US Catholic Faith in Real Life

How to keep your family’s Sabbath holy

Sabbath should last more than just the hour of Mass.

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith

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. 


Like Lent, being a parent is all about the wait

Sometimes the most important job of a parent is to watch and wait.

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith

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. 


Lent a desert? Not with this snow.

For me, Lent is blackened snow in the streets and muddy boots in the hallway—about as far as you can get from hot and dry.

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith

The analogy of Lent as a desert has never worked for me. I was born and raised in Wisconsin, and except for a year spent in Chicago, I’ve lived here my whole life. The closest I’ve come to a desert is the Desert Dome at Milwaukee’s Mitchell Park Conservatory. February and March in Wisconsin—the Lenten months—are about as far as you can get from hot and dry. Lent to me has always been cold and soggy. When Lent arrives in Wisconsin, winter is only half over.


The art of faith

Images are as powerful as words when sharing the Christian story.

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith

Our family was visiting our pastor’s house when our daughter Teenasia, then 9, commented on a framed print on the wall. It was a black Madonna and child. “That is so cool,” she said. “Baby Jesus is wearing an African shirt. I love that.” A couple weeks later after Mass, Father Mike gave Teenasia a smaller version of the print. It hangs outside our kitchen, near our huge dry-erase family calendar. The print is not only a reminder of our family’s faith in Jesus and our trust in his mother, but also a reminder to Teenasia of Father Mike’s thoughtfulness and generosity. 


Say thanks—your life depends on it

Make sure your family has what it needs to be grateful this year.

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith
A few years ago Dave, father of five, lost his job and had to take a new one at a significant salary cut. Dave and his wife, Maureen, sold their home at a considerable loss and downsized into a much smaller home. They cut family vacations, name-brand clothing, eating out, and many other things they had previously enjoyed. Looking back on the past several years, however, Maureen is not bitter nor resentful. Instead she is grateful. 
 

Grace under pressure

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith
Julia and Pat’s daughter Megan was born 11 weeks premature with Down syndrome. Now 18 months old, she has many health and developmental challenges. “Each day we have to choose between doing what’s best for her and the things we’d rather spend our time doing for ourselves,” says Julia. 
 

When the apple falls far from the tree

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith
Francis, father of four, has little in common with his youngest daughter, who is 11. A quiet, reserved man, Francis approaches life in a deliberate, conscientious, thoughtful way. “Sometimes decision-making is difficult for me, because I like to research all my options,” he says. “My daughter Claire, on the other hand, is impulsive and outgoing. She can be demanding when she wants something, because she wants it right now! It can be exhausting. It’s difficult to relate to her personality because it is so different than my own.” 
 

Don't worry—anxiety is an age-old problem

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith
Jennifer, mother of two school-aged boys, finds that parenting is fraught with anxiety. “I am doomed because I come from a long line of worriers,” she says. “I have anxiety about whether I am being the best parent I can be. I also have anxiety about my boys becoming teenagers and something happening to them because of an accident or bad choice that I cannot control.”
 

How families turn faith into action

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith
On one of the first evenings after our then foster (now adopted) daughter Teenasia came to live with us, second-grade Jacob was at the dining room table doing religion homework to prepare for his upcoming First Communion. My husband, Bill, was upstairs giving 4-year-old Liam a bath, and I was holding wriggling 16-month-old Teenasia, trying to wash her hair in the kitchen sink. I found I couldn’t hold her with one arm and wash her hair with the other. 
 

Pages