As part of our Liturgical Year focus this year, we are planning to celebrate the feasts of each family member's Patron Saint, the memorials for Saints we already think of as our special friends, and any feast marked on the Catholic Calendar published for parishes (handed out to parishioners at the end of the year) on which the memorial is marked with an "F" (for "Feast Day.").
In addition, at the end of each month, I make a copy of the next month's calendar page, and cut up all the little date squares denoting any Saints' memorial; we put these in a brown paper bag and draw a name. That Saint then becomes ...(drum roll, please) ... our Patron Saint of the Month! (This is based on an idea I found in A Year With God -- a wonderful resource for ideas in celebrating the Liturgical Year!)
Here are the special celebrations we're honoring this month:
PATRON SAINT OF THE MONTH: St. Vincent de Paul (Memorial: September 27)
- We will celebrate his feast with a special dinner in his honor on September 27
- We ask his special intercession during family prayer times
- They are learning, with great pride, about their Granddad (d. 10/2003)--The Chief's dad--who was very active and a leader in his own parish's St. Vincent de Paul Society for many years (The Chief and I are certain this "lucky draw" was no coincidence!)
- We are cleaning out closets and drawers looking for outgrown, good condition clothing they can donate to the local ministry to the poor (or maybe even locate a St. Vincent de Paul Society at another parish in our diocese!)
- Inspired by this good Saint's (and their Granddad's!) work on behalf of the poor, the children are taking on extra chores in order to earn money for their St. Vincent de Paul jars; they will participate in a Christmas Gift Shoebox drive with our parish at Christmastime, using the money they earn -- from now 'til the gifts are due for delivery -- to fill their boxes with special Christmas gifts for a less fortunate child each one's own age
The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Feast Day: September 8)
- Plans include making a Jello "Poke Cake" (a Grandmom specialty!) using Blue Jello and White Cake; and collecting pebbles, bark and other natural items to create a little Grotto (we have a tiny statue of St.Anne and a young Mary that will do nicely!) during Nature Monday time. The children will also pick armloads of Queen Anne's Lace to adorn a reprise of May's Mary Altar, using a statue the children and I created last spring.
Plans for the following Feasts TBA, but will surely include a special Feast-quality dinner and/or dessert:
Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Feast Day: September 14)
Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon & Paul Chong Hasang and Companions (Memorial: September 20)
- This special feast day in one in which we honor our two little boys born in Korea! They'll wear their Hanboks (given them as parting gifts from their Korean foster mothers), and we'll enjoy a feast including my own special version of a classic Korean dish, Pork Bulgogi (made with ingredients actually available at our local grocery store!!) At bedtime, the boys will get to enjoy a special treat ... Flaming Cupcakes! (We all enjoyed these as part of our All Saints Day celebration last year!)
Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels (Feast Day: September 29)
- No doubt we'll reprise at least some of the fabulous dinner we enjoyed last year on this feast!
I'd love to celebrate every Saint's feast day, but I find that thought overwhelming right now. We've decided that this approach strikes just the right balance in our novice effort to more fully live the Liturgical Year.
St. Vincent de Paul: Pray for us!