Epiphany House Blessing

Growing up my family often did a yearly house blessing. The parish priest did yearly rounds blessing the parish houses. In USA, it seems like the house is only blessed once before moving in and never blessed again. My parents especially liked getting house blessed in January starting the new year with a new clean blessed home.

So when I came across this Epiphany House Blessing tradition few years ago, I was very excited. It is very simple and easy. We use the prayers from Holy Heroes, found here. We got our chalk blessed after Sunday mass and brought back holy water from church. We all gathered by our house entry ways and prayed together. My husband led the prayers and we went through all our rooms with holy water saying prayers of blessings for each room. It was so wonderful and a great tradition for epiphany.

A Great New Years Eve Tradition

There's a beautiful hymn of praise and thanksgiving that's traditionally, sung on the last day of the year called Te Deum. I had recently learned of the song and was planning to look it up. Today at mass, I was delighted to hear the hymns Te Deum sung at the end of the year and Veni Creator sung at the beginning of the year both have plenary indulgences attached to them. Our priest suggested singing them midnight so you can close the year with Te Deum and begin with Veni Creator together. If you can't stay up to midnight, just sing Te Deum on 31st anytime and Veni Creator anytime on Jan 1st. It seems that for plenary indulgence, you need to sing it publicly and partial indulgence is granted when devoutly sung otherwise. I emailed our music director about adding these to our masses. These are such beautiful hymns to sing even without the indulgences. It'll be a great family tradition to sing them together as family.

Growing up my family always went to adoration on New Y…

Concerns with Judy Blume book, “Tales of fourth grade nothing.”

Recently,  I read my first Judy Blume book, 'Tales of fourth grade nothing' to review my son's classroom read aloud.  I had thumped through it while at his desk and decided I needed to read it and was glad I did.  I was not impressed by this work and find it as a poor choice for children's literature.  Below are my concerns with this particular book.

No moral

There wasn’t any clear moral to the story and despite ample opportunity, the main character didn’t improve or really even change from the beginning to the end.

Poor Portrayal of Family

Multiple times Peter wishes his brother wasn’t born and it is the overall theme of the book (It never acknowledges that it’s wrong to feel that way.  We should be helping our kids see that their siblings are gifts from God)

The book starts with assuming that others may think that his mother is his biggest problem.  Although it says she’s not, just the suggestion bothers me. It goes on to affirm that his brother is his biggest problem. I …

Concerns with 'Judy Blume: otherwise known as Sheila the great'

Judy Blume is not an author we should teach the children to trust

Recently, my daughter brought home a Judy Blume book from school that her class was reading.  I was cautious about it because I had just had my son bring home another Judy Blume book that I reviewed only days before and found as not a good choice of a book for children.  My main concern with her books is that Blume's approach to human love and sexuality is very immoral and contrary to christian belief.  Below I detail some of the concerns with this particular book after reading it.

Poor potrayal of siblings

Siblings are never kind and loving to one another.

Poor formation for Puberty & Love

Her sister Libby is portrayed as a boy crazy girl who is very self-centered.  In pages 38, 39, 48,49, Libby is wearing her bikini to attract attention, wants to get swim lessons because the teacher looks good, has a crush on the lifeguard, who her mother says is much too old for her.

Libby also has a poor self-image. pg 88. “I am s…

Judy Blume cannot be trusted with our children.

Although Judy Blume has become a popular children’s author, she is not an author we can trust our children with.  With her popularity, schools like ours are requiring the children to read her books.  In our school, children were introduced to Judy Blume book, “Tales of a fourth grade nothing” as an all class read together in third grade.  In fourth grade they delve deeper into Judy Blume by studying her book as class, “Judy Blume: otherwise known as Sheila the great.”  This is alarming, because once children like a book, they’ll continue to find more books by the same author.  Her books for younger audience like the above contain sibling rivalry, lying, problems with self-image, boy craziness, all of which are not directing our children towards the moral good.  In my further research, this is just the tip of the iceberg, her books for older children takes a turn for the worse with topics such as masturbation, premarital sex, bullying, all without resolve.

Children are vulnerable since …

It matters what children read!

What is your child reading? 

Most parents want their children to be good readers.  But do you know what your children are reading?  Does it matter?  Very often, I hear from parents and teachers alike comments like this,

“As long as they are reading, I am happy!” 

It always makes me nervous when I hear it.  I am an avid reader and in my constant search for good reading material I often encounter books that should never be read by our children.  Secularism with it’s lack of respect for all that we hold true for good family life and love is reaching our children by the means of books.  And especially in a very scary way, through children’s books.  I am often baffled by the choices presented to young kids from toddler time at library to high school required reading lists.

Recently, in our catholic school, I’m finding books that are being promoted to our children with poor content.  Examples of such books include The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Big Nate series, Junie B Jones, and Judy Blume b…

A missal by Jesus and Mary to guide you during Holy Mass

We recently got an email from my mom-in-law sharing the testimony of Catalina Rivas of Bolivia about how Jesus and Mary guided her through the mass.  It was so beautiful and enlightening.   I highly recommend that everyone read this testimony.  I promise it'll help improve your participation of mass.  My husband read the story first and came to me, urging me to put the information into a missal form that he could take to mass.  There was no way he could remember all the things Jesus and Mary taught otherwise.  I thought about how true that was because it wasn't the first time I had read this testimony and there was much more I still needed to change.

My sister is a huge advocate of the movie 'The Greatest Miracle' which is an animation movie based on these revelations to Catalina.  The movie is a great way to introduce the message to children.  My children especially love the parts where the devil tries to distract the people and how praying well makes them disappear. …