Music Monday

music_1000006931-120613int

Four of my children went to Mount 2000 this past weekend. It is an amazing weekend for high school youth held at Mount St. Mary’s, a university and seminary, in Emmitsburg, MD. Close to the Shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton, it is a pretty awesome place to visit should you ever be in the area…

In addition to good talks, powerful Adoration, confessions available almost the whole weekend, they came home singing the music of this man:

Ike Ndolo

Sit back and ‘wade in the water’ with him…..

Happy Feast of the Presentation!

Presentation_of_the_Lord
Or Candlemas or Pancake Day or or Groundhog Day or just Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016.

Today in the gospel we read of Mary and Joseph presenting Jesus at the temple. They meet Simeon and Anna, both of whom had long awaited the arrival of the Messiah. I have wondered if their words only brought confusion to the new parents or a sense of affirmation.

Surely Mary and Joseph had put something together what with the greeting of Gabriel, the messages in dreams, Elizabeth’s welcome, shepherds and kings. Children lost when their child was born. Did hearing the warning of Simeon, “and you yourself a sword will pierce” and greeting of Anna who “gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” give them assurance that what they were embarking on was indeed from God?

And then there’s the word itself – present, as a word, can be so many things – a noun, a verb and an adjective. Simeon spoke of verbs – piercing of a sword, the rise and fall of many. Anna gloried in the noun of it all – the child! And they were both ‘present’ at that wonderful ‘present’ moment; an adjective.

We, also, have a part to play in all of this. Today is our day to see how we can use the word. How about this –

Shall we ‘present’ ourselves before God, offering ourselves as ‘present’ to Him for His use, and His glory so that at any ‘present’ moment people can see Him acting in us?

Sounds pretty good!

As for the pancakes – it goes like this – one of the priests at my parish has been all over the world, currently the rectory’s head cook and is pretty old as well. Today he talked about the weird reality that the first pancake we make is usually a clunker. Is that as true in your house as well as my own? He happens to him as well.

It takes awhile to get the heat right on the pan/griddle. It takes one or sometimes two to know exactly when to flip them for the perfect pancake.

Well, Fr. Frank said that on this day as Candlemas was when Christmas was finally put away, was also a day for pancakes – perhaps the easiest meal on day when you are cleaning up piles of dead pine needles?

Anyways, they would make pancakes and put the first one aside in the cupboard to remember they were once hungry and God fed them – with pancakes and with the Messiah, “the glory of your people Israel”.

And the groundhog? Phil didn’t see his shadow so if you follow rodents for your weather, it should be an early spring! And, Groundhog Day, the movie with Bill Murray is on the Vatican’s list of 50 Greatest Movies, so there’s that!

Music Monday – Those who sing, pray twice!

St. Augustine of Hippo is credited with giving us these words of wisdom. I am a firm believer in the power of music to ‘soothe the savage beast’ – who would be ME!

We all know the reality of an ‘ear worm’ – the song we just can’t get out of our heads. Knowing this truth – I work at getting certain songs stuck in my head – on purpose.

Giving myself a soundtrack for my day helps me have a better day. My go-to playlist reminds me of God’s power, His love, my need to depend on Him and Him alone. On a very human note, these songs make me happy, resurrect good memories and encourage me to dance a bit through my day – an easy way to sneak in some exercise.

My songs give away my age, reveal my growing up years being a part of the Charismatic Movement of the 80’s and that fact that I like rock n’ roll (is it even called that anymore?). I’ve already mentioned my love for Matt Maher’s music but here’s my Top Eleven – in no particular order:

Rich Mullins – Awesome God

John Michael Talbot – Magnificat

DC Talk – Jesus Freak

John Michael Talbot w/ Terry Talbot – Create For Me A Clean Heart

Chris Rice – Becky and Me

Mercy Me – I Can Only Imagine

Fernado Ortega – Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent

Jars of Clay – Flood

Kirk Franklin – Stomp

Audio Adrenaline – Big House (tied with Get Down)

Amy Grant/Michael Card – El Shaddai

Do you have a song that feeds your soul?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you, St. Thomas Aquinas, for all you have given us

 

POS-906_Monstrance_18x24__84910__25046.1405696690.1280.1280

The Angelic Doctor, the Dumb Ox has given us so much – the Summa which clarified Aristotle’s philosophy into the truth of the Church and the Pange Lingua and Tatum Ergo which we sing every time we visit Christ in Adoration and much more.

