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Catholic Resources

We are very excited to debut our new Catholic Blog/Resources page! Please check in every month for wonderful insights, prayers, and resources created just for parents. This page will provide knowledge on relevant topics and assist families to incorporate faith into their daily activities.
DECEMBER 2022
 
Advent: A Season of Waiting...
 
It's what we do in the waiting that helps us grow. 
 
Advent is not meant to be a time of anxiety, but a season of expectant hope. We light Advent candles each week, as a reminder that God has made a promise to us.   Jesus, the light of the world, shines in the darkness as a beacon of hope, peace, joy, and love. We enter the first week of Advent with the light of Hope. Do we place our hope in our circumstances or in the Lord? If there has ever been a time in history, we need to turn away from all the noise around us and turn instead to Him. it's now.
 
"Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings; it's something we make inside ourselves." -Corrie Ten Boom 
 
In the story, "The Chronicles of Narnia," it is perpetually winter, never Christmas. We can all understand the "always winter" part, can't we? Here in Buffalo our winters last a long time, but at least we have Christmas to look forward to. Christmas is the warm light that makes winter worth having... but then Christmas comes and goes, and the darkness returns. How do we keep Christmas in our heart all year long, so that this year, January will no longer be for us a month of letdown and melancholy?
 
"God the Father has given us a way, and it's one of the best-kept secrets of our faith: Holy Scripture. This Advent, I invite you all to take the Advent Challenge with me: Let's start each morning with a cup of coffee and the Word of God. Whether you pick one verse, one chapter or one book of the Bible is up to you. Six minutes or sixty minutes, the main thing is to stick with it, and let it transform your life.  God's Word is His love letter to His children and digging in to discover what He has to say to us is like opening up a new and fresh Christmas gift each morning! It's our Holy Guidebook to navigate the circumstances of our lives, and in it we find the answers we seek. So, this advent, let's enjoy the decorating, the wrapping, the baking, the hosting... but let's not leave out the one thing that will enable us to carry the joy of the season in our hearts the whole year through." Mrene Corra 
 
Resources to check out:
 
Quiet Time Bible Study for Kids: Learn with your children! 
"Teach your kids how to have a quiet time with this Bible study. Designed to give them a solid foundation, Developing A Quiet Time helps kids learn HOW to spend time with God and WHY they should make it a consistent habit. During their 28 days of study, kids will learn what the Bible has to say about this topic, how a daily quiet time will affect their lives, and a simple way to spend their time with God." Quiet Time Bible Study for Kids and Teens (notconsumed.com)
 
Kristoph & the First Christmas Tree: A Legend of St. Boniface

Go on Formed and enter Christmas in the Search Bar. There is everything from cartoons for the littles, to audio stories you can play at bedtime, to books. Browse - FORMED
 
Richelle, one of our moms at St. Greg's sent me some great activities to do with our families. 
 
 
Faith In Five Minutes that break down Sundays' readings in five minutes. This site has a ton of great family resources and YouTube videos that she's updating weekly.  I've found them the most interesting and helpful. There are some great resources for Advent. Click here: Home - A Catholic Moms Life
 
Advent Day of Recollection: Robert Rogers
When: Thursday, December 1
What: When life overwhelms you, where do you run? What holds you up in a crisis? Do you escape to the television, to your handheld screen, to social-media, or to a substance? When a trial becomes more than you can bear, where to you go? Who holds your heart? If you are crying out to God amid struggles, then do not miss the Advent Day of Recollection with Robert Rogers.
 
Robert will share two different talks on Thursday, December 1, in the Church. The first talk, The Power Of Prayer, will be at 12:45 pm and the second talk, Holding On To Hope, will be at 6:30 pm. We promise to get you home before the Bills kickoff!
 
Away in a Manger HSA Family Event
When: Friday, December 2. Click here for more information.
 
Faith in Music for Preschoolers
When: Tuesday, December 6
Where: St. Greg's Gathering Room
Who: Pre-K and older siblings welcome
Contact Richelle Weber to sign up: 998-9777
 
Moms Advent Social
When: Thursday, December 8
Starts with Mass at 7:00 pm Check out the Parish Website here for more details.
 
Moms Christmas Cookie-ing
When: Friday, December 9
12:30 PM after Mass in Ministry Center Kitchen. Click here for more information.
NOVEMBER 2022
 
Thanksgiving is a time when we all love to eat those comfort foods we grew up on, and exchange recipes with a friend. What is a great recipe to share with one another? A Recipe for Joy: Cultivating an attitude of gratitude.  A lesson that I began to learn years before the pandemic, which also carried me through my time in the hospital for Twelve Days and on oxygen for two months, not knowing if it would be forever, is that in times of joy or sorrow, I try to keep following the same recipe. 
 
"Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you. For I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient. I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I also know how to live with abundance. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me." Philippians 4:9-13 This is such a good reminder to be thankful for every breath. 
 
