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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: 2022
Dec 26, 2022

The holidays are a perfect time for families to have game nights or even game days!  Games teach children invaluable lessons about strategy, logic, and skill but also about how to get along with others, what consequences mean, and how to be a good loser and a gracious winner.  Taking time to invest in games for kids is a great activity for parents and you may actually have fun too!  See our list of games for families below to enjoy!  

Dec 19, 2022

If curiosity is a trait that can lead to the development of healthier, deeper, and more intimate relationships, then it could be another vital feature of the life of the child. - Maggie Hernon

Did this title cause you to look?  Do you wonder what it is about?  Is it causing you to click to listen?  That is because you are curious and that is a good thing! Curiosity is something we should all be encouraging in our children and there are numerous benefits.  People who are curious have better mental health, are more successful in life and relationships, and have a more highly developed sense of wonder and awe in the world.  Children are born curious, and it is up to parents to encourage them through the tools we give them, the environment we provide and how we model curiosity ourselves.  Listen in to find out how to help your children be curious about the world and themselves and why this is an essential skill.

https://messyfamilyproject.org/

Dec 12, 2022

"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things—not the great occasions—give off the greatest glow of happiness." - Bob Hope

The holidays are an important “memory making time” for children because these are the years in which their impressions are sometimes bigger than life, bigger than reality!  Parents need to be very intentional about the messages that they are sending to their children through the way that they spend their time, energy, and money.  In this podcast we take some time to review the importance of family culture for the formation of identity, belonging and mission.  But then we get into the practical side of the holidays and give some tips and tricks that all parents can benefit from!  Listen in!

Nov 28, 2022

“Money touches every aspect of our lives and colors our interactions with others. If we don't get our relationship with money right, our relationships with others hardly stand a chance.” ~ Jonathan and Amanda Teixeira

Boy do we have a treat for you!  One area in which we have always been hesitant to talk about is family finances.  But we figured, when you know what you are not good at, you outsource!  This is why we are bringing in Jonathan and Amanda Teixeira, founders of WalletWin, a financial-success program and podcast that help everyday Catholics get intentional with money.  In 2012, they were $24,500 in debt, but in less than eight months, they had paid off all their loans and closed the doors on debt forever. Since kicking debt to the curb, they’ve focused on saving, investing, and giving, and they’re now teaching others how to do the same.  We have found their advice to be very balanced and helpful to couples who desire to learn how to work together and manage their money in a way that brings peace and stability to their home.  Listen into this crucial conversation! 

Nov 21, 2022

Join us for a conversation that was inspired by our listeners' needs! Our daughter Katie (with a guest appearance by baby Catalina!) joins us as a host to ask questions that have been sent to us by various families over the past few months.  In this episode we first talk about the time between dinner and bedtime, which we affectionately call the “witching hour”.  For some reason, it’s always a difficult time but there are strategies that we have used to make it better.  We also discuss the sad reality of adult children who have left the faith and how parents can respond to them.  In addition, we give some great places to go to find information about child development so parents can know how to create appropriate expectations and we end with some practical advice on simple dinners.  Listen in for some inspiration to help you on your great adventure!  

Nov 14, 2022

“Ultimately, only bountiful marriages can transform our domestic churches into sanctuaries for this liturgy of love; and it is this liturgy by which we sanctify our daily lives and the world” ~ Living Beyond Sunday

We have been blessed to work with many great ministries serving marriage and family and The Catholic Man Show is one of them!  David Niles and Adam Minihan, along with their wives Pamela and Haylee have written a great book for Catholic families called Living Beyond Sunday; Making Your Home a Holy Place  and we were thrilled to talk to them about it on this podcast.  David and Pamela joined us for this interview in which we talk about the book, but also about how they started out as a family, why they wrote this book, and how it can help other families in their walk with Christ.  Just like our work at MFP, this book is full of truth, but also very practical and real. Listen in to be encouraged and inspired!

