Here is a collection of resources to guide families with school-aged children in finding activities, books, and recipes to that will help make the liturgical year come alive in the heart of their homes.
Retrouvaille offers hope for couples on the road to divorce
One-quarter of all Catholic marriages end in divorce, according to the most recent data from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. Chances are, at some point, most Catholics will encounter a family member, friend or fellow parishioner suffering distress in their marriage, even if they do not experience it themselves. The good news is that there is a successful Catholic program specifically designed to help heal and rebuild hurting marriages. Named Retrouvaille, a French word meaning rediscovery, it is offered several times a year in the Seattle Archdiocese. Continue reading “Healing a Hurting Marriage”
Marriage Minute: Have you ever thought that the Church only recently developed such a beautiful and profound understanding of marriage? You may surprised at this passage from Tertullian, one of the early Church fathers:
Pope Francis’ advice for fathers: be present, practice mercy
Daddy!” This call can mean so many things. It could be a delighted greeting at the end of a workday: “You’re home!” Or a proud, “Watch me do this!” On the other hand, “Dad!” could also express indignation at a boundary set — an important but less popular duty of fatherhood. “Dad!” could mean, “I’m scared — hold me!” or “Your turn, catch!” “Dad?” could mean, “Can you explain this/fix this/give me my allowance?”
What does it take to be a good father, to respond well to all those calls for Daddy? In two recent talks, Pope Francis (whose title, papa, means “daddy”) reflected on this. He said it takes presence and forgiveness. Continue reading “The Importance of Fatherhood”
All women, mothers or not, have a special gift of receptivity to the human person
There is something about a woman’s beauty that is life-giving. The radiance of a bride on her wedding day becomes the loveliness of a new mother’s smile as she gazes at her infant. Our grandmothers are beautiful because of their loving hearts, which nurture ours. The beauty of the Blessed Virgin Mary shines especially in her “yes” which brought the life and grace of Christ to us. And all women, married or not, and regardless of whether they have ever had children of their own, have a beautiful vocation to “spiritual motherhood.” Continue reading “Celebrating Spiritual Motherhood”
Getting regular ‘tune-ups’ can enrich even the best relationships
Why would a normal couple with a good marriage invest time, energy and money in marriage enrichment? Most of us can see the need for couples in crisis to read self-help books, take seminars, get counseling or go on special retreats. But if you think your marriage is cruising along anywhere between “OK” and “pretty good,” why bother?
We need to be willing to invest in regular care and maintenance for this most important relationship, as much as, if not more than, we do with our car or career. To have the best marriage possible — the most joy-filled, super-solid, radiant marriage, which God intends for you — we need to be willing to keep growing, to keep learning, to get inspired, to sharpen our skills and to aim for excellence. Regularly! That’s what marriage enrichment is all about. Here is a “course catalog” of Catholic and Christian marriage enrichment resources for you to consider for your ongoing marriage education. Aim for 25 “credit hours” a year! Continue reading “Take Your Marriage Beyond “OK””
Confessing the ways you’ve fallen short can strengthen your marriage
It’s a quiet Saturday afternoon at my parish, and I’m sitting soberly in the line of chairs in the back of the church outside the confessional. Sinner that I am, I am no stranger to this great sacrament of mercy, where I have found such amazing forgiveness, healing and grace. But this time, my examination of conscience takes a different direction. Father is going to hear a lot about the big and little ways I have failed to fully love my husband. How in my thoughts, words and actions I’ve hurt him and weakened our love, or missed the opportunity to think, say or do the loving things I should have done.
A good sacramental reconciliation is excellent preparation for Easter. Many parishes offer special penance services during Lent, and our priests generously make themselves available for more opportunities for confession. But how often do we examine our conscience for the ways we have missed the mark in loving our husband or wife? This Lent, instead of giving up chocolate or lattés, consider dedicating the season to working on your marriage. A good marriage-focused confession would be the perfect start! Continue reading “An Examination of Conscience for Married People”
The pastoral needs of the Family in the world today are the focus of the two synods of October, 2014 and October, 2015. On February 4th, 2015, I presented a talk outlining the work of these two synods, as well as a little explanation about the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
This talk was a real high for me. Over 900 feet high, to be specific! I spoke in the swank Columbia Tower Club to the Seattle chapter of Legatus, a group of Catholic business leaders and their spouses. What a fun group they were!
Here is the Prezi slideshow for this presentation: