COVID 19 = A time to be TOGETHER

During this time of “Safer at Home,” our Holy Fathers have offered guidance to us worth repeating:

– St. Pope John Paul the Great told families to “Be Who You Are.” 

– Pope Francis has been advocating for years for families to “waste time together.”  

Now we have a great opportunity to do just that.

HOLY WEEK AT HOME Click Here for a list of daily ideas and resources   

Share your family’s Holy Week activities on social media.  Click Here to learn how.

CAUTION! – Are you “Safer At Home”? 

An important note of caution with the increased time spent online.

Visit our webpage with resources to help you combat the never ending threat of online pornography at diolc.org/marriage/addressing-pornography

Make your home a Safe Haven from online threats  of pornography is an article on 10 Ways to Avoid Porn (and COVID-19) When You Work from Home.

PLAY TOGETHER

We too often forget the importance of humor.  After all, this is something God gave uniquely to us as humans.  Since we’re made in His image and likeness: levity and laughter reveals something of the Divine. 

  • Take turns choosing a favorite board game
  • Play an outdoor game or create your own – see example>> 
  • Go for a walk, jog, run, bike ride, hike
  • Play Guitar Hero and/or karaoke
  • Choose and play a favorite outdoor game
  • Enjoy High Tea
  • Begin a new family hobby

TREE to TREE:  When friends of ours had 6 boys 8yrs old and under, they created an outdoor game called “Tree to Tree” it simply consisted of the leader pointing to a tree, calling out, “That one!” and everyone running to that tree as fast as possible.  Simple fun!

CALL YOUR HOLE: Friday night my family created a version of disc golf by taking turns “calling a hole” by naming an object and the number of throws.  Our neighborhood quickly became a course and source of memorable family fun.

PRAY TOGETHER

Our homes often become a place of business.  And taking time for God is neglected.  Now is a great time to refresh your relationship with God and each other. 

There are many online Mass opportunities. There are links on our homepage with information diolc.org/live  At right is an image with some valuable ideas for celebrating Mass in your home.

  • Go to church and spend time talking about the statues, stained glass, art, architecture. Check with your parish office – they may have this information.
  • 3-Step Nightly Family Prayer: 1. Share how you experienced God’s blessings today. Share your concerns of tomorrow.  3. Pray together in thanksgiving and petition: with a prayer that is spontaneous, memorized or both.
  • Family Rosary Idea – for some children (and adults) to pray a rosary all at once can be too much. Spread it out during the day – one decade at a time and take turns leading prayers.  Crayons are welcome too: Rosary Coloring Pages for kids
  • Stations of the Cross at home interactive download or see idea at right  >>
  • Resurrection Eggs: Do you have plastic Easter eggs at home and an empty egg carton?  This is a great story telling activity.  https://lifeyourway.net/diy-ressurection-eggs-easter-story-book-printables/

This can be done in stages, but why not gather everyone together to draw the Stations.  Divvy out the 15 stations along with paper and coloring utensils.  Have everyone create their rendition of that station then post them on the walls in your home (one in every room?)  Then, starting with Station 1, walk to that picture and retell the story in your own words.  Once you have traveled your way of the cross, you could conclude with an Our Father or Glory Be.  You can search the internet for printable Stations of the Cross pages to help with this. Here are some ideas: https://www.reallifeathome.com/stations-of-the-cross-activity/

BE TOGETHER AS A FAMILY

“Waste time together as a family,” has been advice offered continually by  Pope Francis.  The time we spend together whether at work or play is designed by God to allow us to be a “communion of persons” made in the image of our Triune God.  So, embrace this time to build strong relationships. 

  • Organize closets
  • Read a book together  
  • Talk about important things
  • Call your grandparents
  • Catch up with thank-you notes
  • Prepare meals together & take turns selecting 
  • Watch a family movie using VidAngel which allows you to monitor content.

Who doesn’t like to listen to a story?  Whether you choose to read the life of a saint, an Easter story, the Chronicles of Narnia, the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid or something else, set a time each day when devices are turned off and everyone listens in.  Do you have big kids?  Take turns being the reader.  (Don’t have a book, there are free online digital books available through your local library or Kindle)

RESPOND TOGETHER: Another diocesan webpage offers a great listing of ways to Pray and Act   https://diolc.org/social-concerns/

BE TOGETHER AS SPOUSES

  • Physically: Exercise together (can be a simple walk).  [Also, pause for a 5 second hug -repeat often – when COVID cautions are clear]
  • Emotionally: Take turns planning date nights (just the two of you)
  • Spiritually: Take time each day for prayer together.  Also, go on a retreat: (Reflect on the habits (virtues) that help spouses mature as persons, grow in holiness, and strengthen their marriage. The virtues examined are – Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance.   https://www.the-virtues.net/online-free-program/   
  • Signup for daily marriage tips from the USCCB (US Council of Catholic Bishops)
  • MORE great ideas for Marriage Enrichment can be found at: https://diolc.org/marriage/marriage-enrichment/

 

Below, are some links to websites with valuable resources for you and your family.

HOLY HEROES  is a family-owned apostolate loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and not associated with any particular congregation, order, or movement.  They offer a wide variety of FREE Catholic activities and resources for all ages and stages throughout the liturgical year.  Click here to learn how to receive Free Lenten Resources.

Holy Heroes – Catholic childrens books, CDs, DVDs, and gifts

Home of Glory Stories, Lenten Adventure & Advent Adventure. Holy Heroes is your source for quality Catholic materials for you and your children. 

www.holyheroes.com

For Your Marriage

Building Family Bonds during COVID-19 – A list of ideas from the US Bishops.

For Your Marriage

FORMED – The Catholic Faith. On Demand

FORMED – which some people call “Catholic Netflix” – is offering your family FREE access for 40 days to all of their resources, and you can stream all of their content 24 hours a day!

https://formed.org/faithathome

 

Common Sense

Here is a list of ideas from a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families.

Common Sense website