April 9: Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday – the first day of Holy week. We receive palms today as an outward sign of Jesus’ coming into Jerusalem.  The gospel today is the reading of the passion according to Matthew (Matthew 26:14—27:66).  Talk together after mass about this powerful reading. There may be parts of this reading that may be difficult for your children to understand, so use today to talk about Jesus’ deep love for each of you.   Put your palms in a prominent place as a reminder.

Here is a link to turn your palms into a cross: http://www.catholicicing.com/how-to-fold-a-palm-cross-in-10-easy-steps/

Click here for more information about Holy Week.

March 31: Reconciliation

Please read together the Church’s teaching on the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation:

“Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.” CCC verse #1440

As part of your Lenten journey, plan a time to receive this beautiful sacrament before Easter.

When ready to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), the following steps are involved:

Beforehand

Examination of Conscience: Pray to the Holy Spirit for light and strength, examine your conscience in the light of the Scriptures and the Commandments since your last confession and become truly sorry for your sins.
A Child’s Examination of Conscience
Examination Of Conscience

Going to Confession:

  • Welcome – The priest welcomes you, the penitent. It is helpful if you indicate the time of your last Confession and anything else that will help the priest hearing your confession.
  • Scripture – A short passage of Scripture may be read.
  • Confession –  Confess your sins and listen to the advice of the priest.
  • Penance –  The priest proposes a good action or prayer to help make up for sin and deepen virtue.
  • Prayer of Sorrow (Act of Contrition) –  Pray expressing personal sorrow and asking for forgiveness. Act of Contrition
  • Absolution –  The priest grants absolution in the name of God and the Church.
  • Praise God and Dismissal –  The priest invites you to praise God and dismisses you with the command to go in peace.

Afterward

Spend some time in thanking God for forgiving us and restoring us to full life in Christ.

Taken from the “Sunday Missal 2016-2017” pages 617-619

 

March 30: Catechism Byte

Please read together the CCC 1907-1909. These relate back to what you read and discussed earlier in the month. How can your family apply these principles to your life?

1907 First, the common good presupposes respect for the person as such. In the name of the common good, public authorities are bound to respect the fundamental and inalienable rights of the human person. Society should permit each of its members to fulfill his vocation. In particular, the common good resides in the conditions for the exercise of the natural freedoms indispensable for the development of the human vocation, such as “the right to act according to a sound norm of conscience and to safeguard . . . privacy, and rightful freedom also in matters of religion.”

1908 Second, the common good requires the social well-being and development of the group itself. Development is the epitome of all social duties. Certainly, it is the proper function of authority to arbitrate, in the name of the common good, between various particular interests; but it should make accessible to each what is needed to lead a truly human life: food, clothing, health, work, education and culture, suitable information, the right to establish a family, and so on.

1909 Finally, the common good requires peace, that is, the stability and security of a just order. It presupposes that authority should ensure by morally acceptable means the security of society and its members. It is the basis of the right to legitimate personal and collective defense.

March 25: Feast of the Annunciation

This is the event that we contemplate whenever we pray the first Joyful mystery of the Rosary. The Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was chosen by God to be the Mother of our Lord. (you can read this story in Luke 1:26-38)

Prayer:
O God,  Who didst please that at the message of an Angel Thy Word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary,  grant unto Thy suppliants,  that we who believe her to be truly the mother of God may be aided by her intercession before Thee through the same Christ our Lord. Amen
Benedictine Monastic Diurnal

 

March 9: Catechism Byte

Please CCC 1905 and 1906 and discuss them how they relate to the Catholic Graduate Expectation for March.

1905 In keeping with the social nature of man, the good of each individual is necessarily related to the common good, which in turn can be defined only in reference to the human person:
Do not live entirely isolated, having retreated into yourselves, as if you were already justified, but gather instead to seek the common good together.

1906 By common good is to be understood “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.” The common good concerns the life of all. It calls for prudence from each, and even more from those who exercise the office of authority. It consists of three essential elements.

 

February 23: St. Polycarp

Polycarp was recognized as a Christian leader by all Asia Minor Christians—a strong fortress of faith and loyalty to Jesus Christ. His own strength emerged from his trust in God, even when events contradicted this trust.

Prayer:
“Stand fast, therefore, in this conduct and follow the example of the Lord, ‘firm and unchangeable in faith, lovers of the brotherhood, loving each other, united in truth,’ helping each other with the mildness of the Lord, despising no man.” (Polycarp, Letter to the Philippians).
Taken from AmericanCatholic.org

February  22:  The Chair of St. Peter

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter celebrates the papacy and St. Peter as the first bishop of Rome. St. Peter’s original name was Simon. He was married with children and was living and working in Capernaum as a fisherman when Jesus called him to be one of the Twelve Apostles.

Prayer:
O God, Who by delivering to Thy blessed Apostle Peter  the keys of the kingdom of Heaven,  didst confer upon him the pontifical power of binding and of loosing,  grant that, by the help of his intercession,
we may be delivered from the bonds of our sins.  Who livest and reignest with Thee, One God, world without end

February 20: Family Day

Today is Family Day; a day to be together enjoying anything you like to do as a family. You can keep it simple or do something more extravagant. Just remember…..HAVE FUN!!

Prayer:
Dear God, we invite you to share this day with us. Please fill each of us with your deep love and joy. We thank you for this family and ask for your protection over us today and always. Amen

February 19: Family Time

This is the 7th Sunday in ordinary time. “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is  perfect.”  This is the last line in today’s gospel. (Matthew 5:38-48)  If we read these words literally for ourselves, we may despair and feel as though we can never measure up to this expectation.

Please read this excerpt from one of Pope Francis’ general audiences from Sept.21, 2016
“In the well-known Sermon on the Mount, which opens with the Beatitudes, the Lord teaches that perfection lies in love, the fulfillment of all the precepts of the Law. In this same perspective, St Luke specifies that perfection is merciful love: to be perfect means to be merciful. Is a person who is not merciful perfect? No! Is a person who is not merciful good? No! Goodness and perfection are rooted in mercy. Certainly, God is perfect. However, if we consider Him in this way, it becomes impossible for men to aim towards that absolute perfection. Instead, having Him before our eyes as merciful, allows us to better understand what constitutes his perfection, and this spurs us to be, as He is, full of love, compassion, mercy.” Pope Francis

February 14: St. Valentine

St. Valentine was a Priest.  He was martyred in 269 in Rome.  He is the Patron saint of bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, happy marriages, love and young people.  He is often shown in pictures with birds and a rose.   Celebrate with special treats and homemade cards for one another.

Prayer:
O glorious advocate and protector, St. Valentine, look with pity upon our wants, hear our requests, attend to our prayers, relieve by your intercession the miseries under which we labour, and obtain for us the divine blessing, that we may be found worthy to join you in praising the Almighty for all eternity: through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen