The first month of every year is filled with so much excitement around setting goals, making changes and exploring new experiences. In our liturgical calendar we carry the light of Christmas into the new year with the celebrations of the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, Octave of the Nativity of the Lord, The Most Holy Name of Jesus, Epiphany of the Lord and the Baptism of the Lord. It’s also the perfect time to create content calling followers to reflect on how to use their God given gifts to glorify Christ and provide daily inspiration.
This month we also focus on protecting the life of the unborn with the 9 Days for Life Novena beginning on January 14th, national walks for life events on the 19th and ending on the 22nd when the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn is observed. The USCCB has already created articles, videos and custom graphics that can be used on your social media pages. Be sure to capture pictures or videos of your parish or diocesan participation in walks for life.
The Saints Feasts of this month St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen (January 2), Holy Name of Jesus (January 3), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (January 4), St. John Neumann (January 5), St. Andre Bessette (January 6), St. Raymond of Penafort (January 7), St. Anthony, abbot (January 17), Sts. Fabian and Sebastian (January 20), St. Agnes (January 21), St. Vincent of Saragossa (January 23), St. Marianne Cope (January 23), St. Francis de Sales, (January 24), the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25), Sts. Timothy and Titus (January 26), St. Angela Merici (January 27), St. Thomas Aquinas (January 28) and St. John Bosco (January 31). Each one of these saints provide a model for trusting Christ in various situations.
For our church this month is also a time to celebrate Catholic Education and engage the next generation of Catholics at World Youth Day. The NCEA provides great tools to help you educate, appreciate and celebrate the legacy of a Catholic Education within your community during #CSW19 January 27 - February 2. Their website helps you create daily themes to create unique examples for your school, Catholic snaps of statistics on the economic, spiritual and national impact of Catholic education and great pre-written articles to share via your online portals. The USCCB also has great resources including webinars to help youth ministers within parishes to participate in the World Youth Day celebrations using technology.
World Youth Day Resource Links
WYDUSA Twitter: https://twitter.com/wydusa
WYDUSA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wydusa
WYDUSA Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wydusa
Livestream Links: https://saltandlighttv.org/live/
Catholic Apostolate Center: https://catholicapostolatecenter.org/world-youth-day-2019.html
Webinar on World Youth Day: https://youtu.be/NEWN4sqjTqc
Lastly, this month is dedicated as poverty awareness month and in our current political climate their is also a week of focused prayer and awareness surrounding the issue of migration from January 6 - 12. Spotlight ministries within your parish that are attuned to social justice and the plight of the poor.
A lot to share this month so get started today!
Wishing you a prayerfully power-filled New Year in Christ.