What was the lesson that I learned and am continuing to learn each day?  One year a few of my friends and I were talking about how we wanted to be more joyful moms, and after reading 33 Days to Merciful Love by Father Gaitley, we discovered a way to help us become more joyful. "His answer changed my life: "The way you live trust is by praise and thanksgiving, to praise and thank God in all things." ~ 33 Days to Merciful Love. We began our first texting group, while reading the book together, and made a commitment that we would try to be more grateful, in all things.  What happened? Even during the worst days, we were seeing so many things to be grateful for and sharing them with one another helped us to see the many blessings we would've otherwise missed in our complaints, discouragement, and frustration. 
 
Complaining (is another word for rejecting grace).
 
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude helps us to rewire the way we think and the way that we see the world. Developing a love for God and an attitude of gratitude for what God has done for us can be a delight to us as parents and a life-changing experience for our littles. 
 
What are the Benefits of Gratitude? "The Greater Good Science Center offers a plethora of information on this subject. In a white paper titled, “The Science of Gratitude” (2018), they outline several benefits to gratitude practice." 
  • Increased happiness and positive mood
  • More satisfaction with life
  • Less materialistic
  • Less likely to experience burnout
  • Better physical health
  • Better sleep
  • Less fatigue
  • Lower levels of cellular inflammation
  • Greater resiliency
  • Encourages the development of patience, humility, and wisdom
 
Here are a few resources to check out: 
 
Scripture Verse to teach our littles is, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise, give thanks to him, bless his name, good indeed is the Lord." Psalm 100:4-5 There was a group of us that took their littles to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Shrine in Bowmansville over the summer. There is a stone arch that leads to the grotto. It reminds me of this verse. You can have the littles walk under the arch (the gate) and say what they are thankful for, and you continue thanking God as you walk on the sidewalk to the grotto, where we can imagine God's courts. The grotto is in the shape of a heart and when you look up Mama Mary is at the top of the grotto. The inner courts represent God's presence. Gratitude brings us into God's presence. When we enter God's courts with praise, we can say, "You are my peace, Praise you Jesus. You are my joy, Praise you Jesus. You are my patience, Praise you Jesus." But you don't have to make a special trip to teach them gratitude. Begin today! 
 
Check out our Faith in Music for preschoolers 
When: November 1st at 2:15-3:15pm 
Where: St. Greg's Gathering Room
For: Pre-K and older sibling's welcome
Next date: December 6th 
Contact: Richelle Weber to sign up 998-9777
 
Song, "The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength." by Rend Collective Songs stick in our heads. When we combine Scripture with music, it helps us to remember God's Word, in times of darkness, "The joy of the Lord is my strength." Nehemiah 8:10
 
"The joy of the Lord is my strength
In the darkness, I'll dance
In the shadows, I'll sing
The joy of the Lord is my strength" Lyric video here:  https://youtu.be/x3gLeCiMJqI
 
 
OCTOBER 2022
 
"God is with us." Matthew 1:23 
 
October can be very busy and overwhelming, adjusting to new schedules and activities. As we make our way through the month and all the hustle and bustle that comes with settling into fall, it is important to remain focused on the fact that God is in control. The verse, "God is with us", gives us a much-needed reminder when life gets overwhelming.
 
Seam Allowance: A friend always reminds me to make room for seam allowance in my schedule. " By purposefully scheduling extra time into our daily calendar I add seam allowance to the garment of our family life.  If our schedule changes in the middle of a busy day, the spare time allows for peace instead of panic." You can read her reflection here. The Battle for the Homefront - Catholic Stand Let us not fill our calendars up so much we can't breathe. This has been a life saver to me over the years. 
 
Remember: There are times when our little ones are nervous as they head back to school. We remind them that, "The Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 Just like when they were toddlers, and when the noisy fireworks scare them, or a sibling is being unkind, what do they do? Run into our arms, and it is here that peace is restored. We remind our children that when they are scared or maybe someone is being unkind to them, they too can run into the Father's arms, and pray, in the quiet of their hearts, "When I am afraid, in you I place my trust." Psalm 56:4 
 
Pray: At the end of each month during the children's Mass we celebrate all the birthdays in the month. We sing, "May God bless and keep you, may God's face shine on you, may God be kind to you and give you peace." This blessing is taken from Numbers 6:24-26 A good reminder for us all that when God's face shines on us, we know that He is with us always. In the good times and bad. In sickness and health, He is with us, and He is for us. 
 
Listen to the song, "The Blessing" by Elevation Worship, Codey Carnes, and Kari Jobe, written at the beginning of the pandemic, God's message for each of us! Let us pass this blessing onto the next generation so they too may come to know that God is with them wherever they go. 
 
"May his favor be upon you and a thousand generations, and your family and your children, and their children, and their children. May His presence go before you and behind you, and beside you, all around you, and within you, He is with you, He is with you. In the morning, in the evening, in your coming, and your going, in your weeping and rejoicing, He is for you, He is for you." The Blessing Video with lyrics: The Blessing song
 
Read the book, "Will You Bless Me?" instructs parents in the simple and beautiful process of speaking words of blessing into their children’s hearts. Will You Bless Me? – Heart of the Father Ministries