Intercessories Family Ministry Newsletter
May 2009 
I am always on the lookout for new and better ways of keeping my children interested and motivated to learn.  
This month's featured idea/link: 
We have started to use this system (adapted to fit our needs, of course) and the kids are wild about it!  Why didn't I discover this sooner?
The Pope's Prayer Intentions for May 2009
General:  That the laity and the Christian communities may be responsible promoters of priestly and religious vocations.
Mission:  That the recently founded Catholic Churches, grateful to the Lord for the gift of faith, may be ready to share in the universal mission of the Church, offering their availability to preach the Gospel throughout the world.
Have you stumbled across a new and wonderful (or old and just as wonderful) way of passing on the faith to your children?  
Do you have a favorite way of celebrating a Feast Day as a family? 
Have a meatless Friday Fare recipe to share? 
What are your favorite Catholic websites?
Email me with all of your favorites!  I will be creating spinoff blogsites featuring your submissions!
More information on this feature coming up in the June issue of the Intercessories Family ministry Newsletter. 
Friday Fare
Salmon and Asparagus Pasta Dish
2 T each olive oil and butter (yes butter!)
2 lbs boneless, skinless salmon
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
8 chopped scallions, including green tops
4 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp orange zest
1 T frozen orange juice concentrate 
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb egg noodles or penne pasta
Heat oil and butter.  Add salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook each side until outer layer of salmon is browned.  Remove fish.  Add chopped scallions, lemon juice, orange zest and orange juice.  Simmer 1 minute.  Break up salmon into chucks and add salmon to juice mixture.
Cook pasta in lightly salted water.  when pasta is half way done, add the asparagus.  (It is my firm belief that asparagus should NEVER be squishy!  Try it when it is still bright green and still has a bit of a snap to it.  Mmmmm!)  Drain and toss all ingredients together. 
Serve immediately.
(Serves 4 to 6 people)
(Inspired by a recipe in Pasta by Food and Wine Books)
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May Feast Days
May 1  St. Joseph the Worker
May 13  Our Lady of Fatima
May 15  St. Isidore
May 21  The Ascension of the Lord       **HDO
May 22  St. Rita of Cascia   Biography
May 26  St. Philip Neri  Spend a whole year with the sayings of this great Saint!
**HDO = Holy Day of Obligation

Dear Family, 

You are dedicated to bringing God's children home to Him.  Let Intercessories Family Ministry be a partner in helping you pass along the beauty, mysteries and excitement of the Catholic faith to our next generation of saints-in-training!
Subscribe now to our FREE newsletter, and pass this along to your friends and family members, your Catholic school teachers, your priest and your parishoners as well.  And don't forget to visit our website !
Let us all join together and discover how we can all live the beauty and truths of our Catholic faith together and pass it along to our children, just as He intended!
In Him,
Jay and Cassandra Poppe
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Behold, Your Mother

A Mother's Day Reflection 

Our Lady of Grace 

Mother's Day is coming and I am ashamed to admit that I enter that day with a little twinge of guilt.  We are called to honor our father and our mother - and while I have been forgiven for my past neglects, I cannot forget the extent to which I have broken this commandment in the past.
You see, I was not always a big fan of Mary.  In fact, I went to great lengths to avoid her at all costs.  However, she did not desert me.  In fact, she obtained for me a spiritual director who would send me straight to her! 
I was having some struggles with my children at the time, and decided to speak to him about ways to increase my patience.  "Go to Mary, your Mother, with your troubles," he said.  What? Go to Mary?  How could someone who was born without original sin have anything in common with me, and how could she possibly relate to my daily parenting trials and tribulations?  She was the Mother of God, and a Mother to a perfect Son who was certainly nothing like my own children!  What could she possibly know about the frustrations of being a mother to stubborn, temperamental and defiant children?
After I completed this internal outburst, it came to me in what I now call my Kimberly Hahn moment:  Mary is not just the Mother of God.  She is the Mother to us all.  Billions and billions of us.  And we are all stubborn, temperamental and defiant at least some of the time, aren't we?  I know I certainly am and I am thankful I had a Mother who was patient enough to continue pleading for me while I had my rebellious tantrums and pushed her aside. 
I came to Mary as a contrite child, ready to make amends and finally listen to all she had to teach me.  She gently picked me up from my fallen state and escorted me back Home.  She prepared me for my full return to the Church and filled my life with many graces along the way.  She was in every way a mother.  My mother!  And I finally understood.
After this humble conversion, I reflected on the role of a mother within the family.  From my own experience, I have noticed that when my children either want something big or need to confess something, they come to me first, before their father.  Why is this?  They do it because they understand the relationship between my husband and myself.  And they also know the roles we each play within the family as a whole.  Want justice?  Go to Dad.  Want mercy?  Go to Mom. 
This is not to say that I do not ever dole out justice when justice is due, nor does it mean that my husband is without mercy.  But overall, this is how our roles have been defined.  I embrace this role I play for my children, pointing out that just as they trust in me to help them plead their case to their father, so Mary is also there as a trustworthy advocate to plead their case to God. 
Saint Alphonsus Liguori, in his book The Glories of Mary, reminds us that Mary is indeed our most gracious advocate.  As Mother to the Son, her prayers hold great power before God.  This was first demonstrated in the wedding feast of Cana, where Jesus could not deny his mother's wish.  And this same power is demonstrated time and again through the testimony of the many Saints throughout history who tell us of her effective role as our advocate on our day of judgment. 
I don't know about you, but I want the most powerful lawyer there could be on my side when I die.  What better person to have on our side than the Mother of the Judge!  Our Lord has such love for us that He has given her to all people to help tip the scales towards mercy for us.
As you make plans for Mother's Day this year, remember to honor both of your mothers -the mother who gave you life on earth and the mother who will escort you into eternal life in Heaven.  Give thanks for the hope of eternal life, which lies within her power as your mother and advocate, and place your life within her hands.  And then, as Saint Gregory VII has said, "...I promise you that you will find Mary more ready to love you than any earthly mother." 
Behold, she is your Mother!


