“The Church is the family of God’s children, and God wants every family to be a beacon of the joy of his love in our world.“ ~ Pope Francis
Finding Joy With Each Other
2713 West Chestnut Ave., Altoona, PA 16601
Andre McCarville, Director
Dotty Caminiti, Office Coordinator
Maureen Roberts, Administrative Assistant
Ages and Stages of Families
enriched and served
by Family Life Ministry
We serve parishes and families of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese:
Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clinton, Fulton, Huntingdon, and Somerset.
- Single Parent
- Young Children
- Intellectual Disabilities
- Family Spirituality
- YOUR FAMILY!
9 Days for Life is a novena for the protection of human life. Each day’s intention is accompanied by a short reflection and suggested actions to help build a culture of life.
The hectic and busy lives of people easily lead them into a situation of over-looking or forgetting those who cannot keep the same pace–those with intellectual disabilities–by accident or from birth. Faith & Light is a faith sharing group which includes family members, caregivers and friends of persons with intellectual disabilities. Meetings are held at the Family Life Office with activities held throughout the diocese.
Available to borrow:
Can be sent via mail
FAMILIES AND THE GOSPEL
Reflections on the Sunday Reading
~Used with permission from “Family Perspective” by Bud Ozar
“Today’s gospel challenges us to resist the individualism of our culture. Everything we are and have is pure gift which we are expected to share especially to the ‘lowly ones.’ What has been freely given needs to be shared freely. No strings attached.”
“Fathering is an awesome responsibility and not for the weak or transient. Today, we humbly recognize our need for courageous fathers to stand boldly in the face of the powerful cultural forces in our culture which threaten our children. Today we ask fathers to be the courageous leaders we need.”
“Parenting is a Eucharistic activity because from the first moment of conception children consume us, our flesh, blood, energy, time and resources. If we don’t sacrifice ourselves, our children would not have life. This is the priesthood of parenting. Christ is present in this self-sacrifice.”
“As the Father, ‘sent his son into the world,’ so parents send their children into the world, ‘so that the world might be saved.’ This is the missionary role of the Christian family. Your family is a school where your children develop convictions which enable them to make a difference in the world.”
“Like the disciples in today’s Gospel, there are times we shut the doors of our hearts to people or events. It’s how we create emotional distance. Permanent distancing is lethal and prevents the peace Jesus offers you today.”
May 24, 2020 – Seventh Sunday of Easter (John 17:1-11)
“Jesus tells us today, ‘you are my witnesses,’ and guarantees the ‘promise of the Father’ to ‘clothe us with the power to accomplish this mission. It is not worldly power which dominates and manipulates. It is the power of the Kingdom of God to live in peace, forgiveness, compassion, service to others, love of enemies, and care for the poor and defenseless.”
May 21, 2020 – Ascension Thursday (Matthew 28:16-20)
“As Jesus appointed apostles, he also appoints parents to represent Him in the family; ‘make disciples of your children, baptizing and teaching them all I have taught you. Don’t worry, I am with you always.’ “
May 17, 2020 – Sixth Sunday of Easter (John 14:15-21)
“In today’s Gospel, Jesus prepared his disciples for his departure. Family life is a series of departures. As we mature and grow older, we constantly transition from the familiar to the new unknown. Today, Jesus assures us we are not alone in these transitions. ‘I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.’ “
May 10, 2020 – Fifth Sunday of Easter/Mother’s Day (John 14:1-12)
“Jesus tells us in the Gospel: ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me!’ The point is: God is in each one of us, in our relationships and in our homes. The vocation of the Christian family is to live the divine gift which is already in and around us.
Mothers are instrumental of Christ’s presence in the home. A mother’s love reveals the attentive, thoughtful, serving, forgiving, and concerned side of God’s love. Thanks to all mothers for showing us the tender and loving face of God.”
May 3, 2020 – Fourth Sunday of Easter (John 10:1-10)
“In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us He is the way and warns anyone who offers ‘another way’ to happiness is ‘a thief and a bandit.’ Strong words! Don’t listen to the sales pitch of society for happiness. Look to yourself where God is present and ‘calls you by name and leads you to abundant life.’ “
April 26, 2020 – Third Sunday of Easter (Luke 24:13-25)
“In today’s Gospel, the disciples were returning home so ‘downcast’ they did not recognize Jesus walking with them. In our homes we can be so overwhelmed with responsibilities we don’t see God with us. Today’s Gospel tells us to stop and open our eyes to the blessings we are to one another.”
April 19, 2020 – Second Sunday of Easter ~ Divine Mercy Sunday (John 20:19-31)
“‘Whose sins you forgive, are forgiven’ means the grudges we carry only make us miserable. The Kingdom of God begins in your home where children learn the paths to peace promised in today’s Gospel through merciful and forgiving demonstrations by their parents.”
