Category: The Catholic Family

How to Defeat the Enemies of Natural Marriage
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How to Defeat the Enemies of Natural Marriage

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One of the best talks at our Australia conference was given by Vice Vincent Batarelo (pronounced Vee-che), who led the fight in Croatia to defend natural marriage. Dr. Batarelo was also a natural to invite to our conference, since he was born in Sydney to Croatian immigrants and grew up Down Under. After he completed […]

UN Report: “There Is No Definition of the Family”
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UN Report: “There Is No Definition of the Family”

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A draft UN report says the family should be understood “in a wide sense” and tries to open the door to recognize same-sex couples in international law and policy. “There is no definition of the family under international human rights law,” according to a report on “protection of the family” prepared by the UN staff […]

A Case for Catholic Education
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A Case for Catholic Education

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The National Catholic Educational Association paints a bleak picture for Catholic education in America. There are currently only 6,568 Catholic schools remaining in the USA. During 2014 an additional 88 schools closed or consolidated, while only 27 new schools opened. About 2 million students attend Catholic schools, of which 328,000 plus are non-Catholic. This is […]

Rejecting Abortion, Affirming Life
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Rejecting Abortion, Affirming Life

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Thousands braved severe weather last week to attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C., giving a vital public witness to the sanctity of life. In this column, however, I will reflect on a very personal situation with my wife’s first pregnancy six years ago, when abortion was presented to us as an option. Our […]

Your 2016 Handy-Dandy List of Lenten Resources
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Your 2016 Handy-Dandy List of Lenten Resources

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Lent comes early this year. February 10th is Ash Wednesday! That’s just three weeks away, folks. So instead of waiting until the last minute and grasping at your old standbys (giving up chocolate or God forbid, coffee), why not plan ahead using our convenient list of resources below? Make this your most spiritually fruitful Lent ever! Reprinted with […]

Family Ties that Lift Us Up
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Family Ties that Lift Us Up

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Jesus’ invitation to discipleship comes with a warning: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mk 8:34). He made this statement shortly after Peter confessed him to be the Messiah, and he told his disciples what that role entails. The suffering involved in denying oneself and […]

The Holy Family: The Reason for Christmas
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The Holy Family: The Reason for Christmas

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Do you love Christmas? Before you answer, I don’t mean the nearly 4 weeks of frantic shopping or the crazy parties or the frenzied family gatherings or the warm, gushy feelings we get from receiving presents. I mean the real reason why we do those things in the first place. Do you love the real […]

Christmas Time Out of Time
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Christmas Time Out of Time

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My five year old daughter and I were playing a guitar duet together. On just one guitar: I fingered the chords, she strummed the strings. While she strummed, she made-up her own lyrics. This is a regular activity for us, and even without guitar accompaniment she loves to “write her own songs.” On the day […]

Make Family Reconciliation an Advent Tradition
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Make Family Reconciliation an Advent Tradition

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It is 1535 London.  The prior of the Carthusian monks at the London Charterhouse tries to prepare his brothers for a coming persecution, martyrdom for many of them.  The Prior, John Houghton exhorts his brother Carthusians to prepare their hearts by a general confession to God, and gives leave that every one should choose any […]

Learning from the Moms
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Learning from the Moms

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I’m a new priest and I have a lot to learn. Of course, working in a parish affords me many opportunities to work with different and diverse groups of people. A group of mothers approached me a few months ago and asked if I would be willing to lead a book discussion for them. I […]

Mary's Salvation and Ours
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Mary’s Salvation and Ours

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“Have you been saved?” Maybe you have been asked that by one of our Protestant brothers or sisters. If our Blessed Mother had been asked, she could have given the loudest “Yes!” the world had ever heard. Her personal salvation from the stain of Original Sin is celebrated today. Mary praised God’s salvation in her Magnificat and […]

Family in Full: Blending Backgrounds for New Family Traditions
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Family in Full: Blending Backgrounds for New Family Traditions

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It was Thanksgiving and my then-girlfriend was meeting my family for the first time. Much to my surprise, all five of my siblings were able to be there, and we enjoyed – or so I thought – our usual holiday dinner with the typical excited-aggressive talking that Italians tend to do. Later that evening, I […]

dating, marriage, love
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In Defense Of “Soul Mates”

