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January 16, 2017

400px-pysanky2011Some of the activities for this week’s lesson on Eastern Rite Churches are to try your hand at a traditional Ukranian art known as Pysanky.  While you may not be familiar with the word, we’ll bet you’ve seen the finished product.

Learn more about it here.  The Home Lesson includes some direction to work out designs on paper, but if you’re the crafty type, order some supplies and try it for yourself.  With a little practice, you could have some pretty amazing Easter gifts!

Lesson Notes: Eastern Catholic Rites

January 14, 2017


This lesson starts with some fun attention-getter questions that then lead into the meat of the lesson: just what is a rite and why are there different ones within our one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church?  You’ll learn a little history, a little geography, and a lot about the essentials that unite Catholics around the world!

If you’re in the St. Paul/Minneapolis metro area there are four parishes that are in communion with the Universal Catholic Church:

But how do you tell which eastern rite churches will fulfill your Sunday obligation and which will not?  The best place to start is on your own diocesan web site; they’re likely to have the parishes specially noted in some way.  You can also just do a web search and then look for clues on the parish site.  You’ll specifically want to see things like “in full communion with the Holy See and recognize the pope as the successor of Peter” as St. Constantine’s does, or St. John the Baptist which says, “We are an Eastern Church in communion with Pope Francis of Rome who presides in primacy and charity.”  Even a  picture of the Pope or a link to the Vatican’s site is a positive indication.

And why do we tell you this?  Because a family field trip (virtual or actual) to an Eastern Rite parish would be the absolute best way to solidify this lesson.  Going together will give you a shared experience of the beauty and reverence and can be a treasured family memory.  Try it!

New Year’s resolutions, anyone?

January 10, 2017

51ktmcq9gel-_sx331_bo1204203200_I’m a little late to the game, but if you’re looking for ways to grow in holiness (with daily reminders), you may be interested in Flocknote’s daily emails that will help you read the Catechism in a year.

They’ll be using the (awesome and Vatican-approved) Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (and including direct links to the full Catechism for further reading).  They began on January 2nd, but there’s still time to catch up.  You’ll get one email per day (Monday-Friday, not on weekends).  Brought to you by with permission from the USCCB.

The Compendium is a much shorter, easier read – your teens may be interested as well.  And if you’d like a little more, Flocknote is also offering a study of the Popes that will send you a short bit each day about one of them.   “Each weekday morning, we’ll send you a short, engaging 2-minute something about one pope. By the end of the year, you’ll know something about every single one!”

It’s free, easy, they promise no spam and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Lesson Notes: A Child’s Vocation

January 10, 2017


We talk a lot about vocations to marriage, religious life, etc., but other than thinking about it and learning for the future, a lot of it doesn’t yet have a direct application to your child’s life.  This lesson takes a different approach in that all vocations, present and future, are called to grow in holiness.  We are ALL called to become Saints, and that takes lots of practice!  This lesson gives lots of suggestions for that ongoing “practice” and then challenges everyone in the family to intentionally practice and keep track via the My Growing in Holiness Book.

The concept is simple – pick something to work on and then look back at each day to see if you did it.  There are huge blessings to this habit!

  • It’s very doable.  You’re working on holiness in very small bites.
  • Noting your successes in the booklet gives you a visible picture of how you’re doing.
  • You’re establishing lifelong patterns of behavior.
  • Looking back on each day to reconnect with God is an ancient path to holiness.
  • You become conscious of your actions throughout the day.
  • You become conscious of the need to be continually growing in virtue.

We gave each family member a booklet, so you can all be growing together.  Perhaps it would be best, to start out, if you were all working on a single resolution together (A great way to encourage one another), but this can also work with individual resolutions.  Either way, the success of the project hinges on remembering to do it each day, so remind each other to do that end-of-the-day check.  And there are 12 pages in each booklet, so we hope you’ll keep it going throughout the year!

January’s Family Challenge

January 2, 2017


Winter is the perfect time for a little indoor entertainment, so this month we’re focusing on your family’s intentional use of media.  Television, movies, gaming, books, music, and apps: this is a wide topic and there are tons of resources, so we’re sharing a few of them with you this month.

Your Challenge: Use at least one of these resources to evaluate your family’s media use.

Church of Saint Paul families will get a Challenge Card at their January meeting, but you can also find it here: january-family-challenge.

4 Questions to Ask Your Child Every Day

December 30, 2016

These are questions to warm their heart and get them thinking outside of themselves. To guide them to live a life radiated by a moral joy. I want my children to desire truth, not popularity. These are easy questions to develop the habit of thinking, “What does life want from me? Where am I being called to help?”

These questions will help you not only get into their brain, but their heart and you may even laugh at some of their answers.

What a delightful article!  I think even asking one of these questions each day would have a lasting impact on your family conversations and your way of thinking.

Read the questions here.


O marvelous exchange!

December 28, 2016


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