General Ways to Strengthen Catholic Families

Family Connection Ideas

Catholic Learning Resources

Podcasts

More 2 Life Podcast (Ways to Strengthen Catholic Family Life)

More 2 Life is a radio program that brings the Theology of the Body teachings of John Paul II into the practical, everyday experience of life. Dr. Greg and Lisa will help you solve your problems with relevant, relatable and achievable tools and solutions straight from the genius of the Theology of the Body.

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  • More2Life - 3/2/21 - Wedding March Madness! March 2, 2021
    Even the best husbands and wives can drive each other crazy now and then. Let us help you have the peaceful, joyful, faithful, intimate marriage you’re longing for. Dr. Greg and Lisa will help you solve your problems with relevant, relatable and achievable tools and solutions straight from the genius of the Theology of the […]
    Greg & Lisa Popcak - Hosts
  • More2Life - 3/1/21 - Lent-al Health March 1, 2021
    We continue our series on how to fast from falsehood and give up the lies holding you back from the life God wants for you. Dr. Greg and Lisa will help you solve your problems with relevant, relatable and achievable tools and solutions straight from the genius of the Theology of the Body. It is […]
    Greg & Lisa Popcak - Hosts
  • More2Life - 2/26/21 - Finding Fulfillment February 26, 2021
    Feeling stuck, frustrated or unfulfilled? We’ll help you find direction and purpose. Dr. Greg and Lisa will help you solve your problems with relevant, relatable and achievable tools and solutions straight from the genius of the Theology of the Body. It is the life you were meant to live! To make a telecounseling appoint with […]
    Greg & Lisa Popcak - Hosts
  • More2Life - 2/25/21 - Overcoming Obstacles February 25, 2021
    What's standing between you and the solutions you're seeking? We'll help you get results. Dr. Greg and Lisa will help you solve your problems with relevant, relatable and achievable tools and solutions straight from the genius of the Theology of the Body. It is the life you were meant to live! To make a telecounseling […]
    Greg & Lisa Popcak - Hosts
Messy Family Podcast (Ways to Strengthen Catholic Family Life)

Parenting is not a clean-cut, simple process for those who like to follow the rules. Family life is messy and unpredictable, but it is the greatest adventure you will ever have. We are Mike and Alicia Hernon, parents of 10 children ranging from 6 to 23 and we would like to invite you into some of the conversations we have had with each other about marriage, parenting, and Catholic family life.

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  • MFP 152 : First Time Obedience February 26, 2021
       The family is the first school of virtue Discipline is the issue that we get the most questions about probably because there is so much conflicting advice for parents out there.  The bottom line is that every couple must … Continue reading The post MFP 152 : First Time Obedience appeared first on Messy […]
    Mike and Alicia Hernon : Catholic Marriage Parent and Family
  • Lent, Lent, Time to Repent! February 15, 2021
    The post Lent, Lent, Time to Repent! appeared first on Messy Family Project.
    Mike and Alicia Hernon : Catholic Marriage Parent and Family
  • MFP151 : Lent and Your Family February 12, 2021
       “Each day be conscious of your duty to be a saint. — A saint! And that doesn’t mean doing strange things. It means a daily struggle in the interior life and in heroically fulfilling your duty right through to … Continue reading The post MFP151 : Lent and Your Family appeared first on Messy […]
    Mike and Alicia Hernon : Catholic Marriage Parent and Family
  • Seven Tips for Pursuing Your Spouse February 8, 2021
    Passion is an essential element in any exclusive relationship. These strong emotions can serve as the wind in our sails to keep us motivated to strive to make our marriage better and to go deeper. It’s very easy to fall … Continue reading The post Seven Tips for Pursuing Your Spouse appeared first on Messy […]
    Mike and Alicia Hernon : Catholic Marriage Parent and Family
Catholic Sprouts Podcast (Teaching the Catholic Faith to Children)

The Catholic Sprouts Podcast is a daily podcast for Catholic kids. The short episodes are designed to plant one seed of faith each day. Topics covered include Catholic Feast Days, Morality, Catholic Theology, the saints and the sacraments.

