Crafts and Activities for the Month of July! {Plus, a Link-up}-

Here are a few posts you might like for July:
 and a play
(July 14)
St. Anne and Baby Mary 
for Sts. Anne and Joachim 
(July 26)
and a St. Simon Stock play.
(July 16) 
Ocean in a bottle Craft
AKA: Stella Maris
Learn more at Wikipedia

You also might like to join in myLINK-UP PARTY!See and share your faith-centered home posts with us!Crafolic.com ~ Catholic Crafts and more!
God Bless,~Jennifer


Saints by Month Link-Up open for JUNE

Just a reminder that the CeleLINKY with the SAINTS Link Up stays open for you to add your Saints celebrations, crafts and reflections within the month-by-month categories!
Add your favorite Saints posts for JUNE today!  Add your favorite posts for the other months too!

April in particular, needs your posts!

We also have 
 Cele-LINKY through the SEASONS
including Ordinary Time family traditions and activities.

We also have a SACRAMENTS Link-Up for your special Sacrament celebrations, crafts and teaching tools!

These LINK-UPS and MORE Catholic Link Ups are listed in the
CathoLINK LIBRARYa special directory for Catholic Link-Ups! 
You can even add your own Catholic Link Up Parties within the categories
and discover new link ups to participate in! 

Nurturing Vocations in the Family

Father Allain Caparas and Sister Jessica Whitman gave a talk recently at Mater Ecclesiae for the Annual C.H.A.P.L.E.T. Catholic homeschool conference. The topic of their talk was “Nurturing vocations in the homeschool: What to do. What not to do.”

As today is Vocation Sunday, I feel better about the delay in posting my notes as this is the perfect day for the subject!

I came in after sister had finished speaking and took these notes from Father’s talk.

He explained that vocations to religious orders vs. a diocese differ in their defining spiritualities. Comparing them to doctors, he related cleverly that orders are like specialists – working missions or involved in education, or working with the poor.  In a diocese, the work is nitty-gritty. A religious there is more like a general practitioner.

Strongly stating that the parent can not push a vocation to religious life, Father went on to give a list of things a family can do to increase the faith of it’s members. These are qualities of homes that religious have come out of. These are qualities that make HAPPY and dedicated religious. So…to nurture a vocation a family needs to:

respect the faith and LIVE the faithbe generous with time and talents with the Churchmodel the value in giving, tithing for instanceteach discipline and sacrificegive chores and responsibilitiesfall in love with the Mass and prayteach children to be loving and praybe devoted to Our Blessed Mother (Father related that praying the Rosary everyday changed his life)foster a desire to learnbe loving to ALL, the popular and unpopularbe a part of the Churchteach good social skillsencourage listeningunderstand what Mother Theresa meant when she said that compassion and thoughtfulness are the beginning to great sanctity.enjoy the gift of youth, don’t wish childhood awayfor boys, teach them to be deferential to women…chivalrousengage in conversations about hopes and dreams but never badger or force religious life – God gives callings.doing God’s will is #1attend discernment group formationfind a mentor, spiritual directorpray for your children daily and be a role model of faithtrust in God!

Father also said that education wise, a priest usually needs a Master’s in Divinity. Some orders will take younger candidates without those degrees depending on the work of the order’s spirituality and same for sisters, it depends on their work.
As a recent article in the Wall Street Journal,  “Traditional Catholicism Is Winning”
supported, Father also concurred that vocations are coming from “traditional, orthodox” parishes with pastoral consistency.
In taking questions from the audience, Sister related that she could recommend Seton homeschool curriculum as it prepared her to be a nun. Father spoke to a mother that was concerned for her children not having as many friends as they might like or have in a bricks and mortar school. He said that those friends might not always be the best for our children. The values shared when our children are together with like-minded friends would strengthen them and support our parenting goals. Not friends just for the sake of friends….
At the end Father and sister both mentioned books that had been inspiring to them, agreeing on the Life of St. Isaac Jogues. Bible reading was, of course, mentioned and for Father the book,
A Man for Others: Maximilian Kolbe the “Saint of Auschwitz” by Patricia Treece was mentioned as pivotal to him.