Nov 8, 2022

“Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” ― Padre Pio

Parents worry about many things - finances, children’s health and education, extended family, grandparents… and then there is the state of the world and the economy!  How do Christian parents handle all the things that COULD go wrong?  The answer is that this world is not our home and God is in control.  God allows difficulties to come our way not for us to worry or be anxious, but for us to turn to Him in prayer and rely on His grace for our lives.  This is a throwback podcast - way back to #51!  Listen in and join the conversation.

Oct 31, 2022

"True love involves the selfless pursuit of what is best for the other person, even if it means sacrificing one’s own preferences and desires” ~Dr. Edward Sri

We are so happy to share with you the recording of one of the largest public date nights we have ever had!  Our interview with Dr. Ted Sri and his wife Beth was fun, insightful, and, we hope, inspirational to everyone who heard it.  Their new book, The Good the Messy and the Beautiful has the same perspective towards family life that we have on our podcast - that life is full of difficulties and trials, but this is the path to joy and true life!  The goal of family life is not just to survive, but to grow in holiness.  Some of the topics that we cover in this conversation are emotional and physical intimacy, dealing with woundedness in marriage, and why your marriage is the foundation of your home, but also part of the foundation of the Church! Listen in to hear the wisdom of Ted and Beth Sri in our conversation with them.

Oct 24, 2022

It is not our job to change our child. It is their job to change us ~ Maggie Radzik

Oh boy, do we have a treat for you!  In this podcast we have a fascinating conversation with catechist and Montessori trainer Maggie Radzik.  Maggie is a leader in Catholic Montessori in the US and she is committed to seeing the work of Maria Montessori applied in a truly Catholic context.  What is so genius about Dr. Montessori’s philosophy is that she drew her conclusions not from her own theories, but through first observing the children.  She approached the child with humility, knowing that God designed them in a certain way, and that the adults around the children need to not impose their own will and ideas on the children but instead provide an environment for that child to grow and develop into the person God made them to be.  Parents can learn much from this no matter how old their children are!  This humble approach to the child can be applied to toddlers, teenagers, and all in between.  There are so many topics covered in this podcast - potty training, discipline, tantrums, intellectual development, prayer, and more!   Listen in and join the conversation.

Oct 17, 2022

"Families are the ultimate and best example of a team"

Every family is made up of individual people with strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these enables us to work together better! Patrick Lencioni, celebrated author and speaker, has found that there are six “geniuses” found in effective teams. Every person has two of them. When we find out our working genius and that of our spouse, we can function more effectively for the good of our family. Listen in to this podcast where we talk about the six working geniuses, how to figure out what yours is, and why it’s important.

Working Genius book and free resources - https://www.workinggenius.com/resources

Messy Family University events - https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/university/

Join the community of the Messy Family Neighborhood - https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/membership/

Oct 10, 2022

“A definition of self-control is joyful mastery over one’s thoughts and desires.” - Dominican Sisters of Mary on Open Light Media

 Children are little raw balls of personality - and some have more than others!  They are unformed little people and it is the job of parents to form them.  This is a great joy to be given the privilege of training a child in the way they should go, but (let’s be honest!) it can also be exhausting!  In this reboot episode we have a conversation about teaching kids self-control which is an essential virtue for any successful person.  Self-control is not only taught through things like discipline and giving consequences, it is also taught by giving our children tools and strategies to conquer the emotions inside them that may threaten to overwhelm them at times.  This conversation was released four years ago and at the end we give an update on the kids that we discuss.  It was good for us to see how far they have come!  Listen in as we talk about self-control and join the conversation. 

Oct 3, 2022

"A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels." - Proverbs 31:10

Let’s be honest.  Moms do much more work than the average person, especially when they are at home with young children for most of the day.  Even moms who work, or who have a side hustle, rarely pull back on caring for children, running the household, and keeping everyone fed and clothed.  But this great service to the family can also be a burden, it can cause resentment, and it can cause burnout.  Moms can feel stuck, even trapped.  How do we prevent that from happening?  How can we change our perspective and embrace what we do for our family as our path to holiness and sanctification?  It comes down to three things - identity, belonging, and mission.  Listen in to learn more!  

