Early Preparations for First Communion

Our oldest daughter is in second grade this year at our parish school. That means that this year she is preparing for her First Holy Communion. Neither my husband nor I was raised in the Catholic church. When I came into the church after college, I received my first communion and confirmation together at the Easter Vigil service. So, this is an unfamiliar process for us.My husband and I both take the spiritual formation of our children very seriously. We want to be active participants in … [Read more...]

Inspiration for All Saints and a favorite craft

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Heading into a Holy Day weekend, I thought this quote quite appropriate for my All Saints reflections:'They who are engaged with the salvation of their neighbor, will gain more by an humble modesty than by an authoritative manner, and will gain victory sooner in retreat than in combat."  - St. Ignatius of LoyolaOne of my favorite crafts to do with my kids on All Saints is making  Armor of God paper dolls from Ministry to Children.  We read Ephesians 6 and talk about how to be like the sa … [Read more...]

On Verily Magazine and Elevating Culture

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I stopped reading magazines, with the exception of a few cooking publications, long ago.  I was tired of being bombarded by sexualized imagery, raunchy articles, gossipy updates, and fashion that didn't even begin to apply to my life.  Recently, however, I have found a new favorite in Verily.   Briefly a quarterly print magazine, Verily is now exclusively online, complete with daily deliveries and updates.  I appreciate their realistic, feminine fashion sense, the balanced examinations of relat … [Read more...]

Encouragement for the Family

"Today more than ever, we need witnesses who live out the Gospel of the family to the fullest and with joy, and who show the world that it is a beautiful and fascinating way of life, a source of happiness for spouses and children. Here there is enormous scope for the prophetic mission of our laity. In the lives of Christian couples today it takes the courage of prophets, the courage to stand up to the dominant culture." ~Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko President of the Pontifical Council of the … [Read more...]

Five reasons and Five ways to Celebrate the Angelic Feasts this week

Whew, Texas Mommy is right, this is a big week.  Not only are there two Angelic feast days this week, but yesterday I finished a novena to mark the Feast Day of St. Therese of Lisieux, and our parish is holding the annual Blessing of the Animals in conjunction with St. Francis Assisi's feast day on Saturday.  I don't know about any one else, but I could use a good celebration.  Church holidays seem like a distant memory this time of year, and Advent still feels a long way off.  Like Bethany wro … [Read more...]

Favorite Toddler Activities

I know I am probably the last of the families here to return to school, but we did finally return to school this week.  It has been a wonderful week for my two school-age children.  Even our kindergartener who started half-day kindergarten today was beaming ear to ear.  The week has been a bit tougher for my three year old and me, however.  We both miss his older siblings and wish they weren't gone for most of the day.My three year old is not going to preschool this year, so we, along with hi … [Read more...]

Adoration with children

We are fortunate enough to have perpetual adoration at our parish.  In addition, some very devoted mothers have arranged a children's adoration hour once a week.  During this time, parents with young children are encouraged to come to the adoration chapel, knowing that some additional noise and wiggling won't be distracting, but rather expected.One of the commitments that we will take on this school year will be a regular adoration slot during the children's adoration hour.  It is only a twen … [Read more...]

Encouragement from Chaput on Daily Life

Recently, Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, offered this address at a "Faith in the Public Square" symposium.  Far from being a lofty, academic, theoretical piece (which have a place and can certainly encourage as well), I found his comments to be poignantly practical and encouraging for even the mundane moments of my daily life.  I found his quote of Pope Benedict's depiction of the original Benedictines to be particularly inspiring; I think of St. Benedict as a titan of a Saint: a her … [Read more...]

Thoughts for Thursday

What am I cooking?Quinoa muffins from Vegetarian Cooking is for Everyone.  My wonderful husband brought home a three pound bag of organic quinoa from Sam's Club (!?), which has sent me searching for all manner of recipes for this ancient grain.  It is so fun to develop a new ingredient recipe repertoire!  Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe?  I'd love to hear about it.What are my weekend plans?My grandmother turns 93 three this weekend, and we'll be going to a family birthday cele … [Read more...]

All men are created equal….

Our children are still quite young (7,5,3 and 1), but for them the Fourth of July is already synonymous with fireworks, flashy parades, and fabulous summer food (s'mores!).   This year, I have modest hopes of instilling in them a nascent appreciation of what the Fourth of July really means for our country, as well as some of the principles that it represents.  I bought a few vintage books at a used book fair to read to them this week, including The Story of the Declaration of Independence by No … [Read more...]


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