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  • CS 665: 3-2-21: Tuesday: The Ultimate Goal of Lent March 2, 2021
    Thanks for listening to Catholic Sprouts! Please consider sharing this with another Catholic Parent, or Catholic Teacher so that we can all work together to plant seeds of Faith!   Let us help you build your Domestic Church! Join us inside our NEW APP for the Domestic Church Project Bootcamp: a six week experience for […]
    Nancy Bandzuch
  • CS 664: 3-1-21: Monday: The Ultimate Goal of Lent March 1, 2021
    Thanks for listening to Catholic Sprouts! Please consider sharing this with another Catholic Parent, or Catholic Teacher so that we can all work together to plant seeds of Faith!   Let us help you build your Domestic Church! Join us inside our NEW APP for the Domestic Church Project Bootcamp: a six week experience for […]
    Nancy Bandzuch
  • CS 663: 2-26-21: Friday: The Daily Examen February 26, 2021
    Thanks for listening to Catholic Sprouts! Please consider sharing this with another Catholic Parent, or Catholic Teacher so that we can all work together to plant seeds of Faith!   The Catholic Sprouts Daily Examen Book can be found here!   Let us help you build your Domestic Church! Join us inside our NEW APP […]
    Nancy Bandzuch
  • CS 662: 2-25-21: Thursday: The Daily Examen February 25, 2021
    Thanks for listening to Catholic Sprouts! Please consider sharing this with another Catholic Parent, or Catholic Teacher so that we can all work together to plant seeds of Faith!   The Catholic Sprouts Daily Examen Book can be found here!   Let us help you build your Domestic Church! Join us inside our NEW APP […]
    Nancy Bandzuch
  • CS 661: 2-24-21: Wednesday: The Daily Examen February 24, 2021
    Thanks for listening to Catholic Sprouts! Please consider sharing this with another Catholic Parent, or Catholic Teacher so that we can all work together to plant seeds of Faith! The Catholic Sprouts Daily Examen Book can be found here!   Let us help you build your Domestic Church! Join us inside our NEW APP for […]
    Nancy Bandzuch
Fr. Mike Schmitz (Learn About the Catholic Faith)

Faith, pop culture, and headline reflections from Fr. Mike Schmitz.

CLICK HERE to view the Fr. Mike Schmitz podcast episodes on the Ascension Presents website.

Ask Fr. Josh (Learn About the Catholic Faith)

Ask Fr. Josh is the podcast where I hear you out and do my best to help you navigate the tricky times in life when our Catholic Faith doesn’t give you an easy “fill-in-the blank” answer. On this show, we’ll listen to one another, problem solve together, and ultimately entrust everything to our Lord.

CLICK HERE to view the Ask Fr. Josh podcast episodes on the Ascension Presents website.

Catholic Answers Live (Learn About the Catholic Faith)

Catholic Answers Life podcast is a radio show where people call in with questions about Catholicism and morality. The radio show hosts answer those questions.

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  • #9997 Bible Blueprint for the Church - Karlo Broussard March 2, 2021
    Karlo Broussard shares the bible blueprint for the Catholic Church. Questions Covered: 14:16 – I am an Anglican. What is the Catholic perspective on the Anglican claim to apostolic succession?  21:19 – What part of the old covenant is brought into the new covenant?  29:35 – Do Anglicans coming into communion with the Catholic Church […]
    Catholic Answers
  • #9996 Transgenderism - Mary Rice Hasson March 1, 2021
    Transgenderism is a growing concern for the Church as more and more parents and kids are convinced to take part in gender treatments from a young age. Mary Rice Hasson talks about the danger of accepting gender dysphoria as healthy and provides practical support for how to combat this dysphoria. Questions Covered: 23:38 – How […]
    Catholic Answers
  • #9995 Catholic Answers Game Show - Karlo Broussard February 27, 2021
    ROUND ONE 1) During Lent we fast and pray. In the Gospels, Jesus teaches that fasting: a) is something that we should do every Lent. b) is something that we should undertake before confessing our sins. c) is something that is sometimes needed to drive out demons. (Mark 9:29) 2) During Lent we give alms […]
    Catholic Answers
  • #9994 Meeting Protestant Challenges - Karlo Broussard February 26, 2021
    What are the differences between Protestant and Catholic belief? Karlo Broussard responds to common Protestant challenges. Questions Covered: 14:39 – How do you counter when a Protestant says that John 6 is just analogy or metaphor? They say, that sounds like cannibalism, that’s crazy.  22:03 – How can we respond to Protestants about Jesus having […]
    Catholic Answers
  • #9993 Open Forum - Jimmy Akin February 26, 2021
    Questions Covered: 04:00 – When we are in heaven, will we see others or will we be so enamored by God that we see only him?  07:32 – My son is almost 20 and is not practicing his faith right now. How can I talk to him about the faith and help bring him back […]
    Catholic Answers
Word on Fire with Bishop Robert Barron (Learn About the Catholic Faith)

