Equipping the Domestic Church/ISSUE 73/ 11.14.21

A Time for Prayer: Gratitude and Healing

How does the practice of gratitude play out in the daily lives of your family? By the time of our next issue, we will have celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with our families. While we are always drawn toward acknowledging gratitude that day, our experience of gratitude should be something that we reflect on more than just once a year. Historically, New York became the first state to celebrate an official day of Thanksgiving (1817). When Thanksgiving was finally designated a national holiday during the Civil War, it was a time our nation was told to ask God to heal the wounds of a nation. While much of the religious significance of the day has been lost over time, Thanksgiving would be an outstanding day for your family not only to practice gratitude but to acknowledge its original significance and offer intentions to God for the healing of people across the world!


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

As we continue into the cold months when colds and sickness become more a part of daily life, we can turn to St. Joseph. In the Litany of St. Joseph, one of the titles used is “Hope of the sick”. This comes from the Tradition that St. Joseph was an elderly man as Jesus grew up, and most likely had health ailments. Here is a prayer for St. Joseph’s intercession on behalf of the sick:

Benevolent Joseph,

the Son of God placed his life in your hands.

With the Virgin Mary, our Blessed Mother,

you cared for the Child Jesus,

who is the force of life in our world.

May your compassion embrace our fragility

and bring us the comfort of the divine presence.

Loving Saint Joseph,

we join with you in prayer by crying out:

Lord Jesus, Son of the Living God,

say a word for our healing!

Make us sensitive to the illnesses

of those closest to us.

Support us in our efforts to care

for our sick brothers and sisters.

Give us courage in the fight against all evil.

Help us to find meaning

in God’s great project for humanity

beyond the sickness and suffering that blind us.

May the Love of God be with us,

because our only hope is with Him.

We make this prayer

through the intercession of Saint Joseph

to Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Hope of the Sick, pray for us!



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 grey button below.

Family Stories: Story Time with a Positive Message.

  • Mary's First Thanksgiving by Kathy-jo Wargin (learning that gratitude doesn't have to be because we have EVERYTHING; we can be grateful for life's little blessings)
  • A Very Thankful Prayer by Bonnie Rickner Jensen (help our littlest ones develop a sense of their blessings)
  • We are so Thankful: A Guided Gratitude Journal for Kids and Their Parents by Katie Clemons (great gratitude exercises for fun family conversation)
  • The Little Green Jacket by Jodi Dee (talk about how giving makes a big difference!)
Parenting Articles: Teaching our kids to pray for others:


1. Do you have mini pumpkins that you decorated with for Halloween? If they are still fresh, use them as gratitude pumpkins. With a permanent black marker, write something you are grateful for on each pumpkin and use it as the Thanksgiving centerpiece.

2. Create an acrostic prayer out of the word THANKGSIVING, by beginning a line of your prayer with each letter from THANKSGIVING. Start with Thank you God for ...and continue on with H...

3. Make place cards for your Thanksgiving table by rewriting Psalm 100 on each card with the name of your table guest. It's a great way to memorize a Psalm that is FULL of gratitude. Or, try writing it in your own words!


Listen to these children sing "Thank You, God," by Janet Vogt, OCP. Consider listening to this song as a part of your Thanksgiving celebration.
Thanksgiving virtual children's choir gives thanks to God


Teaching Our Kids Gratitude
Thankful song - with hand gestures. Music by Shawna Edward


Create your own family Gratitude Paper Quilt. If you need guidance, you can use these directions
What Are You Thankful For? | The Thankful Tree Poster | Thanksgiving Activities | Thanksgiving Craft


Here we share ideas for personal prayer, family prayer and learning more about the ACT of prayer as a discipleship skill! It is often difficult for us to remember the Adoration and Praise as a form of prayer. We tend to get focused on our prayers of petition and intention and forget the daily act of praising God! Take a nature walk with your family. Stop along the way to just ADMIRE what you see and sit in awe of all God is capable of. When you return home, pray a prayer of praise and gratitude. It can be a spontaneous prayer or you could use the Gloria from Mass:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you. We give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father. Lord Jesus Christ, only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, You take away the sins of the world have mercy on us; You take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; You are seated at the right hand of the Father: have mercy on us. For you alone are the Holy One, You alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, With the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Complete a Gratitude Scavenger hunt! Either collect these items or create a gratitude journal highlighting them!

- Find something that makes you happy

- Find something to give to someone to make them smile

- Find something that you love to smell

- Find something that brings you joy to look at

- Find something that you are thankful for in nature

- Find something that makes you feel calm

- Find something that is useful for you

- Find something that tastes good

- Find something that makes a beautiful sound

- Find someone who you are grateful for

- Find something that is unique to you

- Find something that makes you laugh

- Find something at night time that you enjoy

- Find something in the morning that you enjoy

- Find a friend or pet that you love spending time with

- Find your favorite place to spend alone time

- Find something that reminds you of the people you love

- Find something that you enjoy doing outside


Research shows that GRATEFUL people are healthier people. Grateful people report better sleep, fewer health problems and more positive relationships. Develop this wellness practice in the whole family by

  • Attending Mass as an outward sign of your gratitude. Remember EUCHARIST means Thanksgiving

  • Praying your gratitude out loud and silently
  • Expressing gratitude toward one another
  • Witnessing to gratitude by creating a gratitude space (post-it's on a door, magnet letters on the fridge or a blessings jar)
  • Demonstrating gratitude by modeling your appreciation to your kids, your spouse, your neighbors and strangers!

Word of the Week!


Evening Prayer which is part of the Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office. Evening Prayer gives thanks for the day just past and makes an evening sacrifice of praise to God


Bring God and gratitude into everyday conversation. When your child has a great day or is relieved after a challenging day, take a moment to thank God for that blessing. "Thank you God" should be a regular phrase in your house that is used to show appreciation and acknowledge that God is present in every moment of our lives. Even as your children age, that witness of praying in gratitude for the well-being of your family and life's big and small blessings makes a powerful witness to your faith!


Isn’t it amazing how much the Holy Family has to be thankful for? It was not an easy life, with the fear of Herod, then losing Jesus, and then Joseph’s death, and yet they were so blessed! We are too! Think about how much we have to be thankful for, even if life can be difficult. How amazing!!

Parents – How do you instill a sense of gratitude in your children? Could you have them share something they are thankful for each day, and not just at Thanksgiving?

Children – Think about how much is good in your life! God wants us to be happy so that we can share that happiness with other. Who makes you smile, and how do you get others to smile?

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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