Archive for the ‘feastdays’ Category

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

March 18, 2013

Today is officially St. Patrick’s Day in the Church. It was moved this year because it fell on Passion Sunday. We have quite a thunderstorm brewing out there, as we are under severe thunderstorm watch just about all day. We are decorated and MaryEllen is baking a cake. The Irish Soda bread will be started soon. Hopefully someone will take pictures to be posted later.

Until then, I wanted to record my Aunt Gert’s Irish Soda bread recipe. Growing up, my Mother made it every year for St. Patrick’s Day. I presume it was my Grandmother’s recipe, but will only be able to confirm that when we meet again, as Aunt Gert has passed on and my Mom doesn’t remember things so well.

Preheat over 375 degrees

-3 Cups Flour
-3 Tbsps. Sugar
-1/2 tsp. Salt
-1/2 tsp. Baking soda
-3 tsps. Baking soda
-1 Cup RAisins
-1 1/3 Cup Buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients together.
Add Buttermilk, mix well.
Dough will be sticky.
Knead 10 times.
Make a round loaf.
With sharp knife, make a cross on top of loaf (to let the devil out).
Bake 35 minutes.
Bread will have a hollow sound.
This amount of dough makes 6 texas muffins.

(Disclaimer, we are neither Irish or Texans. ūüôā

We hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!

Easter 2012

April 13, 2012

For Easter this year, we went to 6:00 am Mass in Columbia.¬† We then went to the hospial there where our retired priest is.¬† After that we headed to the nursing home to bring some Easter cheer.¬† The only problem with Mass that early is that we didn’t take the time to get Easter photos at the house.¬† Joe took some with his i-phone and they are the only ones we have this year.¬†¬† We hope you are having a Blessed Easter Octive!

 (You may click on the photos to enlarge them.)

My Easter bonnet was a Christmas present and I could not wait to wear it.  I received lots of compliments on it and one of the ladies at the nursing home actually laughed!  It was nice to be able to brighten her day!  LOL!

Saints Artist Trading Cards 2011

November 26, 2011

We had so much fun last year participating in Pondered In My Heart‘s ATC saint swap that we were thrilled they were doing it again.¬† Unlike last year, we made sure we took pictures of everyone’s cards before they went off in the mail.

Below you will find our artists’ works.¬† First, the process.¬† We gather¬†a lot of saint books and art supplies and set up at the dining room table.¬† (John set up in his room.)¬† Veronica, at 3 years old, was given stickers to keep her busy.¬† We all went to work for the afternoon.





Now for the cards….(Please remember to click on the pictures for a larger view.)

Veronica’s cards (age 3)

Charlotte’s cards (age 6)

MaryEllen’s cards (age 8 )

James’s cards (age 11)

Kevin’s cards (age 13)

John’s cards (age 14 & eldest child)

Mom’s cards (never mind how old!)

Although I’m not an artist to say the least, it was very relaxing and fun to take the time to create some art.¬† When we receive our cards, I’ll try my best to get a post up about them.¬† After all, I still have a half completed post about our trip in May waiting for some attention.¬† A Mom’s work is never done!

Oh, I almost forgot.  We did take some pictures of Vincent that day.  It is a little challenging to get a good picture of him when  you are holding both the baby and the camera.


A Saint Nicholas Unit Study

November 26, 2011

December 6th is the Feast of St. Nicholas. Years ago there was a blog called A Living Education and the author had created a simple unit study. The blog was taken down many years ago, but blessedly I printed this unit out. The reason for this post is not only to share this unit study once more, but to put the links in a convenient place. The original unit lasted 8 days, but I have extended it to last for 9 so as to make a novena out of it. Added to the original unit are a few more books and a novena prayer. Also, the author (God bless her!) originally did this as a Lapbook project.