 The CHAPLET conference (www.Chaplet.org) was, once again, a great experience that revitalized parents in the work of trying to raise children who will love and honor their Catholic faith. Many thanks to the organizers and inspiring speakers.

in +JMJ+, Allison from

no more video games as Sacrament Gifts!

Check out Equipping Catholic Families for a unique gift for Confirmation, Holy Communion, Reconciliation or Baptism!

Know any parents or Godparents who might be scrambling to get that Sacrament gift for their child or Godchild receiving their First Holy Communion or Confirmation?
Rosaries, bibles and prayerbooks are always appropriate, but sometimes fearing duplicates, we resort to cash…or a video game.

This is a unique Catholic Faith Journal teaching and celebrating the seven Sacraments and the Catholic Faith.

Part One of Hand in Hand with Jesus traces all 7 Sacraments.
Part Two “Heart to Heart with Jesus” offers reflections
about maturing prayerlife and relationship with Jesus.
Plenty of family, Faith and life reflections throughout!
Do you know anyone making their First Holy Communion?
Help them celebrate their Catholic Journey of Faith!
Order SOON…we ship from Canada!
Great Baptism present as well!
Wanted: Catholic Blogger in the U.S.
interested in mailing out single orders of Hand in hand with Jesus within the U.S.
Earn a commission for each trip to the post office.
Email mmcconkey{at}rogers{dot}com if interested
…and let me know what city/state you live in.
Also offering fundraiser programs for Catholic groups. 
Earn money for your group with solid Catholic products!

First Communion Banners

I thought some of you might like to see the banners my older kids made the year they were receiving their First Communion. (I know a little bit of inspiration goes a long way!)
They made them from a variety of different materials and 
all of them created their banner with their own personal twist!
Click here to see a complete posting with more details of their creations. 

Enter to win a copy the Journey's End Game.

A game to help teach about Sin and the need for confession!
Head over to see Holly’s at The Three Sided Wheel and enter to win! While you are there you can see her review of my game!! She has some great pictures of her homeschool co-op playing the game!
Don’t forget to enter!  Holly will pick the winner of the game on Friday, March 30, 2012!
Thanks Holly! 

Pro-life Corner: SUNDAY, March 25, 2012

BULLETIN INSERT:

Wisdom of the Ages…

Tertullian, a Christian writer who died in the third century, wrote the following: ‘Thus, you read the word of God, spoken to Jeremias: “Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee.” If God forms us in the womb, He also breathes on us as He did in the beginning: “And God formed man and breathed into him the breath of life.” Nor could God have known man in the womb unless he were a whole man. “And before thou camest forth from the womb, I sanctified thee.” Was it, then, a dead body at that stage? Surely it was not, for “God is the God of the living and not the dead.”’- De Anima 26.5 

For General Intercessions and Scripture reflections go to DesignsByBirgit.com

Easter Decorating with Peeps

Not much for eating Peeps.  Peeps make me laugh.  For me, they are a humorous part of my college graduation memories….

But for Easter decorating, well these Peeps take the cake! This is an Easter cake I made a few years back.

On Pinterest,  I have seen Peeps in wreaths

and Peeps on skewers!

It all has me imagining Peeps on swags like garlands and Peeps on sticks in flower bouquets and a college door…old, hardened Peeps on it and a night of revelry with my sistas!

Yeah, Peeps make me laugh….

a Holy Week link-up to refocus Lent…

I just posted a HOLY WEEK Link-Up as part of the Fiestas de Enlaces.
Here is the Holy Week Link-Up Announcement.

The Holy Week Link-Up is on the same page as the
What are you doing for Lent? Link-Up

and incidentally…there is still time to add your Lenten posts, reflections and activities

Help us re-focus our Lent with your awesome ideas!

St. Joseph ~ Picture of the Carpenter on Wood ~ Craft

This is a fun and easy craft project for all ages! It makes a nice addition to any altar, room, shelf, or wall.
In this simple activity you’ll crate a home/school decoration of St. Joseph on a block of wood. I felt that wood seemed like a perfect spot to put a picture of St. Joseph, since he was/is a carpenter!
It easy enough for kids in 1st grade but still nice enough for teens and adults.

 
See the complete instructions to create this for yourself – HERE.
St. Joseph the Craftsman, pray for us!
Happy crafting!
~Jennifer