Activity archive

18th July 2021 – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Letting God restore our souls

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? This Sunday’s Psalm is “The Lord is My Shepherd”. The psalm is very old – it was written before Jesus was born! – and some of the words may be hard to understand. This video provides a useful explanation for children. The most important thing to know is that the psalm describes the happiness we can find when we have faith in God, because of the way that He takes care of us and “restores our souls”.

What does this mean? To “restore” is to “bring back” something. Just like our bodies can get tired, our souls can too. We can experience this tiredness of our souls as sadness, or anger, or even as a disinterest in God. And just like sometimes we don’t realise how tired, or hungry, or thirsty we are until we’ve had a chance to rest and sleep and eat, we don’t realise that we’ve been missing God until we open ourselves to His love. The psalm describes God as our shepherd because God takes care of all of us, just as a shepherd takes care of their sheep. And God wants to restore our souls because He loves us, and always wants us to be happy.

What can we do as a family? In our recent Family Room activity “relying on Jesus”, we invited you to have a family conversation, and share anything that might be troubling you. Revisit that conversation this week, and also talk about the things that may help you to feel better – whether it’s doing something fun together, having some quiet time, or even going to Mass as a family. This week is also a wonderful opportunity to think about random acts of kindness that you can do for the different people in your family, to help restore them, and bring a smile to their faces.

What we can all do is Pray! This week, our prayer is a hymn – a special song that has been written based on the psalm “The Lord is My Shepherd”. We invite you to listen to it together as a family…and to sing along as well!

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapter 3 (Celebrating our rescue) of The “I Belong” book shares the story of the Good Shepherd, and includes a colouring page and reflections. This Sunday is a great opportunity to talk with your child about how the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion are ways that Jesus gives us to restore our souls.

11th July 2021 – 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Praying for Seafarers

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Today is the second Sunday in July, and every year, churches across the globe celebrate the role seafarers and fishers play in our daily lives, thank them for their important work, and pray especially for them.

What is a “seafarer”, and why are they important? Seafarers are the people who work on any type of marine (sea) vessel. Much of what we use in our lives every day – not just the fish, but other food we eat, the clothes we wear, the furniture we have in our homes, our TVs, phones and the electronic gadgets we use and the coal and oil we rely on for energy – is transported across the sea. Working or travelling in the ocean can sometimes be very dangerous, and it is often very lonely.

During this last year, many seafarers struggled even more because of COVID, and were stuck in their ships at sea for months and months. This video shares the story of just one seafarer, and there are many more stories like his.

What can we do as a family? This week, we invite you to have a family conversation about seafarers, and other people we don’t always see or know, who work to bring us the things that we appreciate in life. You might also like to use these colouring sheets. They’ve been created especially for Sea Sunday by Stella Maris, a Catholic organisation that was originally founded in Glasgow one hundred years ago!

What we can all do is Pray! We have taken inspiration from today’s Psalm to write this special prayer for Sea Sunday, which we invite you to pray this week together as a family.

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 27th June 2021 – Praying for our Pope

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? This coming Tuesday – 29 June – is the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, so a special day for us here in St. Peter’s parish. Both of them were very important in the early years of the Church…in fact, Saint Peter was the very first Pope! Jesus Himself appointed Saint Peter, when he told him that “You are Peter and upon this rock, I will build my church”. In the Aramaic language spoken by Jesus and the disciples, the word used for the name ‘Peter’ and the word used for ‘rock’ were the same ‘kepha’ – so it is a play on words.

Why is this important? The word “pope” comes from a Greek word which means “father” – papa. It is a title that we give to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, which is a very big job indeed – in fact the pope also has 8 other official titles! We have had 265 popes since Saint Peter. Our current pope is Pope Francis, who is from Argentina. To emphasise the link from Saint Peter to Pope Francis, Tuesday is also the day when we commemorate the election of Francis as Pope in 2013.

One of the important jobs of all Popes is to teach the church in the same way that both Saints Peter and Paul taught by writing letters to the early Christian churches. Here is a recent example of teaching from Pope Francis especially for children about bringing peace to the world.

What can we do as a family? This week, we invite you to learn more about Pope Francis together by watching this short cartoon, and then to have a family conversation about Pope Francis, and his big job of being the pope.

What we can all do is pray! When he was a priest, Pope Francis used to teach children how to pray using the 5 fingers on their hand to pray for 5 different intentions. This week, we encourage you to use this guide to praying with your fingers – and remember to pray for Pope Francis when you get to your index finger, as he is our leader in faith!

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Honouring our fathers, and the father figures in our lives

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Every day is an opportunity to celebrate family! But today – when we celebrate Father’s Day here in the UK – is a special day to honour fathers, grandfathers, fathers-in-law and father figures who may not be related to us, but have been a positive inspiration in our lives.

Why is this important? The concept of honouring someone is to think about and treat them with respect and admiration, and to give special recognition to them. We honour – and worship – God the Father for being a father to us all. We honour Saint Joseph for being the foster father of Jesus. And we honour our fathers, and the father figures in our lives, for the way they have guided us, made sacrifices for us, and loved us.

What can we do as a family? We encourage you to do something special for your fathers today, whether it’s serving them breakfast in bed, making them a card, writing them a letter, or making their favourite dessert. And if you have a grandfather, a father-in-law, or a father figure in your life, maybe you can celebrate them by visiting or calling them, sending them a card, or praying for them.

What we can all do is pray! God the Father is father for every single person, all over the world. And Jesus himself taught us a special prayer that we can say to Him: the Our Father. We encourage you to pray this together as a family, today on Father’s Day or during the week – both for your own family, and for families everywhere.


A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapter 1 (In the Name of the Father) of The “I Belong” book reflects on God’s role as a loving parent, and is a great stating point for conversations about the role of God the Father in our lives.

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 13 June 2021 – Tending the seed of our faith

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells 2 parables – stories that can have several meanings. Jesus told many of these stories. Today, He talks about what the Kingdom of God is like. In the first parable he says a man throws seed on the land which sprouts and grows and produces a harvest though he does not know how it happens. In the second he says the Kingdom is “like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.