Both of the hymns I mention speak the similar words of comfort:

 And if sense is deficient
to strengthen a sincere heart
Faith alone suffices.

The truth of our faith is that we can’t see Jesus – not in the words of Scripture, not in the host or wine and not in each other, though we are called “the Body of Christ”, yet, Jesus in all of these.

He is ‘the Word made flesh to dwell among us’, Jn. 1:14. Luke 22 and Matthew 26 tell us of the Last Supper where Jesus lifted up the bread and wine declaring them to be His own Body and Blood.

Romans 12:5, Ephesians 4:12 and 5:30 along with 1 Corinthians 12:27 tells us quite simply and clearly: “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.”

But, we rarely actually see it and more often than not forget it. St. Thomas knows this and reassures us – if our senses can’t recognize it, and our heart needs strengthening – our faith in these truths suffices.

He wisely said – “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”

Amen, to that!

 

 

Jubilee Year of Mercy Badge Contest

Download the pdf official entry form:

Year of Mercy Entry Form

flowercross

The Holy Father, Pope Francis I, has declared a “Year of Mercy” beginning December 8th, 2015. To celebrate this event, Behold Publications is sponsoring a badge contest to encourage Behold Christ Club members to practice mercy in this special time of grace.

The Year of Mercy Badge contest is open to all youth ages 5 and up who participate in one of the Behold Publications Catholic Youth Programs such as Little Flowers Girls’ Clubs, Blue Knights Boys’ Club, Little Women Hospitality Clubs or Our Lady’s Honor Guard.

Entries must use the official entry form found by clicking on the “Year of Mercy” link to the pdf above or can be obtained by emailing joan@beholdpublications.com

Entries must be postmarked by February 29, 2016 and sent via email to the above address or by USPS to: Behold Publications, LLC 4503 Mattingly Ct., Suite E, Buckner, KY 40010.

Top three winning entries will receive $25 Gift Certificates to Behold Publications. Top winner will have their design embroidered into a special limited edition Behold Christ Club patch that all Club members can earn during the Year of Mercy. Top winner will also be featured in our monthly newsletter and blog. Top winner will also receive their Year of Mercy badge free for themselves and their immediate club members.

Criteria for judging patches:

*Design should be easily embroidered

*Design should illustrate the Catholic virtue of mercy

*Design should be appealing to all Behold Christ Clubs

*Design should be unique to the designer

*Design must be submitted on official form found on the website (or attached)

Behold Publications and the creator of Little Flowers Girls’ Club, Rachel Watkins, and their families will judge the designs. We will get input on the finalists through social media, but the ultimate decision will be with Behold Publications. All decisions are final. Winners will be announced March 31st, 2016.

Resources to use in your design:

USCCB website on the Jubilee Year of Mercy: https://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/jubilee-of-mercy/index.cfm

Vatican website on the Jubilee Year of Mercy: https://www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va/content/gdm/en/giubileo/preghiera.html

 

Step by Step Starting a Catholic Club

This time of year, we get a lot of interest in starting a Club either now or planning for the fall. We frequently get asked: What does it take? What do I do first? Starting a Catholic Club is easier than you might think! Here are some general step by step guidelines you can follow:

LFBKgroup copyDiscernment: Should I do this?

  1. Pray—Is God calling you to start a Catholic Club for your child?
  2. Time—How much time do you want to put into the club? You can meet once a week or once a month. All programs are flexible to fit your needs.
  3. Place–Do you want to hold it at a Catholic school, parish or in your home? If you want to hold it at a parish facility, you’ll need to get permission from the Pastor, principal and/or Children’s Minister. Clubs should be seen as ministries of the parish like Vacation Bible School, Youth Groups and Bible Studies.
  4. Money–There are no chartering or registration costs. All other costs are flexible. Each child should have their own books ($4.50-$5.95 at the online catalog ) Money may be needed for patches, crafts, shirts/vests, snacks or whatever else you wish to add to your meetings. Some leaders ask for a set amount up front and place one order, others have each member get their own supplies and charge a set fee for craft materials. Some are even included in their parish budgeting and have many costs covered.
  5. Build it and they will come–Put an ad in your parish bulletin, send a flier home with the religious ed children, have a sign-up after Mass, send out emails to the homeschool community. These are all ways to invite youth to come to Catholic Clubs. Don’t forget to ask for adult volunteers, too. You’ll need them!