Join Bishop Robert Barron for a podcast on faith and culture.

Find more podcast episodes at https://www.wordonfireshow.com/

RSS Word on Fire Podcast with Bishop Barron

  • WOF 273: Abandonment to Divine Providence March 1, 2021
    Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade's spiritual classic, Abandonment to Divine Providence, taught that everything falls under God's will, from our delights to our challenges, and our happiness will only be fully realized in cooperating with that will. But does this include painful and traumatic experiences? What about COVID? Bishop Barron and Brandon discuss these questions as […]
    Bishop Robert Barron
  • WOF 272: Talking to Princeton Students About God (part 2 of 2) February 22, 2021
    Bishop Barron recently joined students from Princeton University in a virtual Q&A about God, faith, reason, and evangelization. The event was led by Leah Libresco Sargeant, a fellow of the Word on Fire Institute, and graciously hosted by The Aquinas Institute at Princeton’s Catholic Campus Ministry. Today on the podcast, we share the second half […]
    Bishop Robert Barron
  • WOF 271: How to Draw Young People Back to the Church February 15, 2021
    Why do so many young people drift away from God and the Church, and how can we help them return? This is a pressing question for all Catholics, but especially for parents who are brokenhearted about their own sons or daughters who have become unaffiliated. In today's episode, Bishop Barron and Brandon Vogt discuss Brandon's […]
    Bishop Robert Barron
  • WOF 270: Evangelization 101 (part 1 of 2) February 8, 2021
    Bishop Barron recently joined students from Princeton University in a virtual Q&A about God, faith, reason, and evangelization. The event was led by Leah Libresco Sargeant, a fellow of the Word on Fire Institute, and graciously hosted by The Aquinas Institute at Princeton’s Catholic Campus Ministry. Today on the podcast, we share the first half […]
    Bishop Robert Barron
  • WOF 269: Kids Q&A w/ Bishop Barron (February 2021) February 1, 2021
    Today, Bishop Barron answers questions from children all over the world, including: Is God bigger than an elephant? Why did God make bad germs? How did God come to exist? How can God see us from up in heaven if we can't see him? Do you think animals go to Heaven? Why do bad things […]
    Bishop Robert Barron

Books & Articles

Talking to Your Children About Death - by Dr. Gregory Popcak

Talking to Kids about Death

Gina’s father just passed away having lost his long battle with cancer. She is devastated but even harder is trying to decide what to do about her children, ages 8, 5 and 2. Some of her friends are telling her to keep the children away from the funeral while others are insisting that it is important to include them in some way. Gina, reeling from her loss, doesn’t know what to do and doesn’t have a great deal of energy to figure it out. She feels confused and overwhelmed by everything that’s happening around her.

No one wants to talk about issues related to death and dying. We especially don’t want to have to talk about it with our children. As Christians, however, the month of November, with the Feasts of All Saint’s and All Soul’s Days, gives us a wonderful opportunity to take charge of our fears and teach our children some important lessons about life, loss, and God’s abundant love.

What is Death?

We were not created to die. The Catechism states that it was not God’s intention that we would experience bodily death.
“Even though man’s nature is mortal, God had destined him not to die. Death was therefore contrary to the plans of God the Creator and entered the world as a consequence of sin. ‘Bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned’ is thus ‘the last enemy’ of man left to be conquered” (CCC#1008).

