Category: Parenting

In an Industry that Makes People, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
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In an Industry that Makes People, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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Sperm donation, egg donation and surrogacy: Third party reproduction seems to be a “done deal” in Western society. Even ardently pro-life people do not seem to see the problems. Hey, these techniques are making babies, not killing them. So what could possibly go wrong? A lot of things can go very wrong. Let me describe […]

Pope Francis Praises Personal Freedom in Family Life
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Pope Francis Praises Personal Freedom in Family Life

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The four keys to a lasting marriage are faithful, free, fruitful, and total love, as we explain in our newly released book on Catholic marriage. Pope Francis stresses these same four themes in his recent exhortation Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love). Our last article looked at what the pope had to say about the first key, […]

Pope Francis and School Choice
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Pope Francis and School Choice

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In his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), Pope Francis addressed issues related to marriage and the family. The document has received a great deal of media coverage and it will shape the way that the Church discusses these issues moving forward. One important section of the exhortation focused on reaffirming the Church’s […]

Sweet Spanish-Language Book Teaches Children Why We Pray
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Sweet Spanish-Language Book Teaches Children Why We Pray

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It was my pleasure to introduce my kids to Kimberly Cook’s delightful little book Mami, Mami, Cuando Rezas — the Spanish-language translation of her book Mommy, Mommy, When You Pray. It provided me with the perfect opportunity to make headway on my New Year’s resolution to teach our kids more Spanish! Mami, Mami, Cuando Rezas […]

All Love Bears Fruit
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All Love Bears Fruit

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Fruitfulness is one of the essential gifts of marriage. We’re all familiar with God’s words to Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gn 1:28). God’s directive to the mother and father of all humanity refers to physical fruitfulness. But Jesus in the Gospels speaks about […]

Patient Progress
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Patient Progress

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My son called from graduate school, somewhat discouraged. As part of his degree program, he works with ninth graders, spending his days trying to convince jaded 13 and 14 year olds to care about literature. He’s new to the field and discovering that the major struggle in teaching is not making a lesson plan, but […]

How to Have a Happy Marriage (Even When You're Busy with Kids)
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How to Have a Happy Marriage (Even When You’re Busy with Kids)

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Marital satisfaction tends to take a dip once that first baby comes home from the hospital (or out of the bathtub, birthing center, etc.). This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. Let’s face it. Kids, particularly newborns, are difficult. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying, or a grandparent. But you can maintain a happy marriage […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Active Parenting and Grandparenting With a Wheelchair
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Active Parenting and Grandparenting With a Wheelchair

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Parenting can be daunting, but it becomes more complicated for a wheelchair user. But it can be done with great success. No obstacle is insurmountable with innovative thinking. And there are many agencies in most communities to teach techniques for parenting to wheelchair users. My children were seven and five years old when I was […]

A Strong and Faithful Love: From God the Father to Our Own Fathers
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A Strong and Faithful Love: From God the Father to Our Own Fathers

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I once heard a story about a missionary who was working in an impoverished area where fathers were not a part of the everyday lives of the children. When she taught them the “Our Father,” they couldn’t understand what the love of a father was like. So, with the best of intentions, she taught them […]

God is Our Strength: Raising Children After Divorce
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God is Our Strength: Raising Children After Divorce

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My life as a Catholic father has taken some turns I could never have predicted. My divorce, annulment, and remarriage in the last six years changed the straight, traditional path that I always envisioned. However, one thing has been constant and unwavering—my faith in God and in Jesus Christ. In all I have done in […]

Our Imperfect Family Rosary
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Our Imperfect Family Rosary

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When I was growing up, my immature self believed that the family rosary was something that had to be endured. Through no fault of my parents, the nightly ritual was anything but idyllic. My siblings and I were called into our parents’ bedroom where we knelt facing the crucifix.  My older brother and I would […]

The Cause of High College Tuition
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The Cause of High College Tuition

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Ah, the autumn is upon us. College campuses are buzzing with activity — as college kids and their parents rack up massive debt to cover the cost of high tuition. The origin of such debt is interesting to trace. In 1987, reports Slate, President Reagan’s secretary of Education, Bill Bennett, published a New York Times […]

Praying Through Divorce - And After: How the Rosary is Saving My Soul
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Praying Through Divorce – And After: How the Rosary is Saving My Soul

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How do you pray when you are angry? How can you pray for those who oppose you? When I can’t find my own words, the traditional prayers of our Catholic faith can help. When I was going through my divorce, I had a very difficult time praying. I wasn’t sure of the words to use. […]

Book Review: Pray with Me: 7 Simple Ways to Pray with Your Children
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Book Review: Pray with Me: 7 Simple Ways to Pray with Your Children

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Pray with Me: Seven Simple Ways to Pray with Your Children (Ave Maria Press, 2015) is a great gift to Catholic parents everywhere. Grace Mazza Urbanski, the director of Children’s Ministry for the Apostleship of Prayer in the United States, has degrees in English and Theology, and is also the mother of five children. She […]

Laudato Si with My Children
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Laudato Si with My Children

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Reading Laudato Si was like falling in love. For my husband and me, it brought back memories of the exciting early mornings of twelve years ago. Newly enraptured with Catholic teaching, we would rise early with a pot of coffee and our books – him with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and me with […]

The Pain of Divorce: Annulment Offers Healing and Closure
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The Pain of Divorce: Annulment Offers Healing and Closure

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There’s a well-known quote that I know firsthand to be true: “The best gift parents can give their children is a happy marriage.” The love and happiness shared by parents bring joy to the whole family. Thus when I came to terms with the fact that my first bond did not reflect a happy and […]

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