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Beat the heat with August family activities

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Beth Powell holds her 2-year-old son, Liam, as she visits one of the many Marian chapels at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Staff Report

August brings on some of the hottest days of the year, and it also marks the ending of summer vacation for many students. Take some time this month to engage in activities with the whole family before the children go back to school.

Feast of the Assumption

The Feast of the Assumption is on Thursday, August 15th. Celebrate this day with activities designed to enhance this holy day of obligation:

Take some time to pray about our Blessed Mother and write petitions such as: “Pray for our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Hail Mary Full of Grace…”; Pray for Archbishop Schnurr, and the clergy of the Archidocese of Cincinnati. Hail Mary Full of Grace…”; Pray for our Parish and our Pastor. Hail Mail Full of Grace…”.

If you have a flower garden, choose some flowers to put at a statue of Mary either in church or a shrine at your parish. There is a tradition that the apostles found fragrant lilies where our Blessed Mother was buried. Perhaps find some lilies to adorn her statue.

Check out the Catechism, and read to the family, Chapter 3, I believe in the Holy Spirit, Paragraph 6, 966: 966 .

“Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” (508) The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians: (491) In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death. (509)…she is our Mother in the order of grace

Pray the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary with the whole family: (Resurrection of our Lord, Ascension of our Lord, Descent of the Holy Spirit, The Assumption of our Blessed Mother, The Coronation of our Blessed Mother in heaven.)

Enjoying God’s sunshine

It’s hard to believe that the summer is ending, but August is a good time to take time with the family and reflect on the families “harvest”. Have each family member write down 3 wonderful events that happened over the summer, and then choose a day and before a meal, perhaps a cookout, offer to the Lord a prayer of thanksgiving and share the harvest.

Blessings for the upcoming school year

The weekend before school starts in the family, design a prayer service and have each family member write down what they would like to accomplish in the upcoming school year. Include the classes that the children enjoy. A sample prayer might be: To our Lord Jesus, as we commence another school year, we offer our petitions for success in our academics. (Then have each family member add their petitions, such as “Dear Lord, I have difficulty in math. I’m asking for you to help me learn this subject, we pray to the Lord..). For parents, write down a petition of how you will assist your family in the upcoming school year. In closing, pray for the educators, and fellow classmates.

Training Camp

While the Bengals (or Browns) are in training camp, as well as the universities, high schools are in two-a-days, reflect on ways to become better spiritually fit. Do I pray in the morning and evening? Have you made an offering of the day?

Do I examine my conscience every day? Have received the sacrament of reconciliation? Have I read scripture in the past months? Have I read any good catholic books? As a family: start a two-a-day regiment where you take a brief time with the Lord in the morning before you head out for the day, and then end the day with some time with the Lord?

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