Family

YOUR MENTAL “PONDER BOX”

The Trick to Navigating the Stresses of Life A trick to staying positive and relaxed each day amidst life’s stressors is to build yourself a little mental “ponder box.” Imagine a cardboard box that you might buy at a craft store. Decorate it mentally with some pretty fabric, perhaps some ric rac, lace or a satin ribbon. Choose a color […]

Finding Refreshment

Many Catholic women try very hard to be Proverbs 31 wives and mothers. It’s an excellent goal, but frankly sometimes it can be exhausting. Are we doing enough? Are our efforts going to ‘pay off’? If we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, why is life still so hard? These thoughts were swirling in my head recently […]

Is Good Enough Good Enough When It Comes To Parenting?

Is “good enough” good enough when you’re raising a Catholic family?  Colleen Duggan thinks so.  And she ought to know!  Colleen is a self-professed recovering type-A perfectionist, who has struggled in her quest to become the “perfect” Catholic mom of the “perfect” Catholic family.  And she has succeeded – not in achieving perfection, but in learning that God is only asking her to […]

Four Critical Principles for Catholic Fathers

“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” (Pope St. John XXIII) I often feel completely lost and befuddled as a Catholic father in today’s world. How do I set the right example? How do I help my sons grow up with a strong Catholic faith? How do I prepare them […]

Marriage: The Union of One Woman and One Man

Confidential to Wives and Mothers: Going ABOVE and BEYOND

I’m pretty shocked at the number of women I’m talking to these days who find it an intrusion to cook every day for their families. I’ve noticed this a lot lately in real life, and then today again in an online group I am in of faithful, committed Catholics, no less. There’s a thread in that group about a wife […]

"Suffer the little children to come unto me." (detail) by Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What Kindness Really Means

We exited the restaurant with exuberance still lingering from our family dinner conversation. It was a rare treat to take everyone out to eat, so we relished the time spent ordering what we wanted, listening to catchy tunes, and watching diners gather on the dance floor for mid-meal entertainment. I’d forgotten that Sarah had Apert syndrome, as I tend to […]

A Courageous Example and a Loving Parish

I recall a Sunday Mass in 2016 when I had an opportunity to witness a very special moment at my parish. An eighteen-year-old young man with high-functioning autism was taking his first turn as a lector at Mass. The lector role is an important one with serious responsibility, but this young man showed confidence and little fear as he read […]

"The Flight to Egypt" (detail) by Carl Spitzweg

When You Feel Like You’re In Exile

It’s been nearly a year since my husband and I moved our two young daughters out of the only home and neighborhood they’d ever known. My belly was bulging with our third daughter in utero as I packed at least five boxes daily. (Was I nesting early?) The need to move was on the fore of our minds for about […]

Finding Time to Breathe

Suffice it to say that everyone is “busy” these days. Some of us use the word loosely, as an excuse to bypass the things in life we’d rather not face, what’s inconvenient, or what we view as boring. Others of us (the majority, I’d argue) are truly busy. We shuffle kids to and fro—school, extracurriculars, doctor’s appointments, and the like—and […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

What You Can Learn from the Holy Family

The Feast of the Holy Family celebrates the holiness and joy of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph of Nazareth. Each year, this celebration occurs on the Sunday following Christmas Day, unless Christmas falls on a Sunday, then it falls on the following Friday. The Church wants us to see the important link between the birth of our […]