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 14 and 18, 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 […]


A Review of Head and Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family

As the Synod on the Family continues in Rome, Catholic families around the world are refocusing on the importance of transmitting the faith in a vibrant, intentional way at home. At this particular moment in history, spiritual leadership and growth in holiness within the family really demands our attention as sons and daughters of the Church, and as spouses and […]

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

Each of These Children is a Blessing

“Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.”  (CCC 2276) One of the few issues my wife and I were concerned about when we decided to join the Catholic Church in 2005 was how to include our oldest son, Alex, who has high-functioning autism. He […]

Art Kitty and stained glass -detail-featured-w740x492

Suicide Prevention—Be COMFORT for those who Struggle

Suicide is a terrible thing, because it is the taking of a life and also because it leaves a lasting, troubling impact on others. Our faith tells us that the taking of one’s own  life is objectively a mortal sin. However, we know that depression clouds one’s judgement and ability to reason and therefore, we understand that God is merciful […]


To My Children: Eight Things I Want You to Remember this School Year

Dear Children, Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent hours ordering uniforms and supplies and schoolbooks. I’ve nagged you at least five hundred fifty-six times to finish your summer reading. I’ve carefully selected new book bags with colorful prints that reminded me of you and I’ve labeled your notebooks and binders and tab dividers.   I’ve scoured the house for belts […]


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 […]