Is the Catholic Family Different? 5 Marks of the Catholic Family–A Proposal.

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The Patheos Catholic Channel is hosting a Symposium on the Family in light of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family in October and the recent release of the working document for the Synod. In the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on The Family, the Church will consider the mission of the Catholic family.  One of the big questions we need to look at in wrestling with this larger issue is, “Should Catholic families be different in some way from other families (other than in the ways we pra … [Read more...]

Mission Possible: Rediscovering Catholic Family Identity

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The Patheos Catholic Channel is hosting a Symposium on the Family in light of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family in October and the recent release of the working document for the Synod. The following is part of that ongoing series.In November 2013, I was asked by my bishop to provide a response to the survey in preparation for the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family.  Many of the questions in that document have to do with the faithful’s awareness of the practical signif … [Read more...]

Sesame Street Tells Lies that Hurt Kids (OR, Why “Any Group of People / Living Together And Loving Each Other” ISN’T “Doing the Family Thing”)

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The Patheos Catholic Channel is hosting a Symposium on the Family in light of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family in October and the recent release of the working document for the Synod. In the last decade, especially, in a well-intentioned effort to be inclusive, educators and broadcasters have been redefining what it means to be a family.  The simplest and most concise example might be this music video from the popular children's television program, Sesame Street, which states, " … [Read more...]

Why Is the Family So Important Anyway?– The Catholic Channel Symposium on the Extraordinary Synod for the Family.

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In light of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family and the recent release of the working document on the Synod, the Patheos Catholic Channel is hosting a special symposium on the Catholic vision of marriage and family life and the specific challenges to both living out and promoting that vision.   In light of this effort, I wanted to kick off my contribution by looking briefly at why the family matters at all.More Than "'Cause God Said So"Many people know that the Church teaches t … [Read more...]

Prayer Promotes Bonding, Study Says.

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Servant of God, Fr. Patrick Peyton, is famous for the slogan, "the family that prays together, stays together."  In our books, our radio program and counseling practice, we strongly recommend both couple and family prayer as a way of increasing intimacy and responding to the differences that can divide.  Of course, this isn't just true for families.  Prayer is the means by which Jesus' own wish that all might be one in him (John 17:21) will be fulfilled.  As Pope Francis has demonstrated rep … [Read more...]

What Stage is Your Faith?

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We have a tendency to think that faith is faith.  But we all recognize that faith grows and changes with time.  What if faith evolved over specifically definable stages? What stage of faith would you be in?  What stage of faith are you called to be moving toward?Universal Stages of FaithIn his classic book, Stages of Faith:  The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning, Dr. James Fowler looks at how faith evolves over time. He identifies 6 Stages of Faith Development.   I … [Read more...]

Faith, Spirituality, Belief, Religion…What’s the Difference?

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Conventionally, we tend to use words like, "faith", "spirituality", "belief" and "religion" interchangeably and, generally speaking, there isn't anything wrong with that. But it may interest you to know that for those who study the psychology of religion, these words do have different meanings.  More than just an academic distinction, these differences can actually be quite enlightening and helpful for you in making clearer sense out of the different aspects of your own faith journey.  Let's l … [Read more...]

Pope St. John Paul II & Pope St. John XXIlI: Partners in the Universal Call to Holiness

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It surprises many people that the Church will be canonizing both Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II this Sunday, April 4/27.  Most of the commentary I've read sees this in political terms. That is to say, the perception by many secular observers seems to be that the Church is throwing a bone to liberals by canonizing their guy while the Church throws a bone to conservatives by canonizing their guy.   I doubt there is much to this political angle, but I think there is a deeper, much more si … [Read more...]


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