Equipping the Domestic Church/ISSUE 105/2.5.23

"Thus says the Lord, Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own." Isaiah 58

In this issue, we discover more about what our faith says abut love of neighbor!


Genuflecting in front of the Tabernacle

For Catholics, certain gestures constitute an acknowledgement of God’s presence. We genuflect as a sign of adoration and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. To genuflect, you lower your right knee to the ground while facing the tabernacle. It signifies ADORATION for the presence of Jesus and is a reverent gesture. Be conscious of where the tabernacle is when you enter a church and be sure to always remember to genuflect, even if you are just passing by on your way to another spot in the church.

Dr. Tim O'Malley, a Notre Dame theologian, recently wrote an article about Pope Emeritus Benedict as part of the Eucharistic Revival newsletter. In it he said, "All it takes is deeper appreciation of the gift of love that you receive in every Mass. All it takes is pausing for a moment before a tabernacle, giving thanks that God loves you enough to be so close to you. All it takes is letting that worship shape how you live as a Christian in the public sphere, witnessing to the gratuity of the God who is love, who loves us unto the end." He goes on to remind us that we take that love we receive in the Mass out into the world. Pausing, for a moment, to adore the one who loves you so deeply, is a great way to live the Eucharist!

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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 purple button below.

Sunday Readings:

Family Stories: Here are some stories about neighbors:

Thank you, Neighbor by Ruth Chan

Thank you, Omu ! by Oge Mora

In the Neighborhood by Rocio Bonilla


1. Create a family reminder and covenant to love thy neighbor. Use the scripture at the top of the page as your inspiration. Draw a picture of what that looks like when your family lives it out in the world. Hang it on the wall to remind yourselves to be a good neighbor every day!

2. Talk about little things we do each day to treat our neighbors well by discussing the Golden Rule. The PDF below entitled Golden Rule will help younger children to comprehend every day ways we are called to treat our neighbors well!

3. How can your family be a better neighbor to all? Use the diagram found at the link to brainstorm ways to love your neighbors:


This podcast from Abiding Together examines the way women engage with one another from childhood through adulthood and gives us much to consider about the way we treat our neighbor and how we teach our children to do the same.


What is Catholic Social Teaching about Loving Our Neighbor?
Catholic Social Teaching in 2 Minutes
What Are the Pillars of Catholic Social Teaching? [CLIP]

Take a deeper dive in the teaching by learning about Papal Documents on the topic

*For older children and adults
Complete History of Catholic Social Doctrine


Enjoy making this scripture-themed craft for St. Valentine's Day and then talk about how the words from Corinthians teach us how to love our family members, our friends, and our neighbors. What will it look like when we love like Jesus loves?


This week, our diocese celebrates high school seniors who have been faithful to God and good neighbors to others. Through our annual Hands of Christ celebration, Bishop Matano honors teens for acting as the Hands and Feet of Christ out in the world! Use the quote below (our guiding quote for this yearly event) to pray in unison with us this week for all young Catholics who witness to God's love in their daily lives! Pray that their witness might guide others to a path of holiness.

Christ has no body but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are His body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

— St. Teresa of Ávila (attributed)


Here's a game that can help kids to understand what it means to be a good neighbor to others! It can be played with any number of kids! Kids can also become a leader who thinks up ways to be good neighbors, too!


In this month that we connect with the heart, try this chest-opening stretch as a family each morning; it might serve as a reminder to open your hearts to others!

Chest-opening stretch

  • Stand in a relaxed position with your feet hip-distance apart
  • Reach both arms behind you
  • Clasp your hands together in a fist behind you at your lower back
  • Keep your gaze in front of you
  • Lift your clasped hands slowly and gently as far as you can without discomfort, pulling your shoulder blades together
  • Repeat this stretch several times


A simple way to model love of neighbor to your kids is to be present for those in your community. When a family you know is struggling, bring that family's intentions into your family prayer time. In this way, they know that we are called to offer prayer to God beyond thinking just of our own needs. Take the prayer time another step by preparing together a special card, a meal, a treat or a bouquet from your garden that can be shared with the struggling family. It's a wonderful way to teach your children to love others through positive action!


SOLIDARITY: We share our material goods with others through charity but we also share our friendship and prayers with them!


  • Who are your neighbors?
  • Are neighbors only people who live next door, or can they live in another country?
  • If people are different from you and look, act or think differently, are you still called to love them?
  • How can you show your neighbor you love them?
  • How can you show your neighbor you love them, even if you'll never meet them?

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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