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Orderly Days:

Catholic Traditions Day Planner

Motherhood Press

reviewed by Faustina Konkal

"Everything must be done in a proper and orderly way. (1 Corinthians 14:40)"

How many of you start off the year, or month, or day with the best of intentions? Do you sit in church at Epiphany and commit to being more active in your prayer life, getting the house clean, planning healthy meals and meaningful feast days, and making financial contributions to your parish? Do you sit there with someone on your lap, and think "Yes Lord, this year I am going to do . . . !" I know I do.

Then, somewhere around Ash Wednesday, things start to slide. I usually find myself flipping through every cookbook I have (more than 30) looking for a recipe for potato pancakes at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon on Shrove Tuesday, while trying to cancel the doctor's appointment for the next day so that we can go to Ash Wednesday mass.

I have tried all sorts of day planner and organizational tricks to keep my life and the lives of my family moving smoothly while embracing the rich traditions and rhythms of the Roman Catholic Church. For the most part they all work well enough. But I have always found myself adding and adjusting different elements to accommodate a life of faith.

This day-planner does it all. There is ample room for appointments, important dates, contact information and lists, all contained in a sturdy 3-ring (7"x9") binder. Where this product differs from others is in the well-planned details.

Motherhood Press has thought of everything; starting with the pamphlets on the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplets and finger rosary, to the chart of movable Catholic feasts and solemnities, followed by enough medical information sheets for a family of 10, and the budgeting sheet that includes parish donations on the list of essentials.

The month-at-a-glance pages include popular saints' feast days. Each month is dedicated to developing a certain virtue and each week-at-glance pages has a Bible verse. My personal favorite is the grocery list, of which there are ample amounts for the whole year. The bottom of these movable pages reads "She brings home food from out-of-the-way places, as merchants ships do. She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family" (Proverbs 31: 14-15).

Each week begins with a list of goals for the week, including phone calls to make and spiritual growth reminders. There is an extensive list of Catholic books and resources, advice on helping your children prayer for the intercession of the saints, and chart of liturgy readings (for when the Barf Fairy comes to visit and you miss Mass) for all three yearly cycles.

Refill pages and "Calendar Stickers" are also available from Motherhood Press. The stickers include: Catholic Feast days, secular holidays, school information, dentist & doctor visits, and Catholic Sacraments. If you already have a binder, just buy the planner; it comes with a seven hole drill compatible with Franklin (Classic size) and DAY-TIMER (Desk size) binders.

On every page of this wonderful tool you will find reminders of God in our lives, and new opportunities for Him to draw you closer to his Heart. I have found this to be an exceptionally thorough product and a source of encouragement and focus in my daily temporal and spiritual life. Highly recommended.

Available from: http://www.motherhoodpress.com
Orderly Days Planner with binder: US$34.95
Planner Pages without binder: US$29.95
Orderly Days Calendar Stickers: US$4.95
Orderly Days Refill Pages (without tabs and page lifter): US$24.95
Page Lifter and Tabs: US$5.95
These prices do not include shipping and handling.

From the Orderly Days web site:

"Orderly Days®, created by a Catholic mother for Catholic mothers, is designed to instill a God-focus in your life. Each month, a new godly virtue is introduced with four weeks of scripture to pray and incorporate into your daily life. Your undated planner comes complete with the following:

  1. 2004-2007 planning calendars including moveable Catholic Feast Days, Holy Days of Obligation, and secular holiday listing,
  2. Week-at-a-glance calendar including a "goals for the week" worksheet, dinner planning and weekly to-do/to-call/errand list,
  3. A "Home & Family" section including family/pet medical information, sports & activities information, monthly budget, project worksheets and much more,
  4. A "Spiritual Reference" section dedicated to recommending Catholic/Christian books, magazines, and websites, the Sunday Liturgical Calendar, and even a section titled "Help your kids pray to the Saints!";
  5. Address/phone directory;
  6. Journal pages, and finally;
  7. Grocery shopping lists."

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