A sign of peace, genuinely given, brings Christ into a situation.
I’ve always liked the sign of peace. As a child, it was my favorite part of our all-school liturgies. The sign of peace provided an excuse to move around a little—to stretch across pews and vigorously shake hands with as many classmates as I could before the teacher reined us in for the Lamb of God. In college, when I attended daily Mass at Marquette University’s tiny Joan of Arc Chapel, the sign of peace was a chance to hug a friend who had an exam the next day or a roommate whose mom was ill.
Sabbath should last more than just the hour of Mass.
Our family has had trouble with the fourth commandment, keep holy the Sabbath day. It’s not that we skip Mass on Sunday, but rather that too often we only keep holy the Sabbath hour and a half (our time at Mass), rather than the Sabbath day itself.
Don’t worry too much about being sacrilegious if your child wants to distribute communion with potato chips or baptize their dolls.
A joyful squeal erupts from the hallway outside of the kitchen as I prepare dinner.
“En garde!” shouts my son in the deepest, throatiest voice his 8 years can dig up.
“En garde!” volleys his 3-year-old sister in a voice far less successful at impersonating a pirate.
My father taught me to pray with intensity and to be unafraid to kneel during Mass.
For most of my childhood I was a little bit afraid of my father, a stranger who didn’t arrive home from his downtown office until after 6 p.m. and who then demanded silence while he watched the local television news, the network news, and another half hour of local reports before we ate dinner as a family at 7:30. If my brother, Kevin, managed to make my sister, Sue, suppress a laugh so that milk came out of her nose or someone made the mistake of putting their elbows on the table, we all flinched if Dad stood up quickly.
White Christian parents need to examine how they talk about race with their kids, says religion professor Jennifer Harvey.
White parents need to talk to their kids about race—and the sooner the better, says Jennifer Harvey, professor of religion at Drake University and author of Raising White Kids (Abingdon Press).
A deacon’s personal account of parenting a transgender child.
Fifty years ago this year, the church restored the permanent diaconate, opening the doors to married clergy who brought and continue to bring with them all the joys, sorrows, and complexities of family life to ordained ministry. In the case of my family, that included first-hand experience with LGBT people. In the fall of 2013, at the beginning of our oldest child’s sophomore year at Georgetown University, she came out as transgender. With that news, my family found itself plunged into questions and issues that surround families of faith with LGBT children.
Family sing-a-longs can bring you closer to each other and to God—but they don’t have to be during Mass.
There are many ways my husband and I differ, but perhaps the most significant is that I come from a family prone to spontaneous outbursts of song while he comes from a family prone to subtle nods as they listen to the car radio together.
Why Catholic institutions should strive for policies that support parents and kids.
Right after Tralonne Shorter began a new job at a women’s organization, she learned she was pregnant with her first child. What should have been an exciting year of preparation and anticipation was mired by the dismal realities Tralonne and many other women face when figuring out maternity leave. The women’s organization she worked for did not have a paid maternity leave policy, and because she was a new hire Tralonne wasn’t eligible for anything except short-term disability.
Hint: Families have never been just a mom, dad, and 2.5 children.
The fairy tale pushed by bedtime stories, Disney movies, and traditional values in general is that we grow up, find that special someone, marry, and have children. But as central as marriage and childrearing are, especially for Christians, as far back as biblical times families have always been about something more than the couple, their 2.5 children, and their family dog.
Sometimes the most important job of a parent is to watch and wait.
I was standing in the middle of a small frozen lake near our house, chatting with my husband and Nate, another father in our neighborhood. I was in ice skates and a down coat; Bill and Nate had on heavy boots and warm gear. The ice was about eight inches thick from a recent cold snap, and the wind was brisk from the north. As we talked, I noticed our teenage daughter walking out onto the ice in socks and sandals. From the other shore, Nate’s teenage son approached in basketball shorts and bare legs.
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