Why is this important? All the parables that Jesus told were important because they contain important lessons. The first story reminds us that ‘God works in mysterious ways’. If we think about our faith, although we can try to nurture it, it is really God – God the Father, Jesus His Son and God the Holy Spirit – who really makes it grow and yield a harvest of goodness in us.
The second story is important because it reminds us that our faith can start out very, very small…even smaller than we were when we were born, and were tiny babies. But if we tend the seeds of our faith – if we develop our relationship with Jesus through prayer and doing things out of love for Him – then God will make our faith become something that strengthens us, and supports us, and those around us too.

Another way to look at this second parable about the Kingdom of God – remember parables can have several meanings – is to think about Jesus starting His work. At first there was just Jesus and one or two disciples but the numbers of Jesus’ followers grew and grew and are still growing and all those followers – including us – are part of the Kingdom of God. So just as the mustard seed grows when it is looked after, we, through the good things we say and do, also help the number of Jesus’ followers to grow. And isn’t it good to know that we are not alone in our faith and that as well as God’s help to make our faith grow and keep it strong, there are all these other people – starting with our families – that we can turn to as well!

What can we do as a family? Tending seeds in the garden is hard work – it requires patience, and a lot of effort. If you have a garden, spend some time in it this week together as a family, helping to water the plants and remove the weeds…and also just to sit and enjoy the sunshine together. And tending our own seeds – the seeds of our faith – also takes effort. Talk together as a family this week about how God plants faith in us that is looked after by our parents when we are very small, and then by us as we grow older to keep it growing and strengthening.

What we can all do is pray! Praying  – on our own, and together as a family – is one of the best ways to tend the seed of our faith. Here is a prayer that you can say together as a family this week.


A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: We encourage all our families with children who are preparing for First Holy Communion to discuss how preparing for both these important Sacraments is a very practical way of “tending the seeds of our faith”.

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – 6th June 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – celebrating the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Today is the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – also known as Corpus (et Sanguis) Christi. This has been a feast day since 1264 – that’s for nearly 900 years!

Why is this important today? As Catholics, we believe that Holy Communion is not a symbol, or a memorial, but is really and truly Jesus Himself. This means that we truly welcome Jesus into our hearts and minds when we receive Holy Communion, and it also means that Jesus is really present in our churches – in the tabernacle, which at St. Peter-in-Chains is in the left hand side chapel near the front of the church.

Jesus gave Himself to us in this way at the Last Supper, which we hear about again in Sunday’s Gospel reading, the night before he showed how much he loved us by giving Himself to die on the Cross to save us from our sins. His love is so great that He comes to us again every time we receive Holy Communion in the Mass, when the bread and wine become His Body and Blood.

What can we do as a family to celebrate the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist? This week, we invite you to talk together as a family about how much Jesus loves us, and how he created this way to be with us – as food, to bring continuing life to us. You might like to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament – to spend a few moments in front of the tabernacle in prayer. You can do this before or after Mass, or on the way to or from school – our church will be open for private prayer on Tuesday & Friday between 9am and 4pm this week. And you might also like to complete this colouring-in page.

What we can all do is pray! This week, we invite you to pray this prayer we have written especially for the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: We encourage all our families with children who are preparing for First Holy Communion to reflect on today’s feast day, and to discuss the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist with each other. Chapter 10 (Body of Christ) of The “I Belong” book has several sections that can support you in these conversations.

The Most Holy Trinity – 30th May 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – celebrating the Most Holy Trinity

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Today is the feast of the Most Holy Trinity – a special feast day celebrating our belief as Christians in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.


Why is this important Believing in the Holy Trinity is an important part of our Catholic faith. God is infinite, and as humans – even as adults – we can struggle to understand how there are three persons in one God. This video provides some useful explanations.

What can we do as a family? This weekend, you might like to play some “three-in-one” games as a family, as a way of better understanding how the Holy Trinity can be three Persons in one God. You could also celebrate the Holy Trinity as part of your preparations for a special meal, such as using tri-colour pasta, Neapolitan ice cream, or triple chocolate anything!

What we can all do is pray! This week, we invite you to pray this prayer we have written especially for the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. You might also like to pray through song – this beautiful hymn “Trinity Song” prays to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapter 1 (In the Name of the Father) of The “I Belong” book includes the story of the baptism of Jesus, when God the Father spoke, and God the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus in the form of a dove. This is a great conversation starter about the Holy Trinity.

Pentecost – 23rd May 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – welcoming the Holy Spirit into our hearts

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Today is the feast of Pentecost, when we celebrate God the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples, including Mary the mother of Jesus, who were gathered in prayer. We celebrate this feast every year, 50 days after Easter Sunday. It is an important feast for Christians throughout the world and it is also considered to be the Birthday of the Church. In many countries across Europe, it is celebrated as “White Sunday” or “Whitsunday”.

What does “welcoming the Holy Spirit into our hearts” mean? Our First Reading shares the story from the Acts of the Apostles (one of the books in the New Testament), and tells how everyone who was with the apostles was “filled with the Holy Spirit”.

God the Holy Spirit fills the hearts of all Christians. As Catholics, we receive the Holy Spirit in a special way during the sacrament of Confirmation, but He is with us throughout all our lives – because God is with us, always.

Pope Francis has said the Holy Spirit “shows us the right path during all situations of life”…so to welcome God the Holy Spirit into our hearts is to be open to the love and the guidance of God.

What can we do as a family? If you come to St. Peter’s for Mass, we invite you to look at the gifts of the Holy Spirit displayed on the banners we have displayed inside our church. At home, you might like to do something in honour of the Holy Spirit throughout the week. During Pentecost, people who spoke different languages were able to understand one another – you can use this website as a family to say “I Love You” in 100 different languages! If you like arts & crafts, you can use this activity to make a dove (a symbol of the Holy Spirit) from a paper plate. Or, if you like baking, you could make a red velvet cake to celebrate our birthday as the Church at  Pentecost.

What we can all do is pray! This week, we invite you to pray this prayer we have written especially for the feast of Pentecost. You might also like to pray through song – this beautiful hymn “Holy Spirit, Lord of Love” asks the Holy Spirit to come upon us and fill us with His love and life.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapter 1 (In the Name of the Father) of The “I Belong” book includes the story of the baptism of Jesus, which is another time in the Gospels that the Holy Spirit appeared. This is a great conversation starter about how God the Holy Spirit blessed Jesus at His baptism, and then returned to bless the Disciples – and all of us – at Pentecost.

