Category: The Catholic Family

Essential Oils: The Good, the Bad, and the Occult
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Essential Oils: The Good, the Bad, and the Occult

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Scents are in everything from cleaners, air fresheners, cosmetics and lotions and even drawer liners. And in recent years, the big business of essential oils promises health and well-being through smells. Who doesn’t like to breathe in a good smell? Taking a deep whiff of chocolate or lavender is pleasant. But if you want to […]

<em>Humility Rules</em>: Book Review
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Humility Rules: Book Review

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Anyone need a good book for teenage boys?  That’s inspiring, short, and hilarious? If so, you’re in luck. Ignatius Press has just the thing: Humility Rules: Saint Benedict’s 12-Step Guide to Genuine Self-Esteem by Brother J. Augustine Wetta. Recently a friend of mine gave this book to me, and I read it in a day […]

Slow Down This Summer
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Slow Down This Summer

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The children of their own accord made a little shrine in our trees the other day. (They affectionately call these trees, The Wildness.) They gathered lilacs and other flowers in bloom, made blue sashes with star badges, and used sticks for swords.  They also made a little flag. It was all in honor of Mary, […]

How to Survive Insomnia
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How to Survive Insomnia

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I was asked the other day if I suffer from insomnia? Uh, yes. From time-to-time anyway, and it’s terrible.  I never used to have a problem sleeping. Anybody remember those college days of setting the alarm clock for 10am? And sleeping all the way through the night, until 10am? Yeah, that’s a little pathetic, but […]

Good Marriage Prep Matters
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Good Marriage Prep Matters

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In my work preparing engaged couples for marriage, I find myself pondering what might have been different for us, if my husband and I would have been required to take the same prep that is currently offered in the Diocese of Phoenix. While we were married in Phoenix over thirty-eight years ago, the marriage prep […]

His Mother Brought Him to Lourdes, His Heavenly Mother Healed Him, Now He's a Priest
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His Mother Brought Him to Lourdes, His Heavenly Mother Healed Him, Now He’s a Priest

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Mothers make great sacrifices for their children, that is widely known. That they are often the gateway to sainthood perhaps less so, and yet, behind every great saint (to steal a phrase), is likely to be an attentive mother. Fr. Christy David Pathiala would probably agree. He speaks of his own mother with great reverence, […]

Creative Mother's Day Gifts
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Creative Mother’s Day Gifts

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What can you give to the woman who makes the best meatloaf and taught you how to tie your shoes?  Often, children feel that no gift is  enough to thank the woman who loves them like no other, while for mother’s the humblest  of gifts are treasured. Motherhood, when done with love, (yes, some have […]

What’s It All About, Alfie?
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What’s It All About, Alfie?

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For the second time within a year, England has a high-profile case of court-mandated murder of a desperately ill child. The first was Charlie Gard, and now comes Alfie Evans. Alfie missed several developmental milestones in his first seven months of life, which did not alarm physicians at the time. It’s not known precisely what […]

How to Survive Barfing Children, Ear Infections and Other Nasty Stuff
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How to Survive Barfing Children, Ear Infections and Other Nasty Stuff

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Some of you may be wondering how it might be possible to survive sickness in your household and teach school all day? Since I am in the midst of caring for Sick Children right now, I thought I’d offer a few tips of advice.  This is mostly to encourage myself and cheer on the rest of you, who […]

A Day of No Yelling
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A Day of No Yelling

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Today is Tuesday, and I have not yelled at my children at all.  So far.  Yes, I know it’s 6am, and they’re not up yet, but hey, I’ve got to start somewhere, right? Last week I was listening to a great show on the Sin of Wrath, and it got me thinking that I should […]

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 5
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A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 5

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Welcome back to a day in my life. This is the final part. After the children have completed their dinner chores, they usually have time to mess around for a bit until the next part of our evening begins, which is the Rosary 7pm Rosary Around 7pm, my husband calls all the children to Rosary […]

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 4
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A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 4

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Welcome back to “A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool.” Today we pick up with Dinner Time. 5:15pm: Dinner Time After I’ve greeted my husband, we sit down for dinner together as a family.  Fortunately, our schedule allows this to happen almost every single night.  If it’s at all possible, I encourage all […]

