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Messy Family Podcast : Catholic Conversations on Marriage and Family

Parenting is not a clean-cut, simple process for those who like to follow the rules. Family life is messy and unpredictable, but it is the greatest adventure you will ever have. We are Mike and Alicia Hernon, parents of 10 children ranging from 10 to 27 and we would like to invite you into some of the conversations we have had with each other about marriage, parenting, and Catholic family life. Our hope is that our conversation sparks a dialogue between you and your spouse that leads to greater unity and intentional Christian parenting in your home. Listen in to our podcast and start the conversation as we seek to lead our families to heaven. Visit us at https:///www/MessyFamilyProject.org for resources, guides, links and show notes.
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Messy Family Podcast : Catholic Conversations on Marriage and Family
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Now displaying: 2021
Dec 10, 2021

Lovers do “for love” what never would be done for a reason, or a rule, or a doctrine or a law. True love “loves” and needs to suffer — not for suffering’s sake alone, but for the sake of what we know is only gained on the other side of suffering: Joy.  - Damon Owens

 

Damon and Melanie Owens have been serving couples throughout most of their 27 years of marriage and now they have launched their own marriage ministry called Joyfully Ever After.  Damon has been the executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute and, with Melanie, they have trained over 20,000 couples in marriage, NFP and in the beauty of the Theology of the Body.  In this interview we discuss some of the greatest needs they see in marriages today, what to do if your spouse is unwilling to work on the marriage, and how to increase intimacy in marriage.  Like us, they offer practical tools for living Catholic life with authenticity and joy.  Listen in as we dive into our conversation with this inspiring Catholic couple.  

 

Damon and Melanie’s ministry to marriage: https://www.joyfuleverafter.org/

New MFP Guide to Screens and Your Child: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/screens-and-your-child-guide/


*** Support our ministry: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/give/

Dec 3, 2021

The Advent season is more than just a countdown to Christmas. It is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ –  His coming at Christmas and His second coming. The Church gives us many beautiful traditions to help us lead our children to focus on more than just presents and treats, but instead on the true celebration of the gift of Jesus! In this podcast we share some ideas and inspiration on what we do for Advent and how to inspire your family in this journey to Bethlehem.

Download our free guide to Advent and Christmas at : https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/advent-2021/ 

Previous podcasts of interest:

Nov 24, 2021

Jeff Cavins is the author is the Bible Timeline, the tool behind the hit podcast “The Bible in a Year” with Fr. Mike Schmitz.  Jeff and his wife Emily have studied, taught, and led thousands of people into a deeper relationship with the Word of God through their books, talks, and guided tours.  They have a heart for families and a desire to teach parents how to teach their children!   On this podcast, we discuss teaching scripture to our children and learning why it is so important that parents do this.  Not only do the Cavins have great insight, but they also have developed tools for parents to use in their own homes!  Listen in as we learn more about their work and how they are continuing to serve the Church by helping families fall in love with the Word of God. 

If you would like to  the video recording, sign up here: messyfamilyproject.com/date-night-with-the-cavins

Advent Email Campaign Sign up: messyfamilyproject.org/advent-2021/

Cruise Info: messyfamilyproject.org/cruise/ 

Jeff's Website and Pilgrimage Information: https://www.jeffcavins.com/

Nov 18, 2021

We love interacting with our listeners and one way we do this is by taking your questions!  Katie (Hernon) Gamboa joins us again to sit in as the “Every-mom” and ask us the questions that our members have sent in to us to be answered.  Per usual, there is a variety of subjects that we cover in this episode.  One mom is struggling with spiritual desolation and a husband who is agnostic.  A dad dealing with addiction reached out for encouragement and advice on relating to his wife during recovery.  We also touch on lighter topics such as laundry routines, having fun with your kids, and navigating the secular Christmas trappings that are all around us.  And we always have questions about toddlers, so that topic is in here too!  Thank you to all who sent in their questions - we hope we have done them justice!

Link to FANOS:  https://hopehousehealing.com/learn/fanos

Link to Cruise: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/cruise/

Nov 11, 2021

All of us need community and having people in your home is a great way to make them feel loved and to experience a little bit of heaven.  But so many of us have “hostess anxiety” and feel like our home, our cooking, or our kids aren’t good enough to be exposed to others.  The reality is that we all need to practice hospitality, but not everyone has been trained how to be a good host!  In this episode we do just that!  After giving some inspiration, we go through some practical tips that we have found over the past 30 years for entertaining large groups, small groups, people with kids, or a group of couples.  Getting together is worth it!  Listen in and then subscribe and share!

