1. Â Parentsâ€™ Night Out (PNO!)
I am so very excited for tonight! A couple weeks ago we received an early Valentine’s Day card from our former childcare provider inviting our daughter to her home tonight so that Joel and I can have a PNO! I am so touched by her generous offer and have been thinking of ways to pay it forward. Anyone need a favor? Â I’m sureÂ Lucy will have a fabulous evening playing with her friends, eating pizza, and putting on a puppet show, while we plan to enjoy an evening that includes a nice dinner and a movie, hopefullyÂ The Kingâ€™s Speech. I have been wanting to see it since reading this Peggy Noonan piece in the Wall Street Journal.
2. Â â€œLet the children come to me, and do not hinder themâ€ (Luke 18:16, Matt 19:14)
Did you happen to see this video of the boy who managed to sneak through security to greet Pope Benedict XVI on the papal throne earlier in the week? I love how he joyfully skips down the stairs after his encounter with the Pope is over, when as I understand, he was promptly carried outside by security. All worth it, in my opinion!
3. Â Apostleship of Prayer (AOP)
Speaking of our Holy Father, his prayer intentions for the month of February are for families (that all may respect and recognize its unmatched contribution to the advancement of society) and for those suffering from disease. The Apostleship of Prayer in Milwaukee, WI, receives these monthly prayers from Pope Benedict XVI and uses their apostolate to encourage Christians throughout the world to unite in prayer for those intentions. Their website is a treasure chest of information that includes printable resources for both adults and youth, video reflections and podcasts from Fr. James Kubicki, the AOP national director.
4. Â GoPackGo!
Letâ€™s stay in the great state of Wisconsin for a moment. The Green Bay Packers have given us something to be excited for this past month! Their impressive wins throughout the playoffs have landed them in Super Bowl XLV, and we are pumped for the big game on Sunday. Joel grew up in the Badger State and loves all things Wisconsin, and his passion for the Pack has rubbed off on me and Lucy.
The chaplain for the Packers, Father James Thomas Baraniak, a Catholic priest, asked for help preparing his homily to the team for this Sunday on his blog. He posted the following:
“Please take a look at the readings for February 6th and contemplate how such spiritual direction could possibly influence the homily. (I believe that the readings are quite provocative for the setting in which the Packers are finding themselves.) You will notice that you can offer any sort of comment below (if I changed the privacy settings correctly), so feel free to use your thoughts and prayers, challenges and affirmations to inspire the Green and Gold on to victory.”
While it may be too late to provide input for his homily, I hope Father Baraniak will blog about his experience once said and done. I suspect the Holy Spirit is working overtime to help him show up big in that very moment!
5. Â Help us Test a Polling Widget
Since beginning our blog in August 2010, this past week has been one of our biggest weeks yet for new visitors and number of hits (we track with Google Analytics). ThisÂ Running the RaceÂ With Perseverance post about my Dad received a lot of positive feedback, and Iâ€™m inspired by the encouraging words received. Thank you kindly! But for some reason, we werenâ€™t able to get very many of those visitors to help us experiment with a new polling widget. Look to the upper right of the page, and you’ll find a simple poll where you can register your vote. Of course, those who choose the Packers will receive a special blessing from us!
6. Â A Special Novena
Des Moines friends, donâ€™t forget about the 2011 Holy Women of the Church Novena on Sundays now through March 6 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church. The series continues this Sunday beginning at 3:30 p.m when Bishop Pates will lead the prayer services and provide a reflection on Saint Teresa of Avila. Read more anout the Holy Women of the Church NovenaÂ here.
7. Â Parish Mission
Finally, a huge shout-out to my home parish, Saint Francis of Assisi, for hosting an outstanding mission this week. Father Ron Hoye with Vincentian Parish Missions packed the church three evenings this week (one was cancelled due to the blizzard), and not only is Father Ron gifted with a great sense of humor and comedic timing, he is passionately in love with Jesus Christ. I doubt you can find one better to talk about â€œFriendship in Jesusâ€ than Father Hoye. Several points he made resonated strongly with me, so I will be contemplating those for weeks to come. It was a truly faith-filled week at the parish; thank you SFA!
Read more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.