“Every threat to the family is a threat to society itself. The future of humanity, as Saint John Paul II often said, passes through the family. The future passes through the family. So protect your families! Protect your families! See in them your country’s greatest treasure and nourish them always by prayer and the grace of the sacraments.”
-Pope Francis – Address to families, Manilla, Philippines, January 16th, 2015
On this page you will find resources for enriching your Catholic family life as well as help and support for when family life is challenging.
Download the Pastoral Letter
The Church worldwide has focused on the family for the past year at the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family (2014) and the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family (2015) as well as the World Meeting of Families (2015). This pastoral letter written by Archbishop Samuel Aquila addresses issues important in family life including the family’s meaning and mission, challenges to the family, and how to live the family’s mission.
A vocation is a call from God to live our lives a certain way. All Catholic parents are called to make their home a “domestic church” where their children meet Christ, grow in virtue, and are prepared for the vocation God calls them to. In our families, how can we encourage an openness to God’s call? Here are 7 steps from Vianney Vocations to help your family get started.
- Snuggle up and read a saint story
- Watch a movie about a saint or a blessed
- Talk about authentic love and defend the sacrament of marriage when it is depicted incorrectly
- Play dress up: as priests, nuns and saints
- Pray together for more vocations
- Talk about vocations
- Befriend priests and religious
For the complete brochure, go to vianneyvocations.com
For parishes we recommend the book Hundredfold, A guide to Parish Vocation Ministry by Rhonda Gruenewald. Published by Vianney Vocations.
Single or Divorced Parents
Ministries for divorced and single parents:
All Souls: The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide ($25)
Kappes RE Center
Spirit of Christ: Divorce Ministry
Meets Thursdays, 7pm
The mission of this ministry is to provide compassionate Christian education and awareness that helps those dealing with separation or divorce, to heal and rebuild their lives.
St. John the Evangelist (Longmont): Catholic Single Parent Ministry
Meets once a month
St. Thomas More: Single Parent Community
Meets monthly on Sunday afternoons. Single parent family social activities on various dates
St. Thomas More: The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide ($25) – begins 2016
Meets weekly for 12 weeks starting in January 2016
Protect Your Family from Internet Dangers
Recommended Computer Filters:
1. Covenant Eyes
Covenant Eyes is a monthly subscription service that gives you a report of the websites your kids visit, the search terms they use, and the YouTube videos they watch. This service protects them online with a filter that’s tailored to your needs and blocks the Internet completely at certain times a day. This service also protects your family by following you and your family on all the computers, smartphones, and tablets you use.
Educate Your Family About Online Dangers
Covenant Eyes offers a number of free e-books, blog posts, videos, and more to keep you informed about the risks your family faces online. The resources they feature will help you explain the value of “Internet Accountability” to your family.
Accountable Kids: Explaining Covenant Eyes to your family
As parents, we hope “parental controls” are not just a tactic we use to keep our kids in line while they are under our roof. We want them to buy into the need for Internet protection for themselves. We want them to become their own watchdogs online. We want them to leave home as young adults prepared for a world without filters.
This guide will help you explain to your kids why you have chosen as a family to use Covenant Eyes.
Internet Accountability at Home: A Conversation Guide for Parents
Proactive parents make a habit of talking to their children about what they see and do online. When parents monitor where their children go online using Internet Accountability Reports, Internet use is no longer a secret habit but something discussed openly at home.
Use this guide to have regular conversations with your kids about their online activity.
2. K9 Web Protection (free service)
3. Safe Eyes (part of McAfee secure)
Filters for other Devices:
1. Covenant Eyes
for: iPhones, iPad, iPod
2. Safe Eyes
for: iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android
3. Net Nanny
Catholic Counseling Services
Catholic based counseling can be found at the following organizations for individuals, couples, children, families.
Regina Caeli Clinical Services
A branch of Catholic Charities, Regina Caeli Clinical Services assists men and women, married couples, children, families and adolescents. They offer counseling and mental health services that are faithful to the Catholic Church, and help to restore and strengthen the family and parish communities.
St. Raphael Counseling
St. Raphael Counseling provides individual, married couples, family, and child/adolescent therapy. They also provide psychological assessment and pre-marital counseling.
Dealing with Grief and Loss of Loved Ones
Angel Bed Project
Mission: In times of loss, many families do not have the financial means to afford a burial. The Archdiocese of Denver provides the services for stillbirths and miscarriages once per month and typically multiple burials are done at the same time. This works well. However, there is one glaring need – the casket. Currently, the “casket” is a container which is similar in appearance to a cooler.
This is where “The Angel Bed Project” comes in. The goal is to provide, at no charge, proper caskets, or Angel Beds as we prefer to call them, to those in need and give those families the dignity that they deserve.