Sep 26, 2022

“We are witnesses to what the Lord Jesus has done in our lives.” ~ Tony Foy, Executive Director of NET Ministries Ireland

Many of you may have picked up that Mike is pretty proud of his Irish heritage.  We had a daughter who wanted to be an international missionary at 18 and Mike was hesitant until she said she wanted to be part of NET Ireland.  That was a quick sell!  NET is an organization that forms missionaries to evangelize junior high and high school students all over the world.  Tony Foy and his wife Sheena have been running NET Ireland for – years while they have been raising seven children of their own.  In this conversation, we talk about both of our experiences raising children who become adult missionaries, share our differing perspectives, and give the lessons that we have learned through it all.  Tony and Sheena are brilliant guests and we had some good crack (look up an Irish translation for that!).  It was a joy for us to connect with other like minded parents who are also in ministry to hear their wisdom and stories about this greatest of adventures - Catholic family life. 

Sep 19, 2022

“Most people spend more time planning a one-week vacation than they spend planning their life.”  ~ Michael Hyatt

As we begin a new school year and the fall season we think this is a perfect time to start or re-start a new habit or routine in your family and be more intentional about your family culture. This is a great time for your family to do a reset! Too often we put off making changes in our family, or it ends with us just talking about it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This is a special podcast that we did in front of a virtual “studio audience” - couples from our member site!  We recorded it with them and will be starting small accountability groups to keep the resolutions from the “reset” going.  After listening to this podcast if you want to join a small group, let us know!  Or maybe you want to get together with some of your friends and do a “reset” together.  Use this time of new schedules to make some new fresh habits for you and your family.  We are always called to begin again and move upward and onward to strengthen our family culture! 

Sep 12, 2022

“If you want to be a great parent, you need to be an amazing spouse”  ~Mike and Alicia Hernon

Often romance is associated with shallow, fleeting feelings, but really, the romance that we share without spouses is a powerful example to our children of the exclusive intimate relationship that only spouses are to enjoy.   A kiss in the kitchen or an embrace in front of your children is not only to make them say, “Dad! Mom!  Ewww!” but it is to show them the way they are called to love.  It is this intimate exclusive love that is the foundation of the family, and the best place for children to grow is within the shadow of the love of their parents.  So it is essential that we continue to pursue our spouses and learn how to love them intimately.  This is a task that should take our whole lives!  And just to make it interesting (or difficult depending on your perspective!) men and women have different needs when it comes to intimacy and we need to be pursued in different ways.  

Sep 5, 2022

“We do not hesitate to declare that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the most effective school of the love of God; the love of God, We say, which must be the foundation on which to build the kingdom of God in the hearts of individuals, families, and nations”
~ Haurietis Aquas, 123

What is the devotion of Nine First Fridays?  This is a request that Our Lord made to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1675.  In these visions, she saw Christ revealed with His heart exposed as He explained to her that this Heart was beating with love for all humankind.  In this world that is getting darker and darker, more than ever we need to find refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus! The devotion is simple. Families go to mass for nine first Fridays in a row, with the intention of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all those who ignore Him, scorn Him, and do not love Him. In return, Christ made 12 Promises to all who complete this devotion.  You can find those in our blog this month!  If families begin this devotion in October, June will be the 9th first Friday and then you can consecrate your family to the Sacred Heart on June 16, 2023!  See below for some additional prayers to the Sacred Heart.  This small offering of ours attains for us powerful blessings!  

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/franciscan-spirit-blog/prayers-to-the-sacred-heart

Aug 22, 2022

Love should be seen as something which in a sense never ‘is’ but is always only ‘becoming’” ~ St. John Paul II

All marriages go through a cycle.  That cycle includes times of romance, when everything is going well, your love is full, and you are working as a team.  It also includes times when things aren’t so great - we call this “disillusionment”.  Disillusionment is when you don’t have the feelings of being in love; you may not even like your spouse very much!  This is when we feel dry and even alone in our marriage and we need to choose to love.  It is like times of dryness in our spiritual life.  We still show up to mass, say our prayers, and go through the motions, but we don’t feel close to God.  Our marriages can be like this as well!  We need to learn that we still need to show up to work with our spouse, choose to smile and be kind, and speak with affection, even if the feelings aren’t there.  In this podcast, we describe this part of the cycle of marriage and give some encouragement on how to deal with it and move through it because when you do, it leads to true joy, a love that is deep and real because it has been tested and tried.  

