Equipping the Domestic Church/ISSUE 69/ 9.19.21


Over the next two weeks, we will be reflecting on discerning right from wrong and understanding the expectations God has of us. Are you familiar with the acronym WWJD? It was popularly used to remind people to consider "What Would Jesus Do?" in their decision-making process. As we reflect on the Gospel message over the next few weeks, you and your family might take some time to consider how you are allowing the Gospel message to impact your life choices. Are you more apt to make decisions based on what God expects of you or what society expects of you? When do you let God's law rule your actions? How can you teach your kids to follow the path God sets before us and how might the world look different if we all did? Discernment is a process that helps us to make wiser decisions, inviting God into the process through prayer, a reflection on the choice will have reflect our inherent values, and the consequences that may arise.


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

We can imagine that St. Joseph had to bring many decisions to prayer as he wrestled with the enormity of God's plan for his family. Before Jesus was even born, Joseph had to discern the safest decision he could make for Mary and then, as his family traveled as migrants to Bethlehem and on to Egypt once Jesus was born, he needed to constantly discern the safest path for Jesus, Mary and himself. This week is National Migration Week. Let us hold in prayer all those who are displaced and struggle toward safety in a new home and may we be mindful of the example of the Holy Family, who were migrants themselves. St. Joseph and St. Mary, Pray for us!

The Flight into Egypt by Giotto di Bondone (1304–1306, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua)



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 orange button below.

Family Stories: Story Time with a Positive Message. This week's stories focus on making tough decisions!

  • Chalk by Bill Thomson
  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
  • The Cloudspinner by Michael Catchpool
  • Tidy by Emily Gravett

Parenting Articles:

Teaching Your Child How to Discern their Choices


  • Good and Bad Choices List or Collage

    What's right and wrong in God's eyes? Make a list of those actions that please God and those that might make God ask us to choose better next time! Or cut out pictures from a magazine and paste them in the correct categories!

  • Use the packet below from Lifelong Faith to help you better understand and teach your family the Christian practice of Discernment.


Do you listen to podcasts throughout the week? We will share episodes to help you embrace week's theme and be able to converse with your kids feeling more confident! We'll also share family listening skills from time to time!

Here is a podcast that further explores the WWJD acronym:

And below is a podcast for kids about St Medard and a thief who stole his favorite ox! Will the thief make a good decision in the end? Listen and find out.


The vides below will help you to think further on the topic of discernment and following Christ!
When you follow Jesus, who else might be watching what you choose?!

(for teens or adults)

Following Jesus: Even Bigger Than You Think
Encounter, Call and Decision..just three steps!

(for teens or adults)

ShareJesus Video 50: Three Initial Steps in Following Jesus
Use the story of Martha and Mary below to talk about the benefits of listening to God!

(For kids)

Mary and Martha plus listening game, song, prayer and quiz


Create a "make your own" taco, pizza, salad, sandwich or waffle bar. Let your child create their own meal by choosing what will be added to it. As you are eating, talk about the choices each of you made and why you made them! This can easily segue into a conversation about making choices!


Here we share ideas for personal prayer, family prayer and learning more about the ACT of prayer as a discipleship skill!

Use this scripture verse from Phillipians 1:9-11 as a prayer for discernment:

And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.



Go on a WISDOM treasure hunt! Write the word "WISDOM" on index cards, Post-It notes or pieces of paper 10-20 times. Cut out the word images and hide them around the house. Invite your child to go on a treasure hunt. After the hunt, talk about how DISCERNING is searching for wisdom; when we discern, we seek God's wisdom. Talk about ways that you and your child can seek wisdom.

**You can also try the listening game on the Martha and Mary video above! It reminds us that discernment is about listening to God!


Share that making healthy choices is part of something that we do to honor God and the gift of our bodies. Eating right, avoiding things that harm our body and staying actives are all ways we can discern to take care of the gifts of our body. Make exercise part of the daily family routine. Let your child choose the activity and try to help him or her think carefully about the decision. For example, if it has been raining for a few days, discuss the benefits of getting outside on a nice day for fresh air and sunshine as opposed to doing a workout in your home!

Word of the Week!

Vocation means a call. It is God’s invitation –His call- to each person to love and serve Him and His Church in a particular state or way of life. We discern our vocation as we seek to understand the purpose God has for our life.


Wonder with the Holy Family

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” … How often is that question asked in a family? Deciding on our vocation is a big thing! In the Church it’s called discerning, and it’s less about choosing what you want and more about listening to what God wants for you. Jesus had it easy in this one – he knew from a very young age he was meant to teach and guide God’s children. He was born for a purpose and he knew it. But Mary and Joseph both had to discern where God wanted them – and both prayed hard about it. God’s plan affects the whole family, but when we listen to God and not our own desires, we find great joy!

Parents – What was it like deciding to grow your family? Have you told your child(ren) about making that choice? What wonders and joys have resulted in that?

Children – What brings you joy? Ask your parents what brings them joy. Isn’t it amazing how God gave each of us different things that bring us joy? Because we are all different and play a different part in God’s plan. Think about how special it is to be a part of God’s plan, and not just our own.

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

Missed the previous editions of our newsletter?