Family

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Turning Around the Crisis of Spiritual Leadership in Families

I’m sure you were as dismayed as I was at the recent, sobering findings of the CARA study on the spiritual health of Catholic families. Dr. Gregory Popcak wrote an important article about it here and will continue to explicate the findings of the study, which all Catholics should take interest in. Basically, in Dr. Popcak’s words, “Catholic homes are […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

The Three Views of the Human Person

There are two ways to view the world. We either attempt to see the world rightly as it was intended by the divine author, or we fancy ourselves the arbiters of truth and pronounce the nature of things by our own lights. When it comes to the human person there are at least three distinct ways to see and understand […]

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

Special Children, Blessed Fathers and The Profound Witness They Offer

She sat in the first pew, directly in front of our parish’s beautiful gold tabernacle.  She was dressed for the occasion, donning a simple white dress and she had a small lace veil clipped into her hair.   Her excitement over the upcoming event left her wiggly and every few minutes, she’d look over at her teacher and flash a grin […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy CoanMission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

Tithing: Making Time, Talent, and Treasure Servants to Your Spiritual Leadership

“The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Seven Essential Lessons Dads Need to Teach their Children

Who Introduced You to the Lord? The first question I would like to pose, is simply this: “How did you come by your faith, whether it be weak or strong, new or old? Where and when did you first come to encounter Jesus and his glorious Gospel?” For many of us, the answer would be, “I first came to know […]

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How One Child Transformed His Dad

Fathers make a difference. When they go missing, suffering is inflicted upon the family which then bleeds out into the community in so many ways.   Children also make a difference in the lives of their fathers. Science has even revealed that fatherhood actually changes a man’s brain when he is an active caretaker. Neurons make new connections and hormones increase […]

A Family Saying Grace Before MealA Family Saying Grace Before Meal

Handing On the Faith We Received

When I think back over my life, I am thankful for the many gifts the good God sent my way through people who knew and loved Him and who chose to share that knowledge and love with me. There are so many examples from the good Catholic sisters and priests who taught me to my Presbyterian friend, James, who announced that […]

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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 […]

Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" on the Altar Wall in the Sistine Chapel
Photography by Mark ArmstrongMichelangelo's "Last Judgment" on the Altar Wall in the Sistine Chapel Photography by Mark Armstrong

Worlds Apart

I am a father and a philosopher.  This is not necessarily an unusual combination, but it does give me a range of interests that spans two rather distinctive worlds.  I am interested in the family, its challenges and rewards, its hard work and its joyful celebrations.  As a philosopher, I am interested in an array of ideas that range from […]

Over the Alps, Milan to London flight. 
Photography by Isaac ArmstrongOver the Alps, Milan to London flight. Photography by Isaac Armstrong

One Family’s Novena to Italy—Arrivederci Italia!

Travel Journal Day 9 — The Novena Ends Our family novena in Italy ended in Milan, Italy.  As I began to write this final segment for ICL, four of us were aboard an American Airlines 767 at thirty-six thousand feet bound for the USA.  We had left Milan, Italy earlier that morning and the first views outside our windows were of the Alps […]