Some JOY! for your day

If the confinement is getting to you and your family – may I suggest you take some time to go visit:

King and Country is a band name of a pair of Aussie brothers, Joel & Luke, who sing some powerful Christian music. Their sister is Rebecca St. James whose music you may also know.

You might not be able to spend the whole 45+ minutes with them, but the first song they do is their powerful “Joy”. It really lifted my spirits. May it do the same to yours!

Prayers from Maryland to all of you!

Happy Saturday! Here’s an easy craft idea for your family or club!

With all this time with our families, and clubs not meeting due to virus concerns, are your kids feeling out of sorts? And how many of you have embroidery floss in a pile at your home? Like this ->>>>>

In the midst of all this ‘staying at home’, my older son got really bored and wanted to do something creative but low-key.

He discovered the method of making friendship bracelets with a ‘jellyfish loom’ or kumihimo loom made from cardboard (he used a cereal box).

Ours measures 4 inches in diameter, with 8 notches, 1/2 inch deep made at equal distance apart – think pizza slices! Make a center hole – be careful and help your little ones.

You then need 7 pieces of floss which we measured to 18 inches. All the same color, or two colors or 8!

You join the 7 strands together with a knot and press the strands through the center hole. You place one strand in each notch, leaving one notch empty. You then begin weaving.

I am not good at describing that process so watch the video below:

Here’s three of our wheels in action!

During one recent evening we had four of us working at the same time, comparing colors and results.

They are really easy to make, much easier than learning of the braiding methods, especially for younger kids. They take less than an hour (my daughter made one in under 1/2 hour going really, really fast just to see if she could).

Consider giving it a try! The results are pretty, your floss stash is cleared out and your kids (and yourself) had some low-key fun.

If you want to be really adventurous there are youtube tutorials on making square looms (!), working with 16 strands (!) and more!

Pray with the Pope today

From vaticannews.va – “Join Pope Francis in prayer and receive his extraordinary “Urbi et orbi” blessing and plenary indulgence on Friday at 6pm Rome time.”

It will be available on EWTN, the Vatican’s YouTube page as well as through the Vatican News site.

Please spread the news, this is a powerful time to pray together as a universal Church for relief and healing from the virus as well as gain a much needed plenary indulgence in a time when we are deprived of the sacraments.

Catholic Virtual Virtue Club

In Need of Virtue?

 I don’t know about your household, but we have everyone home from school and work right now and we all need a little bit of practice in one virtue or another!

Whether you have always been a part of the Little Flowers Girls’ Club® and Blue Knights Boys’ Club family or just getting to know us, we want to help your families practice virtue by giving you a free taste of our new program, The Little Way–a Catholic Virtue of the Month Program for Catholic Schools and Religious Ed programs.

We will send out FREE to anyone who signs up through this page (or link below) the pages from The Little Way Student Activity Book for April and May. The activities are varied and fun and take only 5-15 minutes a day. Each week has five different activities perfect for grades K-5 focusing on virtue, scripture, saint’s lives and practical application of the virtue.

Participants can take a photo or video of the completed pages, an activity they’ve completed or the recommended craft and post it on social media with #virtualvirtueclub (or send via email) and receive a free virtue button, and a discount coupon in the mail in return. (plus a secret gift!!)

If you are a Little Flower Girls’ Club or Blue Knights Leader, Catholic school teacher or parent, please send the link below to your club participants, students or children so each one gets to participate. The Little Way Student Activity Book pages will be delivered to their in-box on April 1st and May 1st. If you, or any of the parents, would like to receive the Teacher’s Curriculum Guide for those two months, please send and email to: joan@beholdpublications.com and it will be sent to you.

Bless you all! Stay healthy and safe!
Joan and Joe Stromberg
Behold Publications, LLC

Virtual Virtue Club Sign Up!

Virtual Virtue Club

Are you making it to church?

Views of Charlestown, New Hampshire
Smithsonian Archives

While we can’t physically be with Jesus due to the current crisis, the site below has been real proof that God can make good out of any situation.

Through this site (and other locations), my family has ‘attended’ daily Mass in Alabama (EWTN), Bishop Barron’s private chapel (thru youtube), the Catholic Information Center, in Washington, DC run by Opus Dei (which they say is the closest tabernacle to Congress).

