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    from 52 Sundays "A Guide to Reclaim The Lord’s Day for Faith and Family" 
    By Anita Houghton and Tara Stenger 

    The saints are members of the Church who are with Christ in heaven praying for those in the Church who are still on their pilgrimage of faith. The saints in this year’s edition of 52 Sundays all share one thing in common: they are martyrs of the Church.  Saints help us see how our ordinary lives can be lived out in extraordinary ways.

    Stanley Rother, U.S. Priest Killed in '81 in Guatemala, Is Declared a  Martyr - The New York Times



    Ven. Satoko Kitahara (Feast Day January 23)

    August 22, 1929-January 23, 1958

    Satoko Kitahara was born in Japan in 1929 to a wealthy aristocratic family, descended from samurai. When World War II began in 1940, Satoko went to work in an airplane factory, while her father and brother joined the army. While working at the factory, she lived in constant fear of attacks and miraculously escaped when her workplace was bombed. As a result of the bombing, Satoko became sick with tuberculosis. After the war, most of Japan was in ruins, including Satoko’s home. When introduced to the Mercedarian Sisters at a nearby Catholic school, she was drawn to the sisters’ deep faith. In 1949, Satoko was baptized, taking the name Elisabeth Maria. Although Satoko desired to be a member of the religious order, she was not accepted because of her poor health.

    As a lay single person, Satoko dedicated her life to serving the poor of her community in an area known as the “Village of Ants,” where children and young people survived by collecting and selling garbage. She gave up her money and belongings to live among the people, teaching them to read, building a school, and working to provide clean living conditions for them. Satoko died of tuberculosis in 1958 at the age of 28. Pope Francis declared Satoko venerable in 2014.

    • Thinking about Venerable Satoko Kitahara’s commitment to the “Village of Ants,” what lengths would you take to help someone in need? How could you help them grow closer to God?

    FAMILY FUN:   

    Haiku Contest

    Channel your inner poet by throwing a family haiku contest in honor of Ven. Satoko Kitahara.

    A haiku is an unrhymed three-line poem. It is based on a traditional Japanese poetic form. Haiku poems in English have the following pattern:

    Line 1: 5 syllables

    Line 2: 7 syllables

    Line 3: 5 syllables

    The last line usually makes an observation. Most often, haiku poems have a theme relating to seasons or nature.

    As a family, pick a poetic theme that is related to today’s content. Invite everyone to write one poem. Share and vote on the best one. Celebrate with ice cream when you’re done!



    Yaki Onigiri (Grilled Rice Balls)

    Inspired by Ven. Satoko Kitahara, try this Japanese dish that can be eaten as a snack or part of a meal.

    2 cups Japanese short grain rice or sushi rice, cooked

    4-5 Tbsp soy sauce

    Olive oil or butter

    Soy sauce or Miso paste

    (optional) vinegar and salt

    (optional) butter

    ‍Let the rice cool to where it is easy to handle with your hands but is not completely cool. Divide the rice into about 6 even amounts and tightly shape into a ball or triangle. You can shape it in plastic wrap or rub vinegar on your hands and salt on your fingertips to prevent sticking. Over medium heat, warm a skillet with oil or butter. Grill the shaped rice for about 1 minute on each side. Brush with either the soy sauce or the miso paste on both sides of the shaped rice. If using soy sauce, brush on the shaped rice each time you turn it over. Grill each side until crispy. Top with butter and then serve.


    Lectio Divina

    On this Sunday of the Word of God, spend some time reflecting on this Scripture. Jesus is known as the Word of God.

    Lectio Divina (Latin: “divine reading”) is a way of developing a closer relationship with God by reflecting prayerfully on his words in Sacred Scripture. In Lectio Divina, the chosen passage is read three times in total, giving an opportunity to think deeply about it and respond thoughtfully.

    Choose a reader for the passage below. After each reading, allow for a minute or two of silence to let the words sink in. Listen for any words or phrases that seem to jump out. After the third reading, pray about what God is calling you to focus on today. Family members are invited to share their experience afterward. This formula can be used for any Scripture passage.

    Prologue  Jn 1:1-5

    In the beginning was the Word,

    and the Word was with God,

    and the Word was God.

    He was in the beginning with God.

    All things came to be through him,

    and without him nothing came to be.

    What came to be through him was life,

    and this life was the light of the human race;

    the light shines in the darkness,

    and the darkness has not overcome it.