Happy Easter! And a Tierney Family Update . . .

by | Apr 12, 2020 | Catholic Living, Easter | 28 comments

The thing about Easter is that it came anyway. Alleluia!

Our In-Progress At Home Painted Chapel, aka how I spent my summer vacation

I can’t tell you how much joy it has given me to share liturgical living traditions with you guys during this time. Virtual community is community! Seeing you guys with branches on Palm Sunday and bonfires and Easter Candles for the Vigil, seeing you using the beautiful prayers and readings from the booklets and the at home activities from the Compendium, has been a light in this topsy-turvy world. Being particularly useful is my FAVORITE, and I can’t help but wonder if the past fifteen years of research into obscure liturgical living traditions and trial and error on my own family, and learning graphic design, and hey, who needs sleep anyway #notme was all for this moment in time, in which the domestic church is more important than ever and liturgical living at home is the only liturgy to which most of us have access.

I’m honestly so honored to be able to be of use in this time which has required so much sacrifice from so many.

Hopefully I will stop being quite as useful very, very soon. Pentecost, I’ve got my eye on you.

The Printable Easter DIY Bundle 2020 {Digital Download}

I’m really grateful for your prayers for us, and I get a LOT of DMs on the subject, so I know you’re wondering what’s been going on with us on a few different fronts, especially health-wise, so here’s a quick family update on everyone.


She’s seven months old now and couldn’t be sweeter. She’s such a good, happy baby who lets her siblings tote her around. What did we ever do without her? Babies: not great for productivity, so so good for morale.


George is doing great. He’s home and well and a joy to be around. His bout with meningitis is considered a traumatic brain injury, and while he doesn’t seem to have any other lingering issues, he has some noticeable dyspraxia of balance and coordination. He was receiving physical/occupational therapies three times per week, which have been discontinued with the shelter at home directive in California. It’s a bummer, because he was responding so well to his therapists, and he’ll age out of the program on his birthday in July. There are so many kids who are missing out on therapies that are more critical to them than George’s. My heart really goes out to them. Anyway, we have just started up some telemedicine conferences and we’ll see how those go. And he’s got plenty of sibling to chase after!


She’s our favorite smiley little grump. Her voluntary Lenten discipline was to give Jack a hug every day, and, whew, it was ROUGH. Thank God for Easter and an end to that trial for her.


She’s a very dedicated present maker and has been working on Easter presents for the whole family over the entirety of Lent. I think the best thing was an illustrated little paper chapter book she wrote for Barbara that said “this is the end of this part” at the end of each chapter. The least popular was the homemade playdough, but only because she made it too early and it got moldy. I got a paper hat. Also, she gave up swinging on the rope swing for Lent. It’s her favorite, and she came up with the idea unprompted. So sweet.


Frankie almost caught a leprechaun again this year on St. Patrick’s Day. But not quite. He ended up with some gold, though.


She’s crafty, this one. She’s been teaching herself to knit and sew and sculpt. She made a knitted pillow for George, and a necklace of homemade beads for Nana, and some really lovely blown eggs decorated with hot glue and paint. Very cool.


The third of my gift-giving love language types. I didn’t notice the fine print and accidentally bought an enormous package of hot glue sticks a few months back, and he’s been making sculptures with the glue gun. He WANTS a 3D printer, but this will do for now.

When Nana explained what we were planning for Holy Thursday, George replied, in wonder and disbelief, “JESUS washes FEET?” ‘Cause two year olds just get it, ya know. That’s exactly how we should react!


He’s been using the quarantine time to draw and hang out with his bees and continue getting taller. So, pretty normal.


She turned sixteen in February (wow, does that ever seem like a long time ago). But with all the hospitalizations of Tierney family members in the fall, we didn’t get her a learner’s permit in time to get her license on her birthday. She’s been appreciating the lack of traffic for her driving practice, but missing her candy striper volunteer duties at the hospital.


