Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Two Feet of Love in Action

My church  has asked those who are interested to come and listen to a talk on Peace and Justice.  
Our speaker is from the Office of Peace and Justice from our local archdiocese.  
I was encouraged to attend so I did and found myself challenged in a whole new way.  

Our speaker asked us to reflect on our parish as "to it's commitment to recognize and fulfill it's obligations of justice and charity in society."  
Didn't take long to discern that we do a great job in the area of charity but very little to anything in regards to justice.  

It was an unsettling thought for I didn't think that justice was a separate entity to charity.

"Social justice concerns the social, political, and economic aspects and, above all, the structural dimension of problems and their respective solutions."  
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Examples of Social Justice                                                   
Remove Root Causes; Improve Structures:
*  Expand access to affordable housing
*  Work to improve the education system
*  Support environmental protection laws
*  Participate in a living wage campaign
*  Promote peace
*  Advocate for international assistance

Examples of Charitable Works
Meet Basic Needs; Aid Individuals
*  Volunteer at homeless shelters
*  Tutor children
*  Assist women who face a crisis pregnancy
*  Participate in a community beautification program
*  Donate to food pantries and clothing closets
*  Sponsor a refugee family
*  Raise money for an overseas development project


"The Church cannot neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the Sacraments and the Word.  Those who are able to make offerings in accordance with their support orphans, widows, the sick, and those who for other reasons find themselves in need, such as prisoners and foreigners."
Pope Benedict XV!, Deus Caritas Est., no 22

What does your church do to fight for justice?


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Adventures of Father Ignatius Giveaway For All

Have you heard of Fr. Ignatius? 

He is the wonderful fictional creation of Victor SE Mourabarak from Time For Reflections and 

The Adventures of Father Ignatius is a selection of short stories in the life of our lovable priest dispensing his well-intended wisdom and teaching us to love one another as Our Lord commanded.

Also in the series of Father Ignatius short stories are 

Golden Drops
Golden Droplets 
God’s Humble Servant
Father Ignatius Teaches
Theodore Luxton-Joyce

Victor has entertained his readers and blogger fans for the last few years in his posts about       
Fr. Ignatius.  
I believe in his book called Visions is where Fr. Ignatius came to life in the literary world.
Victor's writing is thoughtful, humorous and engaging.  You'll leave his work chuckling and inspired.

He is now offering a downloadable version of The Adventures of Father Ignatius 
and his short stories for free.

Go to his website HERE.

Thank you Victor for sharing your hilarious imagination with the rest of us!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

March For Life 2013

This was made by TFP Student Action in the freezing cold weather in our nation's capital.  
Love that they had a statue of Our Blessed Mother!
May God abundantly bless TFP Student Action for their work supporting the unborn!

Our Blessed Mother, pray for us!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Mother Teresa Quote on Abortion

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish”
 – Mother Teresa

I've no doubt that she was praising God and celebrating with the angels during the 
2013 March for Life.

Go to St. Blogustine to view their great pictures of this historic march on the 
40th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.


Saw this interesting statement on Jill Stanek's Blog. It's a very good question. 

Why is that?

Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival

I'm joining in again with RAnn at Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival weekly link up. Thank you RAnn for organizing your weekly link up!


 I am including the following posts:

Come and join the many wonderful Catholic Bloggers HERE.


Bible Stories That End With A Hug Review

My latest review from Tyndale House Publishers is a sweet children's bible called Bible Stories That End With A Hug by Stephen Elkins.  Mr. Elkins is a Grammy Award nominated record producer and a multi-million selling children's author and songwriter.  His background includes being the founder and owner of a Christian media company called Wonder Workshop that specializes in children's books, audio and DVDs.

As the title states, each chapter ends with hug time between child and reader.  My overall first impression is that I loved the illustrations by Simon Taylor-Kielty.   Love the color combination and softness of the images which is perfect for small children.  There are a total of 74 chapters in his book.  Each chapter is 2 pages in length with an illustration on the first side that also includes the theme, the bible book and a scripture verse.  The second side gives a brief explanation of the main idea of each book then asks two questions.  The questions help to enhance understanding and check comprehension.  Following the questions is a brief reflection to sum up the book.  To further imprint the meaning of the chapter, Mr. Elkins includes "hug time" on the right sidebar.  The last page of the book is called Heavenly Hugs with a prayer to praise God.  A perfect ending for this delightful children's book.

Unfortunately, the author neglected to include the most important event in the life of Jesus.  The story of the Last Supper is in the book and then it jumps to the resurrection of Jesus.  No mention of His crucifixion.  First Jesus is having dinner with His apostles and explaining Communion then next, He's risen from the dead.  I'm assuming the author opted not to include this story due to the suffering and violence inflicted on Jesus. However, I feel that Mr. Elkins could have done it carefully for young children.  This book is certainly meant for little children so perhaps they won't miss how Jesus died but an older child will.  The most important event in all of history should have been included for without it, the gates of Heaven would never be opened for us.  Big mistake on Mr. Elkins part and it directly effects my rating.

Tyndale publishers sent me this book for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was given for my honest feedback.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Memorial to the Unborn

Eric Schiedler, the founder of Pro Life Action League, has asked us to go and visit a memorial to the unborn today.  His prayer campaign is called "Blessed Are They Who Mourn" and he's asked for each of us to go and pray for the unborn, their mama's and our nation.  We are a nation in need of healing.

On his website, there is a link that will let you check by state, each and every memorial to the unborn.  There are 227 sites in over 41 states that have this special memorial.  How touching yet so sad.

Here are some pictures from the one I visited today.  It's especially poignant with it's tear drop shape and Mary embracing the newborn babe.

My time was short since it was 4 degrees outside but long enough so I could pray for mercy on our nation and ask for the intercession of Mary and all the angels and saints.

"Truly children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward" (Psalm 127:3).

40th Anniversary of Roe vs Wade

Something to celebrate?  I think not.  This puts a stain on our nation and our world.

The US Bishops call for "Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage" from Jan 19th-27th.
The intention is for healing and conversion of our nation.

I am participating in Jill Stanek's Ask Them What They Mean By "Choice" Blog Day.  

Who is celebrating?  

NARAL Pro-Choice America is hosting their eighth annual Blog For Choice Day.  

As of last night, they had approximately 60 pro-choice bloggers signed up to celebrate the 
40th anniversary of Roe vs Wade.

I'm planning on joining in and politely asking these bloggers what is their definition of "choice".

Ask Them What They Mean By "Choice" Day 2013
Why am I doing this?  Because the unborn need help.  Their rights are being ignored.  Plus, this is the image in my mind when I think of how Jesus must feel about His precious babies.
I've enlarged it so you can look closely at what He's holding in the palm of His hand.


Here are the rules if you'd like to participate:
Commenting Rules

“Criticize ideas, not people.”
Create one original moniker and stick with it.
Please use a unique name.
Be civil and considerate.
Read fully and consider carefully before responding.

Do Not's
Blasphemy will not be tolerated.
No swearing or slandering of others.
No deliberate inflammatory comments.
Do not violate another’s privacy.
Do not threaten fellow commenters or anyone else.
No personal, racial, ethnic or gender-based insults/slurs.
Do not post private personal information about yourself or others.(ie addresses, phone #s)

Violations will be deleted and you may be banned.
Threats will be immediately reported to authorities.

Following these rules will make everyone's experience visiting Jill Stanek better.
Their volunteer moderators make prudent judgment calls to provide an open forum to discuss these issues. They reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason. Jill's decisions on such moderations are final.


Monday, January 21, 2013

The Holy Eucharist

We worked on learning about The Holy Eucharist this past weekend and for my preparation work, I went right to Jennifer at Catholic Inspired.

She has the perfect art project to teach the Real Presence of Jesus!

Jennifer offers for free, the printables on her website HERE.  Thank you Jennifer!!!!!!!

I do all the prep work of cutting them out since our time in class is limited, 
and their little fingers some times lack the dexterity to cut them out well.

We had left over stickable gems from our Christ the King crowns.  

One of my students prepared our prayer table as seen below.

We used gold or silver sharpies to write the important words.

Inside the host, is a picture of Jesus.  How great is that to teach the Real Presence?

We watched Greatest Heroes: The Last Supper, Crucifixion, and Resurrection that I checked out from my local library.  I only showed the first part to help illustrate when Jesus gave us the special gift of Himself.