As human beings, we are said to be “ensouled.” That is, the body and soul were meant to be integral and complimentary to each other. It isn’t entirely correct to say that we “have” a soul. The soul and the body are one and weren’t designed to be separated.

Metaphorically speaking, what parts of ice cream are ice? What parts are cream? The ‘ice’ and the ‘cream’ are integral and complimentary to one another. Together, they make ice cream what it is. Of course, a soul is much more to a body than this, but my point is that it should seem even more absurd to think of them as separate things. St. Thomas Aquinas taught that death represented the unnatural separation of the body and soul. They were never meant to be apart from one another. Both, together, make us what we are.

That’s why Christians are sad when someone dies. Even though it is a wonderful thing to be able to hope that the person who has passed has, through God’s love, gone to Heaven, we recognize that we were never meant to be separated from our bodies even for a second, and we ache for the resurrection of the body which will occur when Christ comes again. 

Parents should not be afraid to talk to children about death. Although we must approach the topic sensitively, the Christian understanding of death is characterized by a profound sense of hope and a deep connection with God’s love. As the Catechism puts it…

“the obedience of Jesus has transformed the curse of death into a blessing. Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning… In death, God calls man to himself”  (CCC #1008-1011).

Here are some things to keep in mind when sharing these deep truths with your children.

  1. Be Sensitive

    Whether your child’s first experience of death is a pet or a loved one or even just a topic of discussion that arises because of All Saints or All Souls, avoid any tendency to launch into lectures or even well-intentioned attempts to take away your child’s feelings. As parents, seeing our children hurt is unbearable, but children don’t want moms and dads to deny their pain. They want them to understand it and love them through it.

    Ask your children how they feel about their loss. Let them lead the discussion as much as possible. If they share something, ask where they learned to think what they do and how those thoughts make them feel. Be sure to understand as much of the child’s experience before you offer your own thoughts, and begin by answering questions or filling in any gaps.

    If your child doesn’t know what to think, you can share how losing someone you love makes you feel. Explain that people sometimes feel lots of other things too. Some people feel sad, and others feel angry, and others feel scared and others feel something else- even nothing. Let your child know that whatever he or she feels is OK. Hold your child in your arms. When your child has shared whatever he or she can, tell your child you understand how he or she is feeling and that you are proud of your child for telling you.

    Without trying to talk your children out of what they are feeling, remind your children that even though death is a sad thing, God loves us so much that he promises us that anyone who loves him will get to live with him forever in Heaven and that he loves us so much that one day, he will fix things so that we can even be reunited with our bodies. In fact, he’ll make our bodies even better than before.

    You may wish to read John 20:15, John 21:4, and/or Luke 24:13-35.

    In each of these passages, the disciples did not recognize the resurrected Jesus at first because he was in his glorified body. Someday, we too will receive our glorified body. Even though we will be perfect in our appearance, everyone who loved us and knew us on earth will be able to recognize us, just like those who knew and loved Jesus recognized him.

  2. Should Children Attend the Funeral?

    There is not one, good answer to this question, as it depends a great deal upon your child’s temperament.

    In general, however, I recommend allowing children to participate, as much as you reasonably think they can handle, in the funeral rituals that attend the loss of a loved one.

    Children need transitions to feel secure. Having someone simply disappear from their lives-especially someone they saw often- can be deeply upsetting. Letting even your smallest children participate in at least a limited way in the viewing, and/or the funeral liturgy and/or the wake can allow them to understand, on an experiential level, what is going on. Don’t force them to do more than they want to, but, in general, don’t exclude them entirely.

    If you feel your child cannot handle some or all aspects of the funeral, consider giving your child some way to say “goodbye” to the person who has passed. Perhaps your child can draw a picture, make a card, or write a letter to the deceased. For younger children, simply hanging the picture in the refrigerator may be a sufficient memorial. Let your child know that his or her loved one is with God now and can see everything your child does and, as such, is right here with your child.