St. Nicholas Novena

All-praised and all-honored hierarch,
Great wonderworker,
Saint of Christ.
Father Nicholas,
Man of God and faithful servant,
Man of love,
Chosen vessel,
Strong pillar of the Church,
Most-brilliant lamp,
Star that illumines and enlightens the whole world;
Thou art a righteous man
That did flourish like a palm tree
Planted in the courts of the Lord;
Dwelling in Myra thou hast diffused
The fragrance of myrrh,
And thou pourest out the ever-flowing myrrh
Of the grace of god.
By thy presence most-holy Father,
The sea was sanctified
When your most-miraculous relics
Were carried to the city of Bari,
From the East to the West
To praise the name of the Lord.
O most-superb
And most-marvellous wonderworker,
Speedy helper,
Fervent intercessor,
Good shepherd that saveth
The rational flock from all dangers
We glorify and magnify thee
As the hope of all Christians,
A fountain of miracles,
A defender of the faithful,
A most wise teacher,
A feeder of the hungry,
The gladness of those that mourn,
Clothing of the naked,
Healer of the sick,
Pilot of those that sail the sea,
Liberator of prisoners,
Nourisher and protector of widows and orphans,
Guardian of chastity,
Gentle tutor of children,
Support of the aged,
Guide of fasters,
Rest of those that labor,
Abundant riches of the poor and needy.
Hearken unto us
That pray unto thee
And flee to thy protection,
Show thy mediation on our behalf
With the Most High,
And obtain through thy God-pleasing intercessions
All that is useful
For the salvation of our souls and bodies;
Keep this holy habitation (or this temple),
Every city and town,
And every Christian country,
And the people that dwell therein,
From all oppression through thy help;
For we know
That the prayer of a righteous man
Availeth much for good;
And after the most-blessed Virgin Mary,
We have thee as a righteous mediator
With the All-Merciful God,
And to thy fervent intercession
And protection we humbly hasten.
Do thou, as a watchful and good shepherd,
Keep us from all enemies and pestilence,
Earthquake and hail,
Famine, flood and fire,
The sword and invasions,
And in all our misfortunes and affliction
Do thou give us a helping hand
And open the doors of God’s compassion;
For we are unworthy
To look upon the height of heaven
Because of the multitude of our sins;
We are bound by the bonds of sin
And have not done the will of our Creator
Nor kept His commandments.
Wherefore, we bow the knees
Of our broken and humble heart to our Maker,
And we ask thy fatherly intercession with Him;
Lest we perish with our sins,
Deliver us from all evil,
And from every adverse thing,
Direct our minds and strengthen our hearts
In the Orthodox Faith,
Which, through thy mediation and intercession,
Neither wounds, nor threats, nor plague,
Nor the wrath of our Creator shall lessen;
But vouchsafe that we may live a peaceful life here
And see the good things in the land of the living,
Glorifying the Father,
And the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
One God glorified and worshipped in Trinity,
Now and ever,
And unto the ages of ages.



Lapbook or Notebook Entries

Day 1


  • The Real Santa Claus: Legends of St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Legend of the Three Daughters
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 9-21
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Youth


  • Cut-out figure

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Symbols of St. Nicholas
    • Talk about the different symbols of St. Nicholas and make note of them as you read through the many stories during this unit.
    • Have children draw or cut out symbols and either narrate their significance or create a flap page using them (symbol as the flap with an explanation underneath).

Day 2


  • The Miracle of St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Nicholas Ship
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 23-31
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Bishop


  • Make St. Nicholas clay pot figures

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read the facts on the country of Turkey. Trace or find a blank map and have the children fill it in
  • Read an explanation of the flag of Turkey and have children dray one or print one out to color
  • Enter any narrations of geography, facts, or flag.

Day 3


  • A Gift from St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Buys a Young Man His Freedom
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 33-40
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Wonderworker


  • Color, cut and assemble pop-up scene

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read various hymns
  • Choose one hymn for copywork
  • Illuminated Manuscripts ‚Äď Since St. Nicholas was a popular subject in illuminated manuscripts, print out the hymn from the Roman Breviary and the Latin hymn and have children decorate and illustrate the pages. (Print on card stock and they can be painted with Modge Podge or vegetable oil to give a luster when finished. Let dry before adding to lap/notebook.)

Note here that a very good book that deals with illuminated manuscripts is Marguerite Makes A Book by Bruce Robertson.

Day 4


  • St. Nicholas (Tompert)
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Moneybag of Molsch Talpasch
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 43-51
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Traveler


  • Word Search ‚Äď Level 1

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Timeline on the life of St. Nicholas
    • Read timeline
    • Look at interactive, online timeline
    • Cut out timeline figures and make a timeline using them and include children’s narrations.
  • Map of the travels of St. Nicholas
    • Read about the travels of St. Nicholas
    • Print out map and trace lines of the saint’s travels.

