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“Here I Am; Send Me!” | Ash Wednesday + Lent | THE BREAD for Feb 7-13

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The Bread PDF


This week in The Bread:

  • It’s an extremely busy week in the Church, with the beginning of Lent and other special events happening every day of the week (bookended by the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day). We’ve got a complete roundup in The Church This Week, with the idea that your family can pick and choose what to do.
  • Ash Wednesday is one week away; now is the perfect time to make a plan to make Lent great for your family this year. We tell you how, and offer a simple printable “My Lent Plan” chart.*
  • Brainstorming what your kids can do for Lent? We’ve got 21+ ideas.that will help kids get to the core of Lenten practice…plus a Lent primer, and the Church’s fasting guidelines.*
  • Heidi Indahl offers her take on Lent with great hands-on activities (including an extremely cool way to do the Stations of the Cross)* and a guide to doing 40 Days for Life with kids.*
  • Ever heard of Blessed Jacoba, the close friend of St. Francis? Teen artist Carly Lobenhofer is back from her break with a really beautiful coloring sheet for your kids (page 3 of the PDF).
  • We’ve got 14 ways for you to #GetYourGraceOn, including cool ideas for celebrating Shrove Tuesday…choose what to do and track your points!
  • OMG! What do you do when your kids pick up the bad habit of disrespecting God’s name? And then what do you do when they start correcting everyone else who does the same? Becky Arganbright found a cool answer in a simple practice of St. Dominic Savio.*
  • This week in Breaking Open the Word at Home, Jen Schlameuss-Perry invites us to consider three people who thought they weren’t worthy of the call to do God’s work.*

* Link to the article under MORE FOR YOUR WEEK, below.

You’re looking at The Bread for the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time, Year C, Jan. 31-Feb. 6.

Get The Bread for the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Jan 31-Feb 6.

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Check out a free whole-book preview of
The Illuminated Rosary books
…perfect for Lent.




SUNDAY, February 7, 2016

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life
  • National Marriage Week

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”
“Here I am,” I said; “send me!”
—Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8

In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
—Psalm 138

For I handed on to you as of first
importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
—1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
—Luke 5:1-11

Breaking Open the Word at Home has more Sunday Scripture resources, including reflection questions for kids and adults; by Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry.



MONDAY February 8
Blessed Jacoba (1190-1273)
The young widow who became a follower, and friend, of St. Francis within her vocation to motherhood.

  • Second International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking

TUESDAY February 9
Blessed Marianus Scotus (d. 1088)
The monk who transcribed many copies of the Bible (once working by the light of his hand) and founded the monastery at Regensburg.

  • Shrove Tuesday (“Fat Tuesday”)

WEDNESDAY February 10
Ash Wednesday
“Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God.”

  • Collection for the Church in Eastern Europe

THURSDAY February 11
Our Lady of Lourdes
The 1858 appearance of Mary to St. Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France.

  • World Day of the Sick

FRIDAY February 12
St. Apollonia (d. 249)
The martyr who had her teeth knocked out by a mob; she is patron saint of teeth and dentists.

  • Pope Francis visits Mexico (Feb 12-18)

SATURDAY February 13
St. Catherine dei Ricci (1522-1590)
The mystic who re-enacted the passion of Christ during visions every week for twelve years.

Valentine’s Day (Sun., Feb 14)



Try out a handful of these ideas this week! Numbers in brackets are points for the #GetYourGraceOn game.


Preview this Sunday’s readings with your kids. [20]

Attend the sacrament of Reconciliation with your family on Shrove Tuesday (or the weekend before). [60]

Fast on Ash Wednesday (one full meal, two small meals, no snacks for teens 14 and older, and no meat). Go to Ash Wednesday services as a family. [100]

Pray for those living the consecrated life on Sunday, the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. [20]



Celebrate the feast of Blessed Jacoba with our coloring sheet (page 3 of the PDF version), and read her story to your kids. [20]

Celebrate Shrove Tuesday by eating lots of good, fatty food. Catholic Cuisine offers a host of traditional recipes for Shrove Tuesday, including a “quick and easy” King Cake, Shrove Tuesday pancakes, Mardi Gras beignets, and what is billed as a “pre-Ash Wednesday Dust Cake,” actually a variation of a dirt cake that you can tie into Ash Wednesday ashes. [30]

