The Family Zone


Jesus, Model of Hospitality and Inclusivity

The Gospels over the next two weeks remind us of how important it is to welcome others in. Our time of quarantine has made many of us comfortable with isolation and it may cause some uneasiness to begin moving among more people as things open up and restrictions are lifted. Spend some time with your family this week thinking about the settings in which you feel most welcome. How is hospitality important to your sense of belonging? How can you offer it to others? How can you make your parish environment more welcoming with your personal actions at Mass? Who will you invite to join you at Mass? Or to a backyard barbeque? Who needs to feel welcome in your world right now? It's a great time to start rebuilding relationships and connections that you lost during your time at home!

Journeying with St. Joseph

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

There are several images that popes over the centuries have given “canonical coronations.” These are when a Pope bestows an ornamental crown to an image or statue of Mary, Joseph, or Christ. There are 17 images or statues of St. Joseph given the crown. The closest to us is in St. Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal, Canada. The only one in the US is St. Joseph of Wisconsin in De Pere, Wisconsin (pictured to the left).

Take a look at the statues and where they are at



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 yellow button below.

Family Stories: Story Time with a Positive Message!

These stories focus on being welcoming to others:

Rosy's Visitors by Judy Hindley

The Mitten by Jan Brett

The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates

The Buddy Bench by Patty Brozo


Let's learn more about the Mass, together!

Mass is not just something the priest does; it is a communal activity! Something we all do together. How can we demonstrate we are a community at Mass?

  • Smile at the people who are sitting around you.
  • Make room for newcomers in your pew
  • Introduce yourself to unfamiliar faces
  • In the Gathering Rite, sing and pray as we acknowledge that we are all gathered together seeking God's mercy and worshipping as a whole Body of Christ!
  • During the Sign of Peace, wave to others and exchange greetings of "Peace be with you."
  • Participate in the prayers. Mass is a "call and response" format; we have a role to play

It is nice that you can enter any Catholic Church in the world, on any given day and know what to expect in the Mass; that is one of the beautiful ways we have "hospitality" as part of our structure. Even if the Mass is being said in a different language, you can follow along and know what is happening! This weekend, as your family attends Mass, make an extra effort to be welcoming to those around you and consider joining a hospitality ministry at your parish!


This summer we're tapping into sounds from God's creation!

This is the noise of a campfire. Fire is one of the four elements of God's creation (wind, fire, water, earth). It is a symbol of the Holy Spirit!

Campfire & River Night Ambience 10 Hours | Nature White Noise for Sleep, Studying or Relaxation


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 !

From Prayers of Summer (

Long, Warm Days...

the pace of life slows..

A time for picnics and rest in the shade...

help me to rest awhile in cooling shade of your presence

Slow down my restless heart and fill me with gentle compassion for all your people.



Hit the road for family fun and exploring! This month we are exploring some nearby sites to make a family pilgrimage!

Saint Marianne Cope Shrine & Museum- Central NY

The museum is dedicated to the life and legacy of Saint Marianne Cope. Saint Marianne is honored as a leader in the field of health care, education and of her own congregation. Through displays showcasing her stories and artifacts, audio-visual exhibits, and educational outreach, visitors will understand her message of respect and compassion. A first class relic of Saint Marianne lies within a reliquary made specially in her honor and rests in the museum's second gallery, offering visitors an opportunity for peaceful contemplation. 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! Let us imitate this precious little one seeing mom for the first time with glasses and open our eyes to the presence of Jesus.
Baby sees mom for the first time with glasses - 1066193


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

Play "Detective" with some friends! HOW TO PLAY: Have kids stand in a circle, 6 feet apart, then nominate a "detective" to leave the area so they can't hear what's going on. Parents pick a leader who will start initiating movements (like jumping jacks or crunches) that everyone else will copy. Then the "detective" returns and stands in the middle of the circle. They have to figure out who's the leader of the group in 3 guesses! Next game, the leader becomes the detective and the game continues!


Great projects for exploring, designing, building!

Paint some rocks with colorful pictures or cheerful phrases and place them under a tree at your house. When people walk by, it will bring a smile to their face


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

In the month of July we celebrate the feasts of St. Bonaventure and Saint Kateri. Saint Kateri is the first Native American saint. Corn is used quite a bit in Native American cooking. St. Bonaventure had roots in Italy, so enjoy some meatballs and dessert in his honor! We hope these recipes inspire you to learn more about these two important saints.

Saint Bonaventure Cake

Summer Corn Salad

Kid-Friendly Meatballs

Raising Kids Who Care

Empathy arises naturally in children at an early age and can be nurtured through family fun activities. The best moral formation happens during every day life in your home. Here's this week's tip on nurturing empathy in your child:

Parents can model how a child can show empathy to a friend or sibling. For example, if another child gets hurt, you might suggest: "Let's go get some ice for Hazel's boo boo," and engage your child in caring for the child who has been hurt.

A family fun way to show empathy for someone who has an injury, or is sick is to make a meal or a special treat to bring the person. Make time in the family schedule to let friends and family know they are cared about and add them into family prayer intentions! Visiting the Sick is a Corporal Work of Mercy that we are called to do as disciples!

Wonder with the HOLY FAMILY

The Holy Family lived in a time where treating those in your community as extended family was second nature. They would have welcomed their neighbor’s help and freely given their own help to others. There is no doubt that at times the relationships were strained among families or individuals, but the Jewish community was one that stuck together. Welcoming their neighbor and including them in family life was the norm. Just picture Jesus and his childhood friend playing under Mary’s watchful and loving gaze, and then the next day with the friend’s mother.

Parents: When has the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” had more than just a hint of truth to it? How do you help your friends and neighbors with their children? How do they help you? What a gift to be able to share that!

Children: Having adults around that care about you and care for you is a wonderful gift from God. Think about the adults in your life who show you they love you. How much God must want what is best for you, giving you such wonderful people!

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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