On November 29th, 2014, work began on the 33 day Family Prayer Consecration Program. Family friendly reflections were written for each day of Fr. Nathan’s Totus Tuus, A Contemplative Approach to Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. Together with my wife’s family, we prayed, discussed and grew closer to the Lord as a family. When we completed the 33 days of preparation, on January 1st, the feast of Mary, Mother of God, each member of our family consecrated themselves as best as they were able to Jesus through his Blessed Mother. Over the course of the next 6 months we ran a pilot program with ten families, took the book through a comprehensive theological review with Fr. Nathan Cromly, CSJ and polished up the text under the keen eye of David Brandt. When we started the consecration back in late November of 2014, I never intended to publish a book, but Our Lady had different plans.
A Guide to Family Prayer
Family prayer is essential to raising a holy family, but many families struggle with this task. My wife and I felt called to develop an easy to use program to help families of all sizes and situations to learn how to begin a life of prayer within their family. At times in our own family life, we have done a very poor job of regular prayer time with our children. The temptation to give up completely was very real, but our Lord shows us by his example in the scriptures, that it is precisely at those times in our lives when we feel the most stress or pressure that we should have recourse to prayer. Jesus prayed often with his disciples and instructed his followers in how to pray. No doubt this life of prayer was something that was ever present in the Holy Family of Jesus, Joseph and Mary.
We have prepared a guide to help you and your family enter into this life of prayer which will not only help your family now through the struggles and stresses of daily life, but will form a solid foundation of prayer for your children as they grow and eventually leave your family to live a life of their own in the world. The 33 Day Family Consecration Program was released in mid-2015 and has been well received by families around the country. We have a couple of parishes who have conducted a 33 day family prayer programs as well as numerous individual families. The main obstacle to success is not starting at all. Fear of failure, being too busy, fear that your children will resist this activity, and the idea that your individual prayer life may be lacking are all roadblocks that need to be overcome in order to begin family prayer. Ask our Lady to help you clear the obstacles that keep you and your family from a closer relationship with her son Jesus.
The First Annual 33 Days of Family Prayer
To help you overcome the obstacle of “I am not sure when to begin this program,” we are holding the first annual 33 day to family prayer program beginning on November 29th and ending on January 1st. The reason why we chose this set of 33 days is that it takes place during Advent, includes the feast days of the Immaculate Conception, Christmas, the Feast of the Holy Family and ends on the Feast of Mary, Mother of God. It is 33 days of preparation and celebration of the family. No other event in Christianity can compare with God becoming man and being born into a family to sanctify the family.
Hopefully by this point in this article Our Lady has motivated you to begin to pray as a family and to join the rest of our community of families striving for holiness in this first annual 33 days of family prayer. Here is how to begin:
- Visit 33day.org to get the materials for your family. Three resources are available to help you: Fr. Nathan Cromly’s Totus Tuus, 33 Day Family Consecration and the 33 Day Family Consecration Coloring Book. All these resources are available in printed book and kindle format, the 33 Day resources are also available on our website for free after you sign up for a user account on our site.
- Read through the opening sections of the 33 Day Family Consecration book to prepare yourselves to lead your family through the 33 days of family prayer.
- Follow the helpful hints to achieve success and obtain your materials so you can begin on Sunday November 29th.
- Subscribe to the Google Calendar (iCal or HTML), or download a printable calendar.
- Share this program with your friends and family. There is nothing like prayer to strengthen bonds with extended family or friends. Just knowing that you are not alone in this journey of 33 days of family prayer is a huge help in persevering in this important spiritual undertaking.
- Print out or download the promotional flyer for the 2016 33 Days to Family Prayer Event
About the Author:Allen Hébert is a Senior Solutions Engineer in the Information Technology Industry. Allen and his wife Denae, have been married for over 31 years and they have been blessed with nine children. Allen enjoys swimming, driving the family RV and the great outdoors.