Monday, March 20, 2017

Doing Less So You Can Do More

Last week we had an unexpected spring Nor'easter.  For those unfamiliar with the term Nor'easter, this means lots of snow and high winds. The Governor of Connecticut put a travel ban in place during the storm so only essential vehicles could be on the road.  Most people were therefore home from work.  But there was a wonderful blessing amidst the blanket of white...more time with family! 

Few people ventured out in the peak of the storm save for my husband and our three kids who thought there was nothing more fun then walking into town and exploring. Nothing was open...even the post office was closed.  With a vacant town and lots of snow there was so much fun to be had.  Konstantin thought it was a blast to slide down the stone wall that lines the stairs next to the library. I was inside for this adventure but I can just imagine it was pretty fun.  There was also the feet of climbing the tall mounds of snow created by the plows.  As we had an impressive 2 feet of snow fall there was lots of snow to move around.  The joy of playing in the snow would not end on day one.  Kids were off from school for TWO DAYS! 

Even that was not enough as this weekend more construction continued in our backyard.  Several fortifications were constructed. One in our front yard for protection from "invaders" two more fall back positions were created if retreat was needed.  Some of these walls took considerable effort to construct... one made of many show balls. Another was made with snow packed into buckets and then transferred to the wall.  The creation of forts and walls was only half the fun. Then there was a version of "Winter Olympics" that was also held...not your typical events one would see on TV.  
There was an original event created. This involved one child swinging on a swing while two other children threw snow balls trying to hit him.  In all, the snow this week brought a lot of wonderful memories. The creativity of children is remarkable. Very little was needed to enjoy each other. There was snow...yes but it was also the time spent as a family.  There is a battle these days to stay simple. To enjoy the simple things.  Our Lord gives us many gifts that bring joy but often there is so much going on that we miss them. 

Our family is a bit unique in that our children are growing up with one disabled parent who cannot drive. That means while dad is at work we can only go to places we can walk to in town. Lessons and activities are not possible. The result is more time at home together.  Yet, when I saw a phrase at a retreat recently suggesting we should do less so we can do more, the phrase rang true for us as we often cannot do very much but yet it seems we do a lot just being together.  

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
Kids Will Be Kids
Resources to Start a Children's Rosary

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Hello from Kenya!

This past week we received some pictures from Br. Cleophus, one of the Children's Rosary group leaders in Kenya.  As the Children's Rosary has been spreading significantly in Kenya, I thought it would be wonderful to see some of the beauty of the land where so many groups now meet.  

Br. Cleophus shared some of the captivating wildlife that calls Kenya home. Indeed this is an up close and personal meeting with many animals at the Masai Mara National Park. My personal favorite is the Cheetah. At top speeds he can run up to 75 mph!

You may also notice the zebras are trying to grazing on grass that seems to be baking in the sun. There has been so little water these past few months. The area has been experiencing a severe drought.  This is planting season and water is desperately needed.  Many of the children in the Children's Rosary groups in the Rombo area must walk great distances to find water.  Please keep these children and their families in your prayers. Please also say a prayer for Br. Cleophus who has not been well.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary 
Epiphany Sunday in Kenya
A Celebration in Kenya

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Child's Devotion to St. Joseph

Our middle son, Konstantin, has a strong devotion to St. Joseph.  This began as a small child.  When we met him in an orphanage in Kazakhstan at the age of 4, he had the name Konstantin which is the Russian form of Constantine.  We decided we would keep his birth name but chose a middle name for him.  The name my husband and I chose was Joseph (husband of Mary).  His sister who we also adopted we gave the middle name of Marie after the Blessed Mother.  

