Marriage, Family and Respect Life: Family Life
"The family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love...Every particular task of the family is an expressive and concrete actuation of that fundamental mission."
- Pope Saint John Paul the Great
On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World, #17
The family is a communion of persons established by the covenant of marriage. As the sanctuary of life, the family is called to lovingly welcome and protect each human life entrusted to its care. The role of father and mother (each being valued) shines forth through the education in human and spiritual values provided to their children. As the Domestic Church, the family participates in the life of the Church, especially through prayer, the celebration of the liturgy (especially the Sacraments), through the fostering of Christian discipleship, and through a multiplicity of service to the Church and to society.
Family Life is filled with both blessings and challenges. Below are a collection of parenting and family resources. Our hope is that these will prove helpful as you strive to be faithful to your vocation in the family.
5 Ways to a Stronger Family
The Archdiocese of Denver has created an inspiring and helpful video about family life. How can you make your family stronger? Watch the video to learn how!
Natural Family Planning
Learn about how to plan your family responsibly and respect the gift of sexuality. Having a fundamental respect for your and your spouse's sexuality is key to living a happy and holy marriage. Read more at our NFP page.
Parenting and Discipline
Dr. Ray Gaurendi, one of the leading Catholic psychologists, offers solid advice for parents. You can find his bookDiscipline That Lasts a Lifetime: The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kids, as well as other books and parenting tips on his website.
The Role of the Saints
Don't overlook the role of the Saints in the life of your family. The Saints inspire us to follow Jesus more closely, and show us how to follow the Lord. They are also powerful intercessors for all of us: individuals; married couples; parents; children; etc. Who is your Patron Saint? You can find Patron Saints for your state in life, your career and your interests. You can also find Patron Saints for medical conditions and other concerns. AmericanCatholic.org is a great source for information about the Saints.
Chasity and Sexual Purity
Are you looking for information sexual purity? Check out the following resources:
Family Honor Inc. - Rooted in Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body, Family Honor seeks to empower parents to educate and guide their children according to God's plan. Family Honor offers a variety of programs and resources for parents, as well as programs for parents and teens together.
Chastity.com - Info and resources for teens to choose purity in their lives.
Pornography - See this page for more resources on this topic.
Keeping Children Safe
The safety of our children is a paramount concern for the Diocese of Steubenville. In union with dioceses across the nation, the Diocese of Steubenville has created a program for teaching children about their inherent dignity, as well as basic norms of behavior that respect that dignity. Parents play the most crucial role in keeping their children safe from abusive behavior. You can access materials to educate yourself, and to use to teach your children (both young children and teens), from special CHILD PROTECTION PAGE on the diocesan website.
Parents have the tough job of protecting their children from all the morally corrupt messages in the entertainment industry. It can be very difficult to discern what is good and what is not. Here are some tools that may be helpful:
Movie Reviews - You can find movie reviews from a Catholic perspective at the US Bishops website. You can also find reviews by Steven Greydanus (movie reviewer for the National Catholic Register) at DecentFilms.com.
Family Entertainment - Many people have found PiusMedia a great sources for clean family movies.
Video Game Reviews - Plugged In, a ministry of Focus on the Family, offers reviews for video game from a Christian perspective. (NOTE: This is not a Catholic ministry, but their reviews still prove helpful for parents.)
Internet - The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has a resource for parents regarding internet safety. You can find it here.
Other Media Reviews - Plugged In, is probably the best source of information at this point about other entertainment options (music, television, etc.). (NOTE: This is not a Catholic ministry, but their reviews still prove helpful for parents.)
As parents, we want to create healthy and loving homes for our children, filled with positive memories of faith and family life. Here are some great resources for developing some family practices and traditions that will enrich your children's lives:
Building Catholic Family Traditions by Paul and Leisa Thigpen
The Catholic Parent Book of Feasts: Celebrating the Church Year With Your Family by Michaelann Martin, Carol Puccio and Zoe Romanowsky
Also check out Family Traditions for Advent and Christmas, a free guide for families created by Joseph Schmidt
Fostering Vocational Awareness
We always want the best for our children. What parent doesn't want their son or daughter to live a joy-filled and healthy life? Faith teaches - and experience confirms - that Christ is the only source for true happiness. As parents, we need to help our children to know and love Jesus Christ, and to surrender their lives to Him. We need to foster a vocational awareness in our children. We need to help them to recognize that God has a call and plan for their lives: be it priesthood, religious life, marriage or the single life. And we need to encourage them to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking in their hearts.
Here are some resources to help promote vocational awareness in your children:
SteubenvilleVocations.com - This is the official website of the Office of Vocations
CincinnatiVocations.org - The vocations office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has a wealth of articles and resources for promoting vocations, including some great videos about the real life of priests ("The Man Behind the Collar" series).
ForYourVocation.org - Website from the US Catholic Bishops for promoting priestly and religious vocations.
ForYourMarriage.org - Website from the US Catholic Bishops for promoting marriage. Check out the article about Marriage as a vocation.
Prevention Drug Addiction
A new effort is underway across Ohio to prevent drug abuse among Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens – our children. Governor John R. Kasich and First Lady Karen W. Kasich have launched Start Talking! to give parents, guardians, educators and community leaders the tools to start the conversation with Ohio’s youth about the importance of living healthy, drug-free lives. The Catholic Bishops of Ohio issued a statement about the initiative. “Start Talking is a program designed by the state of Ohio to help equip families and communities to clearly communicate the important message of drug prevention,” the Bishops said. “We support this critical initiative and we encourage Ohioans to visit www.starttalking.ohio.gov for details.”