Catholic family life

Tolkien imparts timeless lessons on fellowship, loyalty, family

Tolkien, the Fox Searchlight biopic set for release this Friday, May 10, follows young John Ronald Reuel Tolkien through events early in his life — from school years to World War I — that would ultimately lay the foundation for his world-changing fiction. The narrative is delivered as a series of flashbacks as soldier Tolkien…

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Man to man: Advice from NFP grooms

From the Family Foundations archives ****  She said yes! Great! Now what? There’s finding a church, ordering food, booking the DJ and photographer. It’s enough to make a guy go nuts! The recently engaged and married fellows interviewed by Family Foundations offered a few pointers for men preparing to take the big step. From learning how to argue…

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14 traditions to make Holy Week real for your kids

We’re just shy of halfway through Lent, but let’s be real: Catholic kids everywhere are mentally on Easter break. There are lots of great Easter activities that celebrate the beauty of spring and the secular side of the season, but what about preparing the hearts and minds of our little ones for the immeasurable spiritual…

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What St. Joseph teaches us about mercy

Joseph had it rough. Imagine being an all-around good guy, intentional about the reputations of both yourself and your family (after all, the Messiah is destined to come from your tribe!). You manage an engagement to the loveliest girl in town — one with an even more flawless record than your own — and you…

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Tips for healthy fasting

NFPers are no strangers to the idea of abstinence, fasting and self-control. Lent is a beautiful liturgical season in which the entire Church joins together in self-denial in a focused way, and we seasoned veterans can be something of an example for those to whom such practices are less familiar. And just as NFP worth…

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My vocation isn’t marriage

Marriage was never an option in my discernment. I could tell from my gifts, interests, strengths and weaknesses that my calling would be something particularly unconventional. Marriage? Dull. Kids? Adorable, but spiritual motherhood fosters a much bigger family and is far more frequently neglected. The second stop for my discernment train was clearly religious life.…

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French president ignites fury of Twitter moms

In reference to impoverished African families and child brides, French President Emmanuel Macron exclaimed in September, “I always say: ‘Present me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children.’”  Macron’s remarks finally hit social media this week, and hell hath no fury like moms with big families on Twitter.…

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3 ways teach your kids about guardian angels

The concept of guardian angels is difficult enough for adults to grasp, so it’s unsurprising that these supernatural beings often get reduced to a sort of heavenly Tooth Fairy when explained to children. Angels are much more than some kind of God-given imaginary friends, so it’s important to teach our families the difference between cute…

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Grandpa, Grandma and the eternal

St. Joseph, pray for us.  Sts. Joachim & Ann, pray for us. St. Gianna Beretta Molla, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us. Upon first glance, Sts. Joachim and Ann might seem like odd patrons for an NFP organization, and yet their names are included in the litany of saints we appeal to…

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Sts. Monica and Augustine, persist with us

Yesterday was the feast of St. Monica, the mother of persistence, and today we celebrate the feast of her brilliant and influential son, St. Augustine. These feasts are timely, arriving in the midst of religious uncertainty and crisis. This woman — whose persistent prayers converted the hearts of her family and produced one of the…

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