Seventh Sunday of Easter – 16th May 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – honouring Mary in the month of May

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Since the 13th century – that’s nearly 700 years ago! – Catholics have used the month of May as a special month in the year to honour Mary, Our Lady the mother of Jesus. Mary is a wonderful example of always being open to the call of God throughout her life, and responding ‘Thy will be done’ – not just to being the Mother of God, but in all her thoughts and actions.

What does “honouring Mary” mean? To honour someone means to “regard them with great respect”. This is not the same thing as worship – we only worship God (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit).

We love and respect Mary because she was the Mother of God the Son – Jesus. God chose Mary out of all the women in all of history to be His Mother. And Mary loved Jesus, raised Him, taught Him, and served Him.

Mary is a great example to us of how to love God with all our hearts, and minds, and strength. And so we use the month of May to show that love for her, and to ask her to help us love God as she did.

What can we do as a family? We’ve found this story-telling video for you to watch as a family, which tells the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus. You might also like to discuss as a family what you can do during the month of May for Mary – you could visit the statue of Our Lady in the church after Mass, take part in some of the May events at the Rosary Shrine or put flowers next to a picture of Mary, if you have one in your home.

What we can all do is pray! Prayer is our way of talking to God. This week, you might like to pray the Hail Mary as a family – it is inspired by the Gospel of Saint Luke, and is also used in the Angelus and the Rosary (which you can also pray, if you would like to!). The Catholic Bishops’ Conference has a beautiful Full of Grace series on their website featuring the Hail Mary in a different language for each day in May, And Pope Francis has asked us to pray especially this month for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapter 8 (Fruit of the Vine) of The “I Belong” book includes the story of the wedding at Cana, and how Mary advised the servants to “do whatever He tells you” before Jesus performed His first miracle. This is a great conversation starter about how Mary can guide all of us to love and follow Jesus.

Sixth Sunday of Easter – 9th May 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – loving one another as Jesus loved us

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Today’s Family Room activity is inspired by the Gospel reading today, where Jesus says: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”


What does “loving one another as Jesus loved us” mean? Jesus also says “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus  literally laid down His life for us – he offered Himself as a sacrifice, and died on the Cross to take away our sins. While it is unlikely that we will ever be in such a situation, we do hear in the news of people who lose their life trying to help someone who is being attacked or in difficulty.

Jesus said ‘What I command you is love one another’ and, for most of us, most of the time, that means being thoughtful, kind, generous, helpful, patient, forgiving, self-sacrificing. ‘Loving one another as Jesus loved us’ is surely about living in a way that is an example of love to others.

What can we do as a family? This week, we encourage you to talk together about the different ways that you can take inspiration from Jesus in how you love one other and be an example to others. Here is a list, probably for the older family members, of ‘23 Things That Love Is‘ that are food for reflection, discussion and putting into practice – though not all at one go! Then, to help us be more loving, perhaps make a “random acts of kindness” jar – taking an ordinary jar or container, and filling it with small acts (smiling, helping with chores, playing someone’s favourite game, making a favourite meal, saying hello its someone in the street) that show kindness and love to others. Then throughout the week, you can take turns pulling a suggestion from the jar and putting it into practice!

What we can all do is pray! Loving one another often isn’t easy because other people don’t always behave lovingly to us. Prayer is a way of asking God to help us to be loving as well as of showing our love for others. Jesus prayed to God the Father for all of us, so this week we invite you to do the same, using this prayer that we have written for you.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapter 11 (To Love and to Serve) of The “I Belong” book reflects on different ways that we can take the love of God with us into the world.

Fifth Sunday of Easter – 2nd May 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – working for God

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Yesterday, 1 May, was the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. Saint Joseph was the foster father of Jesus and the husband of Mary. He was a craftsman – a carpenter – and he taught Jesus his profession. Many countries around the world celebrate 1 May as “Labour Day”, a day to celebrate all workers, and especially those whose work involves physical labour – such as carpentry, farming, food processing, waste collection, trucking and construction work. Yesterday there was also a special Mass celebrating migrants and we remember that St Joseph with Mary and the baby Jesus had to leave their home and live in Egypt to escape King Herod.

What does “does working for God ” mean? During his life, Saint Joseph served God through his work as a carpenter, and by caring for Mary and Jesus. Whether we are students or solicitors, teachers or truck drivers, artists or accountants…all of us can use our work as a way of serving God. Our work can be a kind of prayer! And we are also called to “work for God” in our efforts to love Him, and those around us.

What can we do as a family? You might like to watch this video together as a family to learn more about Saint Joseph’s life. And then you could have a conversation about what working for God means, and consider the small things that you can do – as children, as parents, and as a family – to work for God in your own lives, just like Saint Joseph did.

What we can all do is pray! Anything that we do for God is a kind of prayer. This week, we encourage you to use your work – your schoolwork, homework, housework or professional work – as a way of praying to God. And we have also written this prayer for our families to pray together this week.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapter 7 (Bread to Offer) of The “I Belong” book reflects on the Offertory, and the gifts of bread and wine that we offer as the work of our hands.

4th Sunday of Easter – 25th April 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – called by The Good Shepherd

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Today is Good Shepherd Sunday, a day when as Catholics we are encouraged to reflect on the role of Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd and to pray for vocations to the religious life – for people to answer God’s call to become priests and members of religious organisations. ‘Vocation’ is a word that means ‘Calling’ and Jesus calls us all to follow Him in some way.

What does “The Good Shepherd” mean? A shepherd is someone who takes care of their sheep – and a good shepherd works hard to watch over and care for the sheep in her or his care.

Jesus described Himself as The Good Shepherd – one whose voice the sheep know and follow, who takes care of all His sheep, searches for the ones who are lost and brings them to safety. Jesus cared for us so much that He chose to die for us.

The men and women who serve God through a religious vocation – to become a nun, a priest, or a monk – also care for us, through their actions and their prayers.

And we are called to care for others too, whether family and friends, or in the world around us. We were reminded of this on Thursday, which was Earth Day – a day to consider the gift of nature that God has given us, and how we must care for our planet. That’s a vocation we all share!

What can we do as a family? This week, we invite you to discuss as a family how you can be a good shepherd for each other, and for our world. You might like to consider random acts of kindness that you can do for others, and small things – like recycling, working in the garden, or try a simple act of green from the Earth Day team.