Day 5


  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Russian Icon
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 55-66
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas the Dreamer


  • Crossword puzzle

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Icon of St. Nicholas
    • Study details of St. Nicholas Icon
    • Try to find the symbols learned on Day 1
    • Color St. Nicholas Icon and brush with Modge Podge or vegetable oil when finished. To make a more authentic Icon, mount on wood when finished. (We ModgePodged the icons right to the wood when we did this.)

Note here that a very good book dealing with icons is Brother Joseph The Painter of Icons by Fr. Augustine DeNoble, O.S.B.

Day 6


  • Saint Nicholas: The Real Story
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Brings it to Light
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 69-75
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas in Nieuw Amsterdam


  • Color, cut and assemble roll-up figure of St. Nicholas

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read the descriptions of the St. Nicholas stories and customs (linked above) from Italy, Turkey, and the Netherlands. Have the children give narrations about these customs and cut out or draw pictures to be placed with the narrations in lap/note books.

Day 7


  • The Legend of St. Nicholas
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • The Legend of the Three Stratilates
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 77-85
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas in Old New York


  • Word Search ‚Äď level 2

Lapbook/Notebook Entry

  • Read the descriptions of the stores and customs (linked above) from Russia, Germany, and Poland. Have the children give narrations about these customs and cut out or draw pictures to be placed with the narrations in lap/note books.

Day 8

  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Retrieves the Ball
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 87-96
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Nicholas and the Children


  • Coloring Sheets

Lapbook/Notebook Entries

  • Read the descriptions of the stores and customs (linked above) from Belgian, Argentina, and Portugal. Have the children give narrations about these customs and cut out or draw pictures to be placed with the narrations in lap/note books.

Day 9


  • The Baker’s Dozen
  • The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World
    • St. Nicholas Finds the Path
  • St. Nicholas the Wonder Worker
    • Pages 99-110
  • Wonderworker: The True Story of How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus
    • Afterward


  • Feast day baking. Spend the day baking St. Nicholas treats. Recipes can be found at the St. Nicholas Center’s recipe section
  • Watch the CCC movie, Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa.
  • Make a St. Nicholas spoon saint and add it to the children’s lapbook/notebook in an envelope or pocket.

The author of the original St. Nicholas unit study noted that her family planned to continue reading through the many stories of St. Nicholas from The Real St. Nicholas: Tales of Generosity and Hope from Around the World throughout the remainder of Advent since 8 days is not enough time to finish this book. Also, I would suggest you check out the rest of the St. Nicholas Center website. There are so many more resources to explore there.

Also, one additional book that we love to look through here is St. Nicholas: A Closer Look at Christmas. There are so many wonderful pictures in there. If you have read any others that you loved, please leave me a comment. Also, you can find another novena to St. Nicholas at the St. Nicholas Center. Have a very blessed St. Nicholas Day!

Holy Name of Mary

September 12, 2011

Today we celebrate the Holy Name of our most Blessed Virgin Mother.  Since everyone did well on school work today, Mama got baking and we managed to have a tea party.  Oh what fun!  We used some of the suggestions from the book Mondays with Mary by Meredith Henning.  I tried to get a discussion about their names going, but only got short answers from the boys.  Everyone was just too busy eating and drinking.  We had peppermint tea with either rice milk or coconut milk.  For the desserts we had Blueberry Tea Cake and Buttery Tea Cookies.



-1 & 1/2 c. water

-1 & 1/2 tsp. tahini

-1/4 c. corn oil (we used avocado oil)

-1/4 c. barley malt

-1/4 c. pure maple syrup

-2 tsp. pure vanilla

-1 tsp. grated lemon rind (we didn’t have any to use)

-3 c. whole wheat pastry flour

-1 tsp. sea salt

-1 c. blueberries (we used frozen)

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl combine the water, tahini, oil, barley malt, maple syrup, vanilla, and lemon rind.  Stir in the flour and salt and mix well.  Add the blueberries and pour into a lightly oiled decorative mold or a small cake pan.  Bake on the center shelf of the oven for about 55 minutes.  Let cake sit in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack or plate to cool further.


