Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Martha in VA
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Posted: Dec 26 2006 at 10:20am | IP Logged Quote Martha in VA

I have been searching these forums for resources for observing the liturgical year in our home and I'm completely overwhelmed!    There are so many from which to choose!! The A Year With God book looks beautiful but I fear it might feel like too much...I just can't tell.

So, I'm going to state what I'm looking for and hopefully one of you moms will be able to match me up with a resource.

I want something chronological, listing all the saints, and perhaps even a brief bio. on each saint. I want something that will offer me ideas on how to observe the feast days. I want craft ideas but I must admit (here comes my BIG confession!) crafts stress me out!! So if it offers too many craft ideas, I will feel overwhelmed. (Please don't kick me off these forums because I admitted that! )

I'm open to purchasing multiple resources if just one doesn't include all of those things above.

So, what can you recommend?

Thanks so much!

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Ruth
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Posted: Dec 26 2006 at 10:38am | IP Logged Quote Ruth

Martha, thanks for posting this. I have been looking for something like this too. I can't wait to see what everyone recommends.

God bless.

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stefoodie
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Posted: Dec 26 2006 at 11:34am | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

Catholic Culture has everything you want! It's my one stop source if I want something quick and don't have time to peruse my books. JennGM (on this forum) has done lots of work there (thanks again, Jenn!!)

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alicegunther
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Posted: Dec 26 2006 at 11:51am | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

Dear Martha,

Almost any source (such as A Year with God) will have more than you can do in the average year. I would start with a liturgical calendar and a notebook, writing down just *one* feast per month to celebrate. Off the top of my head, for example (these are just samples):

January: The Epiphany
February: The Chair of Peter
March: Lent
April: Easter (if it falls in April this year--I haven't even checked!)
May: The Blessed Mother
June: The Sacred Heart
July: Our Lady Mount Carmel
August: The Assumption
September: Back to school, The Feast of the Holy Cross
October: All Hallow's
November: All Saints
December: Advent and Christmas

Then pick one small thing to do for each feast--it could be a book or a craft or an activity. Choose something you like, avoiding any ideas that aren't fun for you. If you do not like crafts, skip crafts altogether, sticking to books or baking instead. Whatever makes Mommy happy is what God wants for your family. A special trip to church on your chosen Feast days would be just as good (actually, far better) and require no preparation on your part. The important thing is that the children are aware of the feasts and happy to celebrate them.

We have company coming in an hour, so I am sorry if this is a vague or if it is not answering your original question! I look forward to reading all the recommendations of the other moms!

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Paula in MN
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Posted: Dec 26 2006 at 12:40pm | IP Logged Quote Paula in MN

Stef is right --- Catholic Culture is the way to go! We have A Year with God, and it is pricey -- I think there's more info on the Catholic Culture website.

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MaryM
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Posted: Dec 26 2006 at 2:33pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

I will third the recommendation for the Catholic Culture site. There are many great books out there, but none of them have the depth that is possible with the website. And like Alice said, focus on what you like doing (instead of the crafts). That is one reason why Catholic Cutlure site is so good - lots of recipes, devotionals, activities so there are many options besides crafts.

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JennGM
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Posted: Dec 26 2006 at 7:24pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

I conceived the Liturgical Year section on Catholic Culture because of this very dilemma. I have SO MANY resources on the Liturgical Year, all with good ideas, but no One-stop-shop. I fumble through books to find just the right recipe and tradition...trying to remember where I saw something. And so many good ones were out of print, that we scanned and posted sections and coordinated the recipes, customs, and prayers according to the seasons and feasts of the year. It's by no way complete (and since I don't work there anymore, I'm not adding from my library), but it's a good base for the feasts.

While I love crafts, I'm not too good at the planning and doing, and I'm not proficient yet with my son in doing them, as he is only 3, so it's very basic skills.

There are books in print that can also help. For the Saints, an excellent resource is:
Saints and Seasons wire bound

and/or

Saints and Seasons original version.

I have both versions. The newer version is wire bound, has less activities than the first, but covers almost all the saints on the calendar, including newer ones. The older version is missing some good saints. Each saint has a biography, then suggested discussions and activities. It's meant for classroom use, so some "translation" required.

A good liturgical year cookbook is A Continual Feast by Evelyn Vitz, covering major saints and feast days. There is interesting reading about the saint or feast and connected foods for these days.

Women for Faith and Family also have an excellent website, with the readings and collect (opening) prayers for the Mass of the feast. They have printed sourcebooks for Lent/Easter and Advent/Christmas which I highly recommend.

Another good source for Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter is by the Fourniers at Domestic Church , another good website, and they have booklets for sale which are good, too.

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Posted: Dec 26 2006 at 8:15pm | IP Logged Quote kjohnson

All of the suggestions in this thread are wonderful. I agree with Alice. It is realistic to begin with one feast a month. On the other feasts you can simply read the story of the saint. I too think Catholic Culture (Thanks, Jenn!) is a wonderful resource. We have A Year with God. I don't use it as much as I thought I would. I recently bought A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families from Illuminated Ink. I really like it.

Quite honestly, my favorite liturgical year resource is this message board and the blogs of these wonderful ladies.

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Willa
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Posted: Dec 26 2006 at 8:32pm | IP Logged Quote Willa

Also, for the chronological part of your question, there is the Time Line at the Patron Saints Index -- (they also have databases referenced by the saints' feast day and the saints by intercessory topic).

Daughters of St Paul have a
Saint a Day feature on their website with brief bios of the saints, and I just found Butler's Lives of the Saints online with brief saints bios, also.

Probably more than you really need -- I ditto the recommendation of Catholic Culture -- I always start there since it has prayers, info, crafts, images and other things all in one stop.

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