What we can all do is pray! This week, we offer you a special video prayer. CAFOD created this video – with the words of Pope Francis – reflecting on how we can love and serve others and our world. We also invite you to also pray especially this week for everyone who has – now or in the future – a calling from God to serve Him specifically as a priest or religious.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapter 3 (Celebrating our rescue) of The “I Belong” book shares the story of the Good Shepherd, and includes a colouring page and reflections. This Sunday is a great opportunity to discuss the Sacrament of Reconciliation with your child, and how Jesus is the Good Shepherd who helps us make things right with God.

3rd Sunday of Easter – 18th April 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – understanding the scriptures

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Today’s Gospel reading shares one of the times that Jesus appears to the Apostles after his Resurrection. He explains how the writings of the Old Testament are fulfilled – completed – in Him, and then “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures”.

What are “The Scriptures”? Scripture is a Latin word that means “writings”. This word is used as a description of the holy writings of the Bible – both the Old and the New Testaments. As Christians, we believe the Bible is inspired by God – that God guided the people who wrote, and that everything in it is His Word – His message to and conversation with us.

What does “understanding the Scriptures” mean? When we love someone, we listen to them, and we try to understand what they say to us, especially when they want to tell us something important. We don’t have Jesus physically here with us the way that the Apostles did, but God speaks to us through the Bible, and Jesus particularly speaks to us through the New Testament. So when we make an effort to listen and understand scriptures, we are listening to God’s message to us. Just like the disciples in the gospel story, we often need help understanding the Scriptures which is why, after the Gospel reading at Mass, the priest talks to us to explain the meaning of the scripture readings we have listened to.

What can we do as a family? This week, we encourage our families to listen closely to the Gospel reading during Sunday Mass together and to Fr Sean’s talk afterwards – called the Sermon or Homily. Then, we invite you to have a conversation about what understanding the Scriptures means. You might like to share your favourite Bible stories with each other. Or to discuss a particular part of the Bible that you have questions about. And you can watch this short video to understand more about why the Bible is important to us.

What we can all do is pray! The Bible contains God’s message to us. And prayer is the way that we talk to God. So we’ve written this prayer for our families this week, to ask God to help us understand the Scriptures.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: The “I Belong” book is filled with stories from the Bible. These are included in specific chapters to help our children understand the Holy Mass – Chapter 6 (Liturgy of the Word) focuses particularly on how we read from both the Old and the New Testaments during the Mass.

2nd Sunday of Easter – 11th April 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – protecting fundamental human rights for all

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? The First Reading of today’s Mass reflects how in the early days of the Church, “there was not a needy person among them”, because the early Christians gave their money to the apostles, who shared it with those who needed it most. And Pope Francis’ prayer intention for April urges everyone to pray for those fighting to protect people’s fundamental human rights in all parts of the world.

What does “protecting fundamental human rights for all” mean? All of us, all over the world, are made in the image and likeness of God. And Jesus died for every single one of us, so that we could be with Him in Heaven for all eternity.

Yet in our world there are many people who do not have the same access to food, land, water, education, health care or work that we do – and people whose lives are in danger every day through abuse, wars, human trafficking and slavery.

As Christians, we are called to love, support and protect all people, especially those who are in need.

What can we do as a family? This week, we invite you to have a conversation together as a family about human rights – we have to understand what they are before we can protect them for ourselves and others. You can discuss as a family the small things that you can do together – like contributing to our Soup Run or local Food Banks, walking for water with CAFOD, or petitioning the Prime Minister to make sure the poorest countries of the world are placed at the heart of the COP26 Climate Talks later this year.

What we can all do is pray! We have written this prayer especially for our parish families to celebrate Easter this week.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapter 2 (Lord have Mercy) of the “I Belong” book reflects on the stories of Adam and Eve, and the prodigal son, and teaches children about the Penitential Act within the Mass. The family time section includes a word search that highlights mercy, patience, love and kindness – all essential virtues for us when we work to protect the human rights of all people.

Easter Sunday – 4th April 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – celebrating our salvation

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Today is Easter Sunday, which marks the completion of Holy Week.

Why is Easter important? Holy Week is the most important celebration we have in the Catholic faith, and at Easter we remember how Jesus rose from the dead, opening Heaven to all of us so that we can be with him forever.

Jesus died on the cross for each and every one of us, to save us from original sin. His resurrection shows His divine nature as God the Son, and His victory over sin and death for all of us.

What can we do as a family? This week, we invite you to celebrate Easter together as a family. If you have Easter eggs, or hot cross buns, you might like to learn how these treats have a deeper spiritual meaning. You might like to have a conversation about the people who loved Jesus (Our Lady, Mary Magdalene, the Apostles and others), and how happy they must have been to learn of His Resurrection. And we encourage you to do something special to celebrate Easter – whether it’s watching a movie together, preparing a special meal, or having dessert.

What we can all do is pray! We have written this prayer especially for our parish families to celebrate Easter this week.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapter 10 (Body of Christ) of the “I Belong” book reflects on the events of Holy Week, and particularly on the Resurrection.

Palm Sunday – 28th March 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – preparing for Easter

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Today is Palm Sunday, which marks the end of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week, which is completed with the celebration of Easter.

Why is Holy Week important? Holy Week is the most important celebration we have each year as Catholics – it’s even more important than Christmas!

On Palm Sunday (today), we remember Jesus entering Jerusalem before Passover, and our Gospel reading reflects all the events of Holy Week.

On Holy Thursday, we commemorate the Last Supper, when Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist, and then suffered His Agony in the Garden.

On Good Friday, we follow the sufferings of Jesus, remembering how He carried His cross through Jerusalem to Calvary, and how he was crucified and died to save all of us from our sins.

On Holy Saturday, we begin Easter at the Vigil Mass on Saturday evening – we celebrate how Jesus rose from the dead, opening Heaven to all of us so that we can be with him forever.

What does “preparing for Easter” mean? Preparing for Easter means celebrating Holy Week – not just today, on Palm Sunday, but all throughout the week. It is a way for us to share in the sufferings of Jesus, to accompany Him in our hearts and minds, and to be filled with joy at His resurrection.

What can we do as a family? This week, we invite you to prepare for Easter together as a family. You might like to complete this special Easter colouring page, or to virtually experience this special Stations of the Cross for Children together. And you can have a conversation together as a family about the meaning of Easter.

What we can all do is pray! We have written this prayer especially this week, and invite you to pray it together as a family as you prepare for Easter.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapters 9 (Do This in Memory of Me) and 10 (Body of Christ) of the “I Belong” book are focused on the Holy Eucharist, and reflect on the events of Holy Week.

