“Stand fast in the faith” – St Perpetua

Today is the traditional feast ((tomorrow the new) of Sts Perpetua and Felicity,

early martyrs of the Church in Carthage.

perpetuafelThese two heroic young women, both mothers, ย were put to death in the arena for their belief in Christ and refusal to pay homage to the Emperor.ย Perpetua,a Roman noble and Felicity her slave, are two of my most favorite martyrs. Curly Sue has Felicity has a middle name, so today I decided would be a special day to remember their courageous display of faith, and in the spirit of Lent, discuss suffering and sacrifice.


Almost 3 years ago, I came across a preview for an animated film on their matyrdom, released by Catholic Heroes of the Faith. In the few seconds of the preview I was brought to tears…. sobs actually! The animation is simple, but the intense story of faith, suffering and triumph coupled with a powerful soundtrack spurred me on to buy it then and there. However, when hubby and I watched the DVD ourselves, we were so greatly moved that it was put to one side until the children were a little older (6, 4, 2 at that stage).


So today was the day that the long awaited DVD was brought out ๐Ÿ™‚

What is brilliant about this production from Catholic Heroes of the Faith, is that it contains on the DVD an entire series of well planned out lessons and activities to go along with the movie.

This morning we read about Jesus telling His disciples to go out and spread the good news to all nations. This was illustrated by a big ball of plain, uncoloured playdough symbolising the earth. A hole for Jesus was poked in the ball and 4 big drops of red food colouring were added. We discussed how only a few people knew about the good news at the time of Jesus’ ressurection. I gently squeezed the “earth” and the food colouring started to spread. The instant reaction from the kids showed they understood the point of the exercise! We placed the playdough “earth” inside a clear snaplock bag (to keep their fingers clean from red colouring!) and they all had a turn “spreading the good news”. We then had a discussion about the red food colouring. Why red? I loved how they immediately talked about the blood of Jesus and it lead beautifully into a discussion about martyrdom and the power of the blood of the martyrs (we followed this by reading the account of Stephen’s martyrdom in the book of Acts).

The next exercise from the DVD was a series of sheets teaching them about the early christians and their need for secrecy. They were introduced to IXTHUS, the sign of the fish and the word “Catechumen”.

The much anticipated DVD had us ALL in tears and the mood afterwards was quite sombre. I gave them all cuddles and reiterated that the ending was actually happy, as they had achieved sainthood and eternal life in Heaven. Some sunshine and fresh air was needed and then they quietly chose one of the 4 colouring sheets provided on the DVD (the girls chose the saints rising to heaven with the angels, while Master Luke chose the martyrdom scene!). This quiet time with peaceful music playing helped them process a little more and Sunshine afterwards came to me and said “Mum. I don’t feel discouraged by that story…. in fact I feel really inspired to be more like them and to be brave and to be a Saint!!!”. I think it will take a lot more gentle discussions and time to let it all sink in, but WOW what a way to celebrate their feast! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the link to the Catholic Heroes of the Faith site. There is a preview for the movie on there and I thoroughly recommend checking it out!

Hope your Lent has started with a whoosh and a roar :)….. now to ask God for the grace to continue!!!!


Ruth xxx




Into the desert

Lent is almost here again.

I can still feel the pancakes from our EARLY Shrove Tuesday breakfast digesting in my stomach :). Curly sue and Fuzz are finishing theirs off for morning tea while watching an episode of Mister Maker. The elder two ย wish they had not eaten theirs in one sitting :).

photo (15)

The rain is pouring outside, the wind roaring and whistling down the chimney. It is a bleak day. Autumn is here doing its best to remind us that winter is just around the corner.

And as I take a moment to gather my thoughts, I am struck by the stark beauty of the season upon us.

Lent strips everything back like the stormy wind outside.
It exposes our weaknesses and failings.
It makes us vulnerable and in need of protection.
We find our hearts seeking shelter, seeking the warmth of Gods merciful embrace.

Lent opens our eyes again to the brutal, humbling reality of the Cross

Allowing us to pick up our own with renewed vigor as we walk beside Christ.

Lent is not pretty or comfortable.
It is inconvenient and long.

