Friday, April 30, 2010

Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker

May 1st is the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. I like to imagine a scene of when Jesus was a boy growing up, of Joseph holding Jesus' hands as they are gripped around a hammer teaching him how to do the work of a carpenter. I imagine Mary folding linens peacefully watching. I love the feelings that fill my heart when I am teaching my children some task. Can you imagine what is was like for Joseph to teach the son of God how to hammer a nail? Do you think Joseph had any clue as to the great irony of a moment like that and Jesus' death - hammered with nails to a cross of wood? Prayers & Thoughts
Prayer to St. Joseph
Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.
Begin or end a novena to Saint Joseph

In honor of the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, have the spirit of Christ and St. Joseph in your heart as you do your daily work today. Also recognize that the daily work of a mother in caring for her family and home has a special dignity. "Workmen and all those laboring in conditions of poverty will have reasons to rejoice rather than grieve, since they have in common with the Holy Family daily preoccupations and cares." - Leo XIII

Crafts & Activities
Honor a working father with a card of thanks
Have a dad build something wooden, such as a simple birdhouse with the children
Food & Treats
Make a gingerbread toolbox, for pictures and recipe visit Catholic Cuisine
For other food ideas related to Saint Joseph, visit Catholic Cuisine or my Feast of Saint Joseph post

Good Saint Joseph by Lawrence Lovasik

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

May Crowning

from St. James Cathedral, Seattle, Washington Early in the month of May it is tradition to have a May Crowning to honor Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother, as the month of May is dedicated to her. This is often done as a procession with a ceremony of placing a crown of flowers onto a statue of Mary and flowers at the foot of the statue. Here are ideas of prayers to say, hyms to sing and other food ideas and activities to celebrate a May Crowning. Prayers Haily Mary Hail Holy Queen Memorare Angelus a decade of the rosary Hymns Bring Flowers of the Rarest (melody & lyrics) Hail Holy Queen Immaculate Mary On This Day Oh Beautiful Mother Ave Maria Food & Treats Make an edible replica of the floral crown for Mary with Rice Krispies using this recipe. Decorate it however you like with blue and white icing flowers, sprinkles, jellybeans in the shape of flowers. Inside the crown you can display your Mary Candle. 3 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows - OR - 4 cups miniature marshmallows 1 teaspoon blue food coloring 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal frosting, sprinkles, jelly beans etc. 1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows & stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in food coloring. 2. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated. 3. Transfer cereal mixture to wax paper. Using buttered hands shape mixture into wreath approximately 8 inches in diameter. Decorate with frosting, sprinkles, candies, powdered sugar. Best if served the same day. Note: This picture above is only a half recipe because someone got a hold of the marshmallows and ate half the bag. Also, I had planned on using the blue and white jelly beans left over from Easter as the center of the flowers, but they got eaten too before I could use them. So I made a buttercream frosting with butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. I use a simple ziploc bag for piping the frosting out. I am not a very good frosting decorator but I think you can tell that the crown is decorated with flowers. Another idea is to make a bundt cake to resemble a crown and frosted with blue icing and decorated with white icing flowers.
For more May Crowning food ideas, visit Catholic Cuisine
Crafts & Activities
Make a flower crown or bouquet for a statue of Mary with real or silk flowers (various flower meanings for Mary's crown)
Dye white carnations blue by placing them in water with blue food coloring. Place these flowers at a statue or image of Mary in your home
Make Mother's Day cards for Mary to place with flowers at a statue or image of Mary in the home as a family on Mother's Day
Mary, Queen of Heaven, Pray for Us.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thank You Saint Gianna

Thank you Saint Gianna for this precious gift of life in my life...
With all my heart, I know she is a miracle I hold every day because I prayed to you for help. Help me to emulate you as a mother to my children.

Love is A Choice

Here you can watch the documentary Love is a Choice about Saint Gianna Beretta Molla.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Feast of Saint Gianna

April 28th is the Feast of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla. I have a special fondness and devotion to her for many reasons, including that she was a mother of young children while also being a physician. While I am not a physician nor is my work as a veterinarian any where near as valuable or life changing as her work with the poor and elderly, I nonetheless feel connected to her in that way. First and foremost though she was a mother who taught her young children in words and action a life of faith and love. I pray everyday and especially today that I can emulate her life and for her to ask Jesus and the the Virgin Mother to look down on me and my family and bless us.
I think the most important thing you can do today in her honor to savor the day with your children, soaking up all their sweetness. St. Gianna gave her life for her youngest child and would have treasured just one more day with her precious babies.
Pray the prayer of Saint Gianna
Prayer of Saint Gianna God our Father we praise You and we bless you because in St Gianna Beretta Molla you have given us one who witnessed to the Gospel as a young women, as a wife, as a mother, and as a doctor. We thank you because through the gift of her life we can learn to welcome and honor every human person. You, Lord Jesus, were for Gianna a splendid example. She learned to recognize you in the beauty of nature. As she was questioning her choice of vocation she went in search of you and the best way to serve you. Through her married love she became a sign of your love for the Church and for humanity. Like you, the Good Samaritan, she cared for everyone who was sick, small or weak. Following your example, out of love she gave herself entirely, generating new life. Holy Spirit, Source of every perfection, give us wisdom, intelligence, and courage so that, following the example of Saint Gianna and through her intercession, we may know how to place ourselves at the service of each person we meet in our personal, family and professional lives, and thus grow in love and holiness. Amen. St. Gianna had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother, so pray the rosary today in honor of her feast day. St. Gianna is a patron saint of mothers and unborn children, so pray for the lives of all unborn children and their mothers and for an end to abortion. Crafts & Activities Color Charlotte's coloring page of St. Gianna Watch Love is a Choice: Life of St. Gianna Molla DVD or here online Food & Treats I am having friends form our parish's Mom's Group over again for Coffee & Cannolis and to pray the rosary while our children play to celebrate the Feast of St. Gianna. I used to make my own cannolis as a child, but now I have a few select places that I buy from, with my all time favorite but far away being Venieros in Manhattan (their chocolate covered cannolis pictured above). Celebrate St. Gianna's Italian heritage and make an Italian meal for dinner, some kind of yummy pasta or even pizza or eat out at your favorite Italian restaurant
Reading Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla: A Woman's Life by Giuliana Pelucchi Saint Gianna Molla: Wife, Mother, Doctor by Pietro Molla Gianna Love Letters of a Saint by Paolo Iofolla St. Gianna Beretta Molla: A Modern Day Hero of Divine Love by Thomas J. McKenna Love Letters to My Husband by Gianna Beretta Molla (Author) & Elio Guerriero (Editor) "The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day". - St. Gianna Beretta Molla

