“I have always had enough money to give my kids almost anything. But my wife and I decided not to.”

How do you raise a large family today? Any parent will want to read this account in Quartz from engineer Francis L. Thompson: My wife and I had 12 children over the course of 15 1/2 years. Today, our oldest is 37 and our youngest is 22.  I have always had a very prosperous job and [Read More...]

Vatican releases full text of document and survey questions for 2014 Synod of Bishops on the Family

From News.va:  The preparatory document for next year’s Synod of Bishops on the Family was formally released at a news conference in the Vatican on Tuesday. The synod’s theme is “The pastoral challenges to the Family in the context of Evangelization and it will run from the 5th to the 19th of October 2014. The document gives [Read More...]

Historic: Pope Francis calls an Extraordinary Synod on the family

Such synods are rare.  This one will be only the third of its kind ever.  Details from the National Catholic Register:  Pope Francis has called an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization”, the Vatican has announced. The synod, which [Read More...]

Study Finds Record Number of “Breadwinner Moms”

Details:  A record 40% of households with children include “breadwinner moms,” according to a report out today. These moms are the sole or primary source of income for households with children younger than 18, a Pew Research Center analysis finds. Theanalysis looked at data from the U.S. Census Bureau. “The share of households with children where there is [Read More...]

“Dear Parents With Young Children in Church…”

This popped up on my Facebook feed and I thought it too good to pass up — especially, since it touches on issues that have ignited passions here at The Bench. A snip: You are doing something really, really important. I know it’s not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came [Read More...]

PK: The challenges of being a preacher’s kid

I’m sure there are children of deacons and priests who can relate to this, too. From Religion News Service: The day Franklin Graham was born, he received a telegram. “Welcome to this sin-sick world,” the Western Union message said, “and to the challenge you have to walk in your daddy’s footsteps.” It didn’t take long [Read More...]

A family that prays together

Another great story of a return to the church—this time, with an entire Arkansas family coming along for the journey: For 11-year-old Carter Baldwin and his 9-year-old sister Mimi, one of the most exciting things about becoming Catholic isn’t what one might expect from children — going to confession. “I like how Catholicism makes you [Read More...]

“I Like Adoption”: this may be the most pro-life, pro-family video you will see

Take a few minutes and marvel at the Dennehy family below, in the short film “I Like Adoption.” Details: As you watch the story unfold, you see a family with a mixture of children the world would consider “normal” and those without limbs that many today would discard as a “burden”. To Michael and Sharon [Read More...]

What we have come to: figuring out what to call people who are “unmarried spouses”

Can any of us remember a time, not so very long ago, when this wasn’t even worth serious discussion? But the New York Times goes there: Now that we’ve come to some consensus on same-sex marriage, let’s move on to the next puzzle: what to call two people who act as if they are married but [Read More...]

Report: lower birth rate since 2008 hurting economy

It’s a vicious cycle, evidently.  People stop having children because they can’t afford them in a recession, and that just makes things worse. Details:  Debra Mollen, 41, a psychology professor in Denton, Texas, said she and her husband don’t plan to have children as they strive to pay down their mortgage and save for retirement. [Read More...]


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