From a young age we shared with Konstantin the life of St. Joseph.  As early as we can remember he has always loved St. Joseph.  He even asked recently if when he is older could he choose St. Joseph as his Confirmation name even though his middle name is already Joseph.  Like St. Joseph, Konstantin has a love of working with his hands especially with wood.  He very much wanted to learn the skill of carpentry.  We hoped and prayed that we might meet someone to help mentor Konstantin with such a skill.  Last year something beautiful happened. We met a wonderful man who was a carpenter.  He providentially came to our home to meet the family of a priest that was visiting.  At the end of the lunch Konstantin looked at me and said he thought this was the man who might help him learn carpentry.  Indeed the match seemed Divinely ordained.  A wonderful friendship began and on the first day of the carpentry lesson we happened to be by the car of Konstantin's friend and mentor. His license plate read: St. Joe.  We were all surprised by such a signal grace.  One of the projects the two of them made together was a wooden tool box.  Today with the wonderful snow that fell this week Konstantin made a St. Joseph statue out of snow.  He even put his new tool belt on him.  March 19th is the Feast of St. Joseph.  Tonight I asked Konstantin why he likes St. Joseph so much. He said, "I like St Joseph because he protected the holy family and because I want to become a carpenter and he is the patron saint of carpenters." Seeing Konstantin leaning against his St. Joseph, one can see the beauty of a child's devotion to a Saint that has been asked to protect not only children but also families and even the Church.
Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
"What Do You Think About When You Say the Rosary?"
Resources to Start a Children's Rosary

A Lenten Wish

The Children's Rosary at Sago Bago, Pakistan recently held their weekly meeting.  In addition to praying the Rosary during Lent, the group also prayed the Stations of the Cross.  The little Church in Sago Bago does not have the Stations of the Cross so they read then from a little book.  The group shared a Lenten Wish. They hoped that maybe they might be able to have pictures of the stations to put on the walls of their Church. If there is anyone who would like to help fulfill this wish let us know.  Please email Blythe at if you have an interest in helping.

Thank you all.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
"Light Spreads, Darkness Stays Where It Is"
Litany to St. Joseph

Friday, March 17, 2017

Lorica of St. Patrick

The Lorica of St. Patrick is also known as St. Patrick's Breastplate. It is a prayer for Divine protection.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness 
Of the Creator of creation. 

I arise today 
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism, 
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial, 
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs, 
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men. 

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven; 
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea, 
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock. 

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me, 
God's wisdom to guide me, 
God's eye to look before me, 
God's ear to hear me, 
God's word to speak for me, 
God's hand to guard me, 
God's way to lie before me, 
God's shield to protect me, 
God's hosts to save me 
From snares of the devil, 
From temptations of vices, 
From every one who desires me ill, 
Afar and anear, 
Alone or in a mulitude. 

I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul, 
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry, 
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul. 
Christ shield me today 
Against poison, against burning, 
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, 
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, 
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, 
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, 
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, 
Christ in the eye that sees me, 
Christ in the ear that hears me. 

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

New Children's Rosary in Jinja, Uganda!

We are happy to share that there is a new Children's Rosary group at St. Mary's Church in Jinja, Uganda.  St. Mary's Church also serves as a school room for the children during the week.

The new group had their first meeting on Sunday March 12th.  The children came to Holy Mass in the morning at St. Mary's Church.  This was celebrated by Fr. Ssali. 

Each child was given a Rosary. We are grateful for those who have donated rosary beads to send to the children. 

The children returned in the afternoon to hold their first Children's Rosary in the garden.  The children knelt around a small statue of Our Lady and the baby Jesus. They created a little intention box which they placed in front of them.  

They brought little flowers to place in the box to represent their intentions.  One at a time they placed their flowers in the box before Our Lady and Jesus. The children also attended Adoration following the Children's Rosary (see the last photograph).  

We welcome the members of Children's Rosary in Jinja. We also thank Fr. Ssali and Henry Bukenya for their help organizing this new group.This new Children's Rosary group is in the Jinja Diocese in Uganda and joins groups in the Kampala Diocese and Mityana Diocese in Uganda along with other Children's Rosary groups around the world.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start the Children's Rosary
Children's Rosary at St. Denis School in Uganda
First Children's Rosary in Uganda

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

New Children's Rosary in San Antonio, Texas

There is a new Children's Rosary group at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. They will hold their first meeting Wednesday March 8th at 4:30 PM CT. Please consider joining the children in prayer.  The children pray for those unifying prayers with them.

We welcome the children from Our Lady of Grace Church in San Antonio to the Children's Rosary!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
Saint John Paul II Pray for US
Add Charity to Truth