Lots going on with Jack. The shelter at home was a sudden end (maybe? probably?) to his senior year, and Student Body Presidency. At least he got to retire as the hits leader of the baseball team after three games. He isn’t really suffering the idea of not having a graduation ceremony, but he is bummed to miss out on doing one last self-produced play with his senior class friends. He was “Uncle August” in their completely student-run production of The Importance of Being Earnest just before all this went down. It was so good.

He did not get in to the Naval Academy, which is a disappointment and a surprise for all of us. It seemed like they’d be a great fit for each other, but God’s will be done. He got in to my alma mater, USC, and is on the waiting list for the husband’s, Harvard. He conceived and produced a pretty epic video message to the admissions board featuring all of his siblings, the zipline for which he holds a U.S. Patent, and a chicken. Maybe I’ll share it with you guys if he gets in! 🙏


They’ve been sheltering with us, which is such a help. I highly recommend the multi-generational quarantine, if you’ve got the space for it. Fortunately we’ve got an apartment over the garage. Please note the homemade necklace and my mom’s awesome fascinator. And my dad is pointing at the Easter guacamole he made.


Personally, health-wise things are looking good. No miracle cures, but lots of slow and steady heading in the right direction, or at least not heading in the wrong direction. He had some scary side effects from treatment in the fall, but that seems to be resolved, and recent scans are looking good.

Professionally, one would think that a global health crisis would be a good time to be in the healthcare business, but it turns out people don’t particularly want to go to urgent care clinics right now. So Jim has been working like crazy to roll out a whole virtual care system for Exer. If you’re anywhere in California, you can use the Exer website to access a live ER doctor from the comfort of your home. I’m glad to have it available as a possibility, even once things get back to normal. But here’s hoping none of us needs it.


I made one last thing for the shop for Easter! Making/having these liturgical living resources is how I’ve been doing the quarantine. I wasn’t planning to make an Easter version of my printable DIY seasonal sets, but then I realized that having our Lent calendar up was really the only way we had any idea what day it was. So I spent about sixty naptime/late-night hours over Holy Week putting this together! It was nuts. But now that it’s all printed and cut out, I’m so so happy to have it. If we’re going to be spending so much time in the house, I want it to feel like Easter around here, and maybe we’ll get to know some new saints.

The Printable Easter DIY Bundle 2020 {Digital Download}

Annnnnd . . . I’m almost done with the manuscript for a new book with Ignatius Press! I’ll share more details when it’s actually submitted, but I am really excited to be able to get this book out to you guys! I saw the cover art on Holy Saturday and all of a sudden it felt real! 😆 Anyway, back to edits! It is, of course, currently hundreds of pages too long.

I think that covers it! Remember, Easter is an octave. It is EASTER every day this week through next Sunday, and then the Easter season lasts 50 days, all the way through Pentecost. So keep lighting your Easter candle! And feel free to take things slow, and cut yourself some slack this year. 🙂

And be sure to sign up for the newsletter, if you haven’t yet. You’ll find it on the homepage in the box that says “subscribe for my latest content” or in the little popup window. Newest CAY team member Grace has been doing a really amazing job compiling all the posts and resources and printables for upcoming feast days into a more easily accessible format, delivered into your email inbox every two weeks, or more often in extraordinary circumstance like we’ve had the last month! But the plan is once every two weeks.


  1. Lindsay Partridge

    Thank you so much for the update! You answered so many of my questions and concerns. Such a surprise to me as well regarding Jack. God bless him, he will continue to be in my prayers that God’s will is apparent to him. He has such a bright future and will excel wherever God places him. So much love to all of you, Tierney family!

  2. Anne Thomas

    I am going to pray for Jack to get off the waitlist at Harvard. Thanks for the update.

  3. skylarstargrace

    Kendra!!! A new book?!?! I’m SO HAPPY!! Can you give even the slightest hint as to the topic? I could use a little boost. Love hearing about the family. Happy your parents are with you as well. And such good news on Jim’s health. Prayers for all of the above! Thank you!

    • Kendra

      Soon! 🙂 But it’s definitely something that’s been requested.