What’s Next?FFFbanner

  1. Get the materials–See the online catalog tab above to browse all the information available for the Catholic Club you are running. Leader and Member packages are assembled for savings and ease of use.
  2. Get even more materials! Don’t forget to check out the Pinterest page, YouTube Channel and connect with other leaders on Facebook and Twitter (click the floating icons on the right)
  3. Register Your Club– Register your club at the Registered Clubs site. This is FREE! and you will get a log in to get even more free materials on teaching virtues, saint biographies and more! Registration also puts your group on the map so you can connect with other Catholic Clubs in your area and other interest youth can find you!
  4. Plan your meetings. Basic how-tos on planning the meetings are included in the Leader’s Guide for each Club. There are also helpful videos on our YouTube Channel. You can also have each mom plan a meeting so you don’t have to do all of it. Or, you can have one mom be the craft mom, another the music mom, another the badge mom, etc.
  5. Enjoy! That’s it! Here’s to a Club that helps you and your kids grow in holiness, one virtue at a time with your Catholic to the Core Clubs!

St. Gianna Molla, Patronage of Life, Pray for Us!

On this day, the 43rd Anniversary of Roe V. Wade, when snowmageddon is threatening to cancel the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, as well as local marches, including here in Louisville, I wanted to encouragstgiannarosee all our Little Flowers/Blue Knights and other Catholic Clubs to take advantage of pro-life opportunities in your club.

As Catholics, being pro-life is part of who we are. From conception to natural death, we always need to show our children that life is a beautiful gift that should be cherished. To help you in your clubs, we have our own pro-life badge, the St. Gianna Molla Patron Saint badge.  Such a beautiful faith that brings those who have fought the good fight and won to be role models, friends, and patrons for our work here.

Little Flowers Girls’ Club Wreath IV also features St. Gianna as the patron of the virtue of Docility.

It is so important for children to realize the value of life, all life, from a young age. The Behold Christ Catholic Clubs have always tried to help instill this love of life from a the very beginning. Several of our medal projects encourage work for life, including the Piety and Truthfulness medal projects for Wreath I, the Justice medal project for Wreath II and the Cheerfulness medal project for Wreath III.

The Culture of Life Studies Program from the American Life League is also a great resource for teaching children about the value of life.

So what are you planning to do in your clubs this month to celebrate life? Let us know! We love hearing from you!

Feast of St. Agnes

agnes

Our patron for Love of God, Agnes is perfectly pink peony whose only desire was to follow Jesus. Tradition holds that she was a mere teenager, 12 or 13 y.o., when she was martyred for refusing to be married. This is hard for us modern Moms to handle as we know our 12 yr. olds are in no way ready for consistency with their chores and homework much less marriage.

And while we know things were done differently back then, Agnes love for God can teach us so much especially as we know Christians are dying today because they follow Jesus.

In Rome today, two lambs will given to the Pope at Mass whose fleece will be used to create the pallium’s given to archbishops as an outward sign of their commitment to Christ. There is a good deal of history behind the pallium you can read over at the Catholic Encyclopedia

But for us, today is good day to renew our own love for God, alone and with our families and our clubs. While we all KNOW we love God, making sure we say it out loud once in a while (outside of the Mass) is a nice boost to our spirits and our souls.

Do you like the new site?

Welcome to the new site! We hope you find it friendly, accessible and easy to use. Finding it whimsical, fun and down right cute wouldn’t hurt either but our real goal is make is as easy as possible for you to find everything you need to run a successful club. If you see that we missed something, please let us know and we’ll do out best.

Our focus has always been – and remains – to help you raise the next generation of saints. Sure, it’s a lofty goal but we know we can do it with the grace of God, through Christ and His Church under the watchful and always generous Holy Spirit. We are not alone and together we can help our kids (and ourselves) grow holier – one virtue at a time!

 

Tune for Tuesday

The last few years here at www (Wonderful World of Watkins) have been more dark than light, more struggles than successes but I know – I KNOW – that God has not abandoned us.

This song very eloquently says what I have felt – and still feel – many days…..what if my greatest disappointment is a revelation of God working in a new and wonderful way?