May Feast

Our Lady of Fatima:  May 13 

 Mary appeared 6 times to 3 shepherd children of Fatima on May 13, 1917.  She had a sobering message to bring to mankind, warning us of our fate if we do not amend our ways.  Yet she also gave us great hope and a means of converting our hearts to God:  the Rosary!
This month, either beginning on or ending on May 13th, learn more about Our Lady of Fatima, the Rosary and the miracle of the sun.
I have included a few links, in no paticular order, to get you going!
Battle of Lepanto  (scroll about half way down to the Battle of Lepanto)
No time to plan?  Use these materials or others you may know of and spend some time once a month, on the 13th of each month, studying the various  important spiritual  and significant historical aspects of this story.  End your studies on October 13th and celebrate the miracle of the sun!
And don't forget to PRAY THE FAMILY ROSARY!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
A Prayerful Mother
Madonna and Infant 
A prayerful mother carries about her in the household something of the peace, the calm, the beauty and sweetness of another world, something of that ineffable grace and charm of Our Lady herself, as she went about her duties in the humble house of Nazareth.  By her own prayerful life, by the insistence with which she inculcates the duty of prayer on her offspring, and the regularity with which she gives the example of its daily practice, she will become a source of blessings to her household.
The memory to her children of her sweet presence as she knelt with them at home morning and night, at Our Lady's shrine in the parish church, before the little red light burning in front of the tabernacle; her care to teach them the Sign of the Cross and the prayers dear to the heart of the Catholics; her words of encouragement as they prepared for Confession and Holy Communion, the little ejaculations she taught them to say in the hour of danger and temptation: these can never be forgotten.   In later years, when his mother will have long ago gone to her reward, the grey-haired man will lovingly remember and repeat again the prayers which she taught him and which, when a little child, his hands clasped in hers, he repeated at her knees.
In honor of Mother's day, play this game with your kids to help them learn to "Honor Your Father and Mother"!
Giggle of the month:  Jimmy took a long time to show his report card to his mother and dad.  "Perhaps I'd better explain it first," he said.  "A stands for excellent.  B means good.  C is fair.  And D is what I got." 
Youth's Prayer
From The Catholic Hearth 
O Almighty God, who hast given unto me my father and mother, and made them an image of Thy authority, love, and tender watchfulness, and hast commanded me to love, and honour, and obey them in all things.  Give me grace cheerfully and with my whole heart to keep this Thy law.  Help me to love them fervently, to honor them truly, to yield to a ready obedience to all their commands, to comply with all their wishes, to study their happiness in everything, and to bear with patience and humility all their rebukes. 
Deliver me, O God, from pride, rebellion, and willfulness, from passion and stubborness, from sloth and carelessness.  Make me diligent in all my duties and studies, and patient in all my trials; that so living, I may deserve to be Thy child, who art our Father in heaven, through Jesus Christ, Thy only Son our Lord. 
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Direct, we beg you, O Lord
Actiones nostras)
Direct, we beg you, O Lord, our actions by your holy inspirations, and carry them on by your gracious assistance, that every prayer and work of ours may begin always with you, and through you be happily ended. Amen.
(Roman Ritual)

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Contact Information
Intercessories Family Ministry, LLC  PO Box 122   Fort Smith,  AR  72902

We at Intercessories Family Ministry:
are dedicated to serving Our Lord, Jesus Christ
love Our Lady as our mother
are faithful to the teachings of the Magesterium
and truly believe that the Catholic Church is one of the greatest gifts Our Lord has blessed us with!
Jay and Cassandra Poppe

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