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It has been said that: Real love is not all feelings. Real love takes work. Real love requires choosing your beloved on a daily basis.  These are all statements that I believe to be true. But, can I let you in on a little secret? I believe in soul mates. And [thankfully], I believe that I […]

Theology of the Body Revolutionized My Marriage
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Theology of the Body Revolutionized My Marriage

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I can’t fully explain it, because it wasn’t what my parents tried to teach me. But this is what I learned as a child: sex is dirty. I knew, in my head, that this wasn’t true, and that sex, in its proper context, was a blessed, holy thing. But even for good Catholic girls who […]

How to Discern Whether Adoption is Right for You
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How to Discern Whether Adoption is Right for You

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In honor of National Adoption Month, here’s my review of Jaymie Stuart Wolfe’s excellent discernment guide, Adoption: Room for One More?, from Pauline Books & Media. A few years ago, between babies #3 and #4 (or #4 and #5), my husband and I contemplated adopting a baby girl from China. We were moved by stories […]

Expanding Acronyms Threaten Maternal and Child Health
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Expanding Acronyms Threaten Maternal and Child Health

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In recent decades, the relatively simple and appealing concept of maternal and child health (MCH) has ballooned into a far broader and more convoluted agenda: sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health, with an unwieldy acronym to match: SRMNCAH. The addition of new letters and target areas have brought a wide range of new […]

Why are the Middle-Aged Dying?
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Why are the Middle-Aged Dying?

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By now there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the disturbing study from Princeton economists showing that middle-aged white Americans are the only demographic showing increasing death rates. Only the 45-54 age segment, and only in the United States. Worse yet, the rise in deaths is due to suicide and substance abuse. One of the […]

Book Review: Intimate Graces
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Book Review: Intimate Graces

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The Jubilee Year of Mercy is right around the corner. Why not take advantage of that year to work on your marriage? In Intimate Graces (Ave Maria Press, 2015), Catholic media maven Teresa Tomeo (Pastore) and her husband Deacon Dominick Pastore examine how practicing the works of mercy can bring out the best in marriage. […]

The Meaning of Human Sexuality
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The Meaning of Human Sexuality

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As the concept of gender grows ever more fluid (you can pick any one of 58 gender options on Facebook), it’s worth asking why God created humans as male and female. Bacteria have no gender and reproduce mostly by dividing their cells. Some species of fish are sequentially hermaphroditic, changing genders throughout their lifetime. Angels, […]

dating, marriage, love
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Let Your Spousal Love Grow

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This past summer, after nearly 16 years of marriage, my husband and I took our first bona-fide, airline-ticket “weekend away.” As you might imagine, it was quite a logistical undertaking for a family with four children. More than once I questioned whether we were being selfish for doing it at all. But something happened that […]

Feathers in the Wind: Scandal and Sharing Online
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Feathers in the Wind: Scandal and Sharing Online

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St. Philip Neri once told a woman that as penance for her gossiping, she should scatter a pillowful of feathers into the wind and then walk about the town collecting every feather. The task was impossible, of course, and it emphasized that we can’t take back our words once they’ve been uttered. That’s especially true […]

Jesus's Door
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Jesus’s Door

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I have always been pro-life, and so when we were faced with an unexpected prenatal diagnosis with our 5th daughter at her 19 week scan, there was no question we would bring her in to this world and face her challenges along side of her.  Immediate thoughts included just keeping her alive, getting her through […]

Talkin’ Marriage Online: The Trouble with TMI
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Talkin’ Marriage Online: The Trouble with TMI

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It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as […]

Faith in Suffering: Kristi's Gift to All of Us
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Faith in Suffering: Kristi’s Gift to All of Us

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I crawled into the bed with Kristi and we lay together all afternoon talking and laughing. We talked about everything under the sun: our childhoods, our hopes and dreams, our disappointments, homeschooling, our faith, our husbands, our children, and her cancer. It’s been a year ago already and I can remember everything about that day. […]

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