-1 & 1/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour

-2 tsp. arrowroot

-1/4 tsp. sea salt

-1/3 c. corn oil (we used a mix of avocado and coconut oils)

-1/4 c. water

3 T. pure maple syrup

-1/4 tsp. pure vanilla

Preheat¬†the oven to 350 degrees.¬† In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients; mix well.¬† Take 1 level measuring tablespoon of batter and roll it between you palms into a ball.¬† Place it on an unoiled¬†cookie sheet.¬† With your fingertips flatten it into¬†a 2 & 1/4 inch round.¬† For a decorative touch, score the top of each cookie with the tines of a fork making a plus sign.¬† Bake for about 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and¬†the edges a deeper golden brown.¬†¬† With a spatula transfer at once to a wire rack or plate to cool.¬† Makes a baker’s dozen.

After indulging in the treats, we prayed the Litany of the Holy Name of Mary.  We also added Mary, Help of Christians and Mary, Queen of Apostles, two of our favorite Marian devotions.

 Litany of the Holy Name of Mary
For private use only.

Lord, have
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Son of Mary, hear us.
Son of Mary, graciously hear us.

Heavenly Father, of Whom Mary is the Daughter,

Have mercy on us.
Eternal Word, of Whom Mary is the Mother,
mercy on us.
Holy Spirit, of Whom Mary is the spouse,
Have mercy on us.

Divine Trinity, of Whom Mary is the Handmaid,
Have mercy on us.

Mary , Mother of the Living God, pray for us.
Mary, daughter of the
Light Eternal, pray for us.
Mary, our light, etc.
Mary, our sister,

Mary, flower of Jesse,
Mary , issue of kings,
Mary, chief work of
Mary, the beloved of God,
Mary, Immaculate Virgin,
Mary, all
Mary, light in darkness,
Mary, our sure rest,
Mary, house of
Mary, sanctuary of the Lord,
Mary, altar of the Divinity,
Virgin Mother,
Mary, embracing thy Infant God,
Mary, reposing with
Eternal Wisdom,
Mary, ocean of bitterness,
Mary, Star of the Sea,

Mary, suffering with thine only Son,
Mary, pierced with a sword of
Mary, torn with a cruel wound,
Mary, sorrowful even to death ,

Mary, bereft of all consolation,
Mary, submissive to the law of God,

Mary, standing by the Cross of Jesus,
Mary, Our Lady,
Mary, Our
Mary, Queen of glory ,
Mary, glory of the Church Triumphant,

Mary, Blessed Queen,
Mary, advocate of the Church Militant,
Queen of Mercy,
Mary, consoler of the Church Suffering,
Mary, exalted
above the Angels,
Mary, crowned with twelve stars,
Mary, fair as the
Mary, bright as the sun,
Mary, distinguished above all,
seated at the right hand of Jesus,
Mary, our hope,
Mary, our sweetness,

Mary, glory of Jerusalem ,
Mary, joy of Israel,
Mary, honor of our
Mary, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception,
Mary, Our Lady of
the Assumption,
Mary, Our Lady of Loreto,
Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes,

Mary, Our Lady of Fatima,
Mary, Our Lady of Czestochowa,
Mary, Our
Lady of the Miraculous Medal,
Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
Mary, Our
Lady of the Angels,
Mary, Our Lady of Dolors,
Mary, Our Lady of Mercy,

Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary,
Mary, Our Lady of Victory ,
Mary, Our
Lady of La Trappe,
Mary, Our Lady of Divine Providence,

Lamb of God,
Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord Jesus.
Lamb of
God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on
us, O Lord Jesus.
Son of Mary , hear us.
Son of Mary, graciously hear
V. I will declare thy name unto my brethren.
R. I will praise thee
in the assembly of the faithful.

Let Us

O Almighty God, Who beholdest Thy servants earnestly
of placing themselves under the shadow of the name and protection

of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, vouchsafe, we beseech Thee,
that by her
charitable intercession, we may be delivered from all
evil on earth, and may
arrive at everlasting joys in Heaven,
through Jesus Christ Our Lord. R.

