Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Wash


Family faith expert Tom McGrath, offers a generous collection of easy tips and tools to help Catholic families realize a spiritual path, and to help parents inspire virtue, discipline, and hope in their children. Writing from personal experience and drawing from the experiences of others, McGrath—a father of two grown daughters—shows fellow parents how to bring faith into everyday family life through […]

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Cry

Female support

“Jesus wept.” This short verse in John’s Gospel always moves me. Because Jesus is both God and man,
he reveals the nature of God in a way we humans can witness and understand. When Jesus learned of the death of his dear friend Lazarus, he was overcome by tears and revealed the compassionate nature of God. God feels our pain and accompanies us in our sorrows. Life in a family involves moments of sadness, loss, or grief. Sometimes we may feel alone in our sorrow, but God is always close. As Jesus revealed and the mystic Meister Eckhart proclaimed, “Whatever God does, the rst outburst is always compassion.” Bring your sadness, loss, or grief and o er it to God who knows your heart and longs to comfort you in your sorrow. —Tom McGrath

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Accept

Portrait of affectionate family of four in isolation

A lot of the suffering I have known has come from failing to practice acceptance. Acceptance is neither resignation nor throwing in the towel. It is not a passive stance. Instead, it is taking the irrefutable step of saying yes to what is, rather than wishing for something else. Once we say yes to life on life’s terms, we give ourselves the power to choose our response and allow God enough room to act in the situation. Let us pray: “God, I know that this situation is difficult and disheartening. But I will not lose hope. I will rise to this challenge, knowing that even my smallest efforts will be outmatched by your desire for my well-being. Help me accept what is, so that I will be open to discovering with you what will be.” —Tom McGrath

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40 Days for Life


The 40 Days for Life Campaign is here for the first time in Niagara!  The 40Days for Life is a community-based campaign that takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families. It puts into action a desire to cooperate with God in the carrying out […]

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Serve

Mother assisting daughter in washing plate in kitchen at home

Research shows that children whose parents volunteer to help others are far more likely to volunteer when they grow up. My mother has inspired her children and grandchildren in this way for decades. She coordinated
so many events at the parish when I was growing up that we began to think that setting up tables and chairs was the Eleventh Commandment. Now in her 80s, Mom continues to volunteer—working with young people with special needs, washing and ironing the altar cloths, and working an afternoon each week at the thrift store that supports the local hospital. Here are two questions to add to your prayer before meals that will inspire your family to serve now and in the future: What am I grateful for today? Whom did I help today? —Tom McGrath

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Respect for Life Mass


St. Catharines Right to Life invites you to the Annual Diocesan Respect for life Mass on the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord Saturday March 25, 2017, 10 a.m. Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria Presider: Bishop Gerard Bergie Catholic Women’s League, Knights of Columbus, Daughters of Isabella and other groups are invited to send representatives and carry banners […]

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Sort

Mother assisting daughter in washing plate in kitchen at home

Parents spend a lot of time sorting. We sort the laundry and the silverware, toys and coupons, junk mail and bills. We sort through which invitations and opportunities will make it onto the family calendar and which ones we’ll decline. There’s often too much to do, and it can be hard to keep sane. So how do you decide how your family will spend its precious time and energy? Jesus says, “seek ye first the kingdom of God,” which means put God’s will in the center of your life. Prudence, the virtue that helps us make decisions based on wisdom rather than impulse, can help you sort. When your family is feeling overbooked, exercise prudence by asking, “Which activities bring us closer to one another and to Christ, and which simply make us busy?” —Tom McGrath

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Witness


While driving on the expressway, a driver cut me off . Impulsively, I voiced my opinion of his character. Suddenly from the back seat, my two-year-old daughter repeated the nasty word I’d just spoken. I was shocked to realize
just how closely my daughter was watching me. Before I despaired over all the i y behaviors I’d exhibited in front of her, I decided to focus on the good behaviors I had modeled: praying before meals, speaking respectfully to her mother, singing enthusiastically at Mass, helping our elderly neighbor with yard work, readily forgiving others in the family, and speaking respectfully of people of other races and faiths. Every parent makes an occasional blunder in front of his or her child. But what positive values are you displaying day in and day out? —Tom McGrath

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Raising Faith-Filled Kids One Word at a Time: Open

Close up of father holding his daughter hand, so sweet,family time.

It’s a painful day when your child comes home from school or play feeling broken-hearted and betrayed by friends. His or her natural reaction— and sometimes ours—is likely to become angry and spiteful. Your child may stop trusting because it’s easy for a heart to harden. But Jesus calls us to live openheartedly, ready to reconcile, trust, and forgive. That’s a tough lesson to master, but one that is at the very heart of being a disciple of Jesus (“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass”). We parents do our children no favors when we encourage resentment or spite. Instead, through our words and especially our example, we can invite them to the deeper satisfaction of living with hearts that are open to trust, forgiveness, and love. —Tom McGrath

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