Fifth Sunday in Lent – 21st March 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – caring like Saint Joseph

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Friday 19 March was the feast of Saint Joseph. He was the foster father of Jesus, and the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1870, Pope Pius IX named Saint Joseph as the patron of the Catholic Church, and Pope Francis dedicated 2021 as a “Year of Saint Joseph” to celebrate the 150th anniversary of this proclamation.

What does “caring like Saint Joseph”- mean? During his lifetime, Saint Joseph wasn’t rich or famous. He was a carpenter, and his hard work supported Jesus and Mary. He was a refugee, taking his family to Egypt in order to escape from King Herod. He was a man of faith, who believed the message of God’s angel to him that Jesus would save the Jewish people. He was a father, and a husband.

Saint Joseph tried in his ordinary life to be a good father and husband, always acting ‘with a father’s heart’ as it says on the logo for this year of St Joseph, to care for, love and look after Jesus and Mary. For us, ‘caring like Saint Joseph’ means loving those around us, and often putting their needs before what we would like in the things that we do.

What can we do as a family? We invite you to have a conversation this week about Saint Joseph – each person can share a way that they think Joseph cared for Jesus and Mary during his life. Then you can talk together as a family about how you can act ‘with a father’s heart’ towards the people in your own lives.

What we can all do is pray! We have written this prayer especially this week, and invite you to pray it together as a family.

Fourth Sunday in Lent – 14th March 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – honouring our mothers, the women in our lives and all women

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Today is Mothering Sunday, a day when we remember and celebrate mothers. This special day started hundreds of years ago in the Middle Ages, inspired by the Mass readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, also known as Laetare (Rejoicing) Sunday. On Monday 8 March we celebrated International Women’s Day – an event since overshadowed by the tragic murder of Sarah Everard….so this week is a very good time to honour all women.

What does honouring mothers – and women – mean? The concept of honouring someone is to think about and treat them with respect, dignity and admiration, and to give special recognition to them.

What can we do as a family? This week, we invite our families to do something special for Mothering Sunday – whether for a mother, grandmother, aunt, or a woman in your life who is special to you as a family. You might like to make a card, organise a family activity, or a special meal or dessert. We also encourage families to have a conversation about what it means to honour women – whether family members, or women generally – and to treat them with respect.

What we can all do is pray! We have written this prayer especially this week, and invite you to pray it together as a family. You might also like to pray the Holy Rosary together one day this week, as a way of honouring Mary, who is Mother to us all.

Third Sunday in Lent – 7th March 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – reflecting on the Sacrament of Reconciliation

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Why is this our Family Room activity today? Today’s First Reading – from the Old Testament – shares the story of how God gave the Ten Commandments to the Jewish people, as a way of guiding them on how to live a good life. And Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of March is about the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Reconciliation is one of the seven Sacraments we receive as Catholics. There are times when we all freely choose to do the wrong thing. Reconciliation – also known as Confession, or Penance – is God’s way of helping us put things right. We think about the things we have done that are wrong (examination of conscience), share them with the priest in the confessional (act of confession), tell God we are sorry and will really try not to do them again (act of contrition), receive God’s forgiveness through the priest (absolution) and follow the priest’s suggestions to show we are sorry and will try to do better in the future (act of penance).

Why is reflecting on the Sacrament of Reconciliation important? As Pope Francis explains in this video, Reconciliation – or Confession – is a way for us to experience the mercy and love of God. “The centre of Confession is Jesus who waits for us, who listens to us, and who forgives us” It is not about the sins we declare but the divine love we receive of which we are always in need. As we continue our Lenten journey this year, reflecting on the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a wonderful way to bring ourselves closer to Jesus, who died on the cross for us so that all our sins might be forgiven.

What can we do as a family? This week, we invite our families to have a shared conversation about the times you have forgiven each other, and the sense of peace and love that it has given you. Then consider together how experiencing the Sacrament of Reconciliation can provide that same sense of peace and love with God.

What we can all do is pray! We have written this prayer to help our families reflect on the Sacrament of Reconciliation this week in the context of Lent.

A special note for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion families: Chapters 3 & 4 in the “I Belong Book” (Celebrating our rescue and God helps me get it right) are dedicated to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and are great additional references for your conversation, or for questions your child / children may have.

Second Sunday in Lent – 28th February 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – listening to Jesus

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Why is this important today? Today’s Gospel reading tells us of the Transfiguration, when Jesus was transfigured in front of the apostles Peter, James and John, and Moses and Elijah appeared before them. A voice came from Heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him”. So this week is a great chance to follow the words of God the Father, and listen to Jesus.

What does listening to Jesus mean? We aren’t lucky enough to hear the words of Jesus directly. But we can listen to his words in the Gospel at Mass. We can hear Him in the silence of our hearts when we pray. And we can hear Him saying “Love one another as I have loved you,” and see Him in those around us.

What can we do as a family? We encourage our families to reflect together on today’s Gospel reading. Then, perhaps, you might like to choose one night during the week to have a conversation over dinner as a family about the different ways you are working to listen to Jesus.

What we can all do is pray! We have written this prayer for all our families to ask God to guide us this week in listening to Jesus as we continue our Lenten journey.

First Sunday in Lent – 21st February 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – beginning Lent

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What is Lent, and why is it important? Lent is a time of 40 days that we use each year to prepare for Easter – when we celebrate the death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus. Lent gives us a chance to focus on what Jesus did for all of us, and how by His death and resurrection, He freed us all from original sin.

How is Lent observed? Traditionally, there are three main ways that Catholics observe Lent: prayer, fasting (giving up food or other things that we like), and almsgiving (giving our money, time or effort to those who are less fortunate than us).

What can we do as a family? This week, we encourage you to share a family conversation about how you can observe Lent together. To get your discussion started, we offer you this message from Pope Francis, which suggests a different way of fasting this year – rather than fasting from food, it suggests a way to “fast” from negative actions and emotions. And you may also like to join CAFOD’s Family Fast Day, which takes place on Friday 26 February.

What we can all do is pray! Prayer is one of the three ways we observe Lent. You might like to use this prayer, which reflects on the beginning of Lent, and has been written especially for families.

