Family

"Christ in the House of Mary and Martha" (detail) by Johannes Vermeer"Christ in the House of Mary and Martha" (detail) by Johannes Vermeer

When My Martha Tendencies Highjack My Desire To Be Like Mary During Advent

I woke up one morning recently and panicked about my failure to “plan” Advent.  After a few hours of agonizing about an approach, I concocted a plan of attack. “If we get an Advent wreath, make a calendar, prepare an empty manger with sacrifice straw and pull out all fifty of the Christmas books, I think we’ll be in good […]

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

We Teach Our Children That God Loves Them

As responsible and caring parents, we teach our children that God loves them. We also teach them to pray and to go to God with their needs. But how do we explain those times when God lets them suffer and their prayers are not answered the way they had hoped? It makes the most sense to look to Jesus for […]

Photography Copyright © by Colleen DugganPhotography Copyright © by Colleen Duggan

How to Keep Your Kids Catholic

I don’t remember much of the arithmetic or history my fifth grade teacher, Sister Matthew Marie, a religious with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, taught us. But I do remember that when she needed our attention, instead of yelling, she whispered. She sometimes played soccer with us on the playground during recess, and watching Sister run — with her […]

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Parents of Large Families: Ours is a Public Ministry

I went to the dentist last week and when it was my turn to have my teeth cleaned, the energetic 23-year-old hygienist made small talk as she prepped the room for x-rays. “Your husband was just in here and he told me you guys have six kids?” the young woman said. “Yes, we do,” I answered. I braced myself for […]

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Creating Summer Family Memories

One summer I encouraged Catholic moms to be mindful of their prayer schedules when changing over to a new season. I gently but straightforwardly reminded, “While making plans for our families this summer, let’s not forget about the prayer. Summer is certainly not a time for our faith to inadvertently go on vacation, after all. Changes in our schedule once […]

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Seven Steps to Combat Grocery Checkout Lane Smut

I was unloading a mound of groceries onto the conveyor belt during a recent trip to a major superstore when my 7-year old said, “Mom, the baby is looking at something inappropriate.” Since I was calculating the cost of an astronomical food bill for a family of eight, I only half-listened to my child’s cautionary words. When I turned my […]

Artwork © by Judith CostelloArtwork © by Judith Costello

Everyone Needs Another Mother

As my son prepares to leave home for college in just a few months, I feel a bit lost. Who’s going to be there to say, “It’s late and time to get to bed. Put those things away now. Are you feeling OK?” The importance of parents—for the spiritual health of children–can never be overstressed. It is parents who instill […]

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In All Things, Give Thanks?

“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever!” (Psalm 107:1) I pressed the down button and waited for the elevator. We were at Johns Hopkins Neurology Clinic where my husband and I had just met with a genetic specialist about my son, Patrick. The doctor had given us a thorough overview […]

Mother and ChildMother and Child

I Went to School for Years! Now I’m a Stay-at-Home Mom…?

The other day I was reflecting on a common frustration among stay-at-home moms—the seemingly “wasted” years of higher education that apparently get tossed aside when children enter the picture. Admittedly, I had moments leading up to the birth of my son when I felt that way. “I kicked my butt in undergrad and graduate school, just so I could change […]