Oct 21, 2021

In this episode, we continue the conversation on spiritual freedom with Matt and Jen Lozano from Heart of the Father Ministries and we get practical!  Matt and Jen walk us through the process of defining the lies of the enemy and breaking their power over us.  This all begins with repentance and forgiveness.   Then, we have to renounce these lies, just like we do in confession, and engage in the grace that is there for us.  Last we need to receive the blessing of the Father, which is the deepest longing of our hearts.  In this podcast, all of us share examples of how this process has transformed our relationship with God and we talk about the importance of blessing our children, which creates in their heart a place to receive the blessing of God the Father.  Listen in to the conversation!

Oct 21, 2021

Parents feel like failures almost every day, but this is the lie of the enemy!  We are so excited to share with you this interview with Matt and Jen Lozano, speakers and teachers for Heart of the Father Ministries. They have worked with people all over the world, hearing their stories, praying with them, and leading them to freedom.  In our discussion, we talk about some essential spiritual issues which are so vital to parents’ ability to pass on the faith to their kids.  In this first part of our conversation, we talk about recognizing the lies that we believe, renouncing them, and choosing the good.  So many of us believe lies from our past which keep us trapped in a “small story” but when we allow Jesus to free us, He brings us into a larger story, the story of truth.  Please listen in to this powerful podcast. 

Oct 14, 2021

When families act as they were created to be they can be a powerful force of transformation and renewal in the world because the Catholic family has what the world is looking for.  Every person has a deep need for belonging and relationship, which is naturally found within family and ultimately satisfied by God the Father. In this presentation, we will discuss how to cultivate these relationships and give an uplifting vision for how the family can be fully alive and change the world. 

Sep 27, 2021

We all realize there is a war on the family, right?  But do you understand where it is coming from?  And what the goal is?  You can’t fight a war when you don’t know who the enemy is and what they want.  In this podcast we identify the enemies of the family as socialism, feminism, and sexual radicalism.  The ultimate goal of these “-isms” is the separation of children from their parents.  Make no mistake, we do not fight against physical kingdoms, but against “principalities and powers” as it says in the scriptures. This fight is being waged in the world of philosophy and ideas which have been infiltrating into our society, our politics, and now even our education system.  These roots are deep and have been growing for years, but we are just now seeing their ugly fruit.  We would like you to take some time to understand how your understanding of the roles of mothers, fathers, children, and the family as a social unit has been effected by these philosophies.  It goes deeper than you think!  This podcast was inspired by and draws from The Invincible Family by Kimberly Ells.  Listen in and join the conversation. 

Sep 9, 2021

Forgiveness is becoming a lost practice in our increasingly secular world which we believe is one reason for the fracturing of our society. We are always going to offend each other. People are always going to sin against their fellow man. Those offenses and sins cause distance between us. How can they be repaired? Forgiveness. In this podcast, we define what it means to forgive someone and the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. We also discuss having good boundaries when you forgive and how to make sure those boundaries don’t become a wall between you and those in your community. And last we give you all a challenge, a forgiveness challenge, set out by one of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal,  which promises to set you free and draw you closer to Christ and others.

 

Join us for a special date night with Jeff and Emily Cavins: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/date-night-with-the-cavins/

 Events calendar: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/speaking/events/

Aug 26, 2021

We talk a lot on our program about the “messy-ness” of life, but we thought it would be good to take some time to unpack why exactly we use this term and why it's so important to every family.  Every family is a messy family because we live in a broken, fallen world and we constantly are trying to repair relationships and situations that have ruptured.  Why is it so important to recognize this?  Because if we deny or ignore this reality, or try to control our situation and make it neat and perfect, we will only end up frustrating ourselves and making the situation worse.  Families need to embrace the mess knowing that they are exactly where God wants them to be.  

Aug 12, 2021

All of us deal with fears in life and overcoming them is the key to living in freedom in your relationships.  People have anxieties about all sorts of things, but within your spouse you should be able to find a safe place. Within marriage is where you should be able to admit your fears, have them be seen in the light of truth, and then overcome them through action.  Listen in while we discuss how you can recognize ways in which fear is holding you back from true connection with your spouse and ways to conquer that fear.  


For more on this and other topics related to marriage, parenting and family life at https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

Jul 7, 2021

 

Divorce is so common in our culture today that the effects of it on children can easily be dismissed. Almost every couple who gets married has a family member whose life was affected by divorce, so we can think it must not be a big deal. But those people who are adult children of divorce will tell you that it is.  It is a wound they carry their whole lives, but because of Jesus and His power over sin and death that wound can actually be transformed and become a life-giving wound.  Dan and Beth Meola are the founders of the ministry “Life Giving Wounds” which serves those adults whose parents have divorced.  Their compassion, wisdom, and vulnerability in sharing their own stories is inspiring and encouraging.  Listen in to this conversation even if you are not an adult child of divorce.  It will give you insights that you have not considered before regarding this pervasive issue in our society.  


