On the Feast of St. John Paul II

Happy Feast of St. John Paul II! Here are a couple of resources that I wanted to pass along before the day is over:1) Jason Evert has written a book called St. John Paul the Great: His First Loves - I can't wait to read it!2) I stumbled upon this cute animated video entitled "St. John Paul II, the Life of a Holy Pope," and plan to share it with my children tomorrow.3) One of my favorite St. John Paul II quotes: To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the ch … [Read more...]

ICYMI: New American Blessed

The Church in America had a wonderful moment this weekend, and in Jersey no less (I write this little tease with extreme love, I assure you, since that's where Red and half of my family lives). Not only did it add a new Blessed to the fold of holy men and women -- Miriam Teresa Demjanovich -- but we had our first *ever* beatification liturgy on American soil. This is beautiful for us not only as Catholics, but as American Catholics!As I was reading articles on Blessed Miriam Teresa, I was … [Read more...]

Challenge for the Lenten Homestretch

A few days ago, I read a great Lenten reflection by Fr. Robert Barron, and the general gist was as follows: For the homestretch of Lent, try picking both your favorite saint and the saint that you have the hardest time with, and open up your heart and mind to learn something from both of them. I love the latter part of this challenge, which Fr. Barron states much more eloquently than I ever could:"...choose another saint who bothers you, one whom you don't really appreciate or who maybe rubs … [Read more...]

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a … [Read more...]

Happy Epiphany!

Pope Francis gave a fantastic Epiphany homily today in St. Peter's Square, and you can read the text here. As always, the words of his homily are clear and to the point, yet he manages to make some profound statements that cause one to stop and think. For example, Pope Francis speaks of a "holy cunning," which he says "consists of a spiritual shrewdness which enables us to recognize danger and avoid it..." This short piece is well worth the read!Happy Epiphany! May we all seek Jesus as the … [Read more...]

What Are You Wishing for this Christmas?

With Christmas Day just a little over a week away, all of us are asking the question, "What are you wishing for this Christmas?" If you were to ask my children, they would say that they are wishing for a marble run, a 4D puzzle, and a Mulan doll. My husband would probably mention something technology-related, and we would both probably say that we would love to have a date night that doesn't involve holiday parties and school concerts!All of these Christmas wishes are great, and we have a … [Read more...]

Jesse Tree – It’s Not too Early to Start Planning

The beginning of Advent often sneaks up on me, meaning that I am only sometimes successful with family traditions like the Jesse Tree. This website has some great tips on planning for doing a Jesse Tree with your family this year, and it also contains a link that you can use to purchase the materials if you're not feeling crafty this year (I would fall into this category most years!). In the past, I have also printed Jesse Tree ornaments from this website, and then simply taped them to a wall in … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Encourages Parents to “Waste Time with their Children”

Pope Francis, in a recent gathering of the Pontifical Council for the Family, "asked parents to 'waste time' with their children, so that they can realize that love is always free" (quote from this article). For those of us who spend a lot of time "wasting time" with our children, this statement is very encouraging! When we sit on the floor with our 3 year-old to assemble a puzzle, snuggle on the couch to read "The Yellow Tutu" for the twentieth time, or simply spend time singing songs to our … [Read more...]

Questions from Pope Francis

Pope Francis gave another beautiful homily this weekend as he honored Mary. I was struck by the simplicity and humility in the first person questions he spoke. They would make terrific, challenging yet simple, questions by which to examine our consciences. In our culture we tend to make things so complicated when "only one thing is needed." And you can bet that we will be saying a lot more "thank you's" at our house! Today let us all ask ourselves whether we are afraid of what God might ask, or … [Read more...]

Day of Fasting and Prayer for Syria

Pope Francis has announced for the whole church a day of fasting and prayer on 9/7 to prevent war in Syria.Excerpt from His Holiness's address:To this end, brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7  September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men … [Read more...]