If you keep a home oratory or prayer table, change it for the new liturgical season. Put out purple table linens, a bowl of ashes (from burning your palms), bare branches, a dish of sand and/or stones (representing the desert), nails, or thorns. [15]

If you kept your palm branches from last year’s Palm Sunday service, Ash Wednesday is a traditional day to burn and bury them, a ritual accompanied by a simple prayer service. [30]



Participate in the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking by marking the day (Feb 8) during your family prayer; also, become a SHEPHERD who helps fight human trafficking or get involved in the Amistad movement; get the details at the USCCB human traffickuing page. [90]

Give to the Collection for the Church in Eastern Europe on Ash Wednesday. Let your kids drop the donation into the basket, explaining to them what it supports. [60]

Participate in the “Charity Bowl” being run by two Catholic Charities agencies in advance of Sunday’s Super Bowl: www.CharityBowl50.org. [10]

Pray for, or reach out to, the sick on the World Day for the Sick. [40]



Make a plan for how your family will observe Lent this year. Use the “My Lent Plan” printable chart available with the “Make a Family Plan for Lent” article at pbgrace.com to plan your commitments to prayer, giving, and fasting. [30]

Brainstorm ways your kids can pray, fast, or give during Lent. Ask them what Lent is; use the primer in the article “Fasting, Giving, Praying” at pbgrace.com. [20]

Mark National Marriage Week by exploring the resources at ForYourMarriage.org, and talk about your own marriage with your kids. [40]


Stump the Parents! Gone Fishin’ for Lent

Stump the Parents is on vacation this week in order to prepare for Lent, but we’ll be back next week. In the meantime, if you really need to stump your parents, look up “A Little Lent Trivia” at Our Sunday Visitor. for twenty grueling Lenten questions that will have them begging for mercy. Be sure to have some pretzels for a snack (hint, hint!).




Make a Family Plan for Lent
Make your family’s Lent great with a little planning. Here’s how.

Fasting, Giving, Praying: 21+ Ideas for What Kids & Teens Can Do for Lent
Help kids practice giving, praying, and fasting this Lent with these ideas . . . plus, a primer on Lent, and fasting guidelines.

I’m Not Worthy | Breaking Open the Word at Home
How do you respond to God’s call? In all three of this Sunday’s readings, we hear about people who felt unworthy to do God’s work…but who went forth anyway.   by Jen Schlameuss-Perry

Doing 40 Days for Life with Children
40 Days for Life has been a powerful addition to our family’s Lenten devotions. Here’s how your family can participate.  by Heidi Indahl

The Giving Jar: A Simple Way to Encourage Kids to Give Generously

What St. Dominic Savio Taught My ‘OMG Police’
Learning about the second commandment turned my kids into the OMG police…until my oldest reminded me of the simple practice of St. Dominic Savio.   by Becky Arganbright

Preparing for a Hands-On Lent
Here are three hands-on activities for Lent: a candle-based Stations of the Cross, a flipbook, and hands-on Lenten prayer table suggestions. by Heidi Indahl



Bonus resources

Good for the Soul Music

This is the home of two Catholic recording artists—David Kauffman and William Gokelman—who produce contemplative music that would be the perfect background for your Lent. From their website:

Since 1987, Good For The Soul Music has been writing, recording, and sharing music that is good for the soul. By connecting the sacred to the ordinary, we create music that helps people experience the embrace of God. Our mission is to make inspiring music that touches hearts, feeds souls, and influences lives for the better. We accomplish this through the message, the music, and the artists who are all Good For The Soul.

The David Kauffman album Behold [Amazon] is particularly appropriate for Lent, with several songs specifically about the Passion.

Follow Jerry Windley-Daoust:

Publisher, Gracewatch Media

Jerry Windley-Daoust is a writer, editor, and father of five. He writes essays and stories at Windhovering and is the show-runner for Gracewatch Media, a small Catholic publisher. You can follow his latest publishing projects at gracewatch.org.

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