Links:  https://www.lifegivingwounds.org/

Jun 24, 2021

Parenting kids in a tech age; Teaching kids virtue in an age of tech; Is it possible to use tech with virtue?

“It is your responsibility to train your child in virtue and slowly move from protecting their innocence to building Christian maturity.  This is true for many areas of life, including use of technology” - Mike and Alicia Hernon

We have talked about the harm that the overuse of screens can do to kids and especially teens, but in this podcast we give parents some ways that they can be proactive in this world of Big Tech.  Screens are here to stay, so parents need to take them on as another area in which they need to train their children in virtue.  Do not lose heart!  It is possible to have virtuous kids who are on social media, play video games, and interact with others online.  Listen in as we show you how.  

 

Referenced in this episode

Catholic Youth Summer Camp - https://cysc.com/

Messy Family Membership - https://messyfamilyhood.com/join-neighborhood/ 

Play and Pray Challenge: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/challenge/ 

Family Dance-Off: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/dance-off/

Jun 10, 2021

At the suggestion of our members, we talked MONEY with Sam and Rob Fatzinger, parents of 14 and authors of the new book A Catholic Guide to Spending Less and Living More. This conversation was insightful and full of great ideas for you and your families!  Money is a hot button topic for many couples and we need to find ways to use our resources wisely especially when you have a larger family and live on one income.  Rob and Sam show us that it is possible!  Plus, living simply has other benefits such as the lessons it teaches our children, care for the environment, and a greater respect for the goods of the earth.  Listen in to this fun conversation with the Fatzingers and the members of the Messy Family Neighborhood.  

Jun 3, 2021

In this podcast, we answer listener questions in a new format - our new Program Coordinator, Katie Gamboa joins us to present topics for us to discuss. She did a great job! We may be biased since she is our most amazing oldest child (but we aren’t - she DID do a great job!) With Katie’s help, we tackle some sticky questions such as how to handle a sister who is coming out of the closet? How should this be handled with kids? Families are also struggling with the strong emotions of their children when the parents have big feelings themselves!  Listen in as we discuss socializing young children, physical intimacy and the “desire discrepancy”, and expectations in marriage and family.  Thank you to all our listeners who contact us with questions.  We love to hear from you!

May 25, 2021

Part of our message at the Messy Family Project is that parenting is a path to holiness. But the question many couples have is how much parenting is God asking of us? Within the bounds of the Church’s teaching, there are many prudential judgements that couples have to make - when to abstain from sexual relations, how to give birth, how many children to have, how long to wait in between births, and how to incorporate this new baby into your family. In this podcast we share some of our birth experiences and the values that we have come to embrace through the ten children we have brought into the world all in the context of the gift that it is to be a parent. Children are the supreme gift of marriage - they are not only good in themselves and good for the world - children are also good for us! Listen in as we take on this important discussion of infants, childbirth, NFP and more. 

Join us in the Play and Pray Challenge: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/challenge/ 


Find out more about the course for mothers and daughters: https://messyfamilyhood.com/maidens-signup/ 

Find out more about the course for dads: https://messyfamilyhood.com/dadsvswild/

Apr 27, 2021

April 22 is Earth Day, but maybe we Catholics could call it Creation Day and celebrate the loving Father who gave this world to us to “till and keep”.  Maybe we were thinking of this because Mike was chopping down old trees on our property and we all have sore backs this morning!   But seriously, some may look at the extreme environmentalists and be tempted to move to the other extreme and not take seriously their stewardship of the land and animals that are part of our world - but that is not a Christian response!  Time and time again our Church has encouraged people to take responsibility for creation around us, be it plants, animals, or the earth itself.  We are supposed to take care of it and use it well.  Listen in as we talk about teaching and modeling for our children the correct way to care for the gift of creation. 

 

For more information and resources visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

Apr 9, 2021

During this episode, Mike shares his story of his parents’ divorce when he was a teen and his own journey of healing over the past 20 years.  But this is more than just his story.  We also share the hope that Christ brings to us in all our relationships, the lessons learned from suffering and pain, and, ironically, how the divorce actually strengthened his belief in marriage as a covenant between two people that should never be violated.  Anyone who has experienced the effects of divorce in their own lives, or who has married someone who has needs to hear this message.  Even though divorce is ubiquitous, it is not without devastating effects.  What is the answer?  Its the same answer that applies to us all - we need to be Fathered by God and find our identity in Him.  Listen in and have hope!  

