Charla Ink Slingers


1)            GO TO MASS

Most parishes offer at least one community Mass on holidays.  What better way is there to start any celebration than with worship, community, and the Eucharist.  I like how Mass in the morning focuses me.  I am able to avoid getting caught up in the stressors and complications that oftentimes accompany holidays and celebrations associated with them


Develop your own or borrow an idea from a friend for a corny, red, white, and blue inspired dish.  Even if you are staying home and having a low key experience at home, fun Independence Day food enlivens the day.

red-white-blue-skewers-recipe-forth-of-julyI make red, white, and blue fruit skewers: Slide cut-up strawberries, whole blueberries, and slices of banana (or marshmallows) onto the skewer and that is it.  (If you use bananas, make sure to squeeze a little lemon juice to keep the fruit from browning.)


Another simple favorite is red, white and blue gelatin cups.  This takes a little patience. Use clear glass or plastic cups, fill 1/3 full with cherry gelatin, following directions on the package, refrigerate, and let that set. Once it is set, add blue gelatin (let this one cool slightly before pouring it in the cups), fill another 1/3 way.  Refrigerate and let that set; top with whipped topping of your choice.

3)            FLY AN AMERICAN FLAG in front of your home. I always feel extra patriotic when Old Glory is waving.  Making this piece of Americana part of your décor always puts you in the celebrating mood.  Tablecloths, tapestries, plates and napkins are fun ways to make the day special.

4)            EAT APPLE

5)            ATTEND COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS               

Most towns have a fireworks display for the community.  fireworkNot only is this safer than the do-it -yourself fireworks at home, it is often more spectacular. Little ones and big kids will ooh and aah with delight.  Parades are also a fun way to spend the 4th of July.  Marching bands and floats are so very American.

6)          WEAR RED, WHITE, & BLUE.  Shirts with Old Glory, hats, socks, hair bows—go all out.  Don your children in red white and blue as well.  There are cute girls’ bows and dresses and boys’ t-shirts and caps. It is the one day of the year when it is perfectly acceptable to be very corny.

7)            SAY A PRAYER.  Make your evening prayers about our country. Pray a Rosary or pray the prayer below from Catholic Online.praying girl

Prayer for our Nation (U.S.A)

God our Father, Giver of life,

we entrust the United States of America to Your loving care.

You are the rock on which this nation was founded.

You alone are the true source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Reclaim this land for Your glory and dwell among Your people.

Send Your Spirit to touch the hearts of our nation´s leaders.

Open their minds to the great worth of human life and the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.

Remind Your people that true happiness is rooted in seeking and doing Your will.

Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Patroness of our land, grant us the courage to reject the “culture of death.”

Lead us into a new millennium of life. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.




7 Quick Takes Christi Ink Slingers

Seven Quick Takes Friday: Favorite July Memories

Welcome to Seven Quick Takes Friday – Christi’s style! Kerri has done a fabulous job with this regular column for quite some time now and is letting me have a stab at it for an undetermined time. As this Friday’s 7 quick takes is falling on a significant US Holiday, I decided it would be fun to learn what type of favorite memories many of our Catholic Sistas have of their past fourth of July celebrations. Not surprisingly, all of these special memories were life events that were crossing paths with this special date in the history of our country, a date that most of us associate with being the birth date of the United States. Obviously the birth of this country began several years before the first Independence Day,  none the less, the 4th of July marks a momentous event in this country’s life. And so it seems does the annual Fourth of July photographed memories of our Catholic Sistas. See if you think the same, as you peruse the following photographs that various Catholic Sistas generously shared with me.


This beautiful baby came home from the hospital on the Fourth of July. Now that’s a Fourth of July to remember.  I don’t know about you – but while I remember my children’s birthdates – I’d be hard pressed to tell you the exact date they came home especially as their 13 birthdays are spread over three decades and their hospital stays varied from none to five days in length.


The first Fourth of July that this Catholic Sistas’s baby celebrated was a miracle. Neither his mother, nor he, was expected to survive his birth, yet they both made it through. That made his first Fourth of July celebration a very special day to remember. Miracles don’t happen every day!


These twin girls made Fourth of July a special memory for their family. After all it’s not so often that a family is double blessed as it is when twins join their ranks! It was double fun forever after their first July fourth.


Of course, our photographed memories of births and birthdays on or near to this great American holiday don’t stop at babyhood but continue on and one lovely Catholic Sista shared a great photo of her 40th birthday and all of those amazing pies & festive cakes she cooked to share with family and friends that particular year. (We won’t say WHAT year that was – that’s a secret!)


Life, as we all know, completes a full cycle and here we have a very, very special memory shared by one of our Sista’s – the memory of their last Fourth of July with an older family member lighting a sparkler for a younger member of the family.


(Photo Credit)

Wait, what’s this? This is NOT the White House in Washington! Its… it’s the parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada! This photo signifies a different kind of life event, that of leaving one’s homeland for another country. This picture is not one of our own as our family photos from Canada are not yet on a computer. None the less, it reminds me of  the many sultry July first nights we drove to our capital hill in Canada and celebrated July First in high style. Our last Canada Day spent in Canada, we loaded all eight children into our 12 passenger van and drove over an hour to view the incredible fireworks they have every year. What we did not know was that this would be our last Canada day celebration in our own country.  And with this memory – I also give a nod to our Canadian Catholic Sistas who contribute to, and read our magazine.


Since moving here in 1997, we have gradually made the transition from celebrating our own July first holiday to mostly celebrating the fourth of July. We still make the first a little special with a treat but we mainly focus on the fourth. After all – we have added five little Yankees to our brood. Here is our third Yankee bred child celebrating July fourth in her own special way when she was three.



We are encouraged to stay under a 1200 word count in our Catholic Sista articles and since a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, I feel that I have gone well over my 1200 limit. So I will bid you adieu and wish you a grand Fourth of July filled with many happy memories. Make sure you capture a few – just in case we do this again and need new memories to share next year!

God Bless and Happy Fourth of July

(PS don’t forget to meander over to Jen’s  and see what other folks have shared with their fourth of July 7 Quick Takes!)


Allison Current Events

America the Beautiful!

Words by Katharine Lee Bates

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man’s avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!