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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Forward Planning your Family Planning

Some years ago, I (Francine) was teaching a couple fertility awareness. They had been married five years and assumed that once they discontinued the pill, they would get pregnant straight away. Two years later it still wasn’t happening for them. From what I could see, there was nothing obvious in the their fertility biomarkers that…

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Families on Mission

In 2016 Pope Francis published Amoris Laetitia which translates as the ‘Joy of Love’. The document, the result of discernment over several years and two international gatherings of bishops and other leaders, is a pastoral exploration of the challenges facing families and their role in the Church. Five years on and Pope Francis is again…

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The Names we use Matter

Our second granddaughter finally has a name. Born over a month ago, her parents took their sweet, merry time before committing it to official record. In the interim, this bonny lass (her father is of Irish-Scottish descent) ‘tried on’ a dozen names before the right fit was found. Her name, Theresa Mairead, links her to…

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Sleep Deprivation

Sleeping our way to a successful marriage Our granddaughter is three months old. She is pure delight and we are loving being Nonnina and Nonno. Naturally her parents are experiencing the ‘joy’ of extended sleep-deprivation; she is indeed very cute, but not so much at three in the morning. It takes us back. With relief…

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Like Father, Like Mother

In our household, the traditional stereotypes of father as disciplinarian and mother as comforter don’t describe us very well and that’s probably a good thing. However, we do tend to parent quite differently. Byron is more likely to provide study or career planning advice, and to engage with the children around sport. He’s more likely…

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The Hidden Cost of a Fear Driven Lifestyle

Have you heard of FOMO? It stands for ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ and it’s an epidemic in our culture. Many parents fall into the FOMO trap wanting their child to experience every possible opportunity that might give them a competitive advantage over their peers. Not only does it make childhood hectic and stressful, young people…

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24/7 Connected

Our young adult son is in a blue funk. He and his flatmates have been unable to get the internet connected to their new place for over 4 weeks. They’ve all maxed out their mobile phone plans and to hear them talk you would think it was a major offence against their human rights. We…

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