  4. Mary

    I met my amazing husband at Notre Dame. It was my second choice school, and by some weird occasion of the universe, the only school my brilliant husband even got into… I seriously believe God meant us for each other and foiled all our other plans for the best plan of all!

  5. Marion

    Thank You Kendra for the family update . Very happy that Jack is doing well and George is doing well too. You have a beautiful family.
    God Bless

  6. Lissa Rosengren

    Can I just say how blessed I am by the role your parents play in your life and Kara’s!? I can’t even imagine how blessed YOU feel and are by them!! ☺ What a gift to have family near that supports you and wants to do life with you! Now THAT is a way to finish the race strong!

    • Kendra

      Yes! We are so grateful.

  7. Betka

    Our sympathies are with Jack, but sometimes God has something dazzling in mind for us that wasn’t on our radar. We have experience with Thomas Aquinas College and Wyoming Catholic College, two world-class colleges that often sneak up on people and take them unawares. We can’t recommend them enough, for a life-changing education and a student body full of joyful, faithful, thoughtful young people. We’ll pray for direction and peace in Jack’s college decision!

    • Stacey

      We live right next to Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula. It certainly is a terrific school. They have a 2 week summer program that is offered the summer before senior year. Thought I’d mention.

  8. Maggie

    My husband did not get into the Air Force Academy and then a month or so later he found out that he got into the prep school…we are an hour away from Anapolis…also my parents met at USC…my mom got her masters there…and finally…my oldest is also a senior and schools were closed the day they were supposed to have their first scrimmage…which all after school activities were canceled…so no game

  9. Mark Taylor

    Betty is lucky she can learn to drive even under this conditions. In Victoria, Australia, where I live, restrictions prevent learner drivers from doing any driving right now. Indeed, a girl was fined for doing this, leading to an online petition, which I signed.

  10. Colleen Martin

    Hi Kendra,
    Oh the college decisions!! We have a junior who is starting the process. One thing I really need guidance with is the faith aspect of choosing a school. My husband and I both went to Franciscan, and while I don’t know how we will afford it, I can’t imagine sending my kids to a secular college. We have toured some non-Catholic colleges, and it feels like he could quite easily lose his faith in those surroundings. Do I just not have enough faith in him? 😉 After years of Catholic education, I don’t want to send him into a dorm where his roommate can have his girlfriend sleep over, and there are posters for the Vagina Monologues and professors who speak against the church teachings. My son might also be able to get into an ivy league, but how do you determine the moral aspect of it all? Thanks for your advice, especially as someone who went to a non-Catholic college and turned out uber Catholic! 🙂

    • Kendra

      I think it’s really dependent on the particular kid. Jack goes to a very devout high school and receives formation there, plus at home, and from a spiritual director through Opus Dei. I consider him to be very well-formed for a teenager. Miles ahead of where I was at his age. His temperament is such that he really wants to go out into the deep, as it were, and be a witness. He feels prepared to go like St. Patrick into the pagan wilds of a secular campus. I am *terrified* of the prospect of his being faced with young ladies who don’t know their own worth or how to conduct themselves with dignity. However, to be honest, *I* was one of those young ladies, and my husband helped me grow in virtue. Our deal is that he can attend a secular college if he continues with in person Opus Dei spiritual direction, which is available near many prestigious universities. And, of course, we can always pull him out if it’s not working.

      My oldest daughter, on the other hand, is more of a cloistered than a missionary type. She’s interested in a smaller, more devout university. So that’s what we are looking into for her.

    • Paige

      So, I only have little kids, but speaking from my OWN experience – I would say that there are likely some great public/smaller options with strong Catholic student centers or Newman centers or that have Focus missionaries (or CCO missionaries in Canada). I went to Texas A&M and there is a HUGE contingent of amazing Catholic students (300 students regularly attending daily Mass, 8 weekend Masses to accommodate the students, etc.) who lead good, faithful lives *and* who are very much living in the secular world (one student ministry walked around campus wearing t-shirts that read “I’m Catholic, Ask Me a Question” – how awesome is that!) Maybe there are some close to you? Just something to think about when considering other college options!

