about Pope Francis is all the rage!  I found these with just a quick search on my facebook feed:

From a priest:  I was supposed to meet a parishioner for dinner this evening at a local watering hole but he has apparently forgotten. Sitting here alone in my collar, more people have come over and said hello and talked about the pope’s visit and their practice of faith than I have ever experienced. I’ve run out of business cards and am down to telling people to “follow the bells”. As a priest, I have never been happier to sit alone in my collar in a saloon!


I just heard a CNN commentator remark that she grew up Catholic, was a lapsed Catholic then a disgusted Catholic because of the abuse scandal. Now she’s been back to Mass because of Pope Francis and was moved watching his motorcade pass.


At the County Fair Evangelization booth, a young lady (covered in tattoos, btw) stopped and asked how she and her infant son could get baptized. She had watched some of the coverage of Pope Francis this week and figured it was about time. Her family is nominally Catholic but she was never taken to Church. That was definitely the highlight of my experience at the booth this year.


A comment on a friend’s blog: “I don’t identify myself as a Catholic, though watching Pope Francis this past week has taken me back to my childhood days in the Catholic Church. I must say, this visit by the Pope has been SUCH a blessing to me…I have literally not been able to turn my eyes away from the almost constant news coverage of this historic visit. There’s just such a positive, and loving energy that radiates from Pope Francis, even from watching on tv! This has prompted deep reflection on my part…on my love for God and has ignited a yearning for MORE–more of God, in MY life. I’ve decided that I will be attending Mass next Sunday…there’s something about the reverence of God that is so strong in a Catholic mass, and I miss that and want to have that experience again. I’m also glad to have stumbled across your blog….some pretty awesome stuff here. God bless you!”


“I went to confession yesterday and Father assigned for penance to say a Hail, Holy Queen for all those who are being touched by the Holy Spirit during the Pope’s visit. He shared that he is being stopped in the street, people are knocking on his door asking how to come back to the Church! One man went to confession after 58 years!! Please pray for all these men and women…”


IMG_1389 IMG_1390 IMG_1391 IMG_1392 tweet

Pope Francis has opened the door for all of us to engage our friends and family in talking about Jesus (/the Church/Christianity in general).  This is a time of great grace for the Church in America!  Don’t let any of these opportunities slip by.

Related: “I’m not Catholic, but…” 24 Quotes from Non-Catholics About Pope Francis’ Visit to the U.S.

Pope Francis’ impromptu speech at the Festival of Families

Posted September 29, 2015 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized

All of the love that God has in himself, all the beauty that he has in himself, he gives it to the family. And the family is really family when it is able to open its arms and receive all that love. […]

God likes to give his love to open hearts. Do you know what he loves most? To knock on the door of families, and find families who love each other, who bring up their children to grow, and help them move forward. To create and develop a society with truth, goodness and beauty. […]

Families have a citizenship which is divine. The identity card that they have is given to them by God. So that within the heart of the family, truth, goodness and beauty can truly grow. […]

Forgive me, but I have to say, the family is like a factory of hope. It’s a factory of resurrection. God opened this path, this possibility.  […]

In the family, indeed, there are difficulties. But those difficulties are overcome with love. Hatred is not capable of dealing with any difficulty and overcoming any difficulty. Division of hearts cannot overcome any difficulty. Only love. Only love is able to overcome. Love is about celebration, love is joy, love is moving forward.  […]

May God bless you. May God give you hope, the strength to move forward, let us look after the family. Let’s protect the family. Because it’s in the family that our future is at play.  […]

Read it or watch it, but don’t miss the Holy Father’s improvised speech to all families, presented at Saturday’s Festival of Families.  The Pope is truly speaking from his heart to families everywhere!


Pope Francis Speeches Link-a-palooza!

Posted September 28, 2015 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized

For those of you who would rather not rely on the media interpretation of what they think (or hoped) Pope Francis said last weekend, you can now find the text of all his speeches here in one convenient place so you can read them for yourselves.

Keeping the Francis Effect Going

Posted September 28, 2015 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized

You may have heard that the Pope came for a little visit last weekend and I’m reading all sorts of stories of first-time Mass goers, lapsed Catholics giving church a second try, lines at confession, people stopping priests on the street to ask questions … you get the idea.  The Pope has done his part to open doors, now it’s up to us to be welcoming and continue the momentum.  
When you’re at Mass, please watch for unfamiliar faces, people who look uncertain, don’t know the prayers, need a seat, etc., and make a real effort to pray for and befriend them in simple and creative ways.  And when you’re out and about, keep the conversation going!  There are some practical ways in this article.
This one is my favorite:
7. Keep your eyes (and heart) open. My Facebook feed is filled with stories of people returning to the Sacraments after decades because of watching Pope Francis on TV this week. People are sharing about entire bars that were glued to the screens showing the Holy Father, all joining in for a Hail Mary at the end. In a bar. I read one woman saying, “I’m not even a Christian and Pope Francis is my favorite human being alive!” Our Churches today were filled with prodigals, I’m sure of it. Pay attention. Look around for people who might feel out of place. Listen when people talk about Pope Francis to see if they aren’t really asking about Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what to say. And never, never think you know a person’s story. Everyone you meet is hungry for Jesus. We all show it differently. Your job is not to judge. Your job is to bring them to Jesus.


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