For more information call Pat Padia at 303-919-6808
Parish Based Grief Support Groups
Most Precious Blood
Life After Loss – Grief Support Group meets every second Tuesday of the month in the Parish Center, Conference Room A, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The mission of the support group is to allow individuals to share their experiences, feelings, and emotions following the death of loved ones with others who are on the very same journey. In the sharing, we often discover new ways of coping and begin to discover new strength and hope. The group is facilitated by Rosemary Claassen, a MPB parishioner and an experienced grief group facilitator. Please call Rosemary with any questions – 303-953-2443.
Special Needs Children
Religious Education for Children with Developmental Disabilities
The Office of Special Religious Education and Pastoral Care with Persons with Developmental Disabilities provides parish-based religious education programs, tutoring in parishes not hosting specific programs, home visits, and the provision of resources to families, as needed. Liturgy and Sacraments are celebrated in all programs. “Awareness Masses” are also held in some parishes during the regular Sunday liturgy to celebrate and honor the special education families.
Archbishop’s Annual Mass for Children with Special Needs
April 24, 2016 – 2:30pm
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Parishes hosting Special Religious Education Programs:
For more information or to enroll in one of the parish programs listed below,
contact Sister Mary Catherine Widger, SL at 303-934-1999
St. Mary, Littleton (Director: Susan Whittaker)
St. Catherine of Siena, Denver (Director: Anita Garcia)
Queen of Peace, Aurora (Director: Peggy Leichte)
All Saints, Denver (Director: Greg Hastings)
St. Thomas More, Englewood (Director: Sheri Funderburk)
St. Jude, Lakewood (Director: Diane Schreiber)
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Northglenn (Director: Lyda Haustein)
St. Frances Cabrini, Littleton (Director: Kristen Conrad)
Light of the World, Littleton (Contact: Barbara Schick)
Same Sex Attraction
“We do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, …for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.” – Colossians 1:9-12
Monica’s Cross is a support site for parents, families and friends of people who experience same sex attraction, or what some people call homosexuality, gay, lesbian, LGBTQ, etc. This site is designed for serious Catholics and other Christians who recognize the truth of the Church’s teachings on same sex attraction.
Courage is a support group for men and women who have same-sex attraction and who desire to live a chaste Christian life. The group meets once a week.
Encourage is a support group for their family and friends.The group meets once a month.
courage-latino.org in Spanish
Denver Chapter Contacts:
Fr. Dan Norick at 720-434-2638 or Deacon Dennis Morales at 303-333-0878
The following resources provide ideas to help your family live being Catholic every day: define and live your values, teach your children Theology of the Body, engage in faith-building dinnertime conversations, practice family prayer and more.
Families of Character
This course is a self-taught course for either a group of parents (recommended) or an individual parent or couple. The content engages parents to challenge themselves to learn what human character is and how to better develop it in themselves and in their families. Families of Character encourage that small groups, headed up by a facilitator, meet in the comfort of their homes once a month as a primary means of connecting parents and exploring what it means to have a family of character. Groups usually consist of 2-8 couples/single parents.
More information can be found at familiesofcharacter.com
Resources on Theology of the Body for Children
Theology of the Body is the topic of a series of 129 lectures given by Pope John Paul II during his Wednesday audiences in St. Peter’s Square and Paul VI Audience Hall between September 5, 1979 and November 28, 1984. There are resources that many parishes use for pre-teens, teens, and adults, and now there are resources for parents to use with younger children. The following resources are designed to be used with children from toddler to age 8.
1. Forever You: A Book About Your Soul and Body by Nicole Lataif
This resource for Christian faith formation introduces children ages 4-8 to what being human is all about. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or catechist, you will find this resource to be helpful in explaining the concept of a “soul” to your children.
More information: kidsfaithgarden.com
2. Building Blocks of ToB for Tots (3 Volume Set) by Monica Ashour
“Everybody Has a Body: God Made Boys and Girls”
“Every Body Is Smart: God Helps Me Listen and Choose”
“Every Body Is a Gift: God Made Us to Love”
Young children have questions about their bodies, too. When society says that gender is subjective, how can parents uphold traditional values about the beauty and dignity of the human body? The three board books in the series are ideal for children ages 2 to 5. Simple stories cover topics including gender differences, self-respect, and self-giving. Each book includes a parent note at the end.
3. Building Blocks of ToB for Kids (3 Volume Set) by Monica Ashour
“Every Body Has Something to Give”
“Every Body Has Something to Say”
“God Has a Plan for Boys and for Girls”
“Who am I?” is a question everyone asks, even the very young. In a culture of confused and misdirected values, it is difficult to raise children to understand that they are created in the image of God. These books seek to affirm the dignity of the human person — body and soul — according to God’s plan. Simple stories cover topics including gender identity, body language, and self-giving love. Ideal for ages 4-7.
More information: tobet.org