Family

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Seven Essential Lessons for Dads

Our state in life is where we live out our vocation; it is the path by which we journey to Heaven. God has called each of us by name to Himself. In baptism we each received a share in the divine mission and a responsibility to be faithful to that mission. When a man and a woman answer God’s call to […]

Your “Most Solemn Obligation”

Without question, parents are the primary influence on the faith lives of their children. Study after study shows that when parents are strong spiritual leaders, and when fathers—yes, dads in particular—teach and witness the faith to their children, the kids are far more likely to grow up and live faithful lives themselves. What kind of role do you want the […]

Scrapbooking Materials

I am His Beloved

I paused before exiting the guest bedroom. It was still new to me, since we had moved only a little over a month prior. But the walk-in closet beckoned me to open it, reminding me that I had thrust every photo album, film negative, loose picture, and scrapbook on the shelves in desperation to get the room uncluttered and somewhat […]

"Suffer little children to come unto me" (detail) by Juan Urruchi

Rediscovering Integrity for our Children

What is integrity? Integrity is a word that continues to fascinate me, and over the years the depth of its meaning grows within me. Originally, I understood the definition of integrity as an honest person. Later on, I realized that “integral” and “integrated” are forms of this word and have deeper meanings than just “honest” or “fair.” Our society considers […]

Raising Independent Catholic Kids in an Age of Conformity

Sexting, drugs, alcohol, cyber-bullying, teen suicide, rampant materialism, technology addiction, and me-first mindsets—the list of challenges to young people today can seem overwhelming.  As parents of two boys, ages sixteen and nineteen, I feel like my wife and I are on the front lines of a never-ending war for the very souls of our children.  I would love to tell […]

Flourishing and Dying

About two months ago, our family moved to a new city and home. Life was on the cusp of a spring breakthrough, though we couldn’t yet perceive all of its wonder and glory. Our new backyard was riddled with sticks and brown, parched grass. Heavily pruned and unidentifiable bushes adorned the brick pathway through the side yard. Life was dormant, […]

Detail of Chair of St. Peter Dnalor 01, Rom, Vatikan, Petersdom, Cathedra Petri (Bernini) 4, Detail, CC BY-SA 3.0

Cultivating the Fruits of the Holy Spirit

I could use a lot more fruit in my life.  I’m not talking about dietary fiber, either.  I’m talking about the fruits of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23.  Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  And I’m going to need some help to grow these fruits.  Sure, I have some of each naturally, but, like growing […]

Saint Philip Neri—Heart Specialist

Saint Philip Neri is one of my good friends.  I never knew him during his life on earth, of course, as he lived during the sixteenth century.  But, as with many saints, after learning more about him and his exemplary love for God, I have come to regard him as a great model for the Christian life and have sought […]

The Browns: Anna, Harry Sr., Tom, Mary Margaret, Dick, Harry Jr.

Not just any Tom, Dick, and Harry!

It is the end of an era for the Brown Family of 1234 Cherry Street. They represent the middle.  The middle of the country.  The middle of the century.  The middle class.  The generic American family.  The common man.  A common name.  The family from the Dick and Jane books.  Every Tom, Dick and Harry. But the family of which […]

Not Heroic; Just A Parent

My son has special needs.  In particular, he has Trisomy 21 and Autism.  So, it’s obvious to everyone around that he has special needs.  He’s a great kid and we like him – even though many things are more difficult with him along, which he almost always is.  This is not one of those blog posts where I’ll tell you […]