Wednesday, June 20, 2018

St. Thomas S'Mores

This clever feast day treat, with its play on words and creative symbolism to honor St. Thomas More, was shared by Rebecca Collazo. Rebecca is a homeschool mom to four wonderful kids who shares that she loves reading to her children, having poetry tea times, teaching writing at a Catholic co-op, and traveling to places of literary and Catholic significance. [And I would add thinking up creative liturgical year ideas to her talents.] Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing such a cute idea that is special to your family.

One of our family’s favorite feast days to celebrate is the feast of St. Thomas More. This fact is due partly because we go to the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More and partly because my husband is an attorney and has a special devotion to the patron saint of lawyers. This servant to King Henry VIII knew that service to the King of Heaven was more important than service to any earthly king and so allowed himself to be martyred for the faith rather than sign an oath stating he would honor England’s king as the head of the church. While we remember St. Thomas More for his brave sacrifice to stand up for the Church he believed in, it is said that he was also a man of great humor. It is for that reason that I feel like St. Thomas More would appreciate our family celebrating his feast day by enjoying St. Thomas S’Mores!

S’mores are such a classic summertime treat, perfect for his June 22 feast day. I have realized over the years, with my brood of four, that if I bring my kids to the table with a tasty treat, they are pretty likely to sit quietly and listen to me teach about any number of things. Sticky s’mores keep everyone contentedly occupied while I show them a video like this three-minute one summarizing the life of the saint: St. Thomas More video, read an excerpt from a book, or just regale them with the tale of More’s courage. My eldest daughter is a huge fan of the Ignatius Press saint books and gobbled this one up: St. Thomas More of London. Another great way to introduce the family to the story of this inspiring saint is to watch the classic movie A Man for All Seasons starring Paul Schofield. You can find it on Amazon Prime.

If you are not convinced that clever wordplay alone is enough to warrant this kind of decadence, then perhaps making it into a creative symbolic activity would allay your mommy guilt. Tell your children that the chocolate is like the husband and the marshmallow is like the wife. The heat of the bonfire unites the two just like the sacrament of marriage unites husband and wife. Trying to separate them after they have been bonded through the sacrament is messy and nearly impossible to do. Remember that is what Henry VIII was trying to do by divorcing Catherine of Aragon. St. Thomas More’s disapproval of the king’s divorce and remarriage and breaking away from the Catholic Church ended in his martyrdom. “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” (Mk 10:9) Maybe that’s a stretch. Maybe you do not need an excuse to eat s’mores. I feel like St. Thomas More would approve of a little celebration in his honor either way!

However, if you need to balance it out a bit, how about having some classic English fish and chips? It honors not only St. Thomas More’s English roots, but it recognizes that he shares his feast day with St. John Fisher, another great English saint from the same era. You get bonus points for the pun on the name Fisher! St. John Fisher was also beheaded for not signing the Oath of Supremacy. So, for a complete dinner, dessert, and movie night on Friday night, go for some fish and chips, maybe a pint of cider (the hard variety for mom and dad and apple juice for the kids), and those tasty s’mores, followed by A Man for All Seasons while everyone digests. Happy feasting, friends!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

St. Anthony's Sermon to the Fishes Cupcakes

I thought I shared these cupcakes a couple years ago, but it looks like I only posted them over at Shower of Roses along with a few other ideas for the feast of St. Anthony. I'm planning to make them again today for the children to enjoy after we read St. Anthony's Sermon to the Fishes by Abraham a Sancta-Clara, an Augustinian monk who lived from 1607–1680. You can find the poem here

These cupcakes are so quick and easy to decorate. I simply used some Fluffy White frosting and created little peaks on the top of each cupcake so the fish and other sea creatures (I used Scandinavian Swimmers from Trader Joe's) could peak out of the whitewater to listen to St. Anthony's Sermon!

They are a great (and artificial dye free) alternative to the "A Multitude of Fish Cupcakes"

St. Anthony of Padua, pray for us! 

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