The Family Zone



Happy Easter! Our Easter season is just getting started and will last until the celebration of Pentecost on Sunday, May 31. What a great season to bring new life into your home, your routine, and your relationships! This Sunday is also Divine Mercy Sunday. You will learn more about this special Sunday in our Catholic Connections from the Catechism section and have the opportunity to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet in our Let us Pray section. Mercy, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, is the “compassion in our hearts for another's person’s misery, a compassion which drives us to do what we can to help him.” We are in such a strange time in history where we might feel helpless to do what we can to help in this pandemic. But, as a family, there are ways that you can offer hope to your neighbors, pray for the world, and give the gift of patience and forgiveness (all part of mercy) to one another. Spend some time this weekend thinking about the beautiful virtue of mercy and how you might follow Christ's lead in offering mercy to others. Why not begin by creating a public sign of your prayers for those on the "front lines" of the pandemic? There are so many men and women working to get us all we need to be safe throughout our communities. Can you send a card or make a sign for someone you know on the front lines? Perhaps, you can use that family project as an opportunity to talk about the faith you have in God in this moment. Prayer is a strong tool. Sometimes all we can do in a helpless situation is say: "Jesus, I trust in you." This Sunday's gospel is also about trust and the trust the disciples needed to have in the Risen Christ.

special note to parents: with this issue, we add a new column just for your own inspiration and spiritual nurturing. Each week we will offer you an opportunity to clear your head, pray, take your wellness pulse and more. Find the new column below entitled: Supporting the Foundation

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash


Thomas is the featured disciple in this Sunday's Resurrection Gospel. The reading can be found at:

A children's version can be found at:

Thomas is unable to believe without proof; isn't that representative of a lot of us? It's hard to give up control and place our trust in God; especially in the unknown of today. The video below helps us to place this weekend's Gospel into what might be the context of your journey.

Discuss as a family:

Thomas was afraid. It seemed impossible that Jesus could be standing before him, and yet, he was.

What are you most afraid of?

Would you want proof, like Thomas?

What good things have happened to your family because you believed it could?

How has your faith helped to guide you through life's changes and challenges?

Second Sunday in Easter


The Divine Mercy Chaplet is a beautiful prayer to pray in these unsettling times. Follow the link to learn how to pray the entire Chaplet. We have also provided two videos with the prayer. The first is a spoken version that allows your family to meditate on the world by incorporating many scenes from around the globe. The second is the Chaplet in song, sung just the other day by a well known Catholic musician who many of our youth know. His YouTube video uses the prayer specifically for the intentions of the Coronavirus and is easy to follow as an at-home prayer service. There is an additional link that provides details about the emergency plenary indulgence that the Vatican is granting to those who pray the chaplet. That link is found below the videos

Divine Mercy Chaplet | Franciscan Friars of the Renewal
Steve Angrisano live at home – Chaplet of Divine Mercy


To help you learn the faith at home together

Download the linked PDF below to find catechetical lessons for all ages for you to share and teach the faith at home!

Supporting the Foundation

As parents, most of you are living in a new "frontier." Your lives have changed drastically and many are now balancing working from home, teaching school, and living isolated from family, friends and normal activity. We are here to support you. We care about you. We care about your family's wellness along with your spiritual health. This weekly column will focus on giving you a space to reflect, renew your energy and gather strength for the day's ahead. Please enjoy these three attached articles. The first is a family guide to navigating time at home; it's got a lot of good wisdom. The second article is about the comfort of a well known prayer and the other focuses on the reality of these days in isolation. We found all to be thought-provoking and helpful for our own quarantined lives. We continue to provide resources for your information, personal growth and your family's essential needs at Please visit it frequently as well as where we focus on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health for both youth and families.


Rainy days can mean a lot of pent up energy for a family who is stuck in the house, but we know it's a good idea to pull the kids away from those screens! The article below from Catholic Mom. Com shares how one mom created a new tradition under quarantine: Pandemic Games! There is a competition going on in her household. Enjoy learning some new ideas for active energy you may not have come up with yet!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


Divine Mercy Cake


1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups sifted flour

¼ teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

your favorite buttercream frosting recipe

red sprinkles (or red raspberries)

blue sprinkles (or blueberries)


Preheat oven to 350˚. Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Add egg yolks and vanilla, beating well. Sift together dry ingredients and add alternately with milk. Stir gently until blended. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour batter into one square pan and one round pan (this will create the heart shaped cake). Bake for approximately 30 minutes.

When cool, frost with buttercream frosting and decorate with rays streaming from each side.

Colors matter with Divine Mercy Sunday

A Polish nun by the name of Maria Faustina (now St. Faustina) received a profound revelation of the Divine Mercy given to us by our crucified savior, Jesus. We are bestowed a mercy we do not deserve and could never merit ourselves. This mercy was made visible in the blood and the water that flowed from Jesus’s side on the cross. The red sprinkles or raspberries symbolize the red blood of Jesus that is our life. The blue sprinkles or blueberries signifies the water that justifies our souls. The visual image of the cake is a symbol of charity, forgiveness, and the unending love of God, referred to as the “Fountain of Mercy.”

Recipe courtesy of Mighty is Her Call- A Catholic Mothers’ Ministry



For this week’s craft, create something that reminds you of a prayer for the whole world (like the line in the Divine Mercy Chaplet). Wednesday is Earth Day; connect the day with divine mercy by crafting! Create a visual prayer for the earth that you can put on the refrigerator or in your family's prayer space to remind you to pray for the Earth and the care of all creation. You may want to decorate your Divine Mercy Cake with an outline of the Earth, or make red and blue frosted cookies in the shape of our planet. If you have lots of magazines around the house, make a circle-shaped collage of the Earth and fill it with words and pictures that remind you of who and what you would like to pray for! If you have the supplies, you could even tie dye a shirt blue and red and then trace an outline of the Earth on it with black sharpie or a fabric marker!

Do you like to paint? Simply download the link below for a great at-home craft. You could even fill your family's prayer intentions in on the Earth outline.


Click on an image in the gallery and it will take you online to an activity you can download for your child to enjoy!

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

Look for Next Week's Issue all about Caring for the Earth in honor of Earth Day this month!