Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

The Domestic Church:
The Catholic Home


Every Catholic home should be considered a microcosm of the Church, with the Father as the head, Mother as the cherished spouse (both equal before God in dignity and, always, treating each other equally in charity), and with the children brought up learning how to know, love, and serve God. The true head of the Catholic home is Jesus, just as He is Head of the Church but appointed a Vicar in the Supreme Pontiff, our Holy Father. The constant awareness of Christ's Kingship, with the family's week centered on the Mass, and day centered on prayer, is key.

At a minimum, in addition to being encouraged to pray in his own words, prayers that every Catholic child should know are:

  • the prayers of the Rosary: Apostles' Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and Fatima Prayer, and the Sign of the Cross (the very smallest of children should know how and when to sign themselves)
  • Blessing before Meals
  • Prayer to Guardian Angel
  • Prayer to St. Michael
  • Act of Contrition
  • Hail, Holy Queen
  • The Eternal Rest Prayer

All of these prayers can be found in both English and Latin on the Traditional Catholic Prayers, Creeds, and Ejaculations page of this site (please, if you're able, consider teaching your children at least the Pater, Ave, and Gloria in Latin). Prayer should be further encouraged by placing Holy Water fonts near your front door and in each child's room. They should be taught what Holy Water is, what using it signifies, and how to use it -- and parents should bless their children with it, signing them on their foreheads. Each child's room should also have a crucifix hanging over the bed (these crucifixes should be blessed by a priest).

You should ask a priest to bless your home as soon as you move into it. From the Roman Ritual comes this priestly blessing:

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who made heaven and earth.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.

Let us pray. God the Father almighty, we fervently implore you for the sake of this home and its occupants and possessions, that you may bless + and sanctify + them, enriching them by your kindness in every way possible. Pour out on them, Lord, heavenly dew in good measure, as well as an abundance of earthly needs. Mercifully listen to their prayers, and grant that their desires be fulfilled. At our lowly coming be pleased to bless + and sanctify + this home, as you once were pleased to bless the home of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Within these walls let your angels of light preside and stand watch over those who live here; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.

The blessing of your home is renewed yearly on the Feast of the Epiphany. Ideally, too, every family should consecrate their home to the Sacred Heart, overtly stating their intentions of making Christ the King of their household.

In contradistinction to the typical home which has a television set as its centerpiece, the focal point of a Catholic home should be the family altar -- a place where the family can gather to offer up their prayers to the Most Holy Trinity and to ask the Saints to pray for them. Morning Offerings, family Rosaries, prayers for special intentions, family novenas, Lectio Divina, etc., can all be made here. 1

Family altars, ideally, should be on the Eastern wall of a home, in the same orientation as church buildings. The altar can be as simple or as elaborate as one desires, but should be beautiful and conducive to contemplation. A few items to consider placing on or around the altar table are:   

Sacred Scripture (Douay-Rheims)
icons (statues and/or two-dimensional)
a Holy Water font
a cellar of blessed salt
charcoal incense burner
vigil candles, candles blessed at Candlemas (to burn on All Saints Day and in times of trouble), and Baptismal candles (for use at weddings and during Unction)

Other things one might want to consider are Holy Cards, flowers, a prie-dieu, the names of dead family members printed on beautiful parchment so you may be reminded to pray for them (having their funeral holy cards there would be nice, too), pictures of the Stations of the Cross or the Mysteries of the Rosary, something with which to play sacred music and Gregorian chant, sick call sets, palm branches from Palm Sunday, certificate of a papal blessing, etc.

Family altars, like the rest of the home, can be decorated according to the liturgical season, changing tablecloths, sacred images, and flowers according to that Season's liturgical colors and themes (check here to see a list of flowers by liturgical color). One tip I have is to buy one of those little tiny 6" easels made to display small pictures, or some decorative place card holders, and then buy an assortment of Holy Cards to place on them according to liturgical season or Feast. For ex., on the Feast of St. Nicholas, a Holy Card bearing his likeness can be set out; on Good Friday, a card depicting the Crucifixion; on the family's Name Days, depictions of their patrons can be placed on it, etc.