My goal was to teach my first graders that The Holy Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  So, we first played a word scramble game where they move from station to station, respelling these words (plus Eucharist) and then must state the word out loud.  Once they do that, they can move on to another station.  It worked well but they still were stuck on "divinity" ... it was hard for them to remember and pronounce.  Eucharist was even harder.

So impromptu, I started saying slowly at first, then picked up speed the following words:

The Holy Eucharist is Jesus':

Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity
Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity
Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity...etc.

On their own, my students recited each word "Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity" with a clap.  Then started jumping up and down stating it.  By the time I stopped them, they had it memorized.

I even challenged them to ask their older siblings and parents this question "What is the Holy Eucharist?"

Here are some great resources for coloring pages of The Holy Eucharist.

That Resource Site

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy Mail

Today I received these two books that I've won from CeAnne's recent giveaway over at
Sanctus Simplicitus.  I can't wait to read/pray them both.

Thank you CeAnne!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If Only He'd Remember the Unborn

Ok President Obama, you've stated it very well with the exception of the unspoken disclaimer... you're leaving out the most precious vulnerable life.  Which needs protection.

 The unborn. 

 You forgot to include the murder of babies in their mother's womb.

Mother Teresa said it best:

February 1997 - National Prayer Breakfast in Washington attended by the President and the First Lady. "What is taking place in America," she said, "is a war against the child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another."  

I wonder how the Clintons responded to her statement?


Monday, January 14, 2013

Be Filled with Joy

Today I received a very sweet canvas as a birthday gift from my sister.  Thanks Kathy!!
Here it is:

Isn't it cute?  It was made by Tiffanie Hage the Designer/Owner of A Charming Welcome.

You can contact her and she will custom make your 12 X 12 canvas or wreath for you.  
Any color combination you like.  Any phrase you'd like.
With polka dots or without.
Very cute.  It will add a special touch to any room or holiday!

Here are a few she's already done for her customers:

Photo: This canvas will look precious in a little girl's nursery. $25.00

Photo: This 12x12 name meaning canvas is going in Samuel's nursery!

Photo: Another Sneak peek for The Sale Boat event!  Available for purchase. $25.00

Photo: Lime green and tourqouise 12x12 canvas!

I linked up at Trendy TuesdayNo Ordinary Blog Hop and 52 Mantels.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Making Love to Jesus

Yes, you heard me right.  

I used a politer term than what the main character is actually doing in this blasphemous movie.

Paradise: Faith is the second film in Seidl's trilogy of family and religious fanaticism.  And it won a special jury prize award at the Venice Film Festival last year.  It's already been released in Italy, Poland, Greece, and Norway.  It's scheduled to be released in Belguim, Netherlands, and Germany in March 2013.

Strand Releasing picked up the rights for distribution in the U.S.  It seems as if they will be releasing all three of the films this quarter:

Paradise: Love
Paradise: Faith
Paradise: Hope

Austrian movie director, Ulrich Seidl was asked about some disturbing scenes in Paradise: Faith involving the main character having carnal acts with a crucifix.  His response:

"It is right to show her doing this act using a cross as she is making love to Jesus."

I learned about this trilogy through America Needs Fatima.  You can go on Youtube and see a foreign trailer of it.  I didn't want to put this filth on my blog, but I did view the trailer.  

Please sign the petition by America Needs Fatima to stop the release of this blasphemous movie here in the U.S.

For more information, you can go HERE and HERE.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Brother Francis: The Bread of Life Review

I was looking for an engaging DVD to teach my first graders about The Holy Eucharist.  This is the Year of Faith and as Catholics, The Holy Eucharist is what defines us.  We truly believe that The Holy Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  If we want, we can go to Holy Mass every day and receive Jesus in the Eucharist.  We don't have to wait until the Sabbath Day!  What an amazing transforming gift of grace that God has bestowed on us!  But so few Catholics understand this truth and, people of other faith, dismiss it as only a symbol.

So, here's my challenge.  

How do I teach this most important tenet of Our Faith to 6 year old's?

That the Holy Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

I'd been researching on the web and have found older movies that teach Holy Communion. However, they seem a bit dated.  Content is good no doubt, but lacking a visual appeal.  As we all know, kids now a days are blasted with animation graphics of the latest technology.  If it doesn't capture their attention within the first few minutes, it never will.