      • Mary

        Paige, I agree! I attended the University of Kansas (I was accepted at Catholic colleges but financially it just didn’t work out) and we have a similar Newman Center, despite having a reputation for being liberal and secular. St. Lawrence has Confession 6 days a week, Adoration 5 days a week, 5 Masses every weekend, well-attended Daily Masses, plentiful opportunities to take classes on the faith and go on retreats, and we do the “I’m Catholic – Ask Me a Question!” bit too. Plus, loads of alumni are priests, sisters, or brothers! If a Catholic college isn’t an option, don’t despair; you can find a vibrant faith community at state schools.

  11. Lise Nauman

    This is in response to Colleen looking at colleges with her junior. We currently have two college students. One is a senior at Tulane and the other is a freshman at Notre Dame. I too was concerned about the secular school. My recommendation is to contact and visit the Newman/Catholic center at the colleges you’re looking at. The Tulane Catholic center is led by a young Dominican priest who is excellent. Very faithful. They have daily mass, adoration, and confession as well as many good social opportunities. It was literally what tipped the balance toward Tulane (we live in the Midwest so it was far from home). We have looked at dozens of colleges over the years and I am always happy to discuss the process and share our learnings.

    • Mary

      Tulane’s another good one. I have a high school friend who attended Tulane and [cough] years after graduation, she’s still practicing her faith, married to a nice Catholic man, and they send their kids to Catholic school.

  12. Barbara

    Great post! Love the updates. Good luck to Jack. I’m sure he will be happy wherever he goes!

    We have a multigenerational isolation, because we have a multigenerational home! I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have daily contact with my little Maximilian!

  13. Mary Clyde

    Mrs. Tierney, with regard to therapy for little George, please allow me to make a suggestion. Just hire a therapist you like and get along with and arrange for the therapist to come to your home. Then pay him or her privately. The insurance and other restrictions are too limiting. My husband had a severe stroke 2 years ago (anniversary on Thursday) and we were told , he’s not going to make any more progress after 6 months. Nonsense! He has come so far with private home therapy! And note that a lot of therapists are unemployed right now. So go for it! And please pray for my husband. Otto. Thank you! With my prayers

  14. Ashli

    Thanks for the updates! So glad everyone is doing well. A multi-generational quarantine sounds amazing!!

    I’m sorry to hear that Jack didn’t get into the Naval Academy. I just wanted to say that I went there and admissions has a very soft spot for persistence and candidates who apply again. I had many friends who got in on their second and third applications, and others who chose to apply after a couple years of civilian college. I would definitely share with him to keep trying, if that’s where he really wanted to go.

  15. Jessica

    Thank you so much for everything that helped us to make Holy Week feel anywhere near normal. Especially the spiritual communion printout (framed on our home altar where we do mass on the ipad) and the Easter candle.

  16. Amanda

    Who knew the Naval Academy was so foolish and short sighted?

    It is good you are all healthy and your parents are there. There are so many blessings to find in these trying times.

  17. Iris

    Happy Easter! Do you have any plans for Lulu’s first communion? Ora are they ruined by coronavirus?

    • Kendra

      Actually we do! It’s a story for another time. But it’s really exciting.

  18. Marilyn

    Happy to hear that George is doing better as is Jim. Your children are beautiful. Thank you for the updates on the family. Blessings to you and your lovely family.

  19. Dawn in Maine

    We enjoy your posts so much. <3 Happy Easter to you and your beautiful family!

  20. Kari Hutchins

    Hi! I have had 2 brain injured children and there are so many things out there to help. It is overwhelming. Can I make a suggestion? Check out Zing Performance out of the UK. It is easy to do at home and surprisingly way more effective than pt/ot. George needs to activate his cerebellum. God bless you and your beautiful family!

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

If you’d like to learn more about what Catholics believe and why, and to be inspired by saints from every era all over the world, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of how to teach your kids about the faith in a way that’s true, engaging, and lasts a lifetime, we can help!

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