The Family Zone



As things begin to open up and life is looking a little more normal, many of us may be breathing a sigh of relief. However, we can't ignore the damage that this year has done to so many of us in a variety of areas. Many of you may feel utterly exhausted, raw with emotion and uneasy; that's ok, we share your feelings. Our faith can be a great source of healing as we move out of the darkness of the pandemic. Are you bringing your burdens to prayer? The readings for the next two weeks remind us that Jesus has the power to restore us to both good health and a sense of calm. Self-care is a big buzz word these days...prayer is one of the best forms of self-care! Let our faith bring you hope.

To pray means to open your hands before God. It means slowly relaxing the tension that squeezes your hands together and accepting your existence with an increasing readiness, not as a possession to defend but as a gift to receive. Above all, prayer is a way of life that allows you to find stillness in the midst of the world, where you open your hands to God’s promises and find hope for yourself, your neighbor, and your world. In prayer, you encounter God not only in the small voice and the soft breeze, but also in the midst of the turmoil of the world, in the distress and joy of your neighbor and in the loneliness of your own heart.

In the end, a life of prayer is a life with open hands where we are not ashamed of our weakness but realize that it is more perfect for us to be led by the Other than to try to hold everything in our own hands. (Henri Nouwen, With Open Hands)

Wishing a Happy Father's Day to Dads, Grandfathers and Godfathers in advance of next week, as we won't have an issue that Sunday. May you special dads be blessed in many ways!

Journeying with St. Joseph

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

There are a number of prayers to St. Joseph, including a simple novena (a prayer over 9 days). Pray this short prayer each morning for nine days and see if it changes your view of St. Joseph. We look to St. Joseph in a special way, as we celebrate Father's Day next week; so we have also included a video prayer for dads! St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us!

O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. 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; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the Loving of Fathers.

O St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach you while He reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.

Prayer for Fathers HD



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 green button below.

Family Stories: Story Time with a Positive Message! This week, in celebration of Father's Day, we focus on books about dads and families:

Just in Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado

Dad School by Rebecca Van Slyke

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal


Let's learn more about the Mass, together!

When you go to Mass this week, see if you can locate the AMBRY. The Ambry is a small cabinet where the Holy Oils are kept. The Holy Oils are used for Baptism, Anointing of the Sick, and for Catechumens. It is by the Sanctuary or Altar area. Can you find it? What does your Ambry look like?


This summer we're tapping into sounds from God's creation! How many different things can you hear? Can you find those same sounds outside??
Rural Village Morning Ambience | Free Sound Effects | Ambient Sounds


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!

As the school year winds down, take the time to pray this special prayer in your family or share your own intentions for the year!

At the end of the school year, we give thanks to God:

For all the teaching and learning that took place in our school and at home;

For the teachers and helpers that learned to teach in new ways;

For the moms, dads, and family members who helped us learn;

For the talents and gifts that have been shared and the challenges we faced together;

For the burdens that have been lifted, the hurts that have begun to heal,

For the respect and care that has been given;

For the friendships that have grown;

For the faith we have lived in our daily struggles;

For the hope that has lifted our hearts on the dark days; and for the love that keeps us going;

We give thanks for the community we are

and we ask your blessing upon us

May your Spirit continue to flow through our schools, our homes and our communities

Bless our families as we enjoy the summer months and pour out your love on us that we may return renewed and refreshed to continue our journey together

We make this prayer through Christ, our Lord, Amen.


Hit the road for family fun and exploring! This month we are sharing some opportunities to try a family pilgrimage to some of the beautiful religious sites in our area!

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine-Buffalo/Niagara

A place of natural beauty, art, communal prayer, and renewal to thousands who visit the unique buildings and grounds. The magnificence and natural beauty of the Shrine is highlighted by an awe-inspiring Dome Basilica with a contour of the Northern Hemisphere in the dome. The impressive approach to the Basilica is down the Avenue of the Saints (over 130 life-size marble and bronze statues represent Saints from every race and walk of life) and around the serenity of the Rosary Pool. Two flights of stairs, with 63 steps, lead to the top of the Dome, where, in graceful majesty, stands a huge statue of Our Lady of Fatima. From the top of the Dome, visitors can view the entire Shrine grounds and surrounding countryside. For more information, click here.


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!
#TellThemNow - The Father's Day Video That Will Melt Your Heart
Fatherhood is a vocation, a call from God. And, as every parent knows; it is not always an easy role. We can look to St. Joseph and his faithfulness in caring for the Holy Family as a model of witness in answering that vocation. There are many unknowns and it can be challenging, but what a gift it is to be a parent! Let your dad know you are grateful for answering that call.


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

Play Glow-in-the-Dark bowling one night with your family!


Great projects for exploring, designing, building!

Go outside on a nice day and fill some balloons with paint! Set up a canvas and attach the paint filled balloons to the canvas. Use darts to pop the balloons and watch them burst with color!


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

Watermelon reminds us of the sweetness of God's love! Here are two tasty recipes that use watermelon.

4-Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet

Watermelon Caprese Appetizer

Make Dad a special treat to celebrate his special day:

Raising Kids Who Care

It's so easy to be distracted; especially with those devices that follow us around all day. It's important for us to model active and attentive listening to our kids. And, it's important to listen to HEAR, not listen to respond. When we show kids how important their words are to us, they learn to place an importance on the words of others. Are we always going to like what our kids say? Probably not. The point is, we are allowing them to express their feelings and thoughts and we are validating them without shutting them down. Good listening leads to important conversations; things you need to say and things they need to hear!

Wonder with the HOLY FAMILY

We all need time to refresh – personally, as a family, and as a couple. Imagine what it was like for Mary and Joseph raising Jesus. They must have needed time, just like any parents, to strengthen their own marriage. Likewise, they needed time with Jesus to strengthen their relationship with him. Their life was not so unlike ours when it comes to family. More than likely, this is where Jesus learned that his followers needed to refresh themselves as well.

Parents – How can you take time to refresh your relationship with one another? Have you gone on a date recently? What about an evening with adult friends and conversation?

Children – How do you re-energize yourself? What do you do that is fun? Who do you share that refreshing time with? Can you do something refreshing with your family? Maybe your friends?

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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