#4 Communication

Communication is one of the key topics that couples say is so important. While most engaged couples believe they are great at communication, many married couples say they could use some help. What’s going on? Did these couples somehow unlearn how to communicate? Join us as we explore communication – the pitfalls, the benefits, and…

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Natural Fertility

True love cannot be contained; it always gives life in some form, bursting forth from the couple with irrepressible urgency. For most couples, this life-giving impulse will result in the biological birth of a child. For others, it will be expressed in a shared effort to generously give of their time and talents to others.…

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#3 Your Family of Origin

Our family of origin is the most influential formation because our early childhood experiences created the foundation through which all other experiences were interpreted. We like to think that we are independent thinkers and our own person. The truth is, we are products of our upbringing and experiences. Guest: Would you be willing to join…

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A Sacramental Season

It’s ‘Sacrament Season’ in Australia: children are busily preparing to make their first Confession, first Holy Communion or Confirmation. Meanwhile, weddings are playing catch up following months of pandemic restrictions.   A life-long encounter  As parents, we had high ambitions for the sacramental preparation of our children. Good intentions, however, struggled against the time drought of…

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The Eleventh Commandment

When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, he added a postscript for parents: passing on the faith makes parents the first – and most important – educators. Over a period of 24 years, our five children attended Catholic education across six schools. These schools included the local parish school, two private schools, and three regional…

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The Family Models Synodality

Only two of our five children, now adults, still reside with us. As resident adults, we respect their right to make decisions about their personal life, but we also impose some house rules. For example, we require them to communicate about their movements, tidy their rooms, do their own laundry, and participate in the preparation…

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Our family is a mess!

The Christmas Vigil Mass features the Gospel of Matthew (1:1-25). Depending on whether you get the long or short version, you might hear the genealogy of Jesus Christ – a rather long list of the forebears of Jesus, going all the way back to Abraham. It includes some of the most dysfunctional characters from the…

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When history repeats, choose freedom

We remember sitting with a young couple who were locked in combat. She was prone to reactive outbursts and he was mystified as to what he was doing to trigger it. As we probed her on her family of origin the penny dropped; she was repeating a relationship pattern that she had established with her…

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Love in the Waiting

Advent is the season of waiting; we wait in anticipation of the coming of Christ. But are we the only ones doing the waiting? I (Francine) was hurrying to get out the door for 7am Mass. I looked at the time on the car clock and sighed in defeat: 6:58. There was no way I’d…

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Finding a different path to fruitfulness

Photo by Joe Yates on Unsplash|Jenny Brinkworth|Life to the Full Cover|Debra and Tony Vermeer

Book Review By Jenny Brinkworth With one in six Australian couples experiencing infertility, a new book by Debra Vermeer will be a welcome resource for Catholic couples. When Catholic convert and respected journalist Debra Vermeer was grappling with the reality that she and her husband Tony could not conceive a child, she found the shelves…

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