Turning Around the Crisis of Spiritual Leadership in Families

by Katie Warner | July 28, 2015 12:05 am

head-and-heart-front-cover[1]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[2] 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 spiritually bankrupt,” characterized by low Mass attendance, poor participation in religious education, and an inactive personal and family prayer life.

I believe this is a problem of leadership, specifically spiritual leadership, in family life. Husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, are failing to take up their God-given roles as the spiritual leaders of their family, and this inaction has led to a crisis of faith among Catholic families.

So why has focus shifted in large part away from strengthening spiritual leadership in families? Among the possible explanations for the neglect of spiritual leadership among men and women today, the spiritual “heads” and “hearts” of the family, I’ve studied, observed, or experienced the following:

Whatever the reason, if we—as Catholic families and as a Church—don’t reprioritize spiritual leadership in family life, our families, our Church, and our culture will suffer (and arguably already is suffering) the consequences.

The good news is that something can be done. Something is being done. In the Church today, there are Catholic men and women taking spiritual leadership seriously and encouraging others to do the same. I am so passionate about Catholics becoming stronger spiritual leaders in family life that I wrote a book about it. Through the use of stories from everyday men and women much wiser than I am who are seeking to intentionally lead their families toward Christ, through the wisdom of Scripture and the Church, and through practical leadership principles and action steps, I have developed a guide to respond to this crisis in spiritual leadership and help encourage men and women to become the “spiritual heads and hearts” that God calls us to be.

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I encourage you to pre-order this book[3]. It has already begun to change my family in more ways than I expected, and I think it could improve the spiritual health of your family, too. And one holier family is a response worth celebrating to the spiritual leadership crisis that we, as leaders of our Catholic families, can turn around.

Editor’s Note: This article is adapted from Katie Warner’s book, Head and Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family[4] (Emmaus Road Publishing, August 2015), with permission of the author and Emmaus Road Publishing.

Here’s what some other Catholic authors and leaders are saying about Head & Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family, foreword by Bishop James Conley (Emmaus Road Publishing):

“Read this book now and your children will thank you later.” –Steve Ray

“Warner has drawn up a map we can read and follow, so that we all arrive at the goal [heaven], together with our families.” –Dr. Scott Hahn

Head & Heart will help you take small steps toward building a vibrant Catholic identity in your home.” –Dr. Edward Sri

  1. [Image]: http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/wp-content/uploads/head-and-heart-front-cover.jpg
  2. here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithonthecouch/2015/06/catholic-families-in-crisis-new-study-finds-catholic-homes-are-spiritually-bankrupt/
  3. pre-order this book: http://www.emmausroad.org/Head-and-Heart-Becoming-Spiritual-Leaders-for-Your-Family-FONT-colorff0000bComing-Soon-8212-Pre45Order33bFONT--P12236.aspx
  4. Head and Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family: http://www.emmausroad.org/Head-and-Heart-Becoming-Spiritual-Leaders-for-Your-Family-FONT-colorff0000bComing-Soon-8212-Pre45Order33bFONT--P12236.aspx

Source URL: https://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2015/07/katie-warner-turning-around-the-crisis-of-spiritual-leadership-in-families/