Artistic mothers (or fathers with the rare interest) can embroider altar cloths with appropriate Seasonal symbols and colors. Another idea is to embroider phrases or appropriate verses from Scripture along the borders or at the center of altar cloths that summarize the Season's "mood." The Seasons' colors and some appropriate symbols for them are:



purple Advent candles; Advent wreath; empty crib; St. John the Baptist; "Veni, veni Emmanuel" (Come, come Emmanuel); "Ecce Dominus veniet" (Behold, the Lord our God shall come); "Ero cras" (the O Antiphon acrostic meaning "Tomorrow I come"); the titles given to Jesus in the O Antiphons: Sapientia, Adonai, Radix Jesse, Clavis David, Oriens, Rex Gentium, Emmanuel


white or gold

star; manger, candles; bells; mother and Child; angels; Christmas candle; holly; ivy; Christmas rose; poinsettia; Glastonbury thorn; wreath; Christmas tree; mistletoe; cardinals; robins; yule log; "Glória in excélsis Deo" (Glory to God in the Highest)

Time after Epiphany

green water and wine of miracle at Cana; fish and loaves; Scallop Shell; "Benedícitus Dóminus Deus Israel, Qui facit mirabília magna solus a saeculo" (Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, Who alone doth wonderful things from the beginning)


purple chains; tears; "De profúndis clamávi ad te, Dómine: Dómine, exáudi vocem meam" (From the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord: Let thine ears be attentive to the prayer of Thy servant)


purple Cross; crown of thorns; nails; Chalice; Host; "Kyrie eléison" (Lord, have mercy); "Immutémur hábitu in cinere et cilicio" (Let us change our garments for ashes and sackcloth)


white or gold

empty Tomb; egg; lamb; the Paschal candle; bells; peacock; butterfly; phoenix; "Christus Resurrexit" (Christ is risen)

Time after Pentecost


the number 1,000 (the letter "M" in Roman numerals); Church; Peter's Keys; crown symbolizing Christ's Kingship; "Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat" (Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands); "Vive Christus Rex" (Long live Christ the King)

(Just a little note on setting up altars, nativity scenes, etc.: artistic elements should be arranged so that the most important is to the right according to Christ's perspective -- which is to the left side from our perspective. Recall how in our churches, the left side of the Church from our perspective is the superior Gospel and Mary side of the church while the right side from our perspective is the inferior Epistle and St. Joseph side of the Church. This is because from the perspective of Christ on the Crucifix which hangs above or sits on the altar, the Gospel/Mary side is to His right. In following this principle when setting up a creche, for ex., Mary should be to Christ's right -- but to our left. So, if you have a Crucifix or other representation of Christ on your altar, keep this in mind.)

Also in keeping with the liturgical Seasons and Feast Days, icons and statues can be covered with purple cloth during Passiontide (the last two weeks of Lent); statues of Mary can be crowned with roses in May; lilies (especially blessed lilies) can be placed there on the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua (13 June); Advent wreaths can be set up on the first Sunday of Advent; the crèche ("nativity scene") could be set up here during Christmastide, etc. Some families even clothe statues of Our Lady according to the liturgical season, for example, dressing her in a black veil for the Feast of the Seven Sorrows and Good Friday, in white or gold for Christmas and Easter, etc.

It is very important for parents to make the liturgical year come alive for their children, to make it a part of the rhythm of their children's lives. This will help them pay more attention at Mass during the Gospel and sermons, and it has the psychological benefit of helping the children feel both "grounded" in a stable, traditional family, and a part of something "bigger than they are" in terms of the Church, the cycles of the liturgical year being something shared by Catholics for millennia. These "little things" connect you to your children, your children to each other, and your family to the Church. From a secular angle, it is good, too, to have family history books, family trees, information about any countries of origin in your family's past, etc. -- in other words, to have, as much as possible, at least basic geneaological information -- so that kids have a sense of their ancestors, feel a part of something much larger than themselves, and have a sense of themselves as rooted in History. It is also another way to encourage kids to pray for their dead family members.

Customs for particular Feast Days and Seasons are as varied as the number of families and countries that exist. These customs touch on everything from prayers to food to things like Advent calendars, skulls made of sugar, and bonfires. These are explored elsewhere on this site, but one thing I'd like to mention here is the planning and starting of Mary Gardens in Spring, especially on the Feast of the Annunciation, and at bulb-planting time (Spring or Fall, depending on the type of bulb).