Aug 15, 2022

“The family is where children discover how to be human. It’s where they learn how to respect and love other people.. where they discover their place in a family story larger than themselves.” -Archbishop Charles Chaput

 

We meet parents all the time who tell us, “My kids don’t get along!” and our response is, “Of course they don’t get along.  That is kind of what your job is as parents.  To teach them how to live in peace with other people and they practice this with their siblings.”  Family is the training ground for life. This is where children learn how to be human - to fight, to forgive, to share, to live in community.  Parents must be the stewards of the culture of the family and part of that culture is the relationship between brothers and sisters.  The greatest gift a parent can give their child is a brother or sister - but that is just a starting point.  We parents also need to intentionally work to teach those brothers and sisters to love each other.  Because strong sibling relationships are one of life’s greatest joys.  Listen in as we discuss this essential topic for parents.  

Check out our blog post on this topic: Encouraging Good Sibling Relationships

Aug 8, 2022

Family communion can only be preserved and perfected through a great spirit of sacrifice.
- St. John Paul II

Let’s be honest.  Parenting is hard. Some studies have shown that up to 18% of American parents regret having children.  Though that statistic may not be completely true, it does show a growing number of people who don’t just struggle with being a parent, but actually resent it.  We need to talk about this!  It is good to acknowledge those feelings, but parents need to then move through those feelings, be curious about them, and make sure they don’t get stuck there.  In this podcast, we talk about why people may feel this way and what to do about it.  Our mission is to empower parents to embrace their sacred calling and we can’t do that without meeting parents where they are at.  For those parents who struggle with this job - we hear you and you are welcome here.  Listen in and join the conversation.

Check out our blog post on this topic: Help! I Hate Parenting My Kids (Sometimes)

Aug 1, 2022

   Food is love, but it’s only love if it’s shared. ~ Fr. Leo Patalinghug

Family dinner is something so simple yet so important and foundational in your family culture.  We need to constantly be reminded and encouraged to take time to focus on those relationships in our family daily, or at least weekly.  In this fun, engaging conversation with Fr. Leo, we discuss family dinners, but also inviting others into our homes, and how to have true leisure. Fr. Leo makes the point that dinners together are not just important, they are actually essential! In this podcast we also talk about our upcoming cruise with Fr. Leo to Portugal and Fatima next spring.  It is a river cruise through wine country but also to several shrines and holy places, particularly the blessed shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.  We are blessed to have such a great friend in Fr. Leo and we hope that you will join us for this conversation, but also on our trip next year!

Fr. Leo’s organization - https://platinggrace.com/

Women Wonderfully Made FREE Webinar

Dads Vs. Wild FREE Webinar

Join us a the Cruise and Pilgrimage to Fatima - https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/fatima-cruise/

Check out our blog post on this topic: Do Family Dinners Matter?

Jul 25, 2022

Blessed is the house where an older person lives! Blessed is the family that honours the elderly! - Pope Francis, from his message for the Second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly

None of us live in a vacuum.  We didn’t just appear upon the earth in isolation!  We are all part of a family - not just our nuclear family, but a wider group made up of aunts, uncles, grandparents, and great grandparents, stretching back generations.  How often do we consider the role of our grandparents in our lives?  Or the role that we will play in the lives of our grandchildren someday?  In this podcast, we discuss the importance of these relationships, some guidelines for both generations to learn how to relate to each other, and how parents can embrace their role as grandparents.  We have found that you never stop learning and growing in your relationship with your spouse or your children.  This podcast will benefit everyone who has grandparents, who is a grandparent, and those who are navigating relationships between their children and their parents.  This podcast is in response to the call of Pope Francis to celebrate the role of grandparents on the Sunday closest to the feast of St. Anne and Joachim, grandparents of Jesus, this year on July 24.

