The Family Zone

Lectionary-Based Playlist /Issue 59/May 16, 2021

"And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.'

Next weekend is the Feast of Pentecost and we have just celebrated the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord; it is a great time to explore who the HOLY SPIRIT is, and prepare our thoughts to fully engage in this feast centering around the descent of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, upon the Apostles. Can you imagine what the Apostles must have felt in that moment described in scripture? In the early church, that same Spirit called followers to share with one another and to show others what it meant to be a follower of Christ. They gained new followers to the church because of the witness they were to others. May we all be encouraged to pray for the Holy Spirit to intercede in our world today and strengthen and guide us as Catholic Christians!

A Note About Our Newsletter

The Family Zone is designed to help you prepare for full and active participation in the weekend liturgy as well as formation within your families. To that end, we provide the readings for NEXT Sunday and break open the themes you will encounter at next weekend's Mass within this weekend's newsletter!

Journeying with St. Joseph

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

According to legend, burying a statue of St. Joseph in the front yard of a house you are selling, will help the sale go quickly. There are many thoughts on this – you should bury the statue facing the house that you are trying to sell, or may you bury it upside down facing the street, or near the for-sale sign. The Church does not endorse the superstition that goes with the tradition, but does endorse praying for St. Joseph’s intercession. As the patron of realtors, St. Joseph is our “go-to” for prayers when moving and selling. This comes from the Holy Family's experience of moving homes when fleeing for safety to Egypt after the birth of Jesus and again when returning to Nazareth; the Holy Family were refugees. Joseph experienced the need to move his family and possessions, and for that reason, we pray to him when we undertake the same task.

A prayer to St. Joseph that is often associated with burying the statue, but which is a good one anytime is:

“O St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession

and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings

through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.”



Click on the link below for the readings that you will hear at this coming Sunday's Mass. 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 grey button below. Here are next weekend's readings so that you can prepare for full and active participation in the Mass!

Family Stories:

Do you love to read to your kids? These stories will help you apply this week's theme to other areas of life and connect the lines between our beliefs and daily life!

  • Breathe: A Child's Guide to Ascension, Pentecost and the Growing Time by Laura Alary
  • The Day When God Made Church: A Child’s First Book about Pentecost by Rebekah McLeod Hutto, Illustrated by Stephanie Haig
  • Wind by Carol Thompson
  • Because by Mo Willems
Wind and Because are not about the Holy Spirit but can be used to begin conversations about the symbol and power of the Holy Spirit. When we feel the wind, do we ever think we are feeling the Holy Spirit brush against us? When great things happen in the world and our lives, do we recognize that we work in partnership with the Spirit moving among us and there are no coincidences in life? Every day stories are great ways to begin faith conversations!

Parent Articles on the topic:

How the Holy Spirit works in Our Lives:

How to Talk to Children About the Holy Spirit is a pamphlet from Bayard Faith Resources. Click on the link below to consider purchasing this handy guide

For Teens to Grow on their Discipleship Journey:

How Can the Holy Spirit Help You in Real Life?


Below you will find "at-home" assignments if your child learns best through writing and completing worksheets:


  • Help your child to write or draw everything they need help with. Then chat, do they need mom or dad's help? Could they ask the Holy Spirit to help them be brave with certain things they can learn to do themselves?



  • Use the PDF below to learn more about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Look up the definitions and put them into your own words


Do you listen to podcasts throughout the week? We will share episodes to help you embrace week's theme and be able to converse with your kids feeling more confident! We'll also share family listening skills from time to time!


Here we share ideas for personal prayer, family prayer and learning more about the ACT of prayer as a discipleship skill!

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.

And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.

by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Are you or your child a VISUAL learner? We've curated some videos that help you understand this week's theme!
The Holy Spirit Comes (Day of Pentecost)
Holy Spirit
Pentecost in 2 Minutes
Fruit of the Spirit Children's Song


Children learn through play; here are some ways for you to keep learning about the faith theme of the week in a "hands-on" way!


  • One of the symbols for the Holy Spirit is wind. Use a parachute or a sheet and a fan to play a wind game. Let the parachute or sheet billow over their head and talk about the Holy Spirit blowing through their lives. You can also use a fan and watch together how you can make the wind move through the parachute. Use the silly "fruits of the spirit" video, above, to bring the language of the Holy Spirit into play time!


  • The Holy Spirit is a guide for us in our everyday lives! Set up an obstacle course at your home. Blindfold a family member and see if you can guide them (slowly!) through the obstacle course!
  • Discuss the fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. Put 9 cups out and put a different type of fruit in each cup (or seed, chocolate, etc.) Blindfold your child and see if they can guess what they are eating!


  • Play a game of Mastermind with a family member. If you don't have the game or the app, you can create your own board with different colored pieces!
    Here are instructions on how to play: Figuring out life can sometimes be like cracking a code, but we can pray to the Holy Spirit to help guide us through life's challenges!


Great projects for you to create something together for quality time!


  • Continue to connect the Holy Spirit to the wind by making a wind sock with your child! Take a paper bag. At the opening, attach colorful streamers or ribbons. Attach a string to hang it so that it can catch the wind! Invite your child to decorate the bag.




  • Have a birthday celebration for the Church after Mass! Enjoy a cake and red foods as red is the color of Pentecost! Play some family favorite games!
Big picture

Wonder with St. Joseph

It's the Year of St. Joseph! We are shifting our wondering questions to look through the eyes of the Holy Family next month!

As a father, I never wanted Jesus to be alone. I always wanted him surrounded by people who loved him and wanted what was best for him. Oh, sure, there were times he was on his own, but he was never alone. He knew his mother, his Father in Heaven, and I were all constantly surrounding him with love. Later in life, his disciples and friends would surround him with that love.

But you know what is the most amazing part? After he died and returned to Heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand, he sent the Holy Spirit so EVERYONE could be surrounded and empowered by HIS love! What a gift!!

Parents – We all want our children to have friends, but we also want them to have the healthiest relationships possible. How do you help your children value their friendships? How do you help them know which “friendships” might be better to avoid?

Young People – Friends are amazing gifts from God! We really are made to be with others and not alone. Think about your friends, and what you share in common with them. How great is it to be around people who make you a better person? What makes someone a good friend?



Consecration: the part of the Eucharistic prayer when, by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the words and actions of the priest, the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ

Remember! Summer editions begin June 2021..a more relaxed way to share faith with your family! Issues come out twice a month!

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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