During family devotions, "set the scene." Turn down the lights, burn incense, light candles, play sacred music when appropriate, etc. Use sensory cues to let everyone know that what will be done now is set apart and sacred. Of course, prayer throughout the day, aside from special sacred times, should be encouraged, too; our lives should be a prayer! An old joke comes to mind: Two Jesuit novices both wanted a cigarette while they prayed. They decided to ask their superior for permission. The first asked but was told no. A little while later he spotted his friend smoking and praying an Ave. "Why did the superior allow you to smoke and not me?" he asked. His friend replied, "Because you asked if you could smoke while you prayed, and I asked if I could pray while I smoked!" The point is that while prayer while going about the mundane is, of course, always good -- we are exhorted to "pray without ceasing" -- it is also good to set aside time just to worship God with no distractions.

But be careful with family devotions: encourage them instead of forcing them, don't do too much, and consider your children's ages, attention spans, and temperaments when planning -- e.g., perhaps a decade of a Rosary would be more fitting than a 5-decade Rosary, or maybe praying a novena to a favorite Saint would keep a child's interest better than professing a creed. The point of family devotions is focusing on God together, as a family, but this doesn't have to always involve formal prayer; reading stories of the lives of the Saints, or the making of crafts that relate to Bible stories or the lives of the Holy Family can serve the purpose as well.

It would be especially good if at least a small library could be built up containing books to feed the faith: traditional Catechisms for children and adults, Butler's "Lives of the Saints," Thomas á Kempis's "Imitation of Christ," St. Thomas Aquinas's "Summa Theologica," St. Augustine's "City of God" and "Confessions," the writings of St. Thérèse de Lisieux (the "Little Flower"), St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, etc. "Coffee table books" that include beautiful pictures of Christendom's great works of art and architecture would be very inspiring, too. The Baltimore Catechism No. 1 and Baltimore Catechism No. 2 have served the purpose of educating Catholic children for generations. I have all four of the Baltimore Catechisms in this site's Catholic Library -- for free, in pdf format. There, too, you'll find other books that will help your children.

Catholic children should be taught about our virtuous Saints! Give your children heroes, inspire their imaginations and feed their will to do good. They could be taught about the Saints as their Feast Days are celebrated throughout the Sanctoral Cycle, as the family's Name Days are celebrated, etc. The family as a group should adopt a patron Saint for their home just as each particular church has its own patron and guardian angel (St. Joseph, patron of families, is a natural for this cause!). Some families, like some religious orders, choose a different patron each year on the Feast of the Epiphany. Call on Saints who have patronage in various situations, such as sickness, traveling, etc. Hang an icon of St. Martha in your kitchen, an icon of St. Barbara for use during storms, etc. No matter what, the Church Triumphant should be experienced as being as real to your children as the Church Militant!

...And the reality of the Church Suffering should be clear and relevant to them, too. Though we all have the hope that our dead family members are already in Heaven, it is possible that they are in Purgatory for a time. Our beloved dead should never be forgotten, and prayer for them should be a part of your children's lives. Praying the Blessing After Meals ensures that the souls of our dead ancestors are prayed for every time we eat. And, as mentioned above, another tradition is to write the names of your ancestors on a beautiful piece of paper and keep that paper on your family altar so the dead will always be remembered and prayed for.

Parents should also bless their children, at the least on the Lord's Day. The traditional way of doing this is for the children to kneel and for the parent to either place his hands on the child's head and/or trace a Cross on the child's forehead while saying:

May Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless you, my child(ren), for time and eternity, and may this blessing remain forever with you. Amen

St. Ambrose wrote of this practice:

You may not be rich; you may be unable to bequeath any great possessions to your children; but one thing you can give them; the heritage of your blessing. And it is better to be blessed than to be rich.


On a different level, Catholic homes should be filled with secular books, art, music, the necessary things to make crafts, instruments for family members to make their own music, etc. Every home, ideally, should have a globe -- not an atlas (though that would be great, too), but a hands-on globe, which kids love to play with and look at. There should be plenty to feed the mind and heart, and to engage the body. A well-trained child should rarely speak of boredom or offer it as an excuse for getting into trouble or whining; he should learn to entertain himself, to imagine new games and to marvel at and learn about the world about him. Young children never hate to read and to learn! That comes later, after bad teachers who ignore the importance of phonics and don't know how to engage children's interest make them feel stupid, and when overuse of television and other video-based media has robbed them of imagination and taught them to think in sound-bytes and quick-moving images. It is too much television and internet video that trains them to feel restless unless pounding music and rapid-fire motion are assaulting their senses. For the love of all that is holy, keep your children far away from large doses of television and video (and, most certainly, far from programming that assaults basic Christian morals unless they're "of age" and you talk with them about what you're seeing). Good TV and movies never hurt anyone, but large doses of quick-cuts, relentless soundtracks, commercials, etc. are killers of the soul (Note: if you want your children to be able to watch the old black and white movies, don't show them color movies -- and especially don't show them movies made in the CGI era -- until long after they've been exposed to the older ones. Many children today have cut themselves off from the world of classic film by being spoiled by modern colorful, quick-cut-laden, CGI-based.movies. They simply "cannot" pay attention for the time it takes to get through classically-paced scenes).