Through the season of Lent we are painfully, beautifully moulded into a better likeness of Christ.

I have come to LOVE Lent!

As today is the last day before it all begins, I have been making preparations. Below is a list of what our wee family will be doing. Feel free to use any ideas as most of mine are inspired by others ๐Ÿ™‚

Lent in our Home

Hubby, Myself, Sunshine (9), Master Luke (6), Curly Sue (4) & Fuzz (2)

– Family prayer table covered with a purple sheet and simplified. Room made for Lenten prayer focuses. Crucifix left uncovered.

– Lenten chain – a paper chain made up of a purple link for each day (a different colour for Sundays) before Holy Week. Each link has something written on it to do. Each day you break open the link for the day and action what it says. I got this idea from a range of pins on Pinterest :), but below is the list I have created for our family ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Ash Wed: Bury Hallelujah (make a sign with the word Hallelujah on it), seal it in a plastic bag and bury it ๐Ÿ™‚ You get the symbolism
  • Thurs 6th – Trad feast of St Perpetua & Felicity (watch DVD from Catholic Heroes) and talk about sacrifice and love
  • Frid 7th – Stations of the cross (great colouring in ones online)
  • Sat 8th – Temptation cookies (bake cookies and place them somewhere prominent to cool. Kids can’t eat them until Sunday. Discuss temptation ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Sun 9th – Confession and Mass (feast of St Dominic Savio)
  • Mon 10th – Make a tomb scene (pinterest has HEAPS of ideas!… not sure which one we will use yet :))
  • Tues 11th – Mass, Adoration & Divine Mercy Chaplet (these happen to fall onto the same day for us with our outings!)
  • Wed 12th – Memorise the Act of Faith
  • Thurs 13th -Fill a bag of toys/clothes to donate to SVDP
  • Frid 14th – Stations of the Cross
  • Sat 15th – Acts of service around home
  • Sun 16th – Confession and Mass
  • Mon 17th – St Patrick’s Day
  • Tues 18th – Mass, Adoration & Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • Wed 19th – St Joseph
  • Thurs 20th – Make a get well parcel for Great Grandma
  • Frid 21st – Decide on and make a meatless meal for the family
  • Sat 22nd – Family Sabbath meal (as a child my family used to have a very simple Sabbath meal each Saturday night to welcome in the Sunday. I’ll post about this closer to the time :))
  • Sun 23rd – Confession & Mass
  • Mon 24th – Trad feast of St Gabriel
  • Tues 25th – Feast of the ANNUNCIATION ย (other activities as well as bring flowers for Mary statue and visit Jesus in Adoration)
  • Wed 26th – Make a salt dough crown of thorns and nails
  • Thurs 27th – Make up a food parcel for SVDP (St Vincent de Paul Society)
  • Frid 28th – Stations of the Cross
  • Sat 29th – Acts of service at Grandparents home
  • Sun 30th – Confession & Mass
  • Mon 31st – Make stick puppets for Holy Week (stay tuned!)
  • Tues 1st April – Mass, Adoration & Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • Wed 2nd – Write thank you letters to Priests
  • Thurs 3rd – Visit the local Zoo – talk about the significance of Jesus the Lamb of God and see the donkey’s (weather permitting!!!!) … otherwise we will use toys and books at home ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Frid 4th – Stations of the Cross
  • Sat 5th – Sabbath Meal with friends
  • Sun 6th – Trad PASSION SUNDAY – Confession & Mass (religious pictures/statues put away or covered with purple tissue paper)
  • Mon 7th – Finish making puppets
  • Tues 8th – Mass, Adoration & Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • Wed 9th – Watch an Easter Movieย (this is a fave… “the Miracle Maker”… need to find a DVD copy as we don’t have a VCR anymore! :))
  • Thurs 10th – Make prayer cards to give out as gifts on Palm Sunday
  • Frid 11th – Make an Easter parcel for an old lady the children now
  • Sat 12th – Feast of St Gemma Galgani
  • Sun 13th – PALM SUNDAY

– Fasting from meat and only simple meals on Fridays

– Listening toย Lent in Ephesus , a BEAUTIFUL CD of music for Lent ๐Ÿ™‚ ( I got mine off Itunes)

For me personally I am doing the following:

– No Facebook ๐Ÿ™‚
– Skirt/dress a day…. Aghhhh! This one I’ve been unsure about but it would be VERY challenging for pants loving me… So therefore probably very beneficial ๐Ÿ™‚
– reading some of St Alphonsus Liguori’s work and A Thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp
– rising before 6am to pray

I pray that this wonderful, graced season will bear much fruit in your life and in the life of your family.