 After viewing Brother Francis: Celebrating the Eucharist, I know it will deliver the goods to my students.

It had a feeling of Veggie Tales and we all know that's hugely popular with young children.  It had a touch of humor with Brother Francis having fun on a scooter, Pogo stick, surf board...etc.  It made him relatable and children will no doubt smile and giggle at the introduction.  Brother Francis is our guide throughout the movie and recaps the main message throughout.  It includes two visualized songs that help the message of the Holy Eucharist to stick.  For understanding to bloom in the young minds of children.  That's my goal as a Catechist.

A second part of this DVD is "The Story of Blessed Imelda Lamertini" the Patroness of First Communicants.  At the age of 10, Imelda felt God calling her to give her life to Jesus.  She devoted her life to God and He blessed Her abundantly.  In addition, they offer a Spanish version on this same DVD.  I'm happy to report that I loved it!

Word needs to get out!  Go and check out Brother Francis Online for a complete listing of all of their DVD's and activity pages.  I wasn't asked by this company to review their DVD.  I bought it on my own from a Catholic Gift Store and was pleasantly surprised at it's ability to deliver the content in an easy engaging format for young children.

I plan to show it to my class this weekend and will write an update to include their response.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jesus, the Son of a Rapist Roman Soldier?

A new movie is in the works, I believe still in the writing process, based off of the book, jesus of nazareth (meant to be in lower caps) written by Paul Verhoeven.  Have you heard of him?  Or of his book?  I've not until today.


A quote from William Doehring of the Examiner states:

"the film is based on the work of prominent Biblical theologians such as Rudolf Bultman and Raymond Brown, and the members of the Jesus Seminar, a group of biblical scholars whose research focuses on constructing an accurate portrait of the historical Jesus, one who was more ethicist and radical prophet than Son of God."

He goes on to say:

" filmmaker Paul Verhoeven wishes to reveal Jesus as man and politician, who is more similar to us and other great political leaders throughout history."

In 1985, the Jesus Seminar group started as "a project out of Westar Institute" where they make decisions of the life of Jesus by voting.  By consensus, they decide that:

 Jesus is not the Son of God
Jesus can not perform miracles
Mary was raped by a Roman Soldier and became pregnant with Jesus
Jesus was not resurrected

In fact, they believe Jesus to be a radical prophet, politician and ethicist. 

Pure garbage designed to confuse and cause doubt about who Jesus really is!  The work of the devil and it must not go unchallenged.  To sign an online petition to stop production of this blasphemous movie go HERE.

To read more, please go Christian Film and Television Commission and Huffington Post.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Animated Rosary for Kids Review

I had the opportunity to review Animated Rosary for Kids DVD through the Tiber River Reviewer Program.  This is a 2 CD set, with two mysteries on each one.  As it states, this DVD is animated with a guardian angel called "Angelito" as our guide.  A narrator introduces each mystery and Angelito sets up the scene with explanations, practices that please Jesus and how to apply these lessons to your own life.  In essence, he highlights the main points of each mystery.  The pace of the prayers is great.  It's slow with a pause in the middle of each of them.  The viewer has the option to use the subtitles in English and Spanish if they wish.  During the prayers, the viewer sees numerous pictures that helps envision the mystery.  Perfectly appropriate for small children!  I also liked that at the end of each mystery they included, the Hail, Holy Queen Prayer and a mention to pray for Our Holy Father.

Animated Rosary for KidsWhat I think is missing is an introduction segment on the DVD or a pamphlet to be included in the set.  There is no explanation of the beginning prayers that's prayed at the beginning of a rosary.  This important information could be the introduction.  Also disappointing was that no one was even holding a rosary.  I didn't see one rosary throughout all 4 mysteries.  It was strictly focused on the mysteries which is great, almost like a mini bible study.  But for a new learner, there must be an option to learn how to pray the rosary in full.  I'm sure it was a matter of time constraints, but each mystery included the introduction of the mystery, Angelito's comments, one Our Father, one Hail Mary, The Glory Be and Fatima Prayer.  The viewer needs to know the beginning prayers and that for each mystery, there are 10 Hail Mary's prayed, not just one.

