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Family Life

Parenting Resources

Parenting Pointers

Get diocesan parenting tip emails sent right to your email every week, for anything from ideas for strengthening your family to fun craft ideas!

Contact familylife@dioceseaj.org to sign up.

Springs In The Desert

A website for those couples dealing with the challenge and grief of infertility.

Accepting The Gift

For children with special needs

Navigating the Internet and Media

Childhood 2.0

A secular movie about the difficulties and challenges children and parents face in the digital age.

Warning: Suggested for parents/teachers to preview this movie before sharing. Some material may not be appropriate for children.

Tech Talk

via CatholicMom

Sharenting, Online Safety, and Your Children – Are you sharing too much about your children online?

CleanBrowsing

A DNS-based content filtering service that offers a safe way to browse the web without surprises. It intercepts domain requests and filters sites that should be blocked, based on your filtering needs.

Blocks pornography and obscene/adult content, while still allowing Google, Youtube, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and the rest of the web to load safely.

Catholic News Service Movie Reviews

Common Sense Media

A secular guide to age-appropriateness in movies and books for children.

Book Suggestions

Parenting With Grace

The Catholic Parents' Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Kids

If I Have To Tell You One More Time

The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling

Strengthening Your Domestic Church (Family)

More2Life Podcast

A podcast on marriage and parenting from Catholic counselor Dr. Greg Popcak and his wife, Lisa

Formed.org

An on-demand Catholic streaming service

CatholicHOM

via Facebook

A Facebook page dedicated to helping Catholic parents in building and strengthening their domestic Church.

Advice on Taking Young Children to Mass

via For Your Marriage

Help For Blended Families

via Catholic Counselors

Family Spirituality

via The Peyton Institute

The Peyton Family Institute has a number of ideas, videos, and resources to foster family spirituality in the home.

Families and The Gospel ~ Reflections on Sunday Readings

Reprinted with permission: “A Family Perspective” by Bud Ozar

“Like John the Baptist, every parent ‘prepares the way of the Lord’ in the hearts of their children. Advent is a good time to ask, ‘Do I help or hinder my children to know Jesus?”

“In today’s Gospel, Jesus advises: ‘Stay awake, watch out, and pray for the strength to hold your ground’ when ‘fearful and bewildering signs’ appear threatening your family. Resist being ‘fearful;’ fear cripples! Instead, ‘pray for the strength’ to be courageous.”

“As you prepare for Thanksgiving, look back on this year to all the moments God visited your family in unexpected blessings, or disasters avoided, or kindness and compassion received. Realize and give thanks for ‘The Lord is with you.’ “

“Today’s Gospel reminds us the Kingdom of Heaven is not like Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Admission to Christ’s Kingdom is paid with the currency of acceptance, forgiveness, attention to the poor and love of one’s enemy.”

“So many conflicting voices and influences make parenting difficult. In today’s Gospel, Jesus encourages parents to bravely ‘give testimony’ and trust He will give us the ‘wisdom’ to be good parents. You are not alone in parenting; a loving Father is standing with you.”

November 6, 2022 – Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 20:27-38)

“The question of the Sadducees to Jesus is framed in a story about a family with seven brothers and their sister-in-law. Through storytelling, families remember their shared past and expose the companionship of God in your family from generation to generation.”


October 30, 2022 – Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 19:1-10)

“Jesus is saying to you what He said to Zacchaeus, ‘I must stay at your house today.’ It doesn’t matter if in today’s Gospel Jesus ‘intended to pass through Jericho to another town.’ In families we sometimes stop at the wrong places. It is wisdom to ‘pass through’ annoying family situations so we can enjoy the goodness of each other.”


October 23, 2022 – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 18:9-14)

“Listen to Jesus in today’s Gospel: ‘who humbles himself will be exalted.’ It is not the occasional big events, but the daily humble routine of family life which creates bonds and relationships which last a lifetime.”


October 16, 2022 – Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 18:1-8)

“The widow in today’s gospel is praised for her perseverance. In our homes, perseverance is a critical ingredient to resolving differences and teaching lessons and skills to children. Perseverance is always an act of faith in the goodness of the other person.”


October 9, 2022 – Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 17:11-19)

“Everyone needs ‘A Round Tuit.’ The lepers in today’s gospel probably meant to thank Jesus. Excited about being cured, they didn’t get ‘around-to-it.’ We get caught up in our own interests and fail to appreciate what we have, or to say what is in our hearts. This week, get yourself ‘A Round Tuit.”


