Author Archive

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

August 19, 2015

St. Bernard’s feast is tomorrow, so this is your head’s up on cooking for the day.

Bernard is the patron of bees, beekeepers, and candlemakers (a pretty big deal when he lived almost 1000 years ago in the days of no electricity or refined sugar), and this is an easy connection for celebration food.  There are so many options for using honey in recipes: baklava, honey pound cake, honey dijon sauce on your grilled chicken … even simply serving peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch will make the connection.  (Extra points for lighting a candle while you eat!)


There’s a lot more to Saint Bernard than a delicious snack opportunity though.

Bernard came from a very holy family and founded a monastery which soon attracted over 700 other monks.  He wrote extensively, and was an adviser to a pope.  He fought heresy, helped heal a split in the Church, and was eventually named a Doctor of the Church; a title given to only 35 men and women in the whole history of Catholicism!  It’s said that his first thought upon waking up each morning was “Why have I come here?” and his second was a reminder that he was there to live a holy life; a good daily thought for each of us!

Saint Bernard is also the author of the Memorarae, a really nice way to start your family’s prayer time tomorrow.

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

God Bless America!

July 4, 2015

If you’re still looking for ways to practice your family Rosary, I highly recommend this idea from our archives for today.

Now available in Spanish

June 23, 2015

Is it possible that the new materials you have sent be made available in Spanish. Our community is bilingual and it would be very helpful.

In response to Annette’s comment, we have reworked a couple of our World Meeting of Families pieces and they’re now available in Spanish as well as English.

You can find the original post outlining our brainstorming here, and the new pieces are here. (SPAN Papal Mass Prayer Intention SPAN-WMoF prayer table piece and SPAN Papal Mass Prayer Intention)

Bringing the World Meeting of Families to your parish

June 18, 2015


Family Formation is very excited about the upcoming World Meeting of Families and our creative Core Team has been brainstorming ideas to bring it to life for our families here in Minnesota.   Besides the obvious connections with family life, we are looking forward to the opportunity to help our families get better connected with the Universal Church!

In the interest of sharing ideas, we’d like to get the conversation started by letting you know some of our tentative plans.  We know some of you are working on this too and we would love to hear your ideas as well!

To connect with our brainstorming, open this Parish WMoF ideas document first and then you might also be interested in this WMoF prayer table piece.

UPDATE: More pieces have been added.


Hot off the Press!

June 14, 2015


  1. To order go to
  2. Click on the “Store” tab
  3. And then on “Everything” from the drop-down menu
  4. The Summer Saints Activity Book is the first product on the page

Continue learning about the Faith through the summer months with the Summer Saints Activity Book – for June, July, and August.  Take advantage of the break in your children’s school routine and start some new, holy habits with these fun and faith-filled activities designed to be done throughout the summer.  The book includes a wide variety of activities (car games, outdoor games, quiet-time activities, food projects, and lots more!) to get to know the saints better and to celebrate their feast days.

It’s only $15 and includes a CD of printables so your family can use it over and over again in future summers!  Order your copy on Family Formation’s web site or, if you’re nearby, stop in for a copy* during office hours.


*You may want to call or email the Family Formation office first to make sure we have a copy in stock.

From Today’s Word Among Us Meditation

June 13, 2015

Never underestimate the effect of a consistent witness!  Jesus’ life as a boy was in part defined by his parents’ yearly trip to Jerusalem for Passover.  The trip, which was sixty-five miles and probably took four days, provided a certain rhythm to Jesus’ boyhood.  It was something his family did; it was part of their identity.  Yes, it was Jesus himself who impressed the teachers at the Temple, but it was his regular trips to the holy city that made him comfortable at the Temple and spiked his interest in what the teachers were talking about.

What do you do as a family to make your children more comfortable with their faith?  Do you pray together?  Some families say morning or evening prayer, others say the rosary together, and others go to daily Mass.  Some families read Scripture or do Bible studies together.  Others make it a point to give time on the weekends to service opportunities like donating meals to the poor, visiting nursing homes, or giving “angel tree” gifts at Christmastime.  It doesn’t have to involve a big commitment of time or money, either.  Simply blessing your children every night before bed can speak volumes to them of who you are and what you treasure.

Practices like these, while not an end in themselves, are clearly signs of our faith, signs that our children will read and understand, even if they don’t always appreciate them!  Remember that what you do, and the priorities that you set for yourself and your family, speak volumes about who you are and what is important to you.  Children instinctively pick that up.

No matter what you do, know that it will make a difference in your family!  Your faith traditions, whatever they are, will send the message that God plays an important role in your life. And these messages, lived out consistently, always have a positive impact.


Source: The Word Among us: Daily Meditations for Catholics

“foundational in my journey of faith”

May 31, 2015


“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Church of Saint Paul for its great role in helping me grow in my faith.  Thank you to all those who have helped in developing and implementing the Family Formation program, as this was foundational in my journey of faith.”

Family Formation would like to congratulate Father Peter Hughes on his ordination yesterday!  We are so proud of you and are very pleased in having some small part in your vocational story.


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