May 2020

Greetings!

Here we are in May after a seemingly endless March and April. As the flowers continue to bloom, businesses are beginning to open up too. And, pandemic aside, life goes on: babies are born, weddings still happen, milestones are reached. There are still many blessings and beautiful things, however small, in this time.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our mother, is one of the biggest blessings of our faith. May is traditionally the month we honor her. Pope Francis encouraged all the faithful to pray the rosary at home daily this month. If you're unsure of how to pray fruitfully with little (or not-so-little) ones, here are 13 kid- and teen-friendly tips to help you pray. And the rosary isn't the only way to honor our Lady! Say one of these three prayers of hope and protection every day, pray the Regina Caeli at noon, consecrate your family to the Blessed Mother, learn to imitate her virtues , or build a Mary garden (see below).

Mother's Day may look a little different this year than in years past. Many people are lonelier than ever - reach out to your mother or mother-in-law, aunts, grandmothers, cousins, teachers or professors, any woman who has mothered you in some way, through a phone call or a note. And remember to pray for those who may be struggling when Mother's Day comes.

Wishing you a happy spring and good health this month!

Blessings,
The Marriage & Family Ministry Staff
How to build a Mary Garden
What better way to celebrate May than with a Mary garden! Having a Mary garden is a very simple way to honor the Blessed Mother. It’s easy to do with children and can enhance our own devotion to Mary as well. It’s not difficult to do and pretty self-explanatory. The most important part of the Mary garden are the flowers. How are flowers themselves symbols for us of her love and her life? What steps should we take as we start a Mary garden?
10 ideas for couples to date-at-home together
Dating might not strictly qualify as “essential business” during this pandemic, but it is still important to the health of your relationship, even long after you’ve tied the knot. But for many couples, having a date night is the last thing on our weary minds, so here are some ideas on how you can intentionally spend some quality time with your S.O. during this strange time without breaking the bank or leaving your home.
Mother's Day At Home: How to celebrate (or lament) where you are
Next Sunday is our annual day for honoring mothers. Depending on your past or present, it may be a day full of gratitude and joy - or it may be a difficult reminder of all that you do not have. But one thing is for certain. We all need reasons to celebrate others and care for ourselves. This year, Mother's Day can do both.  Share these ideas with a friend who inspires you by her mothering - or might need a reminder that she is seen and loved on a difficult day.
Podcast: Made for Love: Love in the Time of COVID-19
In this pandemic, it is more important than ever to love one another! Today's episode features Amy Stout (and family), Sarah Engel, Fr. Dan Leary of the Archdiocese of Washington, and Jason Kidd. This is also the last episode of Made for Love for now, as host Sara Perla is leaving for another adventure!
The art of the apology
I thought I knew how to apologize well. Isn’t that one of the earliest lessons we learn when we reach school age? However, early in our marriage, I noticed that my apologies (if I apologized at all) often lacked humility. A genuine apology and a swift forgiveness positively affect the whole dynamic of your relationship with your spouse. 
Marriage Tip of the Month

Do you or your spouse have a particular devotion to Mary? Set aside some time to talk about the Blessed Mother and her role in your lives. If you are just getting to know Mary, consider adding a Marian prayer or spiritual book to your prayer routine.