Another killer of the ability to marvel is the bored adult who's lost that ability himself. Cynical teachers who hate what they do and treat children like inmates; uncultured parents who haven't picked up a book in years; Pharisaic parents who forget that the purpose of rules is to serve charity and who sap the joy out of a child's life with their drive for power, inane rules, and lack of humor; older teenagers around them who do nothing but express angst -- if this is what your child sees, this is what he will model himself after.

If you don't: read, draw, paint, play a musical instrument, do genealogy, embroider, knit, purl, tat, whittle, carve wood, dance, make furniture, build model airplanes, birdwatch, brew beer, ferment wine, make mosaics, learn foreign languages, shoot rockets, shoot guns, camp, do archery, garden, bake, swim, work on cars, write stories, model in clay, fly kites, develop screenplays, play sports, collect something, walk in the woods, write poetry, stargaze, etc. -- I think you get my point -- then turn off the T.V., get off the internet for a while, pick something, and begin now. If you've lost your child-like love of learning and sense of wonder and play, pray to regain it!

A third poison is social media. Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat -- young people don't belong there, period. With their like buttons, these media are engineered to hijack the brain's dopamine reward system; in other words, they're quite literally addictive. For young females especially, these media -- Instagram, in particular -- serve to increase the peer group to a potentially worldwide scale, but that peer group is made of other girls they only know in pixel form -- and who bend the truth and tend to post about how absolutely wonderful their lives are, how rich they are, how skinny they are, how many boyfriends they have, how gorgeous they are (with their having had their pictures Photoshopped going unsaid), all under the sway of corporate-sponsored, anything-but-Christian "influencers." It makes for a completely unrealistic view of the world, and it dooms girls to feelings of insecurity. With Tumblr, the game is to glamorize depression, gender dysphoria, eating disorders, and the like, and there, girls compete to see who is the greatest and "coolest" of all victims of these things.

In addition to keeping away from such bad influences, the growing child must also have the space, silence, and tools to marvel, "create," think, and learn. Prepare a space where he can be a child. But know that part of his job as a child is to learn to become a self-sufficient adult. To this end, expect your children to do chores, to clean up after themselves, to learn, as soon as they're able, to do basic things such as washing dishes, setting the table, cooking, doing laundry, mowing the grass, changing lightbulbs, bathing the dog, etc. Never make a habit of doing for your child what he is able to do for himself! And don't underestimate your child's capabilities! If you chase after your child and pick up his toys, make his bed, bring him snacks and cutlery he can well reach for himself, etc., you're doing him a great disservice, and teaching him to be selfish, lazy, and to take for granted that "things just magically get done."

Try to at least have dinner together as a family, and make dinnertime pleasant with conversation and games. For things to talk about and games you can play at the table, download these .pdf documents:

  • Questions for Family Dinner Table Conversation and For Couples

    Pages of questions, in the manner of the books "If" and "The Book of Questions," designed to provoke conversation and help people to learn about one another, perhaps while sitting around the family dinner table. Before the list of questions are other questionnaires, including Proust's Questionnaire, the famous, short list of questions James Lipton poses on "Inside The Actors Studio," the "Questions to Build Intimacy" for couples, and more. Some of these are for adults; others are for children and families as a whole.

  • Making Family Dinners Fun, and Things To Do To Kill Time on Long Car Trips

    Lots of things you can do at dinnertime, and games you can play with your family. Almost none of the games require  pencils, paper, dice, cards, or anything but imagination and thought, so they can be played around the dinner table during dinner itself, as well as in the car, while waiting in line, etc. Some are good for younger kids, some are good for older kids and adults, some are good for all ages. There is a special section on things to do and play in the car.

