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Pope Francis Gets Schooled on Spanking: Pop-Psych Meets Magisterium

Pope Francis did it again. Did what? Gave another Wednesday papal audience, of course! And the media and the pop psychologists—both secular and Catholic—have done it again, too. They’ve responded vigorously and rather alarmingly to the Holy Father’s recent Wednesday audience (Feb. 4, 2015: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/audiences/2015/documents/papa-francesco_20150204_udienza-generale.html) in which he continued his catechesis on the family by teaching about fathers. Pope Francis now-famously said: “A good father knows how to wait and knows how to forgive from the depths of his heart. Certainly, he also knows how to correct with firmness: he is not a weak father, submissive and sentimental. The father who knows how to Read More

Pope: Catholics Don’t Have to Breed ‘Like Rabbits’???

by Deacon Jim Russell So, how do y’all like that Associated Press headline? In case you might have missed it, Pope Francis’ recent return flight from his visit to the Philippines featured an in-flight press conference in which he was asked (according to a widely published translation): A Filipino woman gives birth to an average of three children in her life, and the Catholic position concerning contraception seem to be one of the few questions on which a big number of people in the Philippines do not agree with the Church. What do you think about that? This is Pope Read More

Advent Calls Us to Holiness

By Deacon Jim Russell [The post below can also be found in the December issue of the Office of Laity and Family Life's e-newsletter, "Disciples' Dispatch." If you'd like to receive the newsletter via e-mail, just drop me a line at jimrussell@archstl.org. Thanks and have a Blessed Advent! JR]   Another year is concluding, and another precious few weeks to prepare our hearts for celebrating the birth of the Infant Jesus! That kind of preparation hardly seems doable in the midst of the commercialism, distractions, and numerous obligations we face during what secular society can only go so far as Read More

Book Review: ‘The Accidental Marriage’ (and ‘Transubstantiated’ Love)

by Deacon Jim Russell Ever wonder what would happen if a self-identified gay man offered to father a child for a self-identified gay woman and her partner, and then the man and woman “had” to get married? The new novel “The Accidental Marriage” (Ignatius Press) by Roger B. Thomas is not exactly a familiar portrait of “romance,” perhaps—but rather a surprisingly compelling story of love. Enter the decidedly “un-Catholic” world of Scott and Megan, whose respective same-sex partners soon fall out of the picture as Scott and Megan navigate the troubled waters of their own peculiar relationship and their fundamental Read More

Church as Home, Home as Church

“…All I know is I'm not home yet  This is not where I belong Take this world and give me Jesus This is not where I belong…” (song by Building 429, “Where I Belong”) “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You, O Lord…”   (St. Augustine of Hippo) Hello, and welcome to my first post at my new blog titled “One Church, One Home.” Thanks for reading and for sharing, God willing, if you find insights and reflections that could help Catholic families continue their effort to help their own “domestic churches” grow in grace and holiness. So, why Read More

He Makes Everything New!

By Julie Bostick, Executive Director, Office of Laity & Family Life Our kids didn’t come with a “how-to” manual, so I learned how to be a mother through trial and error.  Like most moms I worried that each of my parenting decisions would “scar” my children for life.  I attended almost every ballgame, concert, recital and field trip.  I enjoyed hosting their friends for sleep-overs and didn’t mind getting up early the next morning to cook them all pancakes for breakfast.  Despite the sleepless nights, the sacrifices, and the worry, I love every minute of being a mother. When our Read More