US Catholic Faith in Real Life

To parent in the present, practice ‘memento mori’

The only certainty in our lives—and the lives of our children—is that one day they will end.

By Teresa Coda |
Article Your Faith

As a new parent, I received all kinds of advice. While I have no doubt that the admonitions, ranging from “enjoy every minute” to “take time for yourself,” were well meaning, they weren’t exactly helpful. Short of our pediatrician’s suggestions for sleep training (truly, sharing this information is the Lord’s work), I filed most new-parent advice into the same folder of my brain where I once stored the reigning dates of English monarchs. 


Lessons in love from a growing family

There’s always enough love to go around.

By Matt Paolelli |
Article Your Faith

This was not our first rodeo.

After several tense moments of anticipation, the test finally flashed “PREGNANT,” and it became official: our third pregnancy in four years.

The difference between preparing for our first child and our third was night and day.

When my wife, Theresa, and I discovered we were expecting for the first time, we went into expectant parent overdrive: We read books and online articles for new parents that talked through best- and worst-case scenarios. I started a dad blog to capture all my prebirth wonders and worries.


Teach kids how the resurrection guides Catholic life

Though perhaps difficult to explain, belief in the resurrection changes everything.

By Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck |
Article Your Faith

The story of Jesus’ resurrection is the gospel account most central to the faith of Christians, yet, in a paradox, it’s arguably the most difficult gospel story to believe. Healing the sick and even walking on water begin to seem like minor miracles when compared to being killed on a cross, being dead for three days, and then rising to new life.

Yet if we believe in the resurrection of Christ—if we truly believe—it should change everything about the way we live.


All mothers stand at the cross with Mary

The mother of all mourns with those who have lost their children.

By Sister Laurie Brink, O.P. |
Article Your Faith

On the Friday after Good Friday, when we should have been celebrating the Easter season, I received an email from one of my graduate students asking for my prayers. His son had died of a drug overdose.

Joshua had struggled with addiction for a decade. He had been hospitalized half a dozen times and was in rehab repeatedly, but nothing stopped the disease of addiction from claiming this once healthy and hopeful 26-year-old.

Joshua’s fight was now over, but a father and mother had lost their son, a sister her brother. Jay, Amy, and Abigail were grief-stricken.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, new mothers seek comfort in faith

To stay present while pregnant, these moms expect the unexpected.

By Katie Bahr |
Article Your Faith

For the first seven months of pregnancy, I made the same comment during every doctor’s visit: “I just want a boring pregnancy.”

The youngest of four children with several nieces and nephews, I grew up hearing stories about childbirth—from the uneventful to the near-cataclysmic. Because of these stories, I’ve always had a respectful fear of pregnancy and childbirth and the pain and dangers that can come along with them.


4 ways to help your child manage fear

Respond to kids' emotions instead of minimizing them.

By Mary Lynn Hendrickson |
Article Your Faith

An old friend of mine likes to joke that if you go to Mass and the opening song is “Be Not Afraid,” you probably have every right to be fearful. Either the Bible readings will make you feel like you’re going to hell in a handbasket or the finance committee will announce the parish is a million dollars in debt!


Sins of the father: Wrestling with Abraham's parenting skills

The suspect actions of Abraham should give us pause about what makes him one of the heroes of the Bible.

By Alice Camille |
Article Your Faith

Most of us grew up mentally supplying a retroactive halo to the protagonists in the Bible. Churches have been named for the "proto-saints," as holy ones of the Old Testament are called. Michelangelo comfortably added prophets' likenesses to the Sistine ceiling as if their sanctity was beyond reproach. I'm not suggesting reproach is a better response to those who embraced God's offer to participate in salvation history. It's a tough gig, as anyone who dares to say "yes" when God comes calling can vouch.


Nobody deserves a good spanking

By sparing the rod, both parents and children will learn the gospel discipline of nonviolence.

By Megan Clarke |
Article Your Faith

Five, four, three, two... This ominous countdown can be heard in my home of four kids under age 5 about every 10 to 20 minutes. What exactly is going to happen when I reach “one”?

So far my luck has held as my children always seem to scurry into compliance a split second before that. (I often have to slow down and start an early math lesson in fractions to avoid revealing the emptiness of my threat.) But I am counting down not their doom but the time Mama needs to cool off and dig up extra patience.