Saint Gianna, Pray for us

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Smile to Make You Smile

The little video on this post made my day enough to share. If only all the mothers-to-be of Down Syndrome babies could see this, and then maybe the 90+% of these angels that are aborted would see their own mommies smile when they do.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Volcanic Sleep Deprivation

My son has been enthralled by the images on the news of the erupting volcano in Iceland, so today we made our own little volcano. Please do not think that I am supermom by doing this because it is so easy (remember from 3rd grade?). I felt bad for my kids because I am a walking zombie today from sleepless nights with a baby who is having trouble sleeping (because her parents have been dragging her around too much and keeping her up late) that I knew I had to do something fun today for them (and for me to snap me out of my sleepy doldrums). From the news reports it sounds like this thing will be erupting for a while so you may have weeks to do this activity and relate it to the pictures on the news.
I am copying the directions from here with our tweaks to make it even easier and more colorful and explosive below:
What you'll need: Large paper plate Bathroom or Styrofoam disposable cup
Aluminum foil Water Baking soda Vinegar Tablespoon Cup
dish soap
food coloring Pan or tray covered in wax paper or foil
How to make the volcano:
Place the paper cup on top of the plate and cover completely with a piece of foil. Place the foil over the cup and plate and turn the foil under the plate edge. Poke a hole through the foil into the middle of the cup and press the foil pieces flush against the inside of the cup. this fiery lava is from red food coloring
To Make Your Volcano Erupt: Place the volcano on a pan or tray (or you'll get lava all over the place!) Fill the volcano with a tablespoon of dish soap, 6 tablespoons of water and stir in 3 tablespoons of baking soda until it dissolves. Measure 6 tablespoons of vinegar into a separate cup and color with food coloring (red for fiery lava or red and blue to make purple for a gray ash cloud). Pour the vinegar, all at once into the water/baking soda mixture and watch your lava bubble up!
this grey ash cloud is from red and blue food coloring to make purple liquid that foams out to an ashy grey

Our prayers go out to all those affected by the volcano.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Divine Mercy Sunday

This Sunday, the Sunday following Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. Jesus said to St. Faustina "The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous; the red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My most tender Mercy at that time when My agonizing Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross....Fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him." Here are some ideas for celebrating this feast. Prayer Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet (especially at the 3:00 hour of Christ's death on the cross) Finish or begin the Divine Mercy Novena Reading for adults, read the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul Read about St. Faustina and the history of the Feast of Divine Mercy Crafts & Activities
Listen to the Divine Mercy Chaplet Song (purchase here) Food & Treats Serve foods that are red and blue to represent the red and blue rays of lights representing the blood and water that flowed from his pierced side. Make pancakes in a heart shape with a red ray of strawberries and a blue ray of blueberries. For more Divine Mercy food ideas and recipes, visit Catholic Cuisine.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

St. Gianna's Husband Pietro Molla Dies

I just read that on Holy Saturday Pietro Molla, the husband of St. Gianna Beretta Molla died at the age of 97, surrounded by his children. He was buried yesterday in Italy. Now this holy couple is reunited in Heaven. Please pray for the repose of his soul. God bless the Molla family and the sacrifice they made for Life.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our Happy Easter

Here are a few snapshots from our lovely Easter Sunday.
Little Girls in Pink Dresses
little bunny baskets holding sweet bounty big brother making sure he didn't miss anything good a very lucky mommy my mama's (said with a deep South Mississippi twang so it means grandma) Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with jellybean cross Cross Monkey Bread
And finally a little clip (sorry it's sideways, I was laughing so hard I didn't realize I was holding the camera the wrong way) of Peaches' Easter morning dance party to Praise You by Mary, Mary. A little interesting musical choice for us, but the words were very appropriate for Easter and the kids had fun being silly. Peaches really loves any excuse to dance. video

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday and have a joyous Easter season.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday Hot Cross Buns

Good Friday Hot Cross Buns

This year we used this recipe, but drizzled melted apricot jam instead of frosting for kids. The crosses on the buns don't show up very well in this picture.

Jesus, Remember Me...

"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Luke 23:42

I have thought a lot this past week since Passion Sunday about these words of the penitent sinner dying next to Jesus. We are each one of those two men crucified with Him. The great challenge is to be the truly humble sinner and beg Jesus for mercy and forgiveness so as to join Him in Heaven someday.

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