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Christmas Mass Guide Infographic 2017

Have you noticed the strange timing of Christmas and Easter? Christmas 2017 falls on a Monday, so our families will need to navigate Sunday Mass plus Christmas Mass. Also, Easter falls on April 1st this year - - April Fools' Day! Another oddity, especially for the chocolate industry, Ash Wednesday falls on St. Valentine's Day - looks like it's double roses for 2018!

Just think of this Christmas' liturgical calendar as providing a second helping of Jesus. Nevertheless, I made the following Christmas Mass Guide to help you and your families plan for the Christmas complexities: 

Also, while we're on the subject of Liturgical Calendars, please check out this special sale a graphic designer friend is offering for her beautiful 2018 Liturgical calendars this week only! Here's the interview I just posted about her vocation, her conversion, and her artwork.

Jessica Connolly, Catholic Mom and Liturgical Calendar Artist

Meet Jessica Connolly, Architect turned Artist! Read below about how even something as seemingly mundane as the Church's calendar can draw people to Catholicism. Also, learn about the origins of the Liturgical Calendar and the colors of the Liturgical Calendar, as well as a special this week only promotion (expires Saturday 12/16/17) for Jessica's handcrafted liturgical calendars!

I recently had a moment to chat with this Catholic mom about her designs and her conversion to Catholicism: 

First off, can you tell us what inspired you to focus your designs on the Catholic Liturgical Calendar?

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me about the liturgical calendars I have designed. These have been a huge hit this year and last year. They were inspired by my time in RCIA and my realization that we could blend modern design with sacred tradition. 

So you converted to Catholicism as an adult - Awesome! Is there anything you want to share about your conversion to Catholicism and your previous religious background?

Prior to converting to Catholicism I was Protestant, but I'd run the full range from Methodist to nondenominational. After the nondenominational church I wouldn't have really known where to go next. Thankfully my husband had decided to return to the Church and I decided to check out RCIA. (That is a super simplification of the process, because there was a lot of struggle on both our parts. Lots of hard questions and difficult conversations. But ultimately, we knew being Catholic was where we were supposed to be, even if it meant some radical changes in our lives.) 

Before I converted, I rarely thought about how my faith could be integrated throughout the year, outside of Christmas and Easter. Now my two favorite seasons are actually Lent and Advent because it's a super focused time of preparation and anticipation. We also try to make the days following Christmas day special since it's the true 12 days of Christmas!

As a convert the idea of a calendar centered around events within the church were extremely helpful to stay in touch with the liturgy at home. Following the rhythm of the Catholic Church as helps our family to slow down and stay more in tune with our faith. Daily readings keep us focused on the Word. Feast days teach about the lives of the faithful. Liturgical seasons hold us accountable and keep us from falling into the mainstream hustle. The calendar encourages us to learn about the various feast days, how each of the seasons should be reflected in our daily activities, and to plan ahead for upcoming holy days. 

Have you come across anything interesting about the development, origin, and/or history of the Catholic Liturgical Calendar? 

Here are a few interesting things I learned while researching for the calendar:
(1) In the Jewish calendar, the new year began in March with the Paschal moon.  
(2) Now, the Catholic Church relies on the Paschal moon to determine when Easter is celebrated each year. The fact that the Paschal moon is actually taken from Jewish tradition strengthens the history of our faith.
(3) Pentecost is the "birthday" of the Catholic Church. 

(4) TriduĆ¼m - As stated by the USCCB: Though chronologically three days, they are liturgically one day unfolding for us the unity of Christ's Paschal Mystery. 

Right! I think it's hard for people of this time - of the era of the iPhone - to wrap our minds around Easter not just being the same date every year. It's hard to wrap your mind around Easter being the first Sunday after the “Paschal” full moon, which is the first full moon on or after March 21. That's not a date; that's a sentence!

Tell us about transitioning from your vocation as an Architect to your primary vocation.

After converting to Catholicism in 2011, the birth of my second child, and 7 years practicing architecture in Austin, Texas, I decided to strike out on my own to pursue my passion for art and graphic design. Immediately, I was hired as a contract worker at our parish to design the weekly bulletins and monthly newsletter and a contractor for another company in Phoenix, Arizona. I continue to pursue graphic design with clients nationwide in both the commercial, small business, and nonprofit sectors.

After a 7-year stint [as an architect], it was time to call it quits and pursue my primary vocation (motherhood). Thankfully, graphic design and art has allowed me to still engage in creative pursuits while raising my 4 kids. 

Graphic design has always been a passion of mine. It has been a joy to serve individuals, nonprofits, and small companies through design.  

My desire for creative pursuits is coupled with my desire to serve God and others through design.

Where can we find and buy your designs? Also, where can you be found on social media?

You can usually find me on 
I have also opened an Etsy storefront and a Peter’s Square shop to sell liturgical calendars, sacred art calendars, fine art, and jewelry.

A BIG thank you to Jessica for this interview AND for the special savings she's offering this week with her liturgical calendars!

Comments or questions about any of this? Please share below!

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