My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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A story on my family in the parish paper.

A lady from our parish newspaper came over a few weeks ago to do a story on us and she sent me this draft. Thought I’d go ahead and share it on my blog.

Calendar, crafts help family count the days of Lent

As Lent draws near, Elena LaVictoire pulls out the Lenten calendar her mother gave her about 18 years ago. The colorful calendar, which counts the days from from Ash Wednesday to Easter, is tucked between the tablecloth and a protective plastic covering on the family’s dining table and is referred to daily by Elena, her husband, Peter, and their six children.

“We follow it everyday, because Lent is a long time for kids. It helps you keep track of where you are,” said Elena. “You can tell it has been well used. It’s just paper so I’m sure that, by the time Rosie is 18, it will be tattered.”

One-year-old Mary Rose (Rosie), the baby of the family, has lots of watchful eyes following her every move. In addition to her parents, there’s also 7-year-old Isadora (Izzy), 8-year-old Noah, 11-year-old Gabe, 14-year-old Sam and 17-year-old Calvin.

The LaVictoires, who have been members of the parish since the early1980s, do other creative activities to help their children better reflect upon the meaning of the Lenten season. They take down the festive St. Valentine’s Day lights and decorations that adorn the fireplace mantel, a focal point in the family’s 79-year-old West Akron home. They bring out a purple tablecloth and drape a shroud over their wall crucifix.

Peter gives up his favorite soda pop and the whole family cuts back on sweets and has simple meals on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout Lent.

“My birthday is March 22 so it always falls in Lent,” said Peter. “As a child, my mother would never let us have cake on my birthday. We always waited for Sunday to break our fast.”

Elena, who homeschools her children, often does crafts to help the younger ones relate to the journey Jesus takes in the 40 days leading up to Easter. One year, for example, they layered various colors of sand in glass bottles. The sand symbolized the desert and the colors each represented a different concept (i.e. purple for Christ’s royalty, green for new life). Another year, they sculpted a crown from salt dough and inserted “toothpick” thorns. Whenever one of the children performed a good deed, he or she could pull a thorn from the crown.

Passing it forward

Both Peter and Elena grew up in devout Catholic families in Michigan and learned stewardship through the example of their parents. Now, they are passing that forward with their own children. Peter and Elena are members of the Music Ministry; they both sing and she plays the flute. They also help with the pre-cana class and Peter teaches the Old Testament to six graders in the Parish School of Religion. The kids are involved with PSR, the children’s choir, and have shared their musical talents with seniors on nursing home visits.

The kids are just beginning the journey to fully discovering their talents. Calvin is an excellent swimmer and lifeguard and has used his training to help other swimmers in distress on several occasions. Sam is becoming a confident pianist. Gabe is people’s person, always pleasant. Noah has top-notch analytical skills. Izzy is a very good help to her mother and especially loves to decorate the house. And, Rosie?

“She the loudest thing,” said Elena, of her beginning talker. “A future lector, perhaps.”

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