Works of Mercy Coloring Book

Posted November 17, 2017 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized


One of nicest things about our job here is working with so many creative people!  One of them, Theresa, a Family Formation DRE from Vermont, wrote a children’s coloring book a few years ago on the Works of Mercy, and her granddaughter illustrated it.  When she saw our upcoming Home Lessons on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, she offered to share it with all of you!

It would be a nice way to extend the lessons and we thank them both for making it available to everyone.

Mercy Coloring Book

Art for December Prayer Tables

Posted November 15, 2017 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Sue's Suggestions

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This month’s topic is on Baptism and Confirmation and the profound connections between the two, and for our piece of prayer table art, I recommend this work by Pietro Longhi entitled The Baptism.  Baptism is the foundation of the Christian life and is a sacrament that most of your students will have experienced.


It’s very easy to be drawn into this happy scene.  Almost all eyes are focused on the beautiful drama being enacted near the center as the infant is beginning her new life in Christ.  The woman on the right, behind the pillar, doesn’t seem to be part of the family, but she can’t resist witnessing this wonderful event, and the server in the front is looking out at all of us, make us feel like we’re part of the scene as well!

Thanks to the Web Gallery of Art!

Lesson Notes: Celebrating the Real Presence

Posted November 11, 2017 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Sue's Suggestions

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Real Presence

Praying along with the Mass is the highest praise we can pay to God.  We come for a sense of community – to attend this great family banquet, but most of all we are there to offer ourselves, whole and entire, in union with the perfect sacrifice of our savior.

First Communicant praying - TinaThere are a couple separate paths for this lesson, and if you only have younger kids you may want to focus on the first.  Kids love stories, right?  Your pre-Communion aged kids may appreciate a story about young Therese of Lisieux and how she absolutely longed to receive Communion.  Three years (years!) before she was old enough, Therese started preparing the gift she would give to her beloved Jesus on her first Communion day.

We also have a story about Saint Tarcisuis, a 4th-century boy who gave his life defending the consecrated Hosts he was bringing to condemned Christians in prison.  His belief in the Real Presence was put to the ultimate test.

The other path deals with a question of faith: the host and the wine look unchanged.  How can we know that the consecration makes them really and truly the Body and Blood of Jesus?  And for that, we have analogies, activities, and explanations to help your entire family to better understand.

Partners in the Gospel: Jesse Tree Treasures

Posted November 9, 2017 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Sue's Suggestions

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Partners in the GospelAdvent, Advent!  There are so many wonderful things I could say about this favorite season!  I always feel like every effort focused on waiting* and preparing for Christmas is a little victory that will help my family better celebrate the birth of Christ.

Whether you light a candle each evening, read a book set aside for the season**, or change up your family’s prayer time a bit, Advent offers lots of opportunities to grow in faith!

The devotion I’d like to mention today is an ancient tradition that helps us recall the long, long wait for the arrival of the Savior.  It’s called a Jesse Tree (from the promise in Isaiah 11:1-4) and simply involves recalling a little piece of salvation history each day throughout Advent.  From creation to the manger, presenting this long wait as chapters in a single story is an immensely valuable way to give your family an abiding sense of God’s love and His plan for us!

A beautiful way to do that is with the ornaments created by Jane and Angie at Jesse Tree Treasures.  Not only are they heirloom quality, but they are kid safe and come with the Scripture references you need to make this a successful prayer and story time throughout the entire season.  If you would like to put together a custom set to match your favorite children’s Bible, they’ll help you with that.  If you would like to extend the tradition with additional sets, they do that too.


Advent starts on December 3 this year so this would be the best time to order to make sure you’re ready to go.

*(Never mind that this also cooperates with a tendency to procrastinate.)
** Great Advent book lists from trusted Catholic sources: Rosie’s listHaley’s list, Elizabeth’s list, and many, many lists from Jessica!

I Believe!

Posted November 8, 2017 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized

athanasius_iThe speaker at our November parent meetings focused mainly on the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed, but also mentioned a third, albeit little-used, creed in our Catholic tradition.  So for those of you who are interested in “nerdy theology,” here’s your reminder to look up the Athanasian Creed.

  1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;
  2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
  3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
  4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.
  5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.
  6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
  7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
  8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.
  9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
  10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
  11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.
  12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
  13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.
  14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
  15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
  16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
  17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;
  18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.
  19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;
  20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.
  21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
  22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.
  23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
  24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
  25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.
  26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.
  27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
  28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
  29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
  31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.
  32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
  33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.
  34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.
  35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.
  36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
  37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;
  38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;
  39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;
  40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
  41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;
  42. and shall give account of their own works.
  43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
  44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

If it helps, apparently in Latin it’s composed of 44 rhythmic lines. 🙂

Partners in the Gospel: Give Him 5

Posted November 6, 2017 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Uncategorized

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Partners in the Gospel

Next in our series of creative ways people find to spread the Gospel, we’re excited to share the work of a ministry that is near and dear to our hearts; Give Him 5.  Michelle gives all credit to the Holy Spirit, but we’re so glad we can benefit from all the ways she cooperates with His inspiration!


Advent candles-2Do you want Advent to be more meaningful this year? Get your kids excited to wait upon the Lord with the Give Him 5 prayer bag. Each bag includes all the tools you need to help your child pray and encourage a friendship with Jesus.

  • The five-minute sand timer is a fun reminder to get started and when it runs out you won’t want to stop praying.
  • The “Begin with FAITH” prayer cards will guide your child through their conversation with Jesus using the FAITH message.
    • F– find a quiet place
    • A– ask Jesus to be with you
    • I – tell Him what is important to you
    • T– thank Him
    • H– ask for His help in your life
  • You’ll also get a Give Him 5 Pocket Cross, a scroll explaining why to pray, and a handy bag to keep it all together.
  • In addition, be sure to use the great audio prompts you can find on their homepage.

Bags are great for ages 4-99 years and you can use the code “Prayer” to receive 15% off your entire order. Contact Michelle for bigger discounts offered for churches, schools, and groups.

Give Him 5 (1)


Lesson Notes: Saints’ Stories

Posted October 30, 2017 by Sue Klejeski
Categories: Sue's Suggestions

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Saints Stories

It’s practically All Saints Day, so what better time is there to learn more about our friends and intercessors in heaven?  This week’s lesson takes a closer look at the lives of Saint Martin de Porres, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, and Saint John Vianney and is one of those super easy lessons that requires practically no advance preparation by parents.  Simply refer to the instruction sheet that provides the download link and access code and access it on your favorite device.  From there, listen in the car, listen at bedtime, or make some popcorn and listen all together in your family room!

Wherever you are, be sure to include a little prayer time asking these holy ones to pray for your family.


And, in case you’ve forgotten, All Saints Day is a Holy Day of Obligation.  Be sure to make time in your family’s day for Mass.

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