Strengthening Your Family

Family Ministry

Resources to Help Strengthen Your Family


Importance of Family and Home Life

The family is the first school of love, a special gift from God to all His sons and daughters. As we form earthly families, we have the opportunity to create an environment where children learn that they are precious and valued, where faith can be modeled, witnessed, and taught. It can be a place where they learn patterns of healthy Christian behavior, how to settle differences, how to communicate our needs to each other, and how to say sorry and forgive each other when we make mistakes. What we hope to be as families and what our lived reality is doesn't always perfectly match. Our goal is to offer you various aids and resources at any stage of family life you are in so you can make the most of the precious time you have together. If you have suggestions of great resources to include on this page, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

As a starting point, consider the following and pray on where to start enriching family life in your home:

  • Strong families are built on strong marriages -- take time to care for the bond between the spouses. Visit our Enrich Your Marriage page for ideas of programs that help married couples maximize their relationship.
  • Parents are the primary educators of the faith to their children -- feed yourself as needed in faith development so that you feel prepared and comfortable passing on the faith to your children. Catholic schools and religious education programs are wonderful supplements, but how you witness and practice the faith will make the biggest impact on your child's faith life. Pray for God to assist you in this privileged task!
  • Pray together -- as a couple, as a family. Visit our Prayer section below for ideas.
  • Eat together -- study upon study shows that families who regularly make time to eat dinner together have greater stability and their children tend to make healthier life choices. Start somewhere. If right now you don't eat together at all at the dinner table, try for once a week. If you eat together already, see if you can do it more often or increase the quality of the time you spend together. Let this be a time for the family to share about their days' celebrations or challenges, as well as a time to pray together and communicate about family things.
  • Spend time together -- discover what the family enjoys doing together and carve out time from busy work, school, and practice schedules to actually BE together. Whether it's enjoying an outdoor activity together or having a game night at home, don't underestimate how valuable it is to all members of the family -- and the bonds that connect us -- to spend time together. Step away from the screens if possible, and play catch in the backyard, teach the kids to fish, bake together, visit a special place as a family.

While we realize nothing on this list is rocket science, we also know that too often it's the simple things in life that hold the most weight. May your family life be richly blessed by the love and effort you put into bringing all of you closer!


Family Ministry Network

This group is open to anyone looking for more ideas and resources for helping Catholic families deepen their family bonds and faith life, as well as their engagement in parish life and living the faith out in the home. It meets periodically throughout the year. If you would like to be added to the contact list, please email Dianne Vadney, Family Life Ministries Coordinator at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Enrich Your Marriage

Strengthening Your MarriageResources to help you and your spouse strengthen your marriage

Includes featured article and video, parish programs to enrich your marriage, and website and book resources for marriage enrichment.

Resource


Parenting & Relationship Skills

Resources for Parents and ParentingU.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Resources for Parents & Parenting

Many great resources, articles and links for various parenting related issues. Excellent source!

Website

   
 
 

5 Love LanguagesThe 5 Love Languages

Very simple concepts that can make a huge impact on couple and family dynamics!

Online quizzes for couples, children and teens to help discover their primary love language that helps them feel more appreciated, understood and valued.

The site also has a free downloadable Small Group Guide for parents who want to learn to connect more effectively with their children using the Love Languages.

Books by best-selling author Gary Chapman include The 5 Love Languages for Couples, Singles, Children, Teens, Men's Edition and Military Edition.

Website


Prayer

Cultivating Prayer in the Home

Praying together is not our strongest suit as Catholics. However, that doesn't mean it's not worth it or that we can't get there! No matter where you are at as individuals or as a family in terms of your prayer life, consider investing in this area of your family life. There are so many different ways to pray. Whether you are just looking to get started or whether you are looking for a new devotion for your family, we hope to offer something of value for you here.

   
 
 

Praying as a Couple – P.A.L.s Prayer

This is a simple style of prayer that is taught at Marriage Preparation and the feedback is consistently so positive because couples say they have often never prayed together and didn't know where to start. Try this as a married couple -- keep in mind the blessings and needs of your family. Your family will benefit from your growing prayer life!

To begin, either face each other or sit close to one another so that you can hold both hands with your spouse if possible. Take a moment to quiet yourselves, remembering that we are always in the presence of God. Then spend about a minute going through each of the following areas:

P -- Praise -- Thank God for as many blessings as you can think of.

A -- Ask -- Ask God for whatever help or intercession you seek for yourselves, each other, your children, other family and friends, those struggling, those in need of healing, etc.

L -- Listen -- Let God speak to your heart. Spend a minute in quiet together. While this may not come naturally at the beginning, the more you do it, the easier it may become for you to hear the gentle whispers as God nudges you with certain thoughts.

Getting over the "praying together out loud" hump is the biggest part of getting started on your prayer life as a family. If you come across or know another way that works for you as a couple to pray together, go for it! This is just one way.

   
 
 

kc familyPraying as a Family

"The Family Fully Alive: Building the Domestic Church -- Prayers, Meditations and Activities to Enrich Your Family Life"

This booklet is compiled and distributed by the Knights of Columbus, who are huge supporters of both prayer and family in the Catholic world. This is a WONDERFUL resource for families! It has several great reflections on the importance of prayer, various prayers, and monthly prayers and areas to focus on as a family.

Download Booklet


Go to Main Marriage and Family Life Page