Remember all is naught if there is no charity in our hearts! ๐Ÿ™‚

“Do everything in Love!” – 1 Corinthians 16:14


Ruth xxx

In His footsteps…

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Curly Sue looking at a wedding picture of Mummy and Daddy… “Is that you mummy?”… “Yes and that’s daddy”…”Where is Curly Sue? Am I at home?”…. “No sweetheart, this was before you were around… when you were still a part of God’s beautiful plan for our future”… “I DON’T WANT TO BE WITH GOD! I want to be in your tummy…” ๐Ÿ™‚ The logic of a 2 year old!


There is just so much inspiration out there when it comes to ideas for celebrating Holy Week. In our Catholic tradition there is so much beauty and symbolism spread throughout the week, from Palm Sunday to Easter, that we are spoilt for choice when choosing treasures to share with our children.

As my children are still very young, activities need to be kept simple and symbolism clear :). Sunshine is a deep thinker, a real philosopher in the making, so anything and everything we do always goes to another level with her… I don’t have to plan that ๐Ÿ™‚

Inspired by several ideas of a Holy Week path (seeย http://joyfulmamasplace.blogspot.co.nz/2011/04/holy-week-for-families.html), this is what we have come up with for our family… taking into account we have a 10month old who is cruising furniture and climbing things, so our path is on a wall! ๐Ÿ™‚

Inย vestigia Jesus

(In the footsteps of Jesus)

1. First we made a big long purple strip of cardboard (approx. 30cm wide and just over 1m long)

2. We divided it into 6 portions to represent Palm Sunday, Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, Mournday Thursday and Good Friday.

3. We covered Palm Sunday with green card, Mournday Thursday with dark purple, Good Friday with red and at the top attatched a piece of black card shaped like a tomb with a piece of grey card attached as a flap (the stone!)

4. The children then made a donkey and palms, table and chalice/bread, and a cross. These were attached to sticky back velcro so they can put them on the right days as we get to them.

5. Sunshine made me a beautiful Jesus to “walk” up the path and a stunning crucified Lord for the cross and tomb.


(I have stuck the finished pieces on to show you what they look like… they wouldn’t all be on at the beginning of Holy week… and please excuse the poor quality of photo!)

6. We still have a bit more to do! Holy Monday will be the story of Jesus in the temple “You have made my father’s house into a den of thieves!”, Holy Tuesday will be the annointing of Jesus’ feet with oil, and Holy Wednesday will be Judas and his bag of coins. Our beautiful Jesus will be transfered up the days onto velcro strips and will sit behind the table on Holy Thursday. On Good Friday we will put the crucified Jesus on the cross that Master Luke so lovingly created! Then after the service on Friday we will place him in the tomb…

7. Sunshine came up with a beautiful climax to our Holy Week path… in her words…

“On Easter morning we will go to the tomb… BUT the stone will be open and Jesus will be gone! We will say… where have you taken our Lord?!?! ย AND THEN…. he will pop out over the top of the tomb!!! He will be RISEN!!!!”

So in my words :)… we will remove Jesus on Holy Saturday night and place the other Jesus behind the top of the tomb with a sign saying “Christ has Risen! Alleluia!”

All in all a very busy day of preparation and children who are now VERY excited about next week!

I am sure we will come up with more ideas (including a Christian Seder Meal!!) but we will keep you posted ๐Ÿ™‚

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: Lighting our fire for the first time and reading our morning bible story on a rug in front of it!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: Keeping my cool with Sunshine as she chose to have an ignore mummy day… we are getting there ๐Ÿ™‚ but this will continue to be a battle as she is a daydreamer and very rarely one to move fast!

How do you deal with daydreamers?