Liturgical Living, Simplified: January

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Happy January! Below are the feast days we’re celebrating this month, with some simple ideas you can do with your families.

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God: January 1st

What to do: Go to mass! Its a holy day of obligation, so that’s a must on this day. We also like to pray a family rosary to honor Our Lady and to ask for her intercession in this next calendar year.

What to eat: I’ll be honest, this one’s a bit of a stretch. We like to have a nice breakfast together as a family filled with all our favorites including pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Since its a Marian feast, we suggest making breakfast foods with blueberries, since blue is Mary’s color. Things like blueberry pancakes or blueberry muffins would work wonderfully!

Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: January 4th

What to do: This one is really special for us, as Elizabeth Ann Seton is my confirmation Saint and a patron of mine, plus I went to Seton Hall University, which was founded by her nephew and named for her! On her feast day, we go to mass at Seton Hall University, and we pray for her intercession. Also, I like to deck out my family in Seton Hall gear, but that’s just me!

What to eat: We have pizza at our favorite restaurant near Seton Hall, Reservoir. Since she lived in New York City for many years, and South Orange is just outside the city, we feel treating ourselves to some New York style pizza is a fun and unique way to celebrate her. If you’re looking for an easy way to celebrate at home, make homemade pizzas!

Solemnity of the Epiphany: January 6th

What to do: First things first, bless your house! The Epiphany blessing over the front door of your home with blessed chalk is a beautiful tradition to do at home with your family to commemorate this feast day. You can read more about it here!

What to eat: Since the Epiphany kicks off Mardi Gras season, we like to have some New Orleans style food like jumbalaya or gumbo. Then, we have a king cake for dessert! Which, since we’re all about practicality around here, is really just  bunch of cinnamon buns in a cake pan topped with purple, green, and gold frosting and sprinkles to give it a festive touch. We follow this super easy recipe from Kendra at Catholic All Year.

National Sanctity of Human Life Day: January 22nd

What to do: So this day isn’t a liturgical feast day according to the Catholic Church, but this blog is about my love for Jesus and America, so I’ve got to give President Trump a shout out here for making the anniversary of Roe v. Wade a day to recognize the sanctity of human life. So, on this day, we will pray “The Rachel Rosary” which is a rosary specifically offered up for post-abortive women who are suffering and prays for a specific intention on each prayer of the rosary. You can find it here. We also will watch “Unplanned” which is the pro-life story of Abby Johnson!

What to eat: We’ve decided that on this day, in honor of the millions of lives who have suffered and died through the evil of abortion, we will abstain from meat as a small personal sacrifice. So we will be making one of our favorite, easy, meatless recipes, like spanish rice and beans or homemade pizza.

Conversion of St. Paul: January 25th

What to do: Watch this movie about St. Paul, called Paul The Apostle. It tells the story of St. Paul’s powerful conversion and his mission, and also how St. Luke, who was his companion, came to write his Gospel.

What to eat: Since St. Paul ended up in Italy, we’ve decided to make homemade pasta in honor of him! This is super fun to do, but also a lot of work, so it isn’t something we do often. We’ll be making sauce & meatballs to go with our homemade pasta. I have a pasta maker that attaches to my KitchenAid, so we usually just google an easy homemade past recipe like this one and get started!

Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas: January 28th

What to do: Aquinas is one of the greatest minds of The Church, a beautiful way to honor him would be to spend some time reading some of his work! You can find it here. If you’re looking for a kid friendly version, check out this video about his life. You could also watch this video together about the Theology of the Mass according to St. Thomas Aquinas. Lastly, since St. Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican friar, you can always pray a rosary together as a family on his feast day.

What to eat: We decided to take a page from Haley Stewart’s blog, Carrots for Michaelmas, and make Lazio style pork chops, since that is the region of Italy St. Thomas Aquinas is from! You can find this easy recipe here.

Thanks for reading! Let us know if you tried any of these ideas, or if you have any additional feast days or ways of celebrating in the month of January. After all, we’re new to this and would love to hear your suggestions!

Feast of St. John Bosco: January 31st

What to do: There’s a Don Bosco Youth Center in NJ, so we think that would be a fun way to honor this priest. If you have a center near you, see if there is a way you can help. If they need volunteers or supplies, today could be a great day to be involved! Also, we like to read a little bit from St. John Bosco’s writing. There is so much goodness he shares!

What to eat: Since St. John Bosco was known for always “passing out bread” to children, we decided to make homemade bread on his feast day. This is a fun activity to get kids involved, and you really can’t bead homemade bread. Let me know if you have a favorite bread recipe, I haven’t settled on one just yet!

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