Our table¬†is decorated with some of our statues of Mary and a favorite picture.¬† Our mantle has big blue letters “AVE MARIA.”¬†¬†Later today we hope to decorate them with beautiful flower stickers and then decoupage them.¬† It should be¬†fun!¬† We hope you are having a beautiful feast day today.¬†¬† We also want to wish our good friend Tom a very happy Birthday today.

Saints ATC’s Received!

December 4, 2010

We did participate in the Artist Trading Card swap that Kimberlee at Pondered in My Heart was hosting.¬†¬† We were¬† a little late, although I didn’t realize it, and in a rush to get the cards postmarked in time, we never took pictures of the cards the kids made.¬† I really regret that!¬† I will keep an eye on other blogs and if I see any of ours, I’ll link it in this post.¬†

We were still no less thrilled when they arrived in the mail yesterday.   The pictures I took came out a little on the yellowish side due to lighting, but when I tried with the flash, they were too washed out.  However, these pictures will give a good idea of  the variety and craftsmanship of the cards.  From all the pictures I have seen and the cards we received, I can say that everyone did a wonderful job.  I want to thank Kimberlee and her whole family for doing this!

(Remember you may click on the pictures for bigger images.)

Charlotte (age 5) received St. Luke, St. Therese, The Holy Innocents, St. Michael the Archangel, and St. Bernadette.

MaryEllen (age 7)  received St. Bernadette, St. Therese, St. Patrick, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, & Our Lady of Sorrows.

James (age 10) received St. Simeon Stylites, St. Stephen, St. Francis of Assisi, Our Lady, and St. Dominic.

Kevin (age 12) received St. George, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Patrick, and St. Peter. 

John (age 13) received St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. John Neumann (a good friend of ours!), St. Francis, Father Marquette, and St. Thomas More.

Mom received a beautiful St. Francis de Sales quote, St. Herman of Alaska, St. Rita of Casica (whose relic I inherited last year!), St. Joseph the Worker, and St. Therese.

When I was done taking pictures of the cards, Veronica wanted me to take her picture.¬† Here she is peeking out from under the table…

Have a Happy and Holy Advent!

Edited to add a link! If you go to this blog and scroll down to her 11 year old’s cards, you can see James’s St. Michael card.¬†¬†¬† Her son did¬†the St. Simeon card in James’s batch.¬†¬†Thank you for posting it, Jordana!¬† Maybe we’ll get to meet one of these days.

Autumn Fun

November 19, 2009

We have passed Halloween, I know, but I still wanted to get some photos up.  One day in the mail a box arrived for the children.  It was from our good friends Aunt Marie and Uncle Homer.  It was full of Halloween cards, stickers and even dollar coins for the children.  What fun was had by all playing with the items and seeing what treasures were inside.




 (You may click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

On Halloween, we had a wonderful little All Saints party.  We had a nice turn out and everyone had a good time.  Some of the featured items were our St. Isadore the Farmer pumpkin pinata and our St. Lucy cupcakes.  (Thanks to the Catholic Cuisine blog!)     (St. Isadore artwork by Kevin)

We attend the extra-ordinary form of the Mass every week, so we celebrated the Feast of Chirst the King in October.  We had Benediction and a Eucharistic procession.   

One day the girls and I took some time to shuck some pop-corn.¬† We had a good time.¬† Boy was it delicious when we popped it!¬† We bought it at an Amish produce auction in September.¬† ¬† We also carved pumpkins with friends, but didn’t take any pictures.¬†¬† We were just too busy scraping out pumpkin guts and having fun!

November 2 is the Feast of All Souls day.¬† We remember and pray for our dearly departed loved ones and even those souls who have been forgotten.¬† Holy Mother Church reminds us that some souls need to be purified before entering into God’s glory.¬† Let me take this opportunity to clear a common misconception up right here.¬† Catholics do NOT believe that you end up in either Heaven, Hell, OR Purgatory.¬† You end up in Heaven or Hell.¬† In order to get to Heaven, to be one with God, you must be perfect.¬† If you died this instant, would that description fit you?¬† It certainly doesn’t me!¬† God has given us a great gift in Purgatory.¬† If we make it there, we will get to Heaven, as we are already there.¬†¬† Is Purgatory in the Bible?¬† The word is not, however the concept is.¬† (The words Trinity and Incarnation are not in Scripture, either.)¬†¬†¬† In Matthew 12:32, Jesus implies that some sins can be forgiven in the next world.¬†¬† 1 Corinthians 3:12 says, “If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”¬† This can’t refer to Hell because there is no saving once¬†you are there.¬† Other Bible passages to look at¬†are 1¬†Peter 3:18-20 and 1 Peter 4:6.¬† I could go on and on, but you get the point.¬†¬†If you want to look into this farther,¬†goto the¬†¬†Bible Christian Society and get the free download entitled Mary and the Bible.¬†