Ash Wednesday – 17th February 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – a family Ash Wednesday Service

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Why is this our activity this week? Normally on Ash Wednesday, we would mark the beginning of Lent – our time of getting ready for Easter, by having the priest mark our forehead with a cross of ash either at church or at school. The ash is a very old sign that we are sorry for the times we turn away from God and to show that we intend to turn back and follow the way of life His Son Jesus has shown us.

So for many Catholics it is important to ‘receive the ashes’ but this year, because of the covid pandemic, it would be very difficult to do this safely and so we are all being encouraged to have our own family Ash Wednesday Service.

What can we do as a family? This week, we encourage our families to use this Ash Wednesday service shared by our neighbouring Parish of St John Vianney, West Green and then perhaps to talk together about what we can do to make Lent a special time – usually this is by praying, fasting – often people give something up, and helping he needy – ‘alms giving’.

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 7th February 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – looking for Jesus

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Why is this our activity this week? Today is the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In today’s Gospel, Jesus has started His ministry – teaching the people around him – and his disciples come and say to Him “Everyone is looking for you.” We want to be like the people who are looking for Jesus.

What does ‘looking for Jesus’ mean? For the people who lived at the same time as Jesus, looking for Him was easy – they could see and hear Him right in front of them! For us it’s harder – we can visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist in our churches, we can pray to Him in our hearts, and we can hear His teaching in the Gospel readings at Mass. But another way of looking for Jesus is to see Him in others, as absolutely everybody is made in His image and likeness, and to see His love and kindness in the good deeds that we – and those around us – can do.

What can we do as a family? This week, we encourage our families to reflect together on how they have looked for Jesus throughout the week. This could be making (and noticing!) acts of kindness towards each other within your family, or talking about those who are caring for us – everyone in the NHS who is working so hard to care for the sick and roll out the vaccine, the key workers who deliver our groceries and our mail, and those who are supporting the Soup Run and our other parish ministries.

In reflecting on all the people in whom we see Jesus we recommend this short video made for last Thursday’s first ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’. And on Monday we celebrate he feast of Saint Josephine Bakhita, one of the saints in our new porch window, who found Jesus, despite being stolen into slavery at the age of 7.

What we can all do is pray! We have written this prayer about looking for Jesus, which you can pray together as a family throughout the week.

A special note for First Holy Communion families: This week’s activity is a good opportunity to talk with your child about how Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. For those who are coming to Mass at St Peter’s, you may consider making a visit to Jesus in the tabernacle after Mass.

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 31st January 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – making a time to act for Racial Justice Sunday

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Why is this important today? Today is the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time…and it is also Racial Justice Day, a day that is set aside by all the Christian denominations in the United Kingdom – including our Catholic Church – to further the journey towards racial justice. This year’s theme for Racial Justice Day is “A Time to Act”. The theme reflects the racial issues and inequalities that were identified in the UK and around the world in 2020, and the importance for all of us to act on them.
Why is Justice important? We believe that everyone is created in the image and likeness of God. Justice helps us figure out what is fair, what is right and what is wrong…and then to do (or act) in a fair and right way. Justice is so important that, as Catholics, we consider it to be one of the “cardinal virtues” – the most important qualities for a good life. This is because when justice is working, everyone feels like they are being treated fairly. Justice is not just something that is “out there”, it is something that we need to practice everyday! How?

  • Respect all people, even if they are different from you
  • Help others if they are being treated unfairly
  • Think what is best for everyone instead of just what is best for you
  • Include others in your activities; don’t ignore people
  • Be honest and fair in all that you do

What can we do as a family? Sometimes we might think that what we do is too small to make a difference…but each small, positive action that we take has the potential to add up together to actions that can change the world! This week, we encourage all our families to discuss what small actions you can take together as a family to support justice, especially racial justice. You can use the “practice justice list” we’ve shared above to start your conversation. For families with older children, we also recommend watching this video from the UK Zimbabwean Catholic Youth Community, or “The Hill We Climb” (published on our parish website).

What we can all do is pray! Our prayer this week has been written especially for Racial Justice Day – we encourage you to pray it together as a family during the week.

A special note for Parents: Discussing concepts like justice, racial injustice and racism can be complicated and daunting for parents. You can find some great suggestions on how to start these conversations with younger children in this video.

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 24th January 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – reflecting on the Word of God

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Why is this important today? Today is the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. In 2019 (3 years ago), Pope Francis announced that each year this would be the Sunday of the Word of God, devoted to the “celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God”.

What can we do as a family? Each Mass includes the Liturgy of the Word, when we listen to readings from the Old and the New Testaments, and to the Gospel. Today is a chance for us to reflect on how “through the proclaimed biblical readings in the liturgy, God speaks to his people and Christ himself proclaims his Gospel.”

You might like to have a conversation as a family, and share your favourite Bible readings with each other. Or you could have a family discussion reflecting on how Jesus is called “the Word”, and how He taught God’s message during His time here on earth.

What we can all do is pray! This prayer reflects on the importance of the Word of God in all our lives – we encourage you to pray it together as a family during the week.

A special note for Parents: This family activity is a good supplement to Chapter 6 – “The word of the Lord“ – which reflects on the Liturgy of the Word during Mass.

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 17th January 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – participating in Peace Sunday

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Why is this important today? Today is the 54th World Day of Peace, also known as Peace Sunday. Each year the Pope writes a World Peace Day Message. This year, Pope Francis wrote about how caring for one another and for creation is important if we want to work for peace. He said that by teaching us how to look after other people, Jesus shows God’s love and care for us.

What can we do as a family? We encourage you to have a conversation together as a family about Pope Francis’ message, and how we can look after those around us. You might also like to download the children’s activity sheet and colouring-in sheet that have been developed by Pax Christi.

What we can all do is pray! This prayer is based on Pope Francis’ message this year – we invite you to pray it together as a family this week, and also to especially pray for those who live in conflict, whether domestic or political.

A special note for Parents: If you are interested, you can read Pope Francis’ full message for the 54th World Peace Day here.

The Baptism of the Lord – 10th January 2021 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – reflecting on the gift of Baptism

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Why is this important today? Today is the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, when Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. This is traditionally considered the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, and for this reason marks the end of the Christmas season – so after today we take down the crib and our Christmas tree.

Baptistry window showing the Baptism of Jesus

What is baptism? Baptism is the very first sacrament that we receive as Catholics – it is how we are welcomed into the family of God, and the communion of saints. You can watch this video to help you understand baptism more.

