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Family

Marriage is… an opportunity to share Christ’s love!

By Julie Bostick | Executive Director, Office of Laity and Family Life My husband, Ralph, and I recently traveled to Chicago to visit our son, Shawn, his wife and new baby. While there, we went bowling with some of Shawn’s friends and had a great time. As we left the bowling alley and walked to our car in the parking lot, I reached out and took Ralph’s hand. We hold hands quite often, so it was almost a reflexive action for my hand to reach out for his as we walked. I didn’t give it another thought until our drive Read More

Things Being a Grandma Has Taught Me about Being a Mom

By Julie Bostick | Executive Director, Office of Laity and Family Life When our children were young, my husband Ralph and I brought them to Mass every Sunday. When they were under five, we often sat in the back of Church, because we didn’t want the kids to “disrupt” anyone around us. We had two children, two years apart, and I would say their behavior in Mass was pretty standard for kids their age. We looked forward to attending Mass but during that time we never felt like we achieved “full and active” participation, because we were too busy taking care Read More

Avoiding the ‘End’ of Marriage

Around the world, it’s the end of marriage as we Catholics knew it. Right? Well, maybe. It depends on how old you are. Do any of us alive today ever really remember a time when Church and State were completely in sync on the meaning and purpose of marriage? Can you remember a time when all divorce was illegal? Nope, neither do I. Civil authorities have been “ending” marriages (in their view) for a long time, which means that the beginning of the “end of marriage” came long before same-sex “marriage.” The more important question might be: Were we Catholics really Read More

The US Bishops on Secularism and the Family (With a Twist)

“Virtual Vestibule” readers may not yet have heard what the U.S. Bishops have been saying about the destructive impact of secular culture upon the family. So, here we go—incredible and insightful words about our contemporary predicament: Secularism has wrought havoc in the family. Even the pagans saw something sacred in marriage and the family. In Christian doctrine its holiness is so sublime that it is likened to the mystical union of Christ and His Church. Secularism has debased the marriage contract by robbing it of its relation to God and, therefore, of its sacred character. It has set the will Read More

Love Is Not Love: And Truth Is Like Peanut Butter…

Hey, everybody--#LoveWins! #LoveIsLove! Now we’ve got marriage “equality”! Right? Well…actually, no. The Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage has made clear that secular culture has little or no clue about the real meaning of love. And we Catholics are now struggling to understand how to express lovingly the truth about marriage and love itself. Ironically, our attempt to do this is now called hate. Why? Because “love is love” is actually not love. It’s just a reflexive statement—a tautology—that means almost nothing. H2O is H2O! Ah, let us bow in awe at the profound simplicity of this statement! Things are what Read More

Men and Women are Different—And That’s Okay

Our cognitively dissonant culture would have us believe two contradictory yet unassailable “truths”—first, that “equality equals sameness.” If men and women are equal, they must therefore be viewed and understood as the same, capable of being interchangeably cast in any and every conceivable social role. Mere “biological” difference is totally inconsequential. Second, however, is society’s “truth” that men and women are so fundamentally different that some people (e.g., Bruce Jenner) even realize early in life that, on the “inside” they are really not the same as they are on the “outside.” This difference is so crucial that the tension it Read More