Jul 17, 2022

The vocation of marriage and the vocation of consecrated life beautifully work together and we think this interview demonstrates that fact!  In this podcast we have a conversation with Sr. John Paul, from the order Mary Mother of the Eucharist, a Dominican congregation in Ann Arbor MI.  She is a fellow Franciscan University alum and principal of St. Michael School in Columbus OH. Like parents, she is in charge of the formation of virtue in young children, but she sees this formation from a different perspective.  During our conversation, she explains how to discuss the virtues in daily life and gives us some language to use.  Sister also demonstrates how to spot virtues in children and call them out and shows why this is so important.  Join in this recording of our member date night with a very special sister.  

 

Dominican Virtue Tree: https://openlightmedia.com/online-learning/interactive-virtue-tree/

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

Moms and Dad Webinars & Courses: https://messyfamilyhood.com/ 

Jul 11, 2022

We love it when our listeners dictate what we talk about!  In this episode we tackle some great email questions and voice memos that parents have sent us.  A mom asks if its ok that her 2 yr old is wearing his sister’s dress up clothes and another mom is overwhelmed at another child on the way. Does this make her not “open to life” or a bad Catholic?  We also had a wife share with us her heartache at her husband’s lack of faith in the home.  How can she honor the Lord and honor her husband at the same time when he is not interested in living the faith?  Listen in as we talk about these questions and the issue of keeping life in balance.  How do we make time for it all?  Our answers are empathetic, but also practical and we believe they can help many parents out there.  Join the conversation!

 

Don’t miss the virtual Family Board Meeting in August - https://messyfamilyhood.com/family-board-meeting-registration/ 

 

Fly down to the Catholic Couples Getaway on Cozumel island - https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/cozumel-2023/


Join us for a Fatima Pilgrimage and Portugal Cruise - https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/fatima-cruise/

Jul 4, 2022

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” - G.K. Chesterton

As we celebrate the founding of our country, we want to take time to salute and honor those families who serve our country. The decision to serve affects not only those serving in our armed forces but also the spouses and children.  In this podcast, we discuss with three military families on the joys and crosses of this vocation they have chosen to live. This conversation is really beautiful because much of what they share is applicable to any and every family. Important principles like trusting the Lord in everything, investing in your community and constantly pursuing your spouse are applicable to every marriage. We also ask about the virtue of patriotism and how to pass this on to our children. We hope this podcast will inspire you, it has inspired us! 

 

Want to hear more on this topic? Check out our latest blog post on raising patriotic kids: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/raising-patriotic-kids/

 

Don’t miss the virtual Family Board Meeting in August - https://messyfamilyhood.com/family-board-meeting-registration/ 

 

Fly down to the Catholic Couples Getaway on Cozumel island - https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/cozumel-2023/


Join us for a Fatima Pilgrimage and Portugal Cruise - https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/fatima-cruise/

Jun 27, 2022

“You know what my bedtime routine was when I was a kid? Darkness!” ~ Jerry Seinfeld

We love our listeners.  And we love answering their questions!  In this episode, we are joined by our Program Coordinator, Katie (Hernon) Gamboa who represents the “every-mom” and gives us some great topics to talk about.  The first issue we tackle is sleep!  Since few young parents ever get enough of it, we help out by giving some tips and tricks as well as perspective.  One of us is good at getting kids to lay down and one is not.  We explain how this happens and how to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.  Another great question is in regards to big families.  The more kids you have the more the humanity and brokenness you will experience as a family.  Bringing children into the world isn’t just a matter of another pregnancy, it is another life that you are tied to for the long haul.  Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint!  How do we soberly decide our family size?  How do you know when and if you should take on a stewardship of another life?  And the last question is in regards to fun.  What does the Hernon family do for fun?  The answer is simpler than you think!  Listen in and join the conversation!

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