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 3
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A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 3

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Welcome back to “A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool.”  In Part 2, I ended with Quiet Time, which is usually over around 1pm, as the children begin sneaking upstairs to see what I’m doing. At this time a couple of things happen: Outdoor Recess and Afternoon School. As the four middle children […]

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 2
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A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 2

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Welcome back to a day in my life, which can be a bit crazy, being the mother of now 7 little children, all under the age of 12. In Part 1, I ended by mentioning Mid-Morning Prayer Time, which is where I’ll pick up today. 10am Mid-Morning Prayer At around 10am, when the children are […]

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 1
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A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool: Part 1

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I might be a Crazy Fool. After all, I have 6 children under the age of 12, I’m a Catholic, I homeschool, and I’m pregnant. Goodness gracious!  To most in our culture, I am a crazy fool. Why would I do such things? The short answer?  Because my heart is full of love. The long […]

A Conscience-Stinger for Lent
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A Conscience-Stinger for Lent

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Anyone want a good conscience-stinger for Lent? Recently I just reread Thomas Dubay’s Happy Are You Poor. And my conscience was stung. I have too much stuff, and my children have too much stuff. And this stuff gets in the way of knowing Jesus. And it’s time to clean house and make space for Him. Now as […]

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things! 'Inclusiveness' Ruins Wholesome Event
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This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things! ‘Inclusiveness’ Ruins Wholesome Event

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When I was a kid attending Catholic school, if someone was caught with gum, or candy, a typical response from a teacher who was usually a Dominican nun, would be: “Do you have enough for everyone?” If we had been clever enough to prepare ahead of time, pulling out enough gum or candy for the […]

Dear Struggling Marriages
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Dear Struggling Marriages

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In my work preparing couples for marriage, I have had to account for the unexpected implosion of a marriage where I was once part of the preparation. Sometimes I hear about the troubles first hand, other times when I see one of them meeting with the Nullity Minister. It saddens me every time when those […]

A Time for Change
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A Time for Change

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Every person deserves dignity, especially to be recognized as equal creations of God, as we all are. Yet we are created individually and differently, which is a huge part of the challenge presented to us by Jesus in the Second Commandment — to Love our neighbors as ourselves. The only way we are able to […]

Heartfelt and Handmade: The Value of Story in Our Family’s Advent
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Heartfelt and Handmade: The Value of Story in Our Family’s Advent

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To live the meaning of “prepare.” The meaning of “wait.” A tradition as simple as the lighting of the stately lavender tapers, ring of purples and pink, each boy eagerly anticipating leading the nightly prayer. Or reciting the scripture verse. And do they ever read this verse with care, as their first Advent morning utterances […]

Teaching Children About the Angels
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Teaching Children About the Angels

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Fall is here and my mind turns to the angels.  As the leaves drop and remind us of our earthly transience, our thoughts settle on the spiritual world which is usually hidden from our senses, the world of Heaven, in which dwell the saints and angels.  And so, we celebrate the feasts of the Archangels […]

Selfless
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Selfless

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The word selfless appears to be an oxymoron at first glance, a contradiction if you will. We are encouraged through Scripture in both the New and Old Testaments on numerous occasions that, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love yourself too much, and risk being an egomaniac and your neighbor is literally invisible much […]

Why Marriage?
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Why Marriage?

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I work full time in marriage ministry. I have the honor to work with excited, newly engaged couples anxious to start the prep process. Their exuberant joy is quite contagious. After gathering the critical contact information, I like to pose deeper questions to ascertain where they are at in their understanding of marriage, and to […]

The Principle of Solidarity and U.S. Healthcare: A Closer Look
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The Principle of Solidarity and U.S. Healthcare: A Closer Look

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When members of Congress were debating the Affordable Care Act, many Catholics suggested that the Catholic Principle of Subsidiarity was particularly instructive in the ongoing U.S. healthcare debate.  Although mindful of the many relevant Catholic principles involved in the discussions of U.S. Healthcare (e.g., common good, separation of Church and State, life, primacy of focus […]

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