  • Aesop's Fables

    A huge collection of the tales from Aesop. Read a few at dinner and find out what your children think the morals of the stories are.

Make good music a part of your family's lives. Play classical music, Big Band jazz, some of the great crooners, etc., during meals or on car trips. Make a habit of singing together, at least while working or driving, and use harmony if you know how.

Take your kids outdoors, and inspire them to look at all the marvels they can find even in their own back yards -- the flora, the fauna, the skies, etc. Open up "the Book of Nature" to them and teach them how to "read" it! Consider making Saturdays a day for a picnic or what the Italians call a "scampagnata." An idea: each January, contact your State's tourist office and ask them to send you guides for local historical sites, parks, museums, farmers' markets, U-Pick farms, sporting events, etc., and spend the occasional Saturday making a little day trip to one of those places/events, bringing a picnic basket with you. Maybe bringing along a great novel that is read aloud from only during these outings would be a nice touch.

And on a final note, keep your sense of humor! Life is serious -- quite serious -- but it is also wondrous and sometimes hysterically funny. If you are so stressed, cynical, or rigorist that you forget the concept of epikeia and how to laugh, then something's got to give. Deal with any "toxic traddism" before you pass that dour trait on to your children or let it infect your marriage. Pray about it and talk to a spiritual director or other wise person. You will be happier and healthier, and so will your family.

Addendum: The above paragraph was to have been -- and was for a long time -- the final paragraph to this page. But after having run a Catholic discussion forum for a few decades now, I think I need to add something else -- a warning. Catholic parents are understandably -- and rightly -- concerned about protecting their children from "the world." But I've seen that many go way too far and engage in a sort of protectionism that doesn't respect a child's need to fit in with his peers. So many parents confuse innocence with ignorance, and I find this a very serious problem. Ignorance pertains to the intellect; innocence pertains to purity of heart. One can know about every evil under the Sun but still be pure of heart. Our Lord, for example, was certainly not ignorant about a thing while on earth, but was still pure of heart!

When children have questions, they need and deserve honest answers given to them in a manner appropriate to their mental acuity and emotional maturity. No child wants to feel "stupid" among his peers! He simply must be aware of what the world is like lest he be made to feel "stupid," which can only breed resentment. And that resentment can, once the child becomes a teenager, turn into full-blown rebellion. Further, your child can't fight what he doesn't know! Making great "mysteries" of things very often backfires, and this phenomenon deeply concerns me as I watch Catholic parents try to raise their children so that they'll one day be faithful Catholic adults.

Parents have to concern themselves with their children's social needs, their needs to fit in or to at least not needlessly stand out as if they're ignorant relics from some overly-romanticized past that never existed in the first place. What children wear, their knowledge of trends and fashions and popular culture -- these things are, to a degree and whether we like it or not, socially important. Of course, the modern world places an extremely inordinate emphasis on these things; that's a given. But if you dress your child so that he doesn't look stylishly modest but weird, if you keep him so cloistered that he doesn't know who the biggest celebrities du jour are, and so on, you're setting him up to resent you when he is mocked by his cohort, and you're setting him up, too, to, God forbid, resent the Holy Faith as well. I repeat: ignorance is not innocence!

I recommend that parents watch some of those very popular but problematic TV shows and movies with their children so that their children know about them and can talk about them, so they don't feel like "freaks" among their peers and  also learn to understand them in the proper way. Watching these things with your children gives you the opportunity to talk about them during and afterward. This also allows you to learn a lot about your child in the process, hearing about his concerns, what he's experiencing, etc.

Innoculate your children against political correctness by clearly teaching them what those politically correct ideas are yourself, long before teachers and movies do it. Then teach them why those ideas are wrong. You'll have to educate yourself as to what's being taught in our schools and universities and through popular culture, and then relate that information to your children so they're able to understand the ideas and know how to argue against them. Know the basics of Marxism, socialism, critical race theory, and gender theory!