October 2, 2022 – Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 17:5-10)

“Faith is one of those things we just can’t get enough of! In today’s gospel, the apostles asked Jesus to ‘Increase our faith.’ It is faith in ourselves, our spouse, our children, and our parents which equips us to overlook annoyances, helps us to forgive, and urges us to ask forgiveness. ‘Lord, increase our faith!’ “


September 25, 2022 – Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 16:19-31)

“In today’s gospel, the rich man died and was condemned to ‘a place of torment’ because he ignored the poor. He asked Lazars to go and warn his five brothers to change their ways. Evidently ignoring the poor was a family pattern. Is your family sensitive to the poor?”


September 18, 2022 – Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 16:1-13)

“Despite all our time saving gadgets, we still have less leisure and family time. To solve this, we created the Myth of Quality Time. Don’t be fooled: Quality Time is Quantity Time. Jesus counsels us today, we ‘cannot serve two masters’ and expect to be happy. Dedicate time to your family. No one in their final hours regretted not spending more time at work.”


September 11, 2022 – Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 15:1-32)

“Parents are like that shepherd in today’s Gospel, for they don’t give up and can’t rest if one of their children has wandered away. A parent’s persistent love provides a glimpse of the unconditional love for each of us by God, Our Father. A parent is a window to the Divine.”


September 5, 2022 – Labor Day (Luke 4:16-30)

“On Labor Day, we celebrate our ability to respond to the challenge of Genesis. Our labor is an opportunity to enter into partnership with The Creator, unfolding the possibilities within ourselves and within our world through the creative skills planted within us.”


September 4, 2022 – Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 14:25-33)

“Today’s Gospel is clear: commitment to another involves sacrifice. Before we accept a commitment such as marriage or parenting, we must plan carefully like the king in today’s Gospel. These are serious commitments which demand complete self-giving and are not for the fainted-hearted or selfish.”


August 28, 2022 – Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 14:1, 7-14)

“Family life well-lived confirms the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel, ‘Those who humble themselves will be exalted.’ Commitment, intimacy, loyalty, and love are the rewards of humble service and care for one another.”


August 21, 2022 – Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 13:22-30)

“The phrase in today’s gospel, ‘I don’t know where you come from,’ is often used by parents about children and children about parents. Change is so rapid one generation has little in common with another. We depend on love, trust, and mutual respect to bridge this gap.”


August 14, 2022 – Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 12:49-53)

“Today, Jesus warns us His Word will create conflict between parents and children. In a permissive society which advocates individualism and consumerism, parents must continue to teach and live the gospel values of respect, service to others, forgiveness, generosity, and compassion. A Christian family is a countercultural family.”


August 7, 2022 – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 12:32-48)

“In today’s Gospel, a servant waited for the master to return. Waiting is a normal part of family life. We wait for a child’s birth, then for small legs to catch up. Later we wait for teenagers to return home safely. Finally, we wait alone anticipating a call or visit from an adult child. Waiting is sacred time, for even in the waiting we are connected.”


August 6, 2022 – Transfiguration of the Lord (Luke 9:28b-36)

“At the Transfiguration, the disciples saw a different side of Jesus. All of us have ‘another side’ which we reveal only to those we trust. A family is the sacred place where we can be transfigured to be our truest self.”


July 31, 2022 – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 12:13-21)

“In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us: ‘One’s life does not consist of possessions.’ We spend so much time working to obtain more stuff; we don’t have time for the people in our lives. What is enough? Are the words of Jesus, ‘You fool’, meant for us?”


July 24, 2022 – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 11:1-13)

“Today’s Gospel guarantees if we ‘ask’ we will ‘receive’, perhaps not what we wanted but what our Heavenly Father knows is best for us, His children. All the love we have for our children, God has for us and more. As our children trust us, we must trust ‘Our Father’.”


July 17, 2022 – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 10:25-37)

“Cell phones, emails, faxes, texts, and voice mails can reduce our lives to a continual series of interrupted moments. Listen to Jesus in today’s Gospel: ‘You are anxious about many things’ robbing us of the precious time needed to be with others. Quality time is quantity time.”


July 10, 2022 – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 10:25-37)

“Children learn by watching us. Do they see you helping others like the Good Samaritan, or do they see you avoiding others like the Levite in today’s gospel? Worry more about what your children see in your life than what they see on TV.”


July 3, 2022 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 10:1-12, 17-20)

“Just like the seventy two disciples sent out by Jesus in today’s gospel, families are expected to be missionaries. By our lives, words, and life style, we proclaim peace, commitment, fidelity, and respect to a culture caught up with violence and gratification.”


June 26, 2022 – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 9:51-62)

“Today’s Gospel reminds us once we set our ‘hand to the plow’ of parenting and marriage, ‘We cannot look back.’ This is what commitment means: we have said yes to what was, what is, and to what can be.”


June 19, 2022 – Body & Blood of Christ (Luke 9:11b-17)

“In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches we will find abundance by sharing the little we have. No matter how little time, money, or food we have, it is enough to share.”


June 12, 2022 – Trinity Sunday (John 16:12-15)

“The words of Jesus in today’s gospel, ‘I have many things to say to you, but you cannot hear them now,’ could have been said by any parent. It can be frustrating because our desire to guide is often misinterpreted or poorly received. We cannot program our children. We can only teach, lead, and trust the Spirit of truth will guide them.”


June 5, 2022 – Pentecost (John 14:15-16, 23b-26)

“Today’s Gospel tells us God actually wants to take up residence in your family. ‘We will come and make our home with you.’ Every family is called to be a tabernacle where God dwells. Is Jesus a permanent member of your family, or a temporary guest? Today, the promise is given. The choice is ours.”


May 29, 2022 – Seventh Sunday of Easter (John 17:20-26)

“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 26, 2022 – Ascension of the Lord (Luke 24:46-53)

“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 22, 2022 – Sixth Sunday of Easter (John 14:23-29)

“Jesus gives this advice: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.’ Worry and anxiety can consume our lives preventing us from seeing the love which surrounds us and binds us to one another. Don’t miss the forest for the trees. We are living today what we worried about yesterday.”


May 15, 2022 – Fifth Sunday of Easter (John 13:31-33a, 34-35)

“In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us: ‘Love one another.’ Love holds a family together. It is not what a family does which makes it outstanding, rather it is what it has, love for one another.”


May 8, 2022 – Fourth Sunday of Easter (John 10:27-30)

“Today’s Gospel reminds us to be shepherds for our children who depend on us to be their guides and role models. Where are we leading them? When they “hear our voice”, what message do they hear?”


May 1, 2022 – Third Sunday of Easter (John 21:1-19)

“Jesus invited the disciples to ‘Come and have breakfast.’ At this beach breakfast and at the Last Supper, Jesus teaches us meals should be more than eating. Family meals are opportunities to share prayer, listen to each other’s stories, understand, and support one another.”


April 24, 2022 – Second Sunday of Easter/Divine Mercy Sunday (John 20:19-31)

“Jesus connects peace and forgiveness in today’s Gospel. In our families, we will only ever experience peace to the extent we forgive one another. Peace is purchased with the currency of forgiveness. When we allow our anger and pride to lock out others, we also lock out peace and harmony.”


April 17, 2022 – Easter Sunday (John 20:1-9)

“Millions of Christians around the world celebrate the Resurrection today. It all began simply on the first Easter with one person telling another: ‘Mary told Peter’ and ‘they believed.’ Faith is passed from one person to another; it is caught, not taught, and parents are the most effective persons to pass faith to their children.”


April 10, 2022 – Passion/Palm Sunday (Luke 22:14-23:56)

“Today, Jesus tells us, ‘I am among you as one who serves.’ In accepting the palm branch today, you publicly confirm your baptismal promise to follow Jesus as ‘one who serves.’ Selfless service defines a family as Christian.”


April 3, 2022 – Fifth Sunday of Lent (John 8:1-11)

“Stoning is not just an ancient act of violence. Each day in our homes we throw stones of ridicule, criticism, name-calling, and put-downs. All of it is deadly. Hear Jesus in today’s Gospel: ‘Whoever is without sin can throw the first stone.’ Rid your home of violence. Stop verbal stoning!”


March 27, 2022 – Fourth Sunday of Lent (Luke 15:1-3)

“We may feel like the Prodigal Son, but the Gospel wants us to focus on the father who was forgiving and understanding. We all make mistakes and need forgiveness. Who in your family needs your forgiveness and acceptance this Lent?”


March 20, 2022 – Third Sunday of Lent (Luke 13:1-9)

“The owner of the fig tree was impatient because the tree did not live up to his expectations. In families, there are those who don’t live up to our expectations. Imitate the gardener and give them more time and help. Don’t cut them out of your life. Love asks us to be connected, not productive.”


March 13, 2022 – Second Sunday of Lent (Luke 9:28b-36)

“Jesus ‘went up the mountain to pray’ and he was ‘changed.’ Prayer has the power to change us. This Lent, set aside a few minutes each day to pray for members of your family. Pray before each meal, and if you are married, spend five minutes in prayer together.”


March 6, 2022 – First Sunday of Lent (Luke 4:1-13)

“Jesus ‘was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.’ What is the wilderness in your life to which the Holy Spirit is leading you this Lent? Perhaps there are uncharted areas in your marriage or family relationships. Spend this Lent in your ‘wilderness’ with God’s work. Where is the Spirit leading you this Lent?”


February 27, 2022 – Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 6:39-45)

“Today, Jesus tells us: “Why do you seek the speck in someone else’s eye but miss the log in your own eye?’ It’s always easier to try to change someone else than face the things in ourselves which need change. What a waste of time, for we can’t change anyone but ourselves.”


February 20, 2022 – Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 6:27-38)

“In studying the effects of religion upon family relationships, researchers inform us hostility and prayer can’t coexist. You cannot be hostile toward someone for whom you are praying. Today’s Gospel encourages us: ‘Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who treat you badly.’ “


February 13, 2022 – Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 6:17, 20-26)

“Don’t look very far when you hear today’s Gospel speak of poverty, sorrow, or exclusion. These things happen in families. Children feel ‘insulted’ when they are constantly criticized. Spouses ‘hunger’ for affection. Grandparents feel ‘excluded’ by divorce and custody decisions. Parents ‘weep’ because they feel alienated from their children.”


February 6, 2022 – Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 5:1-11)

“In today’s Gospel, Jesus asked Simon to start by ‘going a short distance.’ Later, he asked Simon to ‘go into deeper water.’ The first step toward reconciliation is usually a ‘short distance’ which gives us the courage to go further ‘into deeper water.’ Reconciliation starts with the first short step!”


January 30, 2022 – Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 4:21-30)

“Mary and Joseph must have been proud when their village ‘all spoke well of Jesus and were amazed at his words.’ But they probably felt shame when the same people drove him out of town. Like Mary and Joseph, the highs and lows of parenting are our path to being a Holy Family.”


January 23, 2022 – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-2)

“In today’s Gospel, Jesus was ‘praised by all’ except at home in Nazareth where the ‘eyes of all were intently on him.’ Acceptance can be hard to find at home due to unreal expectations. Jesus challenges us to ‘proclaim liberty’ to anyone ‘oppressed’ or ‘captive’ by our expectations.”


January 16, 2022 – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (John 2:1-11)

“At Cana, we get a good insight into Mary’s parenting style. She did not plead, argue, demand, or manipulate. She merely pointed out the situation and trusted her son would make the best decision.”


January 9, 2022 – Baptism of the Lord (Luke 3:15-16, 21-22)

In today’s Gospel, Jesus was publicly affirmed by his Father: ‘You are my beloved son, with you I am very pleased.’ As parents, we can become so focused on misbehaviors, we overlook the good behaviors. Jesus needed affirmation and so do our children.”


January 2, 2022 – Epiphany (Matthew 2:1-12)

“After meeting Jesus, the Magi returned home by ‘another way.’ What in your family needs to be done ‘another way?’ Do you need ‘another way’ to resolve differences, to communicate, or show affection? This is a new year, time to change what isn’t working. Take a tip from some wise men: there’s always ‘another way.’ “


January 1, 2022 – Mary, Mother of God (Luke 2:16-21)

“The Gospel tells us ‘Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.’ We would do well to imitate Mary in our New Year’s resolution. Instead of criticizing, let’s ‘keep it in our hearts.’ Criticism isn’t productive or well-received, anyway!”

Marriage Preparation

Natural Family Planning

Marriage

Parenting Resources

Expectant Moms In Need Resources

Pro-Life Ministry

Divorced and Separated Ministry

Single Parents

Grief and Consolation Ministry

Mental Illness/ Addiction Assistance

Pornography Addiction

Publications for Purchase

Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Trafficking

Children of Divorce

End of Life Ministry

Resources/Ministry for Persons With Disabilities

Family Life Office

Andre McCarville

Maureen Roberts

Administrator
mroberts@dioceseaj.org

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