March 6, 2018

There is more to marriage than meets that eye. That’s the message of this exciting new resource by the Pastoral Solutions Institute and the Diocese of Steubenville that promotes the Catholic Vision of Love and Marriage. The program employs a simple web-based format and runs like a DIY online couples’ retreat.  Each of the 12 units in the course consists of a brief (7-9min), high quality video presentation, discussion questions, resources for independent study, and a simple 5 item quiz… Read more

March 5, 2018

Guest post by Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Ph.D., Director of the Pastoral Solutions Spiritual Direction Services It’s quite common in spiritual direction to hear someone say, “If God would just take away this cross, I would be a much better Christian.” Suffering impacts all of us to a greater or lesser degree such that, to live is to suffer. This is not to suggest that life can be reduced to suffering, but that suffering is a significant aspect of life. Hence, the real question… Read more

March 1, 2018

  A new study in the journal Infant and Child Development found that co-sleeping moms experienced at least 16% more criticism than other moms.  Additionally, moms who were persistently criticized for co-sleeping were 76% more depressed and anxious about both their parenting and their baby’s wellbeing than other parents. According lead researcher, Douglas Teti of Penn State University, “We definitely saw that the persistent co-sleepers—the moms that were still co-sleeping after six months—were the ones who seemed to get the most… Read more

February 27, 2018

Guest post by Dave McClow, Pastoral Solutions Institute. “I don’t believe in hell.  If there is a hell, it can’t be any worse than my life here.”  These were the most striking words from my 55-year-old-same-sex-attracted brother Mark in the last two-plus weeks of his life.  He died February 27, 2017, from throat cancer.  I wanted to remember him here and witness to the abyss of God’s mercy. It started in May 2016 with a diagnosis, then treatment in August,… Read more

February 14, 2018

This is the first time Ash Wednesday and St. Valentine’s Day have fallen on the same day since 1945.  On this auspicious occasion, perhaps it’s time to give up the bitterness, anger, and petty grievances that prevent us from experiencing the loving marriage God wants for us.   My latest column for OSV Newsweekly. The correspondence of Ash Wednesday and St. Valentine’s Day almost writes its own joke. Sadly, for some couples, getting ashes for Valentine’s Day is not only no… Read more

February 13, 2018

So, Ash Wednesday falls on St. Valentine’s Day this year.  What to do?  Well, you could sit around penitentially eating clear broth in heart-shaped bowls, OR you could discover how two great things that don’t seem to go together…really do! That’s where the Lent is For Lovers program comes in.  The Dominican fathers in Cincinnati developed this wonderful program that has grown from a local outreach to an international ministry that is touching hearts in places as far as Kenya…. Read more

February 12, 2018

God gave us the gift of marriage so men and women could learn to truly cherish each other and feel loved, supported and treasured in each other’s arms.  In Christian marriage, especially, passion and romance shouldn’t feel like an optional add-on. But some days, it can feel more difficult than others to cultivate that peace and romance in your relationship, especially with all the distractions and pressures of life getting in the way. On top of this, we Christians have… Read more

February 7, 2018

Guest post by Dave McClow, Pastoral Solutions Institute Men are more wired to assess threats than women; maybe that is partly why the disciples hid in fear behind locked doors after Jesus’ crucifixion (see John 20:19-23).  Fear perceives the other as the enemy.  Fear underlies all sin—any attack on the dignity of the human person.  It becomes a problem when we fear the wrong people—like our spouses and kids.  It is not a new problem, since it dates back to… Read more

January 30, 2018

My monthly column for OSV Newsweekly. Pope Francis has challenged us to find more effective ways to bring Christ to the world. So this year,  let’s resolve — both as individuals and as a Church — to adopt a new approach to ministry that focuses on nourishing the seeds of faith instead of the current model that obsesses over why barren land is so … barren. Let me explain. The Church is rightly concerned about many problems. How can we… Read more

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