After all that, what I wanted to mention was that our priest wore the traditional black.  Even the altar cards were a little subdued in their coloring for this great feast of the Church. 

On November 2nd, after Mass, we went to our homeschool¬†group’s All Saints party.¬† That is one of the biggest events of the whole year.¬† Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of my little saints this year.¬†¬†¬†We love this time of the year.¬† The weather is usually just right, temperature wise, the beautiful leaves are changing and Holy Mother Church gives us so much to think about, pray about, and celebrate.

A Priest Forever

June 1, 2009

On day in May we got something special in the mail.  It was an invitation to an ordination.  Never in my life had I been to an ordination or received an invitation.  The children were all buzzing with excitement.  John was instructing everyone to bring rosaries and anything else they wanted to be blessed because the blessing of a new priest are said to be strongest.  We marked the date on our calendar and before we knew it, the day was here. 

The Diocese of Nashville’s Bishop David Choby was ordaining Tien Tran.¬† This man has gone through an awful lot to become a priest.¬† You can read his story here.¬† In that story, which I read a few days before the ordination, one of the lines that struck me was this:¬†

“There were several times as a seminarian, that the language barrier seemed too high for Tran to clear, he said. Discouraged, he would ask God, ‚ÄúWhy do you make it so hard?‚ÄĚ

But at his lowest moments he would receive letters and calls of support from people throughout the diocese and Father Steve Wolf, who was then the vocations director.

‚ÄúThey prayed for me and helped me keep my vocation,‚ÄĚ Tran said.”

Praying for vocations has been a priority in our family, especially since we moved to Tennessee.  For the past 3 years we have sent Christmas cards to the seminarians telling them of our prayer support.  When ordination nears, we pray especially for them, because that time is crucial.  For those reasons, those few lines really made me feel like our prayers for the seminarians really do make a difference.

Back to ordination…The Mass was absolutely beautiful.¬† It is quite a gift to see the ritual of ordination.¬† Those men now have an indelible mark on their soul for eternity.¬† They are called to spread the Gospel and serve God’s people.¬† It is quite¬†a sacrifice.¬† When it was over, the bishop and the priests all processed out and you should have seen the new Fr. Tran glowing as he walked.¬† Nothing could make that man happier than giving up everything to serve God.

That day we got a family blessing and had some rosaries blessed.  It was a very special day, another one that we will never forget.  I gave John the camera and he captured some images.   (Kevin took the picture of seminarian Brendon Johnson and the people whom he was talking to.)

ordination 09 1 (Brendan Johnson carrying the cross as everyone processed out.)

ordination 09 2 (The altar at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville, TN)

ordination 09 3¬†(Some of Fr. Tran’s first priestly blessings.)

ordination 09 4¬†(Kevin’s picture)

Ordination 09 5 (The glowing Fr. Tran with some of the family.)

Don’t forget to pray for vocations, pray for seminarians, and all priests.¬† They really do need the prayers.¬† Also, if you get an opportunity to attend an ordination, I would encourage you to do so.¬† It is quite an experience.

Springfest 2009

May 31, 2009

In March, my friend Judy McCloskey of¬†called and asked if I could man a booth at something called “Springfest” in Shelbyville, TN.¬† I must admit, I was excited, yet skeptical.¬† There is not much Catholicism in middle Tennessee.¬† When I inquired further, she said that Cardinal Arinze was one of the speakers, along with former Miss America Kay Lani Wilson, and Fr. Jonathan Morris of Fox News.¬† Wow!¬† I was starting to get excited.¬†

