Faith and Family is a weekly column by Lani Bogart, in which she provides practical ways to connect the Sunday readings, especially the Gospel, to the lives of families. Lani oversees all things catechetical at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and co-leads the Committee to Serve Wives and Widows of Deacons for the Diocese of Phoenix.

What are you looking for?

01-17-2021Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

What are you looking for? The question rings out from Jesus to us just as it did tor his first disciples. What are we looking for? Do we really think that this world with all its chaos and empty promises has anything to offer? It certainly can never satisfy. Instead of looking for answers from the government or self-proclaimed “experts”, let’s take seriously Jesus’ invitation, “Come and see”.

READ MORE

Jesus' Baptism

01-10-2021Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

At Jesus’ baptism, God the Father speaks, “You are My beloved Son, with You I am well -pleased.”

When we are re-born in the waters of baptism, we receive this same expression of love and delight from our Father. Jesus makes it possible for all of us to be born again into the relationship God always wanted for us.

Though sin blurs and distorts our relationship, God has kept his promise to baptize not only with water, but with “the Holy Spirit and fire” (see Mt 3:11). Jesus’ baptism wipes away sin and implants divine life in us. This is not just some nice religious phrase. Once baptized, we really have

READ MORE

Baby Jesus

01-03-2021Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

We know the Christmas stories so well that sometimes we forget the stunning truth they tell. Let’s pause and consider the incomparable Gift we are given at Christmas.

GOD comes to live among his creatures. He comes in the form of a newborn baby!

Mary kisses GOD’s chubby cheeks and touches GOD’s tiny toes!

Wiseman traveled great distances for one reason only – to adore GOD made present in Baby JESUS. How will your family celebrate Epiphany today?

Whether you make a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament or kneel in silent prayer as a family before the manger, I hope you will take some time today to adore our Lord.

READ MORE

Why did Jesus live a hidden life in the house of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth for so many years?

12-27-2020Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Jesus’ hidden years at Nazareth are worth contemplating. What was it like growing up with the perfect Mother to meet all his human needs? What did he learn from her and Joseph and what did they learn from him? We know we owe a deep debt of gratitude to our parents for the gift of life and the many sacrifices they made to feed, clothe, shelter, and educate us.

READ MORE

The Fourth Week of Advent

12-20-2020Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

All sing prayerfully: Here are the prayers for the fourth week of Advent:

This week we light all four candles.

Leader: O Lord, stir up your power, we pray, and come; and with great might help us, that with the help of your Grace, your merciful forgiveness may come and dispel all sin and darkness from our hearts. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

All sing while lighting the candles: Light one candle for hope, one bright candle for hope Christ brings hope to every heart. He comes, he comes Light one candle for peace, one bright candle for peace Christ brings peace to every heart. He comes, he comes. Light one candle for joy, one bright candle for joy Christ brings joy to every heart. He comes, he comes. Light one candle for love, one bright candle for love Christ brings love to every heart. He comes, he comes.

READ MORE

The Third Week of Advent

12-13-2020Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

The joyful Sunday in Advent (known as “Guadete”) is represented by rose (or pink) instead of the purple color. A family member lights the pink as well as the two previously lit purple candles after the following prayer has been said.

Here are the family prayers for the Third Week of Advent:

Leader: O Lord, we beg you, hear our prayers and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of your coming to us. Through Christ our Lord. All: Amen

All sing while candles are lit: Light one candle for hope, one bright candle for hope Christ brings hope to every heart. He comes, he comes. Light one candle for peace, one bright candle for peace Christ brings peace to every heart. He comes, he comes. Light one candle for joy, one bright candle for joy Christ brings joy to every heart. He comes, he comes.

READ MORE

The Second Week of Advent

12-06-2020Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Here are the family prayers for the Second Week of Advent:

Leader: O Lord, stir up our hearts that we may prepare for your only begotten Son, that through His coming we may be made worthy to serve you with pure minds. Through Christ our Lord.

A family member now lights two purple candles.

All: Amen

All sing while candles are lit: Light one candle for hope, one bright candle for hope Christ brings hope to every heart. He comes, he comes. Light one candle for peace, one bright candle for peace Christ brings peace to every heart. He comes, he comes.

READ MORE