Equipping the Domestic Church/ISSUE 91/ 7.24.22

Welcome to the summer editions of The Family Zone...a bit of faith, a bit of fun, a whole lot of FAMILY!!

July 29 is the Memorial of Saints Mary, Martha and Lazarus

Play the short audio clip below to hear more about these siblings who were good friends of Jesus. "In its 2021 decree on combining veneration of Mary and Lazarus with Martha, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments said, "In the household of Bethany, the Lord Jesus experienced the family spirit and friendship of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and for this reason, the Gospel of John states that he loved them. Martha generously offered him hospitality, Mary listened attentively to his words and Lazarus promptly emerged from the tomb at the command of the one who humiliated death."

This feast day gives us a wonderful opportunity to focus on the friendships we enjoy. How are those friendships life-giving and what do we contribute to them in return? What type of hospitality do we offer in the spirit of family to those who are not blood relatives? It's also a great time for families to consider the bonds between siblings and how we complement one another in the varied gifts we have been blessed with. Today's issue focuses on family and friendship!


Today is the Second Annual World Day for Grandparents and Elderly! Live the Eucharist today or this week by reaching out to a senior family member, neighbor or friend. Pope Francis has shared great wisdom about this special day; you can watch his World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly 2021 Message below. This is a great opportunity for our families to hear the stories of the older generation, to glean their wisdom and live the Eucharist, especially, by becoming the hands and feet of Jesus to those who have been forgotten, who live isolated, or who are experiencing serious illness. How can your family make connections this week?
Pope Francis' message for the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly



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: Books about being good siblings and good friends!

  • Maple and Willow Together by Lori Nichols
  • We are Brothers, We are Friends by Alexandra Penfold
  • Don't Hug Doug (He Doesn't Like It) by Carrie Finison
  • A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey


Check out this beautiful piece of Sacred Art! On August 6, we observe the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. This is a painting of that scriptural event. What do you see in the picture? What do you like best? Read below the painting to find out more!

Giovanni Bellini

Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Transfiguration 1480

Big picture
In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke (Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36) the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus can be found. Jesus went up on a holy mountain with Peter, James and John. On the mountain, Jesus changed in appearance or was "transfigured," giving his friends a glimpse into his heavenly glory. Locate one of the scriptures in your Bible or online. Read through it and then look at the famous painting. What is missing? Who can you identify? Do you feel the painting is a good representation of the scripture? What would you add or take away?

LEARN! Catholic Trivia you May Not Know!


Here are some pairs of Saints who were siblings; that makes for a very proud set of parents!!!

  • St. Benedict and St. Scholastica were brother and sister twins! St. Benedict started a religious order and St. Scholastica was a nun who lived not far from her brother!
  • Sts. Willibald (700-781), Winebald (702-761), and Walburga (710-779) were a trio of siblings from England (Their father was St. Richard, the Pilgrim, and their uncle was St. Boniface). The three were sent by Pope Gregory III and St. Boniface to evangelize Germany.
  • St. Francisco and St. Jacinta de Jesus Marto were shepherd children who witnessed many holy apparitions while working in the fields at Fatima, Portugal.


In the book of Proverbs, in the Bible, you will find many wise sayings about friendship. Choose your favorite from those listed below. Make a sign, on the computer or with art supplies, featuring your favorite. Place it in a prominent place in your home to be reminded of the qualities of true friendship! Have you learned an important lesson to share about friendship? Make a sign featuring your wisdom, as well, in the style of Proverbs, and chat with your family about what makes a friend, a good friend. If you would like to get even more creative, illustrate the themes of friendship shared in these quotes, They include: choosing friends who make good choices, the destructive force of gossip, and loyalty.

"Walk with the wise and you become wise, but the companion of fools fares badly." (Proverbs 13:20)

"Perverse speech sows discord, and talebearing separates bosom friends" (Proverbs 16:28)

"A friend is a friend at all times..." (Proverbs 17:17)

"There are friends who bring ruin, but there are true friends more loyal than a brother." (Proverbs 18:24)

FEAST on Fun Summer Treats!

Here's a recipe for ice cream you can make with your friends or siblings! It takes many hands to help with the shaking!!


In the Bible story of Job, Job has a long conversation with his friends as he tries to make sense of the struggles and suffering he is experiencing in life. God encourages Job to pray for his friends so Job takes part in intercessory prayer or praying on someone else's behalf.

Think about the lives of your siblings and your friends. What prayers could you offer for them? How might your prayers to God make a difference in their lives?

Sometimes people say: "Can you pray for me?" Here are some tips to carry that out!

1. Pray for them right after you see them, so it doesn't get lost in the busyness of your day.

2. Put a post-it note on your mirror, fridge, or another place you look daily, reminding you to pray

for them!

3. Keep a running prayer list of all those who ask you to pray for them.

4. Do you have a picture of them on your phone? Pull it up before praying and truly visualize

your friend and his or her needs!

5. Ask God to hear the prayers in your heart.

6. Pray for them each time you pass their home!


Enjoy fun family AND friend time together!


Find 10 Things in Common: Go beyond you are both girls, you both have blond hair, etc., and ask questions about likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, fears and joys!

Superpowers: If you had a superpower, what would it be and why? Do any of your superpowers align with building God's kingdom?

Smile EMOJI: Here's one you can play on your phones with a far away friend. Ask questions that can only be answered via emojis such as: "Do you like lima beans?" "Do you like sunflowers?" etc. Find out what makes your friends SMILE!


Make some fun backyard games to play with family and friends!

Quiet Yourself!

Find a quiet place outside or in, and just spend some time thinking about Jesus. More than anything, he would like to be your friend. Are you making time for him? Do you listen for him and to him? Do you talk (pray) in return and seek his guidance? Have a quiet chat with Jesus inside your heart!


This summer we are wondering about God's CREATION!!

Do you ever wonder if animals have best friends? Do you have two pets at your house? What do you notice about them?

Have you ever seen a video or a real-life experience of two animals who are unlikely friends, like a cat and a dog?

Scientists say that elephants, horses, whales, dolphins, camels, llamas, alpacas, and primates such as chimpanzees and apes all have the capacity for true friendship. Watch the world around you this week. Do you see birds, bugs, or other creatures acting like friends? What behaviors do they display? Do they resemble human friendships? What do you think causes animals to become friends?

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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