    For older children, you may wish to take the letter (or other project) to the cemetery, or burn it and let the smoke rise to Heaven, or tie it to a helium balloon. Work with your child to create a ceremony that will be meaningful for him or her. Be sure to include at least a brief prayer reminding them that God is with their loved one and that he loves all of you very much and is taking care of you through this time and always.

  3. Grieving Means Connecting.

    One thing people often get wrong about grieving is that they believe it means letting go of the person that passed on. In reality, the real challenge of healthy grieving is finding a way to stay connected tothe person even though he or she has passed on. Talk with your child about how he or she can stay connected to the person who has passed away.

    Some people like to have material reminders of the person who has passed. Did your loved one give your child a particular toy? Is there some knicknack that belonged to your loved one that may have special meaning to your child?

    Physical reminders of our loved ones can be very important. That’s why Catholics value relics so much. They are physical reminders of the saints, our brothers and sisters in the Lord who have gone on before us.

    Of course, you can remind your children that they can talk to their deceased loved one any time. Let your child know that your loved one is with God and can hear anything your child would like to tell him or her. And, since your loved one is with God, they can pray for your child in an even more special way he or she did when he or she was alive.

  4. Does Your Child Need Special Attention?

    Children rarely sit parents down and say, “Mom? Dad? I’m having a tough time with this.” Instead, their behavior changes. Remember, as a rule, children behave well when they feel well. 

    If your child isn’t behaving well, is more intense, disobedient, harder to get under control, or just extra rambunctious, don’t see that as a discipline problem as much as a cry for your loving attention.

    Certainly, offer whatever gentle corrections you must, but make sure to provide extra affection and time together with you. Encourage the unusually overactive child to engage in quieter pursuits with you. Do a craft project together. Read a book together. Pray together. Just cuddle. Anchor the child in the safety and security of your arms.

    When they encounter death, some children worry about your possible passing. The best way to reassure a child that they are safe and that you are not going away too is to simply be as physically present as you can.

    If your child’s behavior doesn’t improve or worsens, seek professional assistance. Likewise, if, after a couple of weeks, you’re seeing something about your child’s behavior that makes you wonder if you should talk to a professional, that’s probably a good sign that you should at least seek an evaluation.

  5. What About Pets?

    The loss of a pet is often the first experience a child has with death. Following all the recommendations I’ve made so far will help your child in dealing with this loss as well. Young children, especially, tend to think of their pets very much the same as human beings and will mourn the pet’s loss in a similar way. Having some kind of funeral to say goodbye, discussing ways to remember the pet, and providing ample comfort and presence will be important here too.

    One question children often ask is whether their pet has gone to Heaven.

    Although, as Christians, we believe that human beings are the only creatures God willed for himself, the truth is, we don’t know with absolute certainty what Heaven will be like. I recommend simply saying to your child that God loves us so much that he will make sure that whatever we need to be happy with him in Heaven will be there with us.

Be Not Afraid!
Although talking about death with our children is never something parents look forward to, we don’t have to be afraid. God is with us. The more sensitive, understanding, gentle, and forthright we can be, the more our children will come to see us as a reliable and credible source for all the questions they have about living life to the full.

About The Author

Dr. Greg Popcak is a therapist, radio host, and author of many books.  The director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, he and his staff provide Catholic counseling by telephone to clients around the world. He is devoted husband to Lisa and father of three.

CatholicCounselors.com , Faith on the Couch

By Dr Gregory Popcak|January 8th, 2018

Feeding Your Teenager's Faith - by Rachael Popcak & Dr. Gregory Popcak

Feeding Your Teenager’s Faith

OCTOBER 14, 2019 BY RACHAEL POPCAK AND DR. GREGORY POPCAK – From Faith on the couch by Dr. Gregory Popcak online

Faith evolves in stages. Knowing how to foster your teenager’s faith begins with understanding the unique spiritual food that nourishes an adolescent’s faith-development.

Teens occupy what’s called the “Synthetic-Conventional” stage of faith, but we like to call it the “Relationship & Mission Stage”

Teens are focused on figuring out their place in the world. So, they tend to believe something is “true” if it facilitates their relationships and helps them feel like they can make a difference. In the same way, they believe something’s “false” if it complicates their relationships or seems to be a source of conflict and division in their lives.

