The Family Zone

May is the Month of Mary/Issue 5/May 3, 2020

May is the Month of Our Blessed Mother

May is the month that we dedicate to Mary in our Catholic traditions. Many families construct a home altar to Mary and keep it set up all during the month. You might choose to prepare your own, as a family project. Adorn your altar with an image of Mary, a candle and some flowers. It can be a great area of focus for family prayer.

Mary is loved around the world, so many cultures have their own images of Mary which makes a beautiful statement about our universal faith! You can see many of the images of the Virgin Mary by taking a virtual tour of the National Shrine of The Immaculate Conception. Here is the link to your virtual family field trip: We have provided a scavenger hunt for young people to enjoy as they make their way through the Shrine. We have also attached a pdf below, to give you more insight into the many different names for Mary around the world, devotions to Mary and the Feast days for Mary in our Liturgical calendar.

Pope Francis is encouraging families to pray the rosary during the month of May. Please click on the link below to read the letter from the Holy See which includes two special prayers composed by Pope Francis in honor of Mary.

What better month, as we celebrate mothers in our families, to show our love for the mother of Christ who we recognize as our own beloved mother. We also celebrate two important feast days of Mary this month: The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13 and the Feast of the Visitation on May 31 (which is Pentecost this year!) Enjoy learning more about Mary in this issue.

On May 1, Bishop Salvatore Matano will lead the Renewal of the Consecration of the United States to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in union with the Bishops of the United States. You can watch the prayer at :

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash


Do you recognize the voice of Christ in your midst?

This Sunday's gospel can be found at:

A children's version can be found at:

Discuss as a family:

This weekend's gospel is about Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Think about that image of a shepherd and his sheep. A sheep, especially if it is lost, must follow the voice of his shepherd. How is your family following the voice of Christ? Are you trying to understand and follow his commands? Where are you hearing the voice of Christ in today's world and what is it urging you to do?

A shepherd is also a great protector. He or she will shelter the sheep and keep them free from danger. The Good Shepherd is a great way for us to imagine Christ in these difficult times. Turn to Jesus for comfort and protection!

Photo by Sam Carter on Unsplash


Marriages can often experience extra stress during times like these. Whether there is added stress from financial burdens, family responsibilities, or just the daily news, now is an important time to find an opportunity to lend some moments in our scheduling to support our spouse and share some extra communication between one another; you may find you are not on the same page and need to place yourself in the other's shoes. In this week's Sacramental Living, we take a look at the Sacrament of Matrimony and consider it in the context of Mary and her husband Joseph. It's a good time for us to look back at the marriage vows we made and consider how we can continue to grow, as couples, and strengthen, as families, in tough times.


There are many Marian Prayers, but the most familiar is the Hail Mary. There has never been a better time to turn to our Lady for support by praying the Hail Mary each day. Perhaps you can set a time that your family will gather to seek the help of the Blessed Virgin. Many people choose to incorporate the Hail Mary into their daily lives by praying the Angelus, which is often prayed at noon. It would be a great time for your family to recenter yourselves after a hectic morning and have some sacred family time before moving into your afternoon. Click on the link below to learn about the Angelus. You will find the full text of the prayer which includes the Hail Mary. Do you have a statue of Mary? How about an at home May Crowning? Watch the video below to find out how and follow this link for planning details!

Thursday, May 7, is the National Day of Prayer. Click on our Pinterest Board Button below to find many suggestions for increasing your prayer life with your family

Pop-Up Catechesis: May Crowning
Prayers and Prayer Experiences Pinterest Board

More ways your family can pray!


To help you learn the faith at home together

Download the linked PDF below to find catechetical lessons for all ages for you to share and teach the faith at home! Here are just SOME of the many well known images of Mary!

Supporting the Foundation

These messages of hope are a new offering from the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry. They are quick inspiring videos made just for parents. Enjoy them!
One Day at a Time: Give Us This Day, Our Daily Bread
Messages of Hope: Transformation and Renewal


We have multiple recipes for you this week! May 1 was the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker and we have a great recipe in honor of the husband of Mary! As the foster father of Jesus, St. Joseph spent a lifetime laboring as a carpenter. His primary motivation for work was not a quest for riches or status but a desire to serve God and lovingly care for his family. The buttered bread crumbs in this recipe resemble the sawdust of the carpenter's trade. St. Joseph is the patron saint of workers. We might choose to pray to St. Joseph if we are facing struggles with our own jobs at this time. This easy pasta recipe is called "Carpenter's Pasta" and it is a pantry friendly recipe. It can be made without anchovies, if you choose!

If you are going to do a home "May Crowning" we have provided a recipe for a cake you can make for the celebration. This is a delicious lemon blueberry bundt cake that looks like a crown:

Finally, just for fun! May 5 is Cinco de Mayo. Why not have a cultural meal in celebration? Here is a tasty soup you can make in the crockpot while working online or home-schooling!


Create an OBSTACLE course indoors or out! Gather up your items and jump-start your imagination! Mother Mary taught us about trust. She trusted in God even though she had NO idea what would be ahead for her as the mother of Jesus. Could you make this a trust activity? Blindfold your participant and guide them safely through by your voice. This activity is fun for all ages....make the course easy or difficult depending on the age of the child. CREATING the course is half the fun! Click on the pdf below for a list of ideas to get you going.

Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash


Create your own Mary Garden!

If you have garden at your home, add a homemade Mary to the garden (Color a picture of Mary and laminate, draw Mary on a flower pot, recycle an old can and paint Mary on that and weigh down with rocks so it doesn’t blow away!) There are many flowers connected to Mary. You may want to choose to plant a few of these:


  • Roses – the “queen of flowers” has long been associated with Mary.
  • Rosemary – It’s in the name!
  • Marigold – Marigold means Mary’s gold. Early Christians offered Mary these instead of coins.
  • Sweet Alyssum – These have a wonderful fragrance. Cross-shaped flowers remind us of our Lord’s cross.
  • Lily of the Valley – These are also known as Our Lady’s Tears. This flower has fragrance and tolerates shade.
  • Impatiens – Also called Mother’s Love because of their constant blooms. Also good for some shade.
  • Bleeding Hearts – for Mary’s heart which was pierced. Tolerates shade.
  • Hyacinth – for its color, fragrance, and star-shaped flower.

If you don’t have a gardening space, create your own indoor "virtual" garden! Use supplies that you have such as legos, art supplies or playdoh. You can also make a drawing of a garden and turn it into a jigsaw puzzle to create your own fun!


Click on an image in the gallery and it will take you online to an activity you can download for your child to enjoy!


There are many things you can do with a blank game board! You can create a game with facts about Mary, make a fitness game where every space is an activity, or create a discussion with games with fun questions to ask each other. Print this game board to create a variety of options! Let your imagination flow!


Mary, Our Spiritual mother

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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