 

Take Listener Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MFP-2021 

 

Referenced ministry for children of divorce: https://www.lifegivingwounds.org/

Support their sacred art drive: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sacred-art-for-children-of-divorce#/

Mar 25, 2021

For years, Patrick Lencioni has had books on the top of the best seller charts.  He is a master at teaching businesses how to improve their culture and organizational health.  In this podcast, Pat and his wife Laura join us to talk about the culture and health of our families and how his lessons from business can help us!  In our Family Board Meeting course, we use his book 3 Big Questions for the Frantic Family to help couples discover their unique values and rallying cry so this interview was a great time for us to go even deeper into these questions with our listeners.  This podcast is from a Zoom call that we had with our members and the Lencionis so we were able to take questions from the audience and have some great interaction.  Listen in to this compelling conversation!

 

Complete our listener survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MFP-2021 

 

Take Pat’s Working Genius assessment using our special discount code: Messyfamily at https://www.workinggenius.com/


Join the Family Board Meeting course: https://messyfamilyhood.com/family-board-meeting-registration/

Mar 12, 2021

This is the year of St. Joseph so let’s talk about what we can learn from this man who knew Jesus and Mary more intimately than any other person who has ever lived.  There is so much we can learn from him! Because there is really no definitive teaching on St. Joseph, we can extrapolate from what we know about Jewish culture at the time and what we read in scripture to imagine what he must have been like.  We do know that he can teach us about being a spouse, a parent, a follower of Christ.  He can show us how to love Jesus and Mary better and, as patron of the family, he is a powerful intercessor for us!  Listen in to this insightful conversation about the man who can serve as a model to us all - St. Joseph.

 

Webinar on Holy Week as a Family: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/holy-week-webinar/

5 Week Family Board Meeting Course: https://messyfamilyhood.com/family-board-meeting-registration/

Mar 5, 2021

Join us for an extraordinary interview with Fr. Jay Donahue, a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh who has a heart for marriage and a deep and abiding love for Christ.  We discuss with Fr. Jay the impact that his own large family had on him, how couples can image Christ’s love for the Church and the importance of the Blessed Mother in the lives of priests and everyone in the Church.  He even dives into the sexual scandals that have plagued our Church with extraordinary love and compassion.  You will be inspired hearing his passion for marriage and God’s vision for marriage. We hope you enjoy this interview! 

 

Webinar on Holy Week as a Family: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/holy-week-webinar/

5 Week Family Board Meeting Course: https://messyfamilyhood.com/family-board-meeting-registration/

Feb 26, 2021

Discipline is the issue that we get the most questions about probably because there is so much conflicting advice for parents out there.  The bottom line is that every couple must decide for themselves how they will form the children that God has given to them. But, don’t worry, we do have some principles and encouragement to give you!  In this episode, we discuss the importance of Respect in the home.  For children to truly be obedient and secure in their family, they need to respect their parents.  Evidence of this respect is what we call “first-time obedience”. Yes, it is possible and parents should expect it of their children.  

 

Download our Discipline Guide:https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/discipline-guide/ 

Join waiting list for next Family Board Meeting: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/family-board-meeting-2021/

Feb 12, 2021

Looking for ideas on how to celebrate Lent as a couple or as a family?  Listen  in!  When a married person celebrates Lent, especially when they have children, it looks very different than how a single person or religious does it.  Lent is a time to take stock of how we are responding to God’s grace to become who He is calling us to be.  How are we becoming a better wife, mother, husband, or father? To really invest in Lent this year, we want to encourage you to consider commitments of prayer, fasting and mercy all in light of your married vocation.  We have provided a great resource for you on our website -- Cana90!  Sign up to receive daily emails of encouragement, tracking sheet, services for the Triduum, ideas for weekend celebrations with children, and more!  Sign up for free online or order the book.  Let us walk with you and encourage each other on our Lenten journey.  

 

Become a member of the Neighborhood: https://messyfamilyhood.com/join-jan-2021/

CANA 90 and Stations Books : https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/cana90/

Jan 30, 2021

In 1924, Eric Liddell gave up his place to compete in the Olympics final heat of the 100m race because it was held on a Sunday.  He probably would have won that race, but his desire to keep the Lord’s Day holy stopped him.  Would we have that courage?  Starting in Exodus, the Lord has asked HIs people to keep holy His day.  He commands us to set it apart from all other days to honor Him, but also for our own good!  God will never ask us to do something that is not good for us, and He COMMANDS us to do things essential for our health and well-being.  How does your family set this day apart?  Have you been influenced by the culture, especially with the restrictions put upon us by the pandemic?  How are you setting this day apart from all other days in your home?  Listen in for encouragement and ideas on how to reclaim the Lord’s Day.  

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