Several years ago I learned of a cool Catholic family tradition: throughout the year celebrate patron saint days for all of your family members.
Immediately, I came up with a couple of feast days each year that matched each Weber’s first or last namesake saint or confirmation saint. I created a saint feast day notebook with a listing of the days and dates on the spine. Inside I loaded materials about each saint we could review at the Saint Day meal celebration. As a special treat each family member selected the menu on their Saint Day.
Despite a promising start, the notebook collected dust in my kitchen desk cabinet for almost three years.
The kids had been excited when I shared the plans for the Saint Day celebrations with the kids. Every so often each of them would ask when the next Saint Day meal would be.
Eventually our two oldest kids stopped asking, figuring the Saint Day project was just another of mom’s undone ventures. But our youngest, Benjamin, politely kept checking in with me.
Feeling disappointed in myself having blown off the Saint Day campaign, I paused to analyze my resistance. I explained to the kids why I thought I was dragging my feet.
The reasons for my hesitancy occurred to me on the night of my own Saint Day meal in celebration of my confirmation saint, St. Elizabeth. After coming home from my longest work day (Saturday) seeing clients, I dreaded the thought of preparing an elaborate meal that was supposed to be a treat for me.
It felt like more of a punishment than a celebration. And trying to make some complicated feast for the kids during a busy weekday night didn’t appeal either. Our Saint Day preparation and clean-up in essence was solo affair, and this saint-wannabe wasn’t up for the task.
I shared my concerns with the kids. I told them I was open to ways we could approach the Saint Day celebrations so they were doable.
One night when our youngest Benjamin and I happened to be eating dinner together, he asked me when we could have the next Saint Day meal.
I paused. Then came an inspiration from the Holy Spirit. I asked Benjamin if he could be our Saint Day Coordinator. I asked him to put all the Saints Day celebrations in our calendar, schedule the dinner on a night where we would have more time to eat, check with the owner of the Saint Day for the menu request, and put the needed items on the grocery list before shopping day.
He was one step ahead of me. He already knew whose saint days were coming up next. He climbed up the kitchen desk to get the notebook I had created and got to work. We agreed he and I would have one strategy session before we presented everything to the rest of the family.