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MARCH 2016 edition of The Domestic Church publication
Send E-mails to Socorro at: struchan@diokzoo.org
 
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Three questions to ponder this Lenten season concerning our marriage with children:
1- Do we (as a couple - as father and mother) support each other in dealing with our children - even when our approaches differ?
2- Are we concerned with each other's well-being, at least as much as with our children's well-being?
3- How would our children grade us for parental cooperation?

Recreate Your Most Memorable Dates...
Invite couples to recreate memories on special wedding anniversary dates. They may do this activity at home and may be included in the Church Sunday Bulletins – as a celebration of what good healthy, Christian dating is all about:

Examples to use:

“Remember when you first met in line at Starbucks? Or your first date at the pizza parlor? Or your second date at the sushi bar downtown (and you both found out he's allergic to seafood ... whoops)?”

“Remember the apartment complex where you had your first home-made meal together? Or several dates later, on a hillside picnic when he popped the question?”

“ These all make for great dates from your relationship timelines to recreate. You can recreate one date or make a couple-exclusive date tour by revisiting them all.”

“Even if they weren't the best of memories, the point is that each date meant something special to you as a couple -- even if neither of you realized it at the time. You'll be amazed at how much has changed.”
Am I leading my children in wisdom, love and truth? 
A Lenten Prayer Called the Passion
Dear Lord Jesus,
by Your Passion and Resurrection You brought life to the world.
But the glory of the Resurrection came only after the sufferings of the Passion.
You laid down Your life willingly and gave up everything for us.
Your body was broken and fastened to a Cross,
Your clothing became the prize of soldiers,
your blood ebbed slowly but surely away,
and Your Mother was entrusted to the beloved disciple.
Stretched out on the Cross,
deprived of all earthly possessions and human aid,
You cried out to Your Father that the end had come.
You had accomplished the work given You,
and You committed into His hands, as a perfect gift,
the little life that remained to You.
Lord, teach me to accept all afflictions after the example You have given.
Let me place my death in Yours and my weakness in Your abandonment,
Take hold of me with Your love,
that same foolish love that knew no limits,
and let me offer myself to the Father with You so that I may rise with You to eternal life.
Resource: Catholicdotorg
Stepfamilies: How to help your child adjust [1]

Stepfamilies can be successful if family members work to build healthy relationships. Find out how to help your child adjust to being part of a blended family.

Relationships in stepfamilies can be complicated. When a new stepfamily forms, each family member faces a unique set of challenges and potential sources of stress. Still, it's possible to build a successful blended family. Consider the challenges a blended family might pose for your child — and what you can do to overcome these hurdles as you build a new life together.

Acknowledge and mourn losses
Your child might be dealing with anguish over a divorce or the death of a parent — or perhaps your child stills harbors hope that you and your ex-spouse will reunite. Similarly, your child might also worry that the new marriage and family situation won't last. Listen to your child's fears and concerns, and allow your child to heal at his or her own pace. Don't expect your child's feelings to resolve quickly or at any specific moment — such as at your wedding or on moving day.

Nurture existing family relationships
Spend time nurturing family relationships that existed before the creation of your stepfamily. For example, plan special activities or outings that involve only you and your child. Remember, too, that a child entering a newly blended family might feel torn between the parent with whom he or she lives and the other parent. Respect your child's feelings, and be careful not to make negative comments about the other parent — regardless of your feelings for him or her.

Foster new family relationships
It can be difficult for a child to learn how to navigate relationships with a new stepparent or stepsiblings. To help your child form these bonds, you might identify shared interests among members of your blended family. Encourage your child to spend time getting to know his or her new family members. Be careful to let the new relationships develop at their own pace, however. If your child criticizes his or her stepparent, try not to overreact. Take comfort in the fact that if the stepparent is sincere in his or her effort to build a relationship, positive feelings will likely outweigh negative ones eventually.

Are you a widower?
Join other widowed men for a time of fellowship and discussion... we gather monthly...so you are welcome to participate anytime...
DATES: 2nd Wednesday of each month: March 9, 2016
TIME: 4 to 5:30 pm
LOCATION: Diocesan Pastoral Center
215 N. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo

Questions? Please call Fr. Don Klingler at 269-254-8138 or Socorro at 269-903-0199

THANK YOU!!!
 We have received many beautiful and inspiring entries for the Student Contest this year. Most entries are from our local talented students. Hooray!!!
 If you are still holding-on to a beautiful work of art or poem or essay that depicts mercy in the family...please contact Socorro at 269-903-0199 or via email struchan@diokzoo.org

Following are the contest rules:

- Contest Criteria

- Contest Cover Sheet

- Contest Bilingual Flyer

Mail entries to: National Student Contest, Diocese of Kalamazoo, 215 N. Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Questions? write to Socorro at struchan@diokzoo.org or call (269) 903-0199

Good Friday Prayer of Love for the Crucified Lord
O Jesus, it is not the heavenly reward You have promised which impels me to love You; neither is it the threat of hell that keeps me from offending You. It is You O Lord, it is the sight of You affixed to the Cross and suffering insults; it is the sight of Your broken body, as well as Your pains and Your death. There is nothing You can give me to make me love You. For even if there were no heaven and no hell I would still love you as I do!                                           Resource: Catholiconlinedotorg

The Domestic Church Newsletter SPANISH edition is now available! A wonderful resource for Spanish-speaking (reading) families. To subscribe please contact Socorro at 269-903-0199 or via e-mail struchan@diokzoo.org

Joy Filled Marriage Weekends for the Engaged for 2016
 
 Joy-Filled Marriage - A marriage preparation weekend for engaged couples. The Joy-Filled Marriage is a comprehensive marriage preparation program rooted in virtues as well as the Theology of the Body. The program incorporates rich Catholic theology with sound psychology.

2016 Joy-Filled Marriage Weekend Dates - 2016:

May 14-15

July 16-17

September 24-25

November 12-13

PLEASE REGISTER EARLY in order to guarantee your place!

LOCATION: Transformations Retreat Center at 3427 Gull Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49048 (directions). To register for a weekend, please visit our website here: http://www.diokzoo.org/marriage-preparation or contact Socorro at: struchan@diokzoo.org via phone at: 269-903-0199

Widowed Friends - widowed men and women - are invited to gather on:
DATE: Wednesday, March 23, 2016
LOCATION: Diocesan Pastoral Center - 215 N. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo
TIME: 4 - 5:30 pm
Questions? Fr. Don Klingler at 269-254-8138 or Socorro at 269-903-0199

“Merciful like the Father” Rice Bowl Photo Contest

For its third annual CRS Rice Bowl photo contest the Diocese of Kalamazoo has chosen “Merciful Like the Father” as the theme.

So how does the photo contest work? Throughout Lent, the Diocese of Kalamazoo will be posting about mercy, Rice Bowl and Lent on the diocesan Facebook page (www.facebook.com/catholicdioceseofkalamazoo) . At the beginning of each week, one of the posts will be a call for photo submissions. Simply post your photo before Noon each Friday of Lent showing how you are merciful or focused on prayer, fasting or almsgiving. We will announce a randomly selected winner each Friday at 3:30 p.m. The winner will receive one of several fair-trade prizes.

*Any photos submitted after 12 p.m. on Fridays will not be included in the contest. Photos submitted are only valid for the week they are posted. Winner will be contacted by diocesan staff via Facebook message. Submission of photos gives the Diocese of Kalamazoo rights to repurpose photos for Rice Bowl and Lent-related communications.

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