The Family Zone



The Word of God comes to us through both Scripture and our Tradition. This is known as the "Deposit of Faith." For our Catholic faith, Scripture and Tradition are inseparable and they are the sources through which God's word is revealed to us. How have you come to know God? Has God been revealed to you through a particular Scripture? Reading the Bible is a Christian practice that helps us understand God's plan for our life and for the world. We can find wisdom in Sacred Scripture that helps us to make important decisions and understand life's challenges through a wider lens. In order to embrace Scripture as a path for us to deepen in our relationship with God, it is important to understand the way the Bible is designed. Here are some facts about the structure of the Bible:

  • The Bible is one of the most important ways we come to know God and God's plan for our Salvation
  • The Bible has two major sections known as the Old Testament and the New Testament. Each Testament is broken down into four main sections: the Old Testament is made up of the Pentateuch, History, Wisdom and Prophets books and the New Testament is divided into the Gospels, Acts, Letters and Revelation.
  • The Bible is not a single book but a "library" of 73 books
  • Everything in the Bible is true but you must understand the context (time period, etc) in which the Bible was written as well as the style that was used in each book. For example, you will find many historical facts but you will also find figurative language that helps us to understand a concept through storytelling. The more time you spend with the Bible, the greater your understanding will be!

Use the document below to guide your family's Christian practice of Reading the Bible; a little at a time is all you need to do!


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

Joseph was widely known in Nazareth, to the point where Jews murmuring about Jesus asked, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother?” This is one of only 13 times Joseph is mentioned in the bible (and the only time in St. John’s Gospel). Like the other instances Joseph’s role in the story is to point towards his adopted son.



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. This edition shares some books that are based on Bible stories and will help your child better understand the Word of God.

The Marvelous Mustard Seed by Amy-Jill Levine

The Chameleon that Saved Noah's Ark by Yael Molchadsky

Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus by John Hendrix

The One O'Clock Miracle by Alison Mitchell

The Watcher by Nikki Grimes


Let's learn more about the Mass, together!

The AMBO is the name we have for the "Table of the Word;" it is not just a podium. It has a special connection to the Altar and sits beside it in the sanctuary of the church to feed and nurture us with the Word of God. It is where the readings and the Gospel are proclaimed and where you can see the Book of the Gospels displayed. What does the ambo look like in your church? What "call and response" do you hear when the lectors share the first and second reading? (Lector says: The Word of the Lord and we say: Thanks be to God) We say THANK YOU, because we are so grateful to have the Word of God to guide us.


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

Maybe this will cool you on a hot August day. This is the sound that icicles make in the wind...they are musical aren't they? Can you hear the sound like wind chimes?

Icicle Chimes Sound


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 !

On August 15, we will observe the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Below is a prayer you can pray as a family on that day!

Father in heaven,
all creation rightly gives you praise,
for all life and all holiness come from you.
In the plan of your wisdom
she who bore the Christ in her womb
was raised body and soul in glory to be with him in heaven.
May we follow her example in reflecting your holiness
and join in her hymn of endless love and praise.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.



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

St. Anthony's Chapel- Western Pennsylvania

St. Anthony's Chapel is an unassuming church in a residential area of Pittsburgh. However, what's inside can only be described as extraordinary. Home to the largest collection of Catholic relics outside of the Vatican, the chapel is great for a family pilgrimage. Inside the church, more than 5,000 relics are on display, some dating back to the very beginnings of Christianity. For more information about St. Anthony's Chapel, 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!
Golden Buzzer: 9-Year-Old Victory Brinker Makes AGT HISTORY! - America's Got Talent 2021


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

While you are going on a drive with your family, play the ABC game but look for objects that show God's beauty in the world. Can you find objects from A to Z before your car ride is over?


Great projects for exploring, designing, building!

Create your own Kaleidoscope! Follow the instructions here:

Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash


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

Fruits that are in season during the summer are vibrant, juicy, colorful, and full of flavor. They give us nourishment and add to our joyful summer celebrations. The Word of God spoken through scripture and our Catholic tradition also gives us life by reminding us of God's goodness, love, mercy, forgiveness, peace, and so much more. We hope making these summer fruit recipes reminds you that the words God has spoken (and continues to speak!) are spirit and life.

Peach Cobbler

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

French Toast with Fresh Cherry Sauce

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash


Empathy arises naturally in children at an early age and can be nurtured through family 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:

As you are listening to a Bible story or reading a bedtime story together, talk about the characters in the background (those that aren't well defined). Can you create a life for them and share what they might be feeling? This process helps your child to notice others and to identify feelings by sight. It also can lead to great conversations about "what lies beneath the surface level" of others.


Imagine being with the Holy Family as Jesus was learning to read. The Son of God, present at Creation, learning how to read the stories of the Jewish faith. It was important for him to experience that, and important for Mary and Joseph to help him. We do not have the stories of those lessons in the Bible, but we do know that Jesus read from the scrolls of Isaiah, so he must have learned it somewhere.

Parents: Think about the joys of teaching your children. Sometimes there may be frustration, but what a privilege it is to pass on to your children what was given to you!

Children: Isn’t it amazing to think about all Jesus learned? Just like you, he learned how to play, how to work, and how to read. Do you think he ever got frustrated if he wasn’t learning as fast as he (or his parents) wanted?

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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