When May 17th rolled around, we got all set and drove to Shelbyville.¬† Upon entering the equestrian center, the person at the door said, “You have blue tickets so you can sit in any of the metal chairs.”¬† The metal chairs were set up in the arena where the alter was set up.¬† If you didn’t have blue tickets, you could only sit in the arena seating.¬† As we went towards the steps, we saw where our booth was going to be set up.¬† As we were going down to the Mass area we saw a couple we knew and asked them if they wanted some of the blue tickets to be closer to Mass.¬† When we got down there, we were looking for 7 seats in a row so we could sit together, and some gracious lady flagged us down and gave us seats in the second row.¬† When Mass began it was wonderful to see the Knights of Columbus, the seminarians, the Bishop, and Cardinal Arinze.¬† We received Communion from Cardinal Arinze!¬† What a blessing.¬† Here are some pictures from the Mass:

 (remember to click on the pictures to enlarge them)

springfest 09 1    springfest 09 2 (The lady to the left is former Miss America Kay Lani Wilson)

Springfest 09 3 (Bishop Choby of Nashville can be seen in this photo.)

springfest 09 4 (Behind Bishop Choby is Cardinal Arinze.  Behind Cardinal is Fr. Tien Tran who was ordained this past Friday.  More about him in a later post.)

springfest 09 5 (Cardinal Arinze and Fr. Tran approaching the alter.)

springfest 09 6 (Our friend Seminarian Brendan Johnson whom we got to know last year when he spent time at Sacred Heart in Lawrenceburg.  You can go back to this post and see him with the children.)

After Mass we set up our booth.¬† Everything would have been great if I had remembered the price list that I printed the night before.¬† We were able to get in touch with Judy and she gave me the prices.¬† Everything else went great that day.¬† Here is our booth…

springfest 09 catholic mil booth

You can read more about Springfest here (look for Veronica and I in the picture.  And no, we were not holding hands!  ; )

What’s Up Now?

November 25, 2008

When was the last time I blogged?¬† Well, I don’t remember either!¬† Life has been busy and on top of that we (Joe and I) decided that I would go back to school.¬† I’m a little more than half way to a bachelor’s degree, so online college seems to be the way to go now.¬† That being said, I officially started school on November 18 at Ashford University.¬†

Speaking of November 18, Joe and I were married 13 years ago on that day.¬† For our Anniversary, the kids had a party with our friends who came to babysit (and brought their children as well), and Joe and I went to Florence to our favorite Italian restaurant, Riccatoni’s.¬† If you’re ever in Florence, you might want to go there as we have never had a bad meal there or a bad waiter.¬† We then went over to the Gabbetts whom we hadn’t seen for quite a while, maybe even since September in Ohio.¬† Is that possible?

I want to thank all of you ladies who attended my shower in Pulaski.¬† We ended up getting a nice exersaucer for Veronica.¬† The last one we had went through all of our children and two of my friend Sue’s as well.¬† It was holding up good considering, but we thought it might be nice to have a new one.¬† (By the way, if you are in Lawrenceburg and are in need of an exercaucer, there is an almost new one for $18 at the Children’s Closet.¬† If I had known that before hand, we would own that one!¬† LOL!)¬† Veronica is not quite big enough for it as we found out one day, but she seems to be looking forward to spending more time in it.¬†¬† veronica-in-exersaucer¬†(Please remember that you can click on any picture to make it larger.)

One of the lovely things about a medium sized homeschool family is that the children get along pretty well most of the time.¬† Here is a picture of a somewhat common site here in our house, our eldest and youngest…

john-veronica-sleeping-11-08¬† Around here when someone sees a flash go off, they immediatey feel the need to get into the picture, as can be seen here…john-veronica-2-sleeping-11-08

This is November, the month of the Holy Souls.  We have been praying.  The first was also All Saints Day, but several of the children were sick, so we missed the parties.  Friends of ours were also sick, so later in the month we had a late All Saints Party.  Here are the children dressed up.  Can you guess who they are? all-saints-2008-1

St. Zita, St. Steven, St. Mary, St. Aloysius, & St. Lawrence

Here are the girls…all-saints-2008-char-me

Speaking of the girls, they wanted to wear their green dresses to Mass one day.  Even though it was not Christmas, I let them wear what looks like Christmas dresses.   They like to dress alike, or somewhat alike, whenever

Finally, here is our little Veronica, napping in her little boppy.