Author Archive

Lesson Notes: God’s Covenant with Abraham

February 18, 2018

Covenant with Abraham.png

Next up in our salvation history study is Abraham and his story is filled with drama, most of it basically proving that God is first in his life, above all else and this leads us to think about how we are succeeding or failing in that area.

This is the first week of Lent, and and critically examining your conscience is one of the Lent-iest things you can do.  To help, we suggest you do a little preparation and then lead your family through the questions on page five.  As you go through the questions, make some notes on the altar cards, and bring them (along with your family) to the Sacrament of Reconciliation sometime soon.

Younger Saints iconEven if your kids are too young for this sacrament, you can still help them to evaluate their choices (perhaps using a simplified version of the questions on page five) and then bring it all to Jesus in prayer.  Even very small children have a sense of right and wrong, and that is certainly a quality you want to help them develop.


Do Sundays Count?

February 17, 2018

Family Formation teaches in many places that each Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection, but how ’bout all that stuff I gave up for Lent?  Do I need to give it up on Sundays too?


For a well-thought-out argument looking at both sides, click over here.

Both the “I don’t cheat on Sundays” people and the “Sundays don’t count” people believe that Church teaching is on their side. Or perhaps they just think there isn’t a formal Church teaching on it, so it is a matter on which good Catholics are allowed to disagree.

But we can’t ALL be right, right?
Personally, my philosophy is that if I’ve struggled all week to develop a good habit or to give up a bad one, why would I lose all that good progress by back-pedaling on Sunday?  On the other hand, there is nothing intrinsically evil about a piece of chocolate, and having one after Mass is likely just adding one more good thing to a good day!  (But, on the third hand, I always remember someone I know who would give up chocolate but then eat an obviously gluttonous amount on Sundays.  Ugh.)  Look at your motivation and the big picture of gains and losses, and know the Church is behind you in your decision.

Hey, wait a minute!

February 16, 2018


I just counted the days from Ash Wednesday to Easter and now I’m wondering where that 40-days-of-Lent thing came from!



The answer lies in what we teach about Sundays.  Learn more here.


Hear, O Israel!

February 14, 2018

Leading With Beauty: The Ten Commandments

The classroom topic for March is the Ten Commandments and this work by Philippe de Champaigne (1648 AD) would be a perfect piece for classroom prayer tables.

The interesting thing about this piece is that everything is so clear; almost photograph-like!  Moses looks like someone you’d meet in real life and the tablet is clear enough to easily read.  In fact, this French artist painted the text of the Commandments in French, so those who saw the painting could also understand the language. That sends the message that reading/knowing the Commandments is every bit as valuable as the beauty of the art itself.

Thanks, as always, to the amazing Web Gallery of Art!  It’s one of my favorite online resources.

Consecration Novena, final prayers

February 14, 2018

Renewal Prayer
Mary, Our Lady of Good Counsel, we renew our consecration to you and to your Immaculate Heart. Please accept us, dear Mother, and use Family Formation and all that we do as you wish, to accomplish your designs upon the world. We are all yours, dear Mother and Queen, and all that we do is offered to your Son through you.

Consecration Prayer
Our Father in heaven, Who chose Mary as the fairest of Your daughters; Holy Spirit, Who chose Mary as Your spouse; God the Son, Who chose Mary as Your Mother; in union with her, we adore Your majesty and acknowledge Your supreme eternal dominion and authority.

Most Holy Trinity, we put Family Formation into the hands of Mary Immaculate in order that she may present it to You. Through her we wish to thank You for the great privilege of serving You through this apostolate. Through the intercession of Mary, have mercy on this work and grant us peace. Protect family life and guard the innocence of our children.

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our Mother, and patroness, we praise you and honor you and give ourselves to you. Protect us from every harm. Pray for us, that acting always according to your will and the Will of your Divine Son, we may live and die pleasing God.



More suggestions for Noah

February 13, 2018

Earlier this month I suggested some outside-the-box ideas for shaking up this month’s lessons, and I want to add one more here while you’re learning about Noah.

Noah’s Ark by Peter Spier is one of my favorite picture books ever.  It’s perfect for those who are at least somewhat familiar with the story because it’s told here only through the pictures.  But what amazing pictures!  There is so much detail on every page; I can practically guarantee it will hold your kids’ attention for hours, and they will be able to retell the story to you with all sorts of unexpected twists and details before you know it.




Check your local library for a loaner, or you can buy it in your favorite format.

Consecration Novena, day 9

February 13, 2018

For Family Formation’s future growth and direction; curriculum development, workshops, marketing, Spanish translation, and new products

Dear Lord, as You taught us to pray, we ask that You “give us our daily bread,” and thereby simply express our complete trust and reliance on You. (CCC 2979, 2861) We do not need to know or even understand Your plan, we simply ask that You increase our faith and trust, that You, Who are the giver of all that is good, will continue to supply the grace to move forward according to Your will. Please bless us, guide us, direct us, and protect us as we seek to build Your kingdom. Our Lady of Good Counsel, intercede for us as we seek God’s will for the future growth and direction of Family Formation. Above all, we want to hear His voice and confidently cooperate with His plan.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary …Novena, day 9

%d bloggers like this: