EFFFamilyPrayerThis 2017-18 school year, the Elementary Faith Formation Program is introducing a Prayer of the Month. Each month, we will focus on what the prayers mean, why we say them, and slow them down to discuss the meaning of the words. Here you will find interesting information and videos to help promote the dialogue with your family. Check back every month to find out more about these prayers:

 Current month:

February: “Dear Jesus” Prayer




March: Act of Contrition

April: Stewardship Prayer

May: The Holy Rosary

Past months:

January: Our Father

 JanuaryOurFatherSee this video about the Our Father from Catholic I.D.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRAhqK9dSRg


December: Advent Prayer


November: Grace Before Meals

As we prepare for Thanksgiving in a few weeks, let’s look at why and how we bless God and our food. This week, check out this traditional prayer:

Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts

Which we are about to receive from thy bounty

Through Christ, Our Lord, Amen.

We find roots of blessing God at meals in Moses (see Deuteronomy 8:10) and early Christians offered such prayer following the custom of Jesus Himself (Matthew 14:19-2115:34-36).The origin of this traditional prayer dates to the 8th Century.  That means it is 1,300 years old!  


“Wait, did we say grace?” Growing up, this was a common question raised at the dinner table.  That meant our lips said words while our minds thought “food!” Perhaps if I understood how “amazing” grace really is, I would have paid better attention.  Let’s break open this prayer in 3 parts:

1) Bless us O Lord, – We ask God for his blessing

2) and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty -- Expression of gratitude to God, seeing our food as gift

3) Through Christ, Our Lord, Amen. – Prayer of praise and worship of God

  • Asking                
  • Gratitude
  • Praise & Worship

Prayed in an attitude of humble dependence on God, these “ingredients” combine for our Grace Before Meals.  

(Taken from:  Our Sunday Visitor, “Bless Us, O Lord!” Why do we pray before meals?  by Patricia Ann Kasten) 

October: Hail Mary

Our Elementary Faith Formation October Prayer of the Month is the Hail Mary. Find out more about Mary in this short video, and discover why we pray to her as Catholics! https://goo.gl/xtRxyv

The Ave Maria – or, The Hail Mary, is so loved as a prayer, that at least seven great composers have created their own beautiful versions. The most famous is the one written by Franz Schubert in 1825.  TREAT YOURSELF – Listen to the amazing voice of Josh Groban pray Ave Maria in song.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cgyy8u3zcf8


Word by Word, Slowing Down the Hail Mary” Edited by Sarah A. Reinhard

Congratulations to Christy Zawadzkas for winning this book in our e-mail contest. 

Here is an excerpt from the book:

When Mary prays for us, she is more than offering comfort or sending a message to our Lord.  She is also holding our hearts in her hands, the same hands that caressed Jesus’ brow and comforted him as a baby…She loves with a heart big enough to embrace the world …


September: Sign of the Cross

Here is an interesting read about the 21 things we do when we make the Sign of the Cross: http://catholicexchange.com/21-things-cross
And watch this video tutorial by Father Mike Schmitz! (Fun fact, it was filmed here, right at Saint Elizabeth!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRDCWacBAcY