HOW CAN I GET THEM TO LISTEN?!? The Secret of Cultivating Discipleship Hearts In Your Children

Every parent wants their children to listen to them, not just about the requests and directives they make, but about the faith and moral lessons they want to pass on.  But how can you get them to listen? Even more importantly, what does it take to get kids to OWN the lessons you teach them and willingly live them out in their own lives?  The key, as we reveal in Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids, is fostering a discipleship heart in your child.Forming D … [Read more...]

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FAITHLESS: Why Don’t Millennials Believe?

           Why are "nones" on the rise?  The answer might surprise you.I recently gave a radio interview about the latest Pew Center finding that "nones" (unchurched/"spiritual not religious") are the fastest growing demographic on the religious scene.  The interviewer asked me if I thought the increasingly secular culture was responsible for both the loss of faith and the breakdown of the family.  I surprised him by saying that the research suggests it just might be the other way around … [Read more...]

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A Response to Prayer Shaming: What Good is Prayer Anyway?

In light of the recent tragedy in San Bernardino, the New York Daily News and other outlets (notably, HuffPo) have challenged believers by, essentially, saying, "spare us your prayers.  God isn't going to fix this."As a pastoral counselor, I hear different versions of this all the time.  Specifically, "What good is prayer if I have to do all the work anyway?"Many people have an incomplete--and frankly, disordered--understanding of the purpose of prayer.  They engage in prayer as if th … [Read more...]

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Raising Faithful Kids: A Cautionary Tale

In Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids my wife and I share research showing that the likelihood that a child will grow up to own their faith is directly related to the degree they experience the faith as the source of the warmth in their home.  Everything else--everything from mass attendance, to catechesis, to family prayer, to moral instruction--is essential, but secondary to the children's experience as the faith as the source of the warmth in their home. W … [Read more...]

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RAISE FAITHFUL KIDS! SAVE 50% on a Great New Resource!

If you or your parish are looking for a way to empower families to foster intentional discipleship in the home, I wanted to let you know about a special offer. Several parishes have expressed an interest in giving my and my wife's latest book, Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids as a gift to parents for Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation classes. In light of this, Sophia Institute Press has offered a 50% discount to any parish or group who was … [Read more...]

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Hey Parents! Stop Asking Permission to Be A Family!

Moms and dads, I want to let you in on a secret. You don't need permission from your children's coaches, teachers, youth ministers, scout leaders, etc, etc, etc, to have a family life.  All those people have to ask YOU permission to borrow your kids.  NOT the other way around.At my wife and my recent presentation at the World Meeting of Families, the above statement earned an unexpected ovation.  In our talk, we asserted the completely counter-cultural and Catholic idea that family life, it … [Read more...]

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Spiritual Autism & the Catholic-Evangelical Divide—AMENDED with APOLOGY

AUTHOR NOTE:  In an attempt to address a serious problem I feel impacts the Church, I attempted to use autism as a metaphor.  I made a sincere effort to do so sensitively, based upon my understanding of the disorder. Since then, it has come to my attention that many people have been offended by my characterization of autism and my use of it in this context.  It was never my intention to offend any parent of a child with autism or any person with autism.  I have nothing but the deepest respect for … [Read more...]

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World Meeting of Families Speakers Assert, “Family Life is an Activity, NOT an Accessory”

 "We need to rediscover the gift of family life; that family life is its own activity, not an accessory.  We can't simply "have" a family but work on everything else in our lives. Instead, we need to prioritize regular, daily and weekly appointments to work, play, talk, and pray together as a family, and schedule every other outside commitment around those rituals of connection that represent the skeleton of family life.  We need to protect those rituals of connection as the sacred r … [Read more...]

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