April 12, 2020 – Easter Sunday (John 20:1-9
“Today’s Gospel instructs us Jesus ‘had to rise from the dead.’ The dying we experience with unmet expectations in marriage and parenting is normal to family life. Families must rise above disappointments and be Easter people all year long.”
April 5, 2020 – Passion/Palm Sunday (Matthew 26:14 – 27:66)
“The cruel death of Jesus tells us bad things can and do happen to very good people. It also tells us God is present during the suffering. Bad things happen but God does not abandon us.”
March 29, 2020 – Fifth Sunday of Lent (John 11:1-45)
“Our families can become wrapped up chasing things we perceive will make us happy. Jesus’ words to Lazarus, He says to us: ‘Come out’ from what entombs you. In this fifth week of Lent, ‘untie’ yourself and be free from unnecessary possessions.”
March 22, 2020 – Fourth Sunday of Lent (John 9:1-41)
“Failure to forgive blinds us to another’s goodness. Lent provides an opportunity to wash away our blind-spots in the pool of forgiveness. Listen to Jesus in today’s gospel: ‘Go wash and see.'”
March 15, 2020 – Third Sunday of Lent (John 4:5-42)
“Our children are like the Samaritan woman in today’s gospel. They need more than material things. They need the ‘living water’ only the adults can give. It will teach them how to make decisions, take responsibility, respect themselves and others and live their commitments. With this ‘living water’ they will ‘never thirst.’ “
March 8, 2020 – Second Sunday of Lent (Matthew 17:1-9)
“Transfiguration is a common occurrence in families. When we commit to another, such as a spouse in marriage or a child in parenting, we are not committing to them only as they are today, but to the person they are becoming.”
March 1, 2020 – First Sunday of Lent (Matthew 4:1-11)
“In today’s gospel, Jesus cautions it is not enough to provide food for our children; ‘One does not live on bread alone.’ Let Lent 2020 be a time when you are ‘led by the Spirit’ to explore new ways to be a moral guide to your children.”
February 23, 2020 – Seventh Sunday (Matthew: 38-48)
“Giving the shirt off your back, turning the other cheek, or walking / driving the extra mile is normal stuff in families. We do that for one another. Today’s gospel reminds us all people, even those we don’t like, are our brothers and sisters. Our family should prepare us to be FAMILY to others.”
February 16, 2020 – Sixth Sunday (Matthew 5:17-37)
“To experience the peace which Christ promises we must shed our grudges, jealousy and feelings of being misunderstood, unappreciated or ignored. Peace and anger don’t mix. Today’s gospel warns, if you want peace in your heart and home, get rid of your anger. Anger is too costly.”
February 9, 2020 – Fifth Sunday (Matthew 5:13-16)
Today’s gospel challenges us to be a “light” to our family. Parents shine their guiding light, not in front but behind them, inviting their children to follow their “good deeds.”
February 2, 2020 – Feast of the Presentation (Luke 2:22-40)
“Family life provides opportunities to grow in holiness. We are never perfect on this side of Heaven. Each of us has areas that could be presented to the Lord for purification. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your family in finding those areas and offering them to God.”
January 26, 2020 – Third Sunday (Matthew 4:12-23)
“When Jesus called his disciples, they came ‘immediately.’ Parents wish their children would respond as quickly, but they don’t. Children grow slowly into responsibility. It is a process like walking, not done ‘immediately’, but in small steps. Parenting demands patient encouragement.”
January 19, 2020 – Second Sunday (John 1:29-34)
“Can you say, ‘I have testified Jesus is the Son of God?’ If you aren’t talking about Jesus in your family, you aren’t testifying. If you are not talking your talk, your children will see your words as meaningless.”
January 12, 2020 – Baptism of the Lord (Matthew 3:13-17)
“The words in today’s Gospel, “This is my beloved, with Him I am pleased,” are words every child needs to hear often. Affirmation is important to raise happy and confident children.”
Helpful Links to Family Situations:
Publications for purchase from the Family Life Office:
Practical and spiritual ideas for grieving persons and families. Focuses on grieving as a normal process of healing. Section with questions for individual reflection or group discussion. 55 page booklet.
Ideal guide for families and individuals in search of spiritual and festive home practices. Contains traditions, activities, home rituals, and holiday legends from Thanksgiving to Epiphany. 53 page booklet.
Ideal guide for families and individuals in search of spiritual home practices focusing on the Lent and Easter seasons. Contains popular traditions, rituals, and devotional activities. 40 page booklet.
This ministry attempts to reach out to families who have experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage or early fetal death by providing them with spiritual tools to help them to grieve their child.
~ Parent resource for married and single parents, Catholic and Christian interfaith couples, parents already strong in their faith practice and those wondering where to begin.
Sequel to Passing on the Faith: Baby’s First Year.