Category: Family

Retro Donuts Pink Ribbon

Pink Ribbon Donuts for Breast Cancer Awareness

This morning I’m driving to Retro Donuts to pick up two dozen donuts to share with colleagues at school. But these aren’t just any donuts, these are their special Pink Ribbon donuts to support breast cancer awareness. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and today is National Mammography Day. Retro Donuts is donating fifty cents from each Pink Ribbon donut to Every Woman Can, a local nonprofit. My life has been touched personally by breast cancer through our daughter-in-law Teresa who is fighting the battle right now. Please...

Ryan and Teresa Senger

Castles in the Air: A Wedding Homily for My Son and His Bride

Yesterday I had the great honor to officiate the wedding of my son, Ryan, and his wife Teresa. Here is the homily from that ceremony: Brenda and I have had the best time watching Ryan and Teresa get ready for this day, and we’ve enjoyed getting ready for it ourselves. One of the things I had to do for the wedding was pick up the dry cleaning a few days ago from a place out in the valley, off Pines near Broadway. After I picked it up, instead...


The Church Is a Torch Not a Lighthouse: Metaphors from the Synod

Some powerful images for the Church are emerging from the Extraordinary Synod on the Family this week, according to Catholic News Service: …one bishop Oct. 7 told the assembly that the light the church brings to its members is not fixed like a lighthouse on the shore but is a torch that accompanies the pilgrimage of those seeking to live the truth Speaking about the challenge of transmitting church teaching on sexuality and married life to modern men and women, the bishop reportedly said the torch of faith...


Another Married Couple Gives Testimony to the Synod of Bishops

George and Cynthia Campos of the Philippines spoke before the bishops gathered for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. Here is their full testimony: Your Holiness, Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Our Call to Vocation: Cynthia and I were married in 1987, blessed with four children. In 1990, we became members of Couples for Christ, a Private Lay Association of the Faithful of Pontifical Right. We have committed ourselves to be a living catechesis of our vision to live as “Families in the Holy...

married couple

A Married Couple Gives Testimony to the Synod of Bishops

Here is the complete testimony of Ron and Mavis Pirola, married for 55 years and invited to speak before the bishops today at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. As Deacon Greg Kandra writes, “I can’t imagine this kind of commentary being welcomed, or even heard, at the Vatican just a few years ago.” Fifty-seven years ago, I looked across a room and saw a beautiful young woman. We came to know each other over time and eventually took the huge step of committing ourselves to each other...

The Court Jester

10 Great Family Movies You and Your Kids Probably Haven’t Seen

Catholic film critic Steven Greydanus gives his list of ten movies kids probably haven’t seen that are well worth their (and your) time: Kids today are lucky if they know the likes of The Wizard of Oz, The Song of Bernadette, Singin’ in the Rain, The Sound of Music, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Babe and The Iron Giant. Lots of good stuff there (though older movies may require adult mediation to help kids adjust to the slower rhythms of the Golden Age). But what’s really off the beaten path for kids today? What have most kids...

Homily for the Feast of the Holy Family – Year C 2012

Today is the feast of the Holy Family, and as we look at the gospel reading today we might be reminded of another story, a similar story, a more modern story. A story of a family taking a long trip during the holiday season who suddenly realize they’ve left their young son home alone. I’m speaking of course of the 1990 John Hughes movie Home Alone, where young Kevin McAllister is sick of being bullied by his older brothers and sisters, tired of being ignored by his parents,...

Jesus Washing Feet

Ordination Day Prayer

Lovely God, All that I know of service I learned From your true servants in my life: A mom who always puts her family first; A dad who sacrifices his life for his children’s; Siblings who celebrate life in the midst of suffering; A wife who tirelessly gives flesh and bone daily; Children who trust that we know what we’re doing; Friends who keep in touch over years and miles; Colleagues in education who work to build your kingdom; Students who leap to volunteer at a moment’s notice....

Painting the Bedroom

How Parents Pray

“Being a loving parent is work that guarantees the transformation of the ego for in the work of rearing children the limits of your selfishness, need and smallness are continually challenged. Somehow you find within your heart a love that is willing to stretch further and further. In this sense, the work of parenting is profoundly blessed work. Some people pray in words; in the work of raising children, parents pray every day with every fibre of their being.” John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, page 164

St. Joseph

St. Joseph: The Saint of Little Things

St. Joseph reminds us that it’s the little things that matter — doing an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wages; reading to children at bedtime; preparing dinner for the family. The quiet, hidden life of St. Joseph stands in contrast to our culture’s obsession with celebrity. Fr. Jim Martin comments on the life of this humble model of faith from his DVD Who Cares about the Saints?:

Paradise on the Steppe

Digging Up the Past

A phone call from out of the blue last week was the latest of several events that have sent me on a genealogical journey to once again dig into family history. It’s almost like God has been dropping little hints lately that it’s time to get back to researching my ancestors’ roots. First, a few weeks ago, my uncle discovered that my grandfather wrote a song in the 1930s, so Mom’s been sending me updates on his progress in finding the lyrics and sheet music. That got me...

4th of July Parade #2

Independence Day in Small Town America

Celebrating the 4th of July in a small town is a cornucopia of Cowboys, corndogs, and carousels. This year we spent Independence Day with my wife’s family in Idaho, taking in as much Americana as we could. We began yesterday by catching candy thrown from the floats at the Grangeville Border Days parade, then stuffed ourselves on shaved ice, grilled burgers and corndogs. The kids had fun spinning around on carnival rides and winning prizes from the carnies. In the evening we enjoyed a rodeo, complete with barrel...

Father and Daughter

Of Earrings and Aging

When my eleven-year-old daughter left the house yesterday to go to the mall she was still a little girl, but she came back a teenager. The lobes of her ears were pierced by ruby earrings. This is a new parenting landmark for me. I don’t think I like it. I liked it when she and her brothers and sister each learned to walk on their own; it meant my arms could start functioning normally again. I loved it when they all moved past the diaper stage; it meant...

Harry Dresden – For Teenagers?

I’m about a quarter of the way into Storm Front, book one of the Harry Dresden Files, and I wanted to answer a question posed by Maureen, who wants to know about its suitability for junior high/high school readers. It didn’t take long to get the answer to that question. Keep in mind that I believe in each parent deciding what their kids can read or watch, so don’t take my comments as gospel truth on this. Here we go: I’m really enjoying the book so far as...