A problem I had with this DVD is the lack of clarity for the singing between the mysteries.  I showed this DVD to my son and he too, was unable to decipher the lyrics of the song.  One last issue involved the praying of each and every Hail, Holy Queen.  The reciters were out of sync which created a bit of an echo.

Would I recommend this DVD, absolutely.  The parent or teacher who uses this DVD, will need to instruct the children on the full rosary.  I did just that, when I showed it to my first graders.  They loved Angelito!  And had many questions of the mysteries.  It created curiosity, excitement and yearning to know more.  It was effective!  The children can learn a great deal about the bible by viewing it and how to apply these lessons to their daily lives.  You can go to Aquinas and More to purchase your own copy!

I was given a free copy of this DVD for my honest review.  All of the above stated opinions are my own.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Snippets A Catholic Carnival

Today I'm linking up with RAnn at Sunday Snippets a Catholic Carnival.  Please come over and say hello!  There are many wonderful Catholic bloggers to visit.  Thank you RAnn for hosting.


Feast of the Epiphany

"Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?  For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him."    Matthew 2:2

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany.  This day is when we bless our homes as we pray:

Lord Jesus, we ask that you bless our home today. We thank you for the love we have for each other and for you. With the prayers of the saints, Casper, Melchior and Balthasar, we ask that our home be a place of happiness, love, understanding, acceptance and safety for all who enter. As we write our New Year and the initials of the Three Wise Kings on our door, we pray in your name.  Amen

We used chalk to write on the door frame of every door:


20 for the year 
C for Caspar
M for Melchoir
B for Balthasar
13 for the year

I also had to teach my first graders this morning about the Epiphany.  They made a crown craft and decorated their king's cake.  They were sent home with chalk and an Epiphany Prayer to bless their home.
Here's the result of their hard work!

We brought the wise men to Jesus on our prayer table.

Once their crowns and king cakes were done, we placed them on our prayer table for a final prayer.

Some of the children chose to write the word Epiphany.  We used watercolor paint (so it would dry fast) and them embellished with jewel stickers.  The crown was pre-cut from Hobby Lobby.

This cake idea came from Tiffany at Family at the Foot of the Cross.  Instead of making a large one, I made small individual ones so each child could decorate with powdered sugar, spice drops and candy rolos.  Thanks Tiffany for this wonderful idea!

Instead of spice cake, I made a banana chocolate chip cake/bread which was baked in a bundt pan.  

We also played a game where I hid this glittery star and the search began.  The first student who found it, then could hide it and so on.  I kept the game going so each child had a turn to find the star and hide it.

Daily Coloring Pages has cute Wise Men coloring pages.  And they're free.  I sent my class home with one.

I also had these books available for quiet reading time:

The Littlest Magi   by Chris Auer
A Gift for the Christ Child   by Tina Jahnert
How Many Miles to Bethlehem?    by Kevin Crossley-Holland

It was a fun class and the children learned the true meaning of the Epiphany.


Friday, January 4, 2013

May God Bless the Federal Court in Michigan

Great news!  Tom Monaghan who is the founder of Dominos Pizza and Ave Maria University won his court case which will allow him to temporarily exclude contraception benefits from his employee's insurance coverage for his personal management company, Domino's Farms.  This ruling will prevent the enforcement of the HHS Mandate.  No decision has yet to be reported on the status of the law suit filed by Ave Maria University or if one has been filed on behalf of Domino's Pizza.  But that's promising news for Domino Farms!
The Michigan court order "granted a temporary moratorium on religious grounds for Domino's Farms~ a privately held company headed by Mr. Monaghan.

The court order said that "forcing Monaghan to choose between his conscience and heavy financial fines is an infringement of his First Amendment rights and constitutes irreparable injury."

Monaghan had previously said that" the law violates his constitutional rights," and he believed that the mandate “attacks and desecrates a foremost tenet of the Catholic Church” against contraception, sterilization or abortion and that it will “force individuals to violate their deepest held religious beliefs.”

This press release came from Cardinal Newman Society.  You can also learn more from Life News.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sanctus Simplicitus Giveaway

Keep checking in with Sanctus Simplicitus for their daily giveaways.  Today, is Day 10 and they're offering a children's pack including:

A Child's Rule of Life
Catholic Nursery Rhymes
The Catholic Picture Dictionary.

You can still enter the previous days too.