Equipping the Domestic Church/ISSUE 109/4.2.23


As we enter into the sacred week ahead, let's create a Holy Week centerpiece for the dinner table to guide us through the events of the week and keep family thoughts focused on Christ. Begin with a small deep bowl or flower pot. Gather two sticks (one shorter than the other) and some twine. Make a rugged cross out the sticks by crossing them and wrapping twine around it. Place the cross in the bowl or flowerpot fill with sand or pebbles to hold in place. Keep it visible on your dining table for the week.

Here are some ideas for gathering around the cross each day, based upon the scripture or events of each of the days of Holy Week:

  1. For Palm Sunday, invite everyone to share a prayer of praise for God.
  2. On Monday, pray that our Church will be used to build God's Kingdom and pray in gratitude for the good work you are seeing in your parish.
  3. Tuesday is the day of our Diocesan Chrism Mass. Pray all those who will be baptized, confirmed, healed and ordained with those oils! Pray specifically for anyone you know that will be anointed with the oils this year.
  4. Wednesday commemorates the day Judas plotted against Jesus. Pray for your friends and pray that you will be honest and trustworthy friends for others.
  5. On Holy Thursday, we commemorate the institution of the priesthood. Pray for your parish priest and vocations to the priesthood.
  6. On Good Friday, gather in gratitude to pray for the saving power of Jesus!
  7. On Holy Saturday, pray for all who are waiting for a sign of hope in their lives. Name those in the world who are most in need of hope.

We gather in prayer with our brothers and sisters around the world for the health and well-being of Pope Francis


Our faith has a tradition to engage in the devotion of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thursday. Many families gather to carry out this tradition around our diocese each year. Because the Blessed Sacrament is placed on the Altar of Repose at the conclusion of the Mass of the Lord's Supper, any church that has that Mass will be likely to offer Adoration until a certain time of night. This pilgrimage is a great way to engage your family in a beautiful devotion and create a family tradition they will be able to pass down to their kids one day!

Your family chooses the parishes. A listing of all Catholic parishes in our diocese can be found below! Attend the Mass of the Lord's Supper and count Adoration at your church as stop #1. It is common practice to visit seven churches in commemoration of the final seven places Jesus went from his arrest on Holy Thursday to his death on Good Friday. Some families stop at only three churches; that is ok too! It is customary to pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be at each stop along with the prayer intentions of Pope Francis.

For the month of April, Pope Francis asks us to pray for a culture of peace and non-violence:

“We pray for the spread of peace and non-violence, by decreasing the use of weapons by states and citizens.”-Pope Francis

Enjoy this helpful family resource from the NATIONAL EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL!



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 DINNER CONVERSATION ABOUT THE SUNDAY SCRIPTURES: On Easter Sunday, we will hear about the disciple's shock and surprise when they come to the empty tomb. What a great time to engage in conversation about your own A-HA moments regarding God. When have you been surprised and amazed by God at work in your life? Chat about it as a family!


Connect younger children to Holy Week with this simple counting worksheet. As the images are counted, name what is happening in the picture. Invite older children to complete the Easter Investigation and recount all they know about the events leading up to Jesus' passion. Use a Bible to learn more (if you don't have one, you can find Bible readings online) and fill in additional elements of the story.


At the Easter Vigil, we hear the full story of our Salvation History. The Litany of the Saints is part of this incredibly moving liturgy and a reminder that we are one small part of The Body of Christ that has grown in faith for centuries. Take a listen to the Litany of Saints, and follow the link below, if you would like to better understand what happens at the Easter Vigil.


Share the Easter story through play. Download the PDF below. You will need 16 plastic Easter eggs. Cut out the clues and pictures and fill the eggs. Hide them. Once the 16 eggs are found, spend time searching the scripture passages in the Bible and matching each to its correct symbol. This is a fun way for younger children to begin to comprehend the Passion in small segments.


Spend time with this beautiful prayer from Catholic Relief Services throughout the Easter season!
Big picture


On or around Easter Sunday, take a family walk in a park, your neighborhood or on a trail to search for signs of new life! Make a list with your child, in advance, about things they think they might see on an early spring walk. Connect all you see to the new life the Resurrection brings to each of us!


Here are some of the inspiring saints who were with Jesus in his last days:

St. Simon of Cyrene: As you may recall from the Stations of the Cross, St. Simon of Cyrene was pressed into service by the Roman guards. Though reluctant, we can be inspired by Simon's willingness to serve Jesus in his darkest hour. How can we serve others like Simon?

St. Dismas was the good thief who defended Jesus from the mockery of the other thief. Though Dismas had sinned, Jesus promised him, "today you will be with me in Paradise." From Dismas, we can learn to stand up for others and do the right thing, even in difficult situations. Can you share a story of a time you stood up for someone else or did the right thing?

St. Veronica: Although she is not in scripture, the 6th Station of the Cross names Veronica as a woman who reached out to wipe Jesus' face during his difficult walk to Calvary. The cloth is a precious relic in the Vatican and is displayed once a year on the 5th Sunday of Lent. From Veronica, we can be inspired to show mercy to those who are suffering. A simple act of kindness can make an incredible difference for a person in pain. How can your family show each other mercy?

Stefano Bistolfi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


The Donkey Who Carried A King written by R.C. Sproul and illustrated by Church Groenink tells the tale of Palm Sunday through a conversation between a young boy and his grandpa. Davey, a young donkey, never gets to do anything of importance, until one day, strangers come to borrow him for a special task. Davey carries Jesus into Jerusalem and feels so proud, he begins to think he is above menial tasks. We learn through the telling of the story, about the virtues of humility and trust. The book also includes questions for conversation with your kids. Have a conversation about what we can achieve even if we think we are too young or too unimportant! St. Mother Teresa reminded us we can do "small things with great love."


There are many different people involved in the stories of Holy Week. Spend some time wondering about what it felt to be:

1. Peter, who was afraid to admit Jesus was his friend

2. Judas, who betrayed his friend for a price. His betrayal led to extreme consequences

3. Mary, who had to watch her innocent son be brutally treated

What other people of the Holy Week stories can you name and wonder about? What if you were there?

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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