A Different Kind of Fatherhood for All Men?

A guest blog by Pastoral Solutions Institute pastoral counseling associate, Dave McClow, M.Div., LISW, LMFT.The Ultimate Challenge, at least in this column, is about men and faith.  But today I will use an example of a fictional female character to illustrate a different kind of fatherhood.C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce tells the story of a man from hell who takes a bus tour of Heaven. He sees some “bright Spirits.”  Amongst them is a lady surrounded by musicians, and boys and girls singin … [Read more...]

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Why Most Bad Parenting Advice Begins with “But My Pediatrician Said…”

Let me say up front, this is NOT an article bashing the medical professions in general, or pediatricians, in particular.  I LOVE physicians.  I LOVE pediatricians ESPECIALLY.  They do tremendous (and often thankless) work.  Contrary to a lot of stupid opinions on the internet, when it comes to treating sick children, there is no one better to turn to than your friendly neighborhood pediatrician.  In particular, my kids' pediatrician is awesome. She has gotten my kids through many illnesses and is … [Read more...]

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What’s Up With All Those Catholic “Rules” About Marriage?

My latest for OSV Newsweekly...I recently received the following question about the Church’s requirements for weddings and marriages:“My girlfriend is a Protestant, and her mother recently asked her a question that I haven’t been able to find much information on. She asked, ‘Why can’t a Protestant and a Catholic have a Protestant marriage recognized by the Catholic Church?’ My understanding is with the proper dispensation, it is possible. I couldn’t really explain, though, why a dispe … [Read more...]

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5 Ways Spiritual Direction Can Change YOUR Life

A guest blog by Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Ph.D., Director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute's Spiritual Direction Program.Traditionally, spiritual direction was most closely associated with clergy and religious as part of growth in the interior life. Throughout the history of the Church, few lay people received formal spiritual direction relying instead on the confessional and private devotions. As a result of the Second Vatican Council with its emphasis on the vocation of the laity, … [Read more...]

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Twice As Much Sex Makes Relationships About Half As Good.

Sorry, guys.CARNEGIE MELLON RESEARCHERS FIND MORE SEX DOESN'T LEAD TO INCREASED HAPPINESSBy Shilo ReaCountless research and self-help books claim that having more sex will lead to increased happiness, based on the common finding that those having more sex are also happier. However, there are many reasons why one might observe this positive relationship between sex and happiness. Being happy in the first place, for example, might lead someone to have more sex (what researchers call … [Read more...]

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Got Spiritual Direction? New Service Makes Catholic Spiritual Direction Available to Everyone.

You don't have to be a saint to want to draw closer to God or have more confidence in what he wants for your life.Spiritual direction is an important ministry that helps people at every stage of the spiritual walk draw closer to God and have more confidence in his will for their lives.  In fact, the Church acknowledges the incredible value of spiritual direction and encourages anyone who is serious about their spiritual walk to seek a competent, qualified director (Catechism #2690). The p … [Read more...]

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Antidepressants for a Bad Marriage Yield Depressing Results.

New research shows that doctors regularly diagnose patients as "depressed" when they complain about marital and relationship problems.  The problem is, being sad about a bad marriage isn't depression, and anti-depressants can't treat marital woes.From PsychCentralNew research finds that psychiatrists nearly always respond with prescriptions for antidepressants when clients complain of bad marriages.The medical definition of depression does not support the assumption that people stru … [Read more...]

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Parents vs. iPhone: A Problem of Liturgy?

A guest blog by Pastoral Solutions Institute clinical counseling associate, Dave McClow, M.Div., LMFT, LISW.A 13-year-old boy, Peter, was anxious, even compulsive, melting down whenever his parents asked something of him, especially to get off his iPhone or iPad and re-engage in the human race--specifically, his family life.  I know this is not extremely uncommon.  I was working primarily with the mother, who was having difficulty engaging her husband.  He seemed too busy, and she hesitated t … [Read more...]

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When Daddy Doesn’t Go To Church….

I was honored to be asked for input on a terrific article by Marisa Sandora at For Her on this painful topic.  Here's a sample.So how can those of us in this situation try to convince our non-practicing spouse to attend church services? “The same way we get our spouse to do anything,” says author and therapist Dr. Gregory Popcak. “We explain how important it is, we insist that we be taken seriously, and we refuse to let it go.” Popcak is the executive director of the Pastoral Solutions Instit … [Read more...]

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New Study Finds, “More Church = Less Porn”

From PsychCentral.A new study finds that attendance of religious services by young people is associated with a reduction in viewing pornography over time.The study findings appear in the Journal of Adolescence.“We were able to determine that there is a barrier effect at play wherein religious social control encourages adolescents to view less pornography over time,” said Kyler Rasmussen, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student in the University of Calgary’s Department of Psycholo … [Read more...]

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