A family Easter tradition: DIY Paschal Candle

It’s been a very long time since I have made it to an Easter Vigil. Babies and loooong, late-night Mass just don’t mix well! However, it has always been my favorite Mass. I love the darkness of the church, then the candles being lit, and then the blessing of the Paschal Candle. It’s so beautiful, and visual, and real. I just love it. It might be a few more years before my family braves the Easter Vigil again. However, last year I found a way to share this love of lighting the Paschal Candle with my children, right here in my own home. To be honest, I can’t believe I never thought of lighting a Paschal Candle at home before! Holy Heroes introduced this family-friendly DIY Paschal Candle Kit last year, we did it, and the kids love it (so I picked up a new one for this

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Saint Joseph: 30-second prayer to prepare for his Solemnity

Here’s a prayer that I pray frequently, for all sorts of intentions and for all sorts of consolations. Saint Joseph takes care of our family, and my wife prays to him to take care of me!It’s also a good prayer to pray each day for the NINE DAYS from March 11th through March 19th–the days leading up to a great celebration.You see, MARCH 19 is a very, very special feast day–so special that the Church celebrates it as a SOLEMNITY!The Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary!Go to Mass: you’ll see the priest will wear WHITE. Quite a change from the violet nearly every other Lenten day.It is the last great feast we will celebrate before beginning Holy Week this year, the last day to celebrate before the final days of fasting.Here’s the prayer:

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Sometimes Things Just Don't Go As Planned

I don’t know about you, but for me this Lent is flying by. This year I had BIG plans. . . I was going to give up cream. . . in my coffee. Now, before I tell you how well I have done with that let me tell you another little story: Right before Lent my four year old girl went to a princess birthday party. One of the favors was a really cool looking lollipop and the girls were able to take one home for their brothers. On the way home Ellie explained to me that she was going to save her lollipop for “Ita” (my mom) who was coming the next day. I was surprised that this child in particular would be willing to part with something as cool as a spiral purple (Ellie’s official color) lollipop . . .. . . Well, that night after dinner everyone grabbed their lollipops and ate them

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A Life Saver, A Keepsake, A Must-Have

When I was 7 & 8 years old, I loved to write in my journal, which was just a spiral notebook with the words “Top Secrt!! Doo Not Look!! For Jennys Ies Onlee!” scribbled all over it. I found the only remaining journal from those years some 10 or 12 years later. As an older teenager, I enjoyed reading, “Deer God, pleese help me to forgiv a gurl for locking me in the bathrom.” I laughed as I read and remembered that awful day when a mean girl locked me in the bathroom during a home school field trip. All the kids were laughing, and I was mortified. I remembered how angry I was, and I was worried that I would never ever ever be able to forgive her. Until I found that old notebook, I had forgotten the story. It reminded me of how real my emotions were, and how I had

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New study on the threat to kids on the internet: some bad stats, some surprising good stats--and how 15 minutes can put your kids in that "good stat group"

First the bad news–then 3 pieces of good news Barna Group, which is the leading research organization in areas of faith and culture, released results from a massive research project examining the attitudes and practices of teens and young adults in America. The topic of their research? Pornography. Their main (and very sobering discovery)–as reported in their “top-level findings” was: When they talk about pornography with friends, 89% of teens (12-17) and 95% young adults (18-24) discuss it in a “neutral, accepting, or encouraging way.” Only 10% of teens and 5% of young adults say their friends think viewing pornography is a bad thing. And–even worse: they don’t define the things that you and I think are pornographic…as pornographic. That

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