Posted tagged ‘Family Challenge’

January’s Family Challenge

January 2, 2017


Winter is the perfect time for a little indoor entertainment, so this month we’re focusing on your family’s intentional use of media.  Television, movies, gaming, books, music, and apps: this is a wide topic and there are tons of resources, so we’re sharing a few of them with you this month.

Your Challenge: Use at least one of these resources to evaluate your family’s media use.

Church of Saint Paul families will get a Challenge Card at their January meeting, but you can also find it here: january-family-challenge.

November’s Family Challenge

November 2, 2016


As you may recall, the Church of Saint Paul’s Family Formation program is offering this extra challenge to parents this year, with each month having a different focus on the overall theme of enriching and intentionally protecting family life.

This month we’re working on capturing (or recapturing) joy, and Pope Francis is the source of our homework:

I would like to ask you all a question today. But each of you keep it in your heart and take it home. You can regard it as a kind of “homework”.  Only you must answer.  How are things when it comes to joy at home?  Is there joy in your family?  

In response, this month’s theme is to just play together. Find one simple way that your family can spend undistracted time simply enjoying each other’s company.

A few suggestions:

  • Play a board game or a card game together.
  • Take a nature walk
  • Slow down and spend some time with your children looking at life from their point of view.
  • Invite another family to play with you.

Share your plan at our December Family Formation meeting and enter the drawing for the monthly prize.  We’ll hand out cards at this weekend’s meetings, but you can also get a preview here.  november-family-challenge

“Intentionally Protecting”

October 10, 2016

Dear parents and children, dear families:

The Gospel [Matthew 24:37-44] calls us to “watch”, for “if the householder had known … he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into”.  This is the call that I repeat to you.  Watch!  Do not let the precious values of faithful married live and family life be taken away from you.  Do not reject them, or think that there is some other better prospect for happiness and human fulfillment.

Pope John Paul II, November 30, 1986

It is not the current president or the future president who has the most influence on your children and their lives, it is you.  The Church teaches that the family is the basic cell of society, and as such your family has an important impact on society.  Parish, neighborhood, schools, city – your family is the foundation of all these communities whose role is, in turn, to support you and not replace you.  We can go on the offensive and work to reverse all sorts of negative trends, at least within our own families and within our sphere of influence.

Like the householder in the gospel, parents need to watch and intentionally protect their family values; we cannot trust other groups to do this for us.  This is the foundation of our Family Challenge theme this year at Church of Saint Paul.


This month we’re focusing on enriching and protecting family meal times.  It’s fast becoming the “new normal” to eat separately, on the run, or while each person focuses on their individual device.  Pope Francis has some strong words about this trend:

“A family that almost never eats together, or that never speaks at the table but looks at the television or the smartphone, is hardly a family.”

“When children at the table are attached to the computer or the phone and don’t listen to each other, this is not a family!”

Are you great at family meals?  Do you almost never have family meals?  No matter where your starting point is, you can probably do something to strengthen this area.  Our suggestions are below, but we know you have lots of other ideas.

  • Screen-free meal times (No television, phones, etc.)
  • Dinner all together at the table
  • Invite someone to share your meal
  • Involve the whole family in meal preparation and/or clean-up.

We challenge you to pick something doable and get started!

You can find our October Family Challenge cards here:  october-family-challenge

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