When parents focus too much on what our faith doesn’t allow us to do, or who our faith doesn’t allow us to hang out with, teens get the message that faith is an obstacle to either having relationships or discovering their purpose. The stronger they feel that way, the more likely it is that they’ll fight against the faith–or reject it altogether.

Instead of becoming too focused on the “Thou Shalt Not’s,” concentrate on giving your teens experiences that prove their faith can help them have fulfilling relationships AND make a positive difference in some way.

The most important way to do that is to make sure your teens see how your Catholic faith is having a positive impact in your home and family life. They need to see that your faith is helping you get along better–and care for each other more–than other families that don’t live the faith the way you do. Additionally, it’s important to help teens find faithful peers they can associate with, and causes they can put their faith and energy behind.

The more you can help your teen discover how their faith can enable them to build strong relationships and a healthy sense of mission, the more you’ll be giving your teens the spiritual food they need to grow into a faithful adulthood.

Want more ways to help your kids fall in love with the faith? Check out Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids.

About The Author

Dr. Greg Popcak is a therapist, radio host, and author of many books.  The director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, he and his staff provide Catholic counseling by telephone to clients around the world. He is devoted husband to Lisa and father of three.

CatholicCounselors.com , Faith on the Couch

By Dr Gregory Popcak|January 8th, 2018

Talking to Children About Racism - Online Resources

Talking to Children About Racism

Dear Parents,

I wanted to share an email from Mrs. Okula, the Principal of St. Jane School:

Dear Parents,

The tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and subsequent events that have unfolded in recent weeks have deeply affected our nation and no doubt have touched the hearts of our school/parish community. I personally have been at a loss - I am saddened by the disregard for human life, have been confused on how to best engage in conversations about racism, and as I often do, have turned to prayer for guidance.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Okula

I agree completely with the principal.

As a parent of four children, our conversations at home have been both difficult and grace-filled talking about these topics.

Please know that my family is praying for your family, peace from God, and the end to racism of any kind.

Here are some online resources that maybe helpful: 

Bishop Alfred Schlert Homily – June 7th:

Bishop Alfred Schlert Homily - ‘There are No Valid Reasons for Racism, which is evil. None.’

Ascension Presents Podcasts:

Healing the Racial Divide – Ask Fr. Josh Johnson Podcast

An Invitation to Pray: Rosary for Racial Repentance (with Tara Winder) – Ask Fr. Josh Johnson Podcast

Reconciling the Body of Christ (with Fr. Josh Johnson) – Fr. Mike Schmitz

Other Podcasts:

Racism, Riots, & a Catholic Response – Counsel of Trent

Talking to your kids about Racism, Riots, and Real Reparation – Messy Family Podcast

PBS:

https://www.pbs.org/parents/talking-about-racism

Healthy Children:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Building-Resilience/Pages/Talking-to-Children-about-Racism.aspx

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Building-Resilience/Pages/How-to-Help-Children-Build-Resilience-in-Uncertain-Times.aspx

NAECY:

https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/may2018/teaching-learning-race-and-racism

God bless,

Kevin Kimmel

*FREE BOOK - Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids - Dr. Gregory Popcak & Lisa Popcak
List of Books (Catholic and Christian)
Emails from Kevin Kimmel from March 23rd through June 16th 2020 - Messages of Hope

About Us

St. Jane Parish is a family rooted in our faith in Jesus Christ and our devotion to his Church.  We strive always to be a welcoming community, with our doors open to all who seek the Lord.

Address: 4049 Hartley Avenue
Easton, PA 18045

Phone: 610-253-3553

Fax: 610-253-5711

Email: info@stjanesofeastonpa.com

 

Mass Times

Daily:
6:30 a.m., 8:15 a.m. (Mon-Fri)

Saturday: 
9:00 a.m.
Sunday Vigil: 5:00 p.m.

Sunday: 
8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., Noon

Holy Day: Consult Bulletin

Reconciliation: 
Wednesday: 8:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 3:45 - 4:45 p.m.,
or by appointment

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