What can we do as a family? Watch the video together as a family, and reflect on your own baptisms. This is a wonderful opportunity to look at family videos and photographs, and see the people who celebrated your welcoming into the Catholic Church. You may also like to bring out your baptismal candles – if you have them – and light them as part of a special family meal together.

What we can all do is pray! We have included a prayer that is prayed on today’s feast that you can pray together as a family. You might also like to pray especially for your godparents, who were with you at your baptism, and promised to help your parents raise you in the Catholic faith.

A special note for First Holy Communion families: We encourage you to use this week’s Family Activity to reflect on all the sacraments, including the sacrament of Holy Communion that your children are preparing for.

Fourth Sunday of Advent – 20th December 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – sharing the peace and goodwill of God with others

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Why is this important today? Christmas is now only a few sleeps away!. As we continue our preparations for this Christmas, we remember that it is often described as a “season of peace and goodwill”, and we reflect on how we can share the peace of God with others – to be, like Saint John the Baptist from today’s Gospel reading, “a witness to testify to the light”.

What does this mean? A witness is a person who sees something take place, and who gives testimony – like in court where we have to be truthful. In the context of our Catholic faith, when we witness, we declare our faith in Jesus – not just through our words, but also through our actions. And that means not just talking about the peace and goodwill (kindness) of God, but also acting on His behalf to those around us.

What can we do as a family? Have a conversation as a family about how you can share the peace and goodwill of God with others as you prepare for Christmas. As you put up your crib (if you haven’t already done so), think of what the innkeeper did for Mary and Joseph – he didn’t have room in his inn, but he let them stay in his stable. Think of those who are homeless, or refugees. What can you do for them? You might consider buying a hamper or present for a poor family. Or donating to the Soup Run during the Christmas period. Or donating to Cafod.

What we can all do is pray! We can always pray for others – even those whose names we don’t know. This week, we invite you to pray this prayer together as a family each time you light all four candles of your Advent wreath. Ask God to help your family share His peace and goodwill with others during the Christmas season.

A special note for First Holy Communion families: We encourage you to supplement this week’s Family Room activity with Chapter 11 of the I Belong book, “To love and to serve”. Reflect together on how Holy Communion is a sign of how much Jesus loves us, and consider how you can share His love and peace with those around you.

Third Sunday of Advent – 13th December 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – joyfully opening our hearts to Jesus

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Why is this important today? Today is the third Sunday of Advent, traditionally known as Gaudete or Rejoicing Sunday. This week, we are invited to consider how this season has helped us “come to realise that so great is Jesus’ love for us that He became one of us, so that we in turn might become one with Him.”

What does this mean? Jesus loved us so much that He chose to born as a human person. Not a rich and powerful person, but a tiny baby, born in a stable and surrounded by farm animals. God’s love and generosity should fill our hearts with joy – the joy we have when we experience something very special.

What can we do as a family? This week, we encourage you to do small things to joyfully prepare for Christmas. Put up your Christmas crib, if you haven’t already done so. Write Christmas cards to your loved ones. Play Christmas hymns in preparation for the birth of Jesus. And talk about how you can share the joy of Christmas with others.

What we can all do is pray! We invite you to pray this prayer together as a family each time you light three candles of your Advent wreath. Ask God to fill the hearts of all your family with joy as you prepare for Christmas.


A special note for First Holy Communion families: Chapter 5 of the I Belong book – “Glory to God in the highest” – reflects on the birth of Jesus as the fulfilment of God’s promise to us. When we receive Holy Communion, we are like the shepherds seeing the glory of God. Sometimes we can experience the glory, but sometimes it is hidden. Talk with your child about how special receiving Holy Communion is, as they continue to prepare for the Sacrament.

Second Sunday of Advent – 6th December 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – preparing for the Lord with hope

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Why is this important today? Our Gospel reading today talks about how we need to “Prepare the way of the Lord”, and our First and Second readings also reflect on being ready for God when He comes.

What does this mean? When we prepare for a special visitor to our homes, we will often clean the house, put on special clothes, and sometimes buy or make something nice – a cake, or biscuits, or other special food. Today’s Readings are about preparing our insides, rather than our outsides – preparing our hearts for Jesus, who will be born on Christmas Day.

What can we do as a family? Have a conversation as a family about how you can prepare for the birth of Jesus. Think about Mary and Joseph, who travelled to Bethlehem, and about how they would have prepared for that long journey with hope for the baby who was to be born. And this week, you can light the second candle of your Advent wreath!

What we can all do is pray! We invite you to pray this prayer together as a family each time you light two candles of your Advent wreath this week. Ask God our Father to bless everyone in your family with hope during this Advent season.

A special note for First Holy Communion families: We encourage you to supplement this week’s Family Room activity with page 102 of the I Belong book with your child (part of Chapter 9, “Do this in memory of me”). Talk together about how receiving First Holy Communion gives each of us “strength for the journey” of our whole lives, and is a sign of God’s great love for us.

Tell us what you did: Share what you did with us either as an email to Fr Sean or on our Facebook page.

First Sunday of Advent – 29th November 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – Beginning Advent

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Why is this important today? Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the four weeks we use as Catholics to prepare for Jesus’ birth at Christmas.

What does this mean? Saint John Henry Newman explained Advent in one of his homilies as: “a time of waiting, a time of joy”. And Pope Francis describes Advent as a time of “preparing to welcome not a fairy-tale character, but the God who calls us, involves us, and before whom a choice is imposed”…the choice to believe in Him, love Him, and serve Him

What can we do as a family? We invite you to make your very own Advent Wreath as a way of preparing for Christmas. Advent Wreaths are circles made out of evergreen leaves and foliage, with four candles that are lit over the four weeks of Advent as a symbol of the light that the birth of Jesus brings to all of us. Traditionally, an Advent Wreath has three purple candles and one pink one, but you can use any colours that you like. On the first Sunday one candle is lit, on the second two, on the third Sunday we add the pink one and on the last Sunday light all four. So you can light the first candle, a purple one, this week – just once, or each evening as a family. You can also put a fifth candle, usually white, in the centre which is lit on Christmas Day itself. You can find out more about the origins and symbolism of the Advent Wreath here.

What we can all do is pray! We invite you to pray this prayer together as a family each time you light the first candle of your Advent wreath.