But we’ve also seen the beautiful St. Mary of the Isle Parish on Isle of Man (!!!). We’re thinking of heading to Knock, Ireland tomorrow morning.

In other words, through this site, youtube and facebook you can be a real part of our universal church. It is both encouraging and edifying to realize there are masses offered almost every 15 minutes around the USA and the world!

Another blessing we have discovered is:

I never even knew this prayer existed! Together with the Spiritual Communion which all the priests (sites) have included and the St. Michael Prayer at the end, our family has been feeling much less isolated.

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

Felice Giani, Italian, 1758–1823, Smithsonian, si.edu

What a day, what a time for us to try to remember Mary and the challenges she faced the moment Gabriel appeared. Her life would never be the same; and at this moment in time, ours is not as well.

She faced the worries of Joseph, perhaps the looks of those in her town and the wonder what birth of the Savior might even look like in a few months time.

For us it is isolation, deprivation from the Sacraments and what will Easter look like in a few weeks time.

‘How can this be?’, we ask, demand and shout into our pillows, at our spouses, at God.

But here we are, in our homes as she was in hers, with an opportunity to repeat her own words, “May it done to me according to your word.”

Need a boost? Watch this 5 minute video

Over at the National Catholic Register, https://www.ncregister.com/blog/armstrong/no-mass Patti Armstrong has a list of 10 things to do when we can’t get to Jesus through the sacraments.

I like the list, but absolutely loved sharing this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOLZDaTgIaM

with my kids.

(Spoiler Alert: My family all firmly believes it would be ‘overflowing with participants’ but understand the reality of hiring more extras, costumes, special effects, etc.)

I miss Jesus, too

On this first Sunday when many of us were unable to receive Jesus outside of an on-line Mass and a Spiritual Communion I just want to send out some love and prayers for you and your family.

It has been interesting here as we’ve adjusted to Matt working from home and two college students at home trying to figure out on-line classes which are start tomorrow. Meanwhile, our homeschool co-op is cancelled and three of my older children have seen their places of work close (though they should get 2 wks. of pay).

Smithsonian Archives

I am sure it is hard at your home as well, because even when we love our children and our husband, this ‘new’ way of life can bring stress. Now more than ever, we can console ourselves with the words of the plaque on the right >>>>>>

You might consider posting ways you are keeping you and your children happy to help others during this difficult time.

(We are remembering all of you in our family rosary.)

Please join in a world-wide Rosary on the Feast of St. Joseph

Dear Behold Publication Families,

The message below comes from Laura Berquist, founder of Mother of Divine Grace Homeschool as she relates the call of Pope Francis to join in a world-wide Rosary, tomorrow the Feast of St. Joseph:

Dear MODG Families,

In this difficult time the Body of Christ should work together. We need to petition God for mercy.

Let’s join the whole Cloud of Witnesses, the whole Mystical Body, in asking God for help. At the end of his Wednesday Audience Pope Francis urged the Catholic World to join with the Italian Bishop’s initiative to say the Luminous Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary on Thursday, March 19th , the Feast of St. Joseph, Protector and Patron of the Catholic Church. They have set a time of 9 pm local Italian time. For the United States that is 1 pm PT and 4 pm ET.

Of course, you can say the Rosary at another time, and you can say another set of Mysteries, but I think the idea of joining together to petition the Blessed Mother for help, on the Feast of her husband, St. Joseph, who is the Protector and Patron of the Church, is an extraordinarily good idea.

Please join the MODG Staff, Administration, and Families in saying the Rosary and asking God through the intercession of the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, to change this difficult situation so that we can again receive the Sacraments.

With love,

Laura

Laura Berquist, Founder

Mother of Divine Grace School

————

Please consider passing this call to all of your own loops, message boards and friends.

Our prayers are extended to you and your families during these more difficult times.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – free download for you

I will return to posting the Camp Manual tomorrow, but wanted to share a really lovely download package available free from my dear friend Paola Ciszanik over at Emmanuel Books.

I’ll be praying it is just what you need to liven your day – whether you homeschool or just have your kids home due to school closures.

Go mbeannai Dia Duit (May God Bless You in Gaelic)