Another temptation parents face is that of overstating their case against something or someone they don't want their children to have anything to do with. Hyperbolic language, mischaracterizations, treating the designated "Bad Thing" or "Bad Person" as all bad, all the time, as possessing no redeeming qualities, not acknowleding the nature of those things and people honestly -- all of these amount to untruths, whether overtly or by omission. Children can see through those things -- or will come to see through them -- and when they do, they will come to mistrust you and your perceptions. For ex., if you don't want your child to become a Miley Cyrus super-fan, calling her "talentless" is not something you should do. It is a lie. She does have talent. She does have a great voice. Your kids can see that; it's obvious. So your overstating your case will only cause them to question your other characterizations that may well be true (e.g., she dresses very immodestly, her example is a bad influence, etc.). We simply must be honest with our children and not interact with them from a place of fear!

I have to tell you that after having done what I do in the traditional Catholic world for so many years, I am very afraid that too many parents, by mishandling what I've talked about in the past few paragraphs, will be in for a huge, devastating surprise when their children come of age. Christ, have mercy! Please read this pdf file containing the first chapter of "The Coddling of the American Mind," by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, to learn the importance of teaching your kids to be antifragile.

See also: Nonna's Books for Children: free downloadable books, from FishEaters, for children. In pdf format.


Further Reading and Information

There's a Stranger in Your House

Please read this article about what we allow television to do to our families. It is so sadly true! If you have a television, consider putting it inside a locked armoire, and hiding the key in a different room -- anything to make watching it something one has to think about rather than a matter of mindlessly flipping a switch and getting "hypnotized" for hours on end. Set limits in other ways: if you don't get rid of it entirely: use it only for taped movies, or watch it for only X hours a week, or watch only certain programs that you've chosen in advance (if you do this, consider taping the programs so you can fast forward past the commercials and keep your children away from a source of our materialistic and sexualized attitudes). Whatever you do, be on guard as to what your children watch, and don't for a minute think that Saturday morning cartoons are safe. They are filled with New Age thinking, globalist-agenda brainwashing, sassiness, cynicism, and ugliness. Two additional articles on the dangers of television follow this article.

There's a Stranger in Your House

The Truth about Men & Church

This is an extremely important article that reveals, based on a Swiss study, how crucial it is that fathers -- not just mothers -- attend church and practice their religion. You will be amazed at what the study showed. A summary (my emphasis): "In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular)." Article written by Robbie Low (an Anglican at the time of writing) and first published in Touchstone Magazine.

The Truth about Men & Church

Living the Faith in Exile

Some words on living true to Christ's eternal Church while being relegated to the Catacombs. How can we manage? How can we keep the Faith and Catholic culture alive in the midst of our pagan culture?

Living the Faith in Exile

The Christian Home: A Guide to Happiness in the Home

Though this work by Fr. Celestine Strub, O.F.M. was given an Imprimatur in 1934 and, so, uses language we might consider "quaint" nowadays, this book beautifully describes what Catholic home life should be like. The book was written in a time when Catholic schools were Catholic, and Catholic periodicals were Catholic, so remember this as you read of these things in the book. Now we must be much more wary of what is passed off as faithful to our religion:
Chapter I: Necessity of Religion in the Home
Chapter II: Prayer in the Home
Chapter III: Catholic Atmosphere in the Home
Chapter IV: Good Reading in the Home
Chapter V: Harmony in the Home
Chapter VI: Necessity of Home Life

Beginning at Home: The Challenge of Christian Parenthood

This online book by Mary Perkins includes discussion and study topics that parents should think through together. The husband and wife in a Catholic family should make a conscious effort to, as Mrs. Perkins says, "sacramentalize" family life; in order to do so, they must have that as a clear goal and discuss together ways of bringing it about.
Chapter I: The Christian Pattern
Chapter II: Our Neighbors
Chapter III: "...You Did It Unto Me"
Chapter IV: Things
Chapter V: Places
Chapter VI: Work
Chapter VII: Training for Life's Work and Play
Chapter VIII: Vocations
Chapter IX: Redeeming the Times
Chapter X: Sex Education
Chapter XI: Attaining Our Ideals


The need for children to have a healthy peer group can't be stressed enough. Please consider getting your kids involved in Catholic Scouting if it's available where you live. The American Bishops have a Committe on Scouting, but they are affiliated with the Boy Scouts, which have gone wonky in the past few decades and are, of course, not traditionalist. So more serious Catholics are coming up with their own groups.There are a few options I know of. The links below are not a part of the FishEaters website; they're off-site, to the scouting websites themselves.

Troops of St. George

Federation of Northern Explorers
Knights and Ladies of St. John de Brebeuf

1 A few pictures people have sent of their family altars.

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