A special note for First Holy Communion families: This week’s Family Room activity is a good opportunity for you to talk with your children about fasting before receiving Holy Communion. You can explain that, in the same way that we use Advent to prepare us for Jesus being born at Christmas, fasting is something we use to prepare us for receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

Tell us what you did: Share what you did with us, if you made an Advent Wreath send us a picture either as an email to Fr Sean or on our Facebook page.

Feast of Christ the King – 22nd November 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – How should we serve Christ our King?

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Why is this important today? Today we celebrate the Feast of ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of the Universe’ and in the Gospel, Jesus tells his followers what they and we need to do in order to serve and please Him and so win a place in His Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven.

What does this mean? Last Sunday we heard a parable, a simple story, about how God generously pours out His gifts or talents on us and how we should use them to serve everyone. Today we hear Jesus telling us directly that, when we care for the needy – the thirsty, the hungry, the stranger, the poor, the sick and those in prison, we are caring for Jesus Himself and He will reward us with a place in His Kingdom, a place in Heaven. Jesus is telling us that it is the things that we actually do with the talents he has given us that will please Him.

What can we do as a family? Well, begin with a prayer…….

….. and then, as a family, you can talk about what you can do that will please Jesus. But the talk needs to lead to action, to doing something. Perhaps you already do things like giving food or volunteering for our Parish Soup Run, donating to local Food Banks, shopping or keeping in touch with someone who is frail, befriending someone who is lonely or with a disability – helping at our Seeds group when it can open, giving time or money to help the homeless or refugees…. What else can you think of that you can practically and realistically do? When you have talked about what you are doing or what you could do, make a list and put it up somewhere that everyone can see it!

What we can do is pray! Finding what we can do is often not easy. One answer is to pray, and discern what needs call to us, what are our capabilities and then make a choice. Remembering that anything we do for others in need is done for Christ.

A special note for First Holy Communion families: This week’s Family Room activity is the perfect companion to Chapter 11 in the I Belong book, which is “To love and to serve”. We encourage you to talk with your children about how receiving Jesus in Holy Communion is a sign of His great love for us, and how they can show their love for Him by serving those around them, as we are encouraged to do in today’s readings.

Tell us what you did: Share what you did with us, if you made a plan of things to do to help the needy send it to us either as an email to Fr Sean or on our Facebook page.

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 15th November 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – using our talents to serve everyone

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Why is this important today? Today’s Gospel reading is about a man going on a journey, who gives his money to each of his servants to look after. When he returns, he rewards the servants who used his money wisely.

What does this mean? We call the story that Jesus tells a parable, a simple story used to illustrate a spiritual lesson. The lesson in this story is that God gives each of us different talents, or gifts. Some people will be lucky enough to have many talents, others may have only one. The most important thing is not how many talents we have, but rather what we do with them, and how we use them to serve those around us.
What can we do as a family? Have a conversation together as a family, considering the talents or gifts that God has given each of you. Perhaps you could write them down as a Word Cloud of all your family’s talents – like the one shown above. Following our Family Room Activity last week, think about your loved ones who have died, and reflect on their gifts. You might also like to consider the Pope’s special prayer intention for this month: praying that progress in robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) “be human”. You can watch a message from Pope Francis here, and then discuss as a family how robotics and AI can make things better for humanity or how, perhaps, they could make things worse.

What we can all do is pray! We invite you to pray together as a family, asking God to work in you and through you to help you see and use the talents He has given each of you. We also invite you to pray for the Pope’s prayer intention throughout November that technology is always used to bring about good.
A special note for First Holy Communion families: This week’s Family Room activity is a great supplement to Chapter 7 in the I Belong book – Bread to offer, and specifically to support you in discussing how the gifts of bread and wine in the offertory reflect the gift of ourselves (page 75).

Tell us what you think: Share your thoughts on using your talents with us – if you make a Word Cloud send us a photo – either as an email to Fr Sean or on our Facebook page.

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 8th November 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – remembering the Holy Souls and commemorating Remembrance Sunday

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Who are the “Holy Souls”? The Holy Souls is a phrase we use to describe everyone who has died. Every year on 2nd November, we remember them on All Souls’ Day, and throughout the month of November we pray as a parish community for our family and friends who have died.

What is “Remembrance Sunday”? Every year on the second Sunday in November, we commemorate and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom – the British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.

What can we do as a family? Spend some time this week remembering your loved ones who have died – share good memories with each other, and pray for them together as a family. If you haven’t already done so, we invite you to share the names of family and friends who have died with us, so that our whole parish can pray for them throughout the month of November. And you may be interested in some of the special Remembrance Sunday ideas that the British Legion have suggested.

What we can all do is pray! As part of your celebrations, we also invite you to take a moment to thank God for all the people who have loved Him, and who are now with Him in Heaven. And ask the saints to help you as a family each and every day.

Tell us what you think: Share how you have remembered the Holy Souls and commemorated Remembrance Sunday with us either as an email to Fr Sean or on our Facebook page.

All Saints – 1st November 2020 – Mums, Dads, Children, Teenagers – celebrating All Saints Day

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Who are “saints”? A saint is a person who recognised as being holy and close to God. As Catholics, we believe that anyone who is in Heaven is a saint. We also honour specific people, individuals whom the Church recognises as being good examples to us. Some of these saints are reflected in the statues and stained glass windows that are in our church, and in our beautiful porch window.

What kind of people are the saints? In the Gospel for our Mass today, Jesus tells us what characterises saints. It is a well-known piece of scripture usually called the ‘Beatitudes’. Click on this picture to learn more!
Why is this important today? We remember individual saints on particular days throughout the year. But every year on 1st November, we remember every single person who has died and is now in Heaven with God. Pope Benedict wrote that these “may include our own mothers, grandmothers or other loved ones (cf. 2 Tim 1:5)” who may have not always lived perfect lives but “amid their faults and failings they kept moving forward and proved pleasing to the Lord”.

What can we do as a family? This week, we invite you to celebrate All Saints together as a family. Whether it’s eating a nice meal, having dessert, watching a movie or organising a family activity that you can do together, make All Saints Day special!

What we can all do is pray! As part of your celebrations, we also invite you to take a moment to thank God for all the people who have loved Him, and who are now with Him in Heaven. And ask the saints to help you as a family each and every day.

Tell us what you think: Share how you have celebrated All Saints with us either as an email to Fr Sean or on our Facebook page.