The Family Zone


Two By Two: Called to Community

We hope that your summer is off to a good start and full of blessings already! Our kids are just beginning summer vacation from school and probably eager to have some long-awaited down time without Zoom class or homework, or masks all day. It's been a challenging year and we have learned a lot about our dependence upon one another this year; if we didn't know already, what we do always impacts another either positively or negatively. The readings we will hear in the first two weeks of July all focus on community in one way or another: how we are received by others in community and how we are called to journey together. For this reason, it's a good opportunity for us to reflect a bit on how this last year has strengthened and weakened a sense of community. Where is it thriving and where do repairs need to be made? Consider how your family is contributing to the good of the community in which you live. That is a Christian practice we strive to follow.

Journeying with St. Joseph

Learn more about St. Joseph during this YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH!

The story of the wooden stick and the blooming flowers goes like this:

After Joachim and Anna, Mary’s parents, presented Mary in the Temple when she was 3 years of age, they allowed her to remain there as a temple virgin dedicated to God’s service. When Mary was on the verge of womanhood, the high priest announced that it was time for all of the temple virgins of that age to return home so that marriages could be arranged for them. Mary, however, said that she could not do this since her parents had dedicated her to the service of the Lord and that she herself had made a vow of virginity to God. When the high priest sought guidance from God, a loud voice called forth all of the men of the House of David who had not taken a wife, instructing them to come to the Temple and to bring a branch to lay on the altar. The voice said that one of the branches would bloom forth with flowers and that the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, would land upon the branch. Joseph was one of the men who came and when he placed his branch on the altar, it immediately bloomed into flowers and a dove descended from heaven and landed on it, thus revealing that Joseph was to take the virgin Mary as his spouse.




Click on the link below for the readings that you will hear at the Sunday's Mass for the coming two weeks. This will give you a chance to prepare your heart and mind for full and active participation in Mass this weekend! For a Mass schedule in our diocese click on the yellow button below.

Family Stories: Story Time with a Positive Message!

These stories focus on friendship...we need one another!

  • Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival by Kirby Larson
  • Hunter's Best Friend at School by Laura Elliott
  • Enemy Pie by Derek Munson


Let's learn more about the Mass, together!

The Introductory Rites, also called The Gathering Rite, in the Mass, happen at the very beginning. This part of the Mass helps us to remember that we are a community: The Body of Christ! The Priest greets us, we make the Sign of the Cross, we say we are sorry to one another and to God for our wrongdoings during the week, and we praise God with the Gloria! When you go to Mass this week, let yourself listen to the words that gather us together and don't forget to greet your Priest back by saying "And with your Spirit" when we greets you! Been away? Summer is a great time to get back into the Mass habit. Click on the button below to find Mass times in our diocese.


This summer we're tapping into sounds from God's creation! This is the sound a red fox makes! It sounds a little spooky but you might live somewhere we you hear this song at night. Red fox are nocturnal animals. They can live in the forest, but they can also live in the suburbs! What animal sounds do you hear where you live? Spend some time listening quietly this week for animal sounds and other sounds. Quiet time is a great time to reconnect with God's creation!
Fox Calls


Here we share ideas for personal prayer, family prayer and learning more about the ACT of prayer as a discipleship skill! Prayer is something we never take a break from !

From Prayers of Summer Break (

Thank you for getting me through another year.

Thank you for times to stay up late-and for times to sleep in!

Thank you for the chance to joust take it easy for awhile, and to get some much-needed rest.

Thank you for summer vacation!


Hit the road for family fun and exploring! This month we are exploring some nearby sites to make a family pilgrimage!

The Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs-Central NY

Established in 1885 as a monument to the first saints of North America to be canonized, the Shrine is located on the site of the Mohawk village of Ossernenon. The Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs honors the martyrdom of three Jesuit missionaries. It is the birthplace of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, known as the Lily of the Mohawks, as well as 3 Martyrs: Saints Isaac Jogues, Saint René Goupil, and Saint John Lalande. The site features four chapels, the Saints of Auriesville Museum, a visitor center and more among 400 acres of flowered landscapes and tree-studded slopes and lawns. Click here for more information.


In an effort to reduce our overload of screen time, we will just provide one video here, each issue, to warm your heart or entertain you on a rainy day! Do you watch fireworks on the Fourth of July? Even though they were created by humans and not God, they sure are beautiful! What other things do you think are beautiful? What things were created by God and what were created by humans?
How do Fireworks Work? ★ Fireworks for Kids ★ 4th of July


Find ways to laugh and be time is just for fun this summer; indoors and out!

Set up a slip and slide on a hot day this week! Don't have one? You can make your own now to last you all summer long:


Great projects for exploring, designing, building!

Make some sprinkle fireworks!


Fun Treats or Family Dinner; you'll find recipes all summer long!

July 4th is drawing near! It is a great time to cook as a family and talk about how blessed we are to live in America. Find 20 amazing red, white and blue snacks that will have the stamp of approval from the kids here.

Raising Kids Who Care

Empathy arises naturally in children at an early age and can be nurtured through family fun activities. The best moral formation happens during every day life in your home. Here's this week's tip on nurturing empathy in your child:

When you are watching a movie or reading a story together, stop and ask your child occasionally how he or she thinks the character feels. It's not a quiz, so don't correct what your child shares. This is only about encouraging that habit of walking in the shoes of another. Those kinds of questions will help your child be able to sense the feelings of others and react accordingly!

Wonder with the HOLY FAMILY

It must have been refreshing when Jesus came home. But, it was not easy for him. Growing up he would have been known in Nazareth, he would have played with the other children. Mary and Joseph would have been known by the other families, maybe they even commissioned Joseph to build something for their family. And now, here he comes back as an adult – and not just any adult, but the grown Son of God. Where he had performed miracles for others, the people in his home town still saw him as the little boy that grew up before them. It’s amazing how familiarity can lead us to stop recognizing the amazing.

Parents – Do you see the amazing in your children? Mary and Joseph must have known how amazing Jesus was – an angel talked to both of them before he was born. But imagine seeing your child heal someone, or make the blind see. Even knowing he was amazing, the miracles are still awe inspiring! What do your children do that inspires awe in you?

Children – Sometimes people remember what they want. Try not to be frustrated when people remember you as the small child learning to walk – it is just their way of showing love. Imagine if you knew THEM when they were little.

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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