Equipping the Domestic Church/ISSUE 93/ 8.21.22

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

St. Monica, Patron Saint of Mothers

St. Monica was the mother of St. Augustine. She is remembered to be a great woman of persistence and patience, as she was challenged by a marriage that was plagued by both a dangerous husband and a difficult mother-in-law. Monica's son, Augustine, was leading a reckless life and she prayed that he might see the error of his ways. Eventually, Augustine found God and was baptized in the faith, and went on to be a great leader in our Catholic faith. Often, we are called upon, as family members, to turn to hope and prayer in difficult situations. Because of St. Monica's unwavering love and persistent prayer for her children, she is one of our patron saints of mothers. We celebrate and remember St. Monica on August 27; the following day, we observe the feast of her son, St. Augustine. This week, let us pray for all parents who struggle and pray for the best for their children. May they be inspired by St. Monica, who never lost faith in her son, or in God.


St. John Bosco was said to have had visionary dreams. He spoke of one dream in which he saw a vast ocean with many enemy ships in it, all battling against one large ship that was the Church. Two columns rose in the sea, one was a smaller one topped with a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the other was a large one with a Eucharistic host. The big ship was attached by anchors to these columns, keeping it safe from a storm. This vision of Mary and the Eucharist was about keeping the church (followers of Jesus) steadfast against the waves of the world. We can live the Eucharist by turning to our faith in the "storms" of our life and offering the hope we receive to others; letting them know that trusting in God can bring peace to all of us!



Click on the link below for the readings that you will hear at the Sunday 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: Here are some stories about how family members can inspire us just like St. Monica inspired her son, Augustine!

  • What is Given from the Heart by Patricia McCissack
  • Carmela, Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña
  • What We'll Build by Oliver Jeffers


On Monday, we observe the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Anne was Mary's Mother.
Big picture

Saint Anne

Painted by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (circa 1655)

What do you like best about this painting? What do you think of the colors? Who is the young girl with Saint Anne in the painting? What do you think Saint Anne and the young girl are talking about? What book might the two have in front of them? What is behind Saint Anne and the girl? Do you notice any other important symbols the artist put into the painting?

LEARN! Catholic Trivia you May Not Know!

We found this fun trivia quiz from the Diocese of Westminster in the UK. How many can you get right?


On Monday, the 29th, we observe the Memorial of the Passion of John the Baptist. John, who was the cousin of Jesus, was such an important force as a prophet for the Messiah; he prepared people for the coming of Jesus! John lived an interesting life as a traveling preacher. He was said to have worn camel skins tied with leather belts. He ate locusts and honey and lived in a desert wilderness. He baptized people (including Jesus) in the River Jordan. Can you imagine a scene with John the Baptist? Draw, paint, or sculpt him with clay!

FEAST on Fun Summer Treats!

Want to hold on to those last days of summer vacation? How about making it special with a backyard or park picnic? Here is a "make your own" idea from The Family Dinner Project.


Do you have a patron saint? You may have a first or middle name that is also the name of a Saint, like Matthew or Joan. Or maybe you got to choose a Saint's name at Confirmation such as Cecilia or Francis! Maybe your birthday falls on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul or on the Feast of St. Monica or possibly you are a farmer and connect with St. Isidore or you are a grandmother and feel connected to St. Anne. These are just a few of the many ways we identify our patron Saints. Patron Saints can inspire us, intercede on our behalf and draw us closer to Christ.

Want to find out more about patron Saints? You can visit this site to learn who is patron of what (or even where!).

Below is a prayer to a patron saint one is named after. We can pray this, or we can simply add, into our day: St. ________________, pray for us! This can be done at the end of our daily prayers, at grace, or at any time that suits you!

Dear Saint ______________,

Ever since my baptism, I bear your name.

Pray for me to God-

For the strength of our faith,

the breadth of your hope,

the courage of your love.

Support me so that I, like you,

may hear God's loving call today,

and in my life may answer

as God's grace moves me to.

Then one day, with you and all the saints,

may I receive the crown of life.



Enjoy fun family AND friend time together!

Did you go to VBS this summer? If so, play your favorite game from that week with your family!

Didn't have a chance to attend? Here are some fun VBS-style games you can try at home!

  • Goliath’s Hungry (From the Bible story of David, a boy, and Goliath, a giant Philistine)

    Choose a person to be Goliath. Divide everyone into two teams. The teams need to be spaced about ten to twenty feet apart with Goliath standing in the middle. When Goliath shouts, “I’m hungry!” Everyone runs to the opposite side. Anyone Goliath touches join the giant in the middle. Together, they hold a hand and grab for more people as they run through again. Every time Goliath should shout “I’m hungry!” until all playing are caught.

  • Fishers of Men (Term used to make disciples) (You will need a stick, string, and donuts or another snack with a hole that can be tied to the string!)

    Make a fishing pole using the stick and string. Tie a donut to the string. One player will hold the "fishing pole" so that the donut is dangled over another person sitting in a chair. The person sitting must eat the donut without using his or her hands.

  • Fish, Fish, Whale (Connecting to the Story of Jonah and Whale) Play this like Duck, Duck, Goose but use Fish, Fish, Whale instead, with a twist!! Get out a backyard tent or cover some chairs with a blanket. One of the players hides inside the tent. When Whale is called, that person runs out of the tent and tags another player. The tagged player then enters the tent, and play continues!

  • Make it Up the Mountain Moses! (Connecting to Moses and Mt. Sinai where he received the Ten Commandments from God)This can be played on a hill or on stairs in your house! It is played like Mother May I (Moses, May I...) . Remember that you play this game by asking if you can take a certain amount of steps. Moses responds by saying exactly how many and what types of steps you can take. One player is Moses and the rest try to make it to the top of Mt. Sinai!


The Gospel from Luke, which you will hear proclaimed at Mass on September 4, speaks about building a tower. Gather items from your recyclables, toy box, or pantry and have a tower building contest. Using the same materials, whose tower will be the tallest and stand without falling? In Luke's Gospel, Jesus talks about the builder being sure there are enough materials for completion. There are many scriptures that use architectural metaphors for us to understand the process of building our faith-life. How strong is the foundation you are building for yourself and your family? What a great opportunity this is to consider the tools, structure, and strength of your family's life of faith!

Quiet Yourself!

Are there fireflies where you live? Sit outside on a quiet summer night and watch them make their way through your yard. Fireflies bring those little bursts of light to so many places! How can you bring light to new places this week? Pray to God to help you be a light to the world!


This summer we are wondering about God's creation. This week let's wonder about the creatures God has given the power of "LIGHT" to. Do you think they are a reminder to us???

  • How many creatures have the power to produce light?
  • Is firefly light hot?
  • Are fireflies sending us secret messages?
  • Would it hurt if I ran into a bioluminescent creature in the ocean?
  • Do bioluminescent creatures lose their light? Can you only see it at night?

What do you wonder about animals that produce light? God's creation is AMAZING! There are so many unique and wonderful beings God has created! Learn more about animals that Glow in the Dark, below:

Have you heard of SYNCHRONUS fireflies? Watch!

Tennessee fireflies: A summertime light show

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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