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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: 2024
Apr 15, 2024

Parenting is not an inborn skill. It is something that we learn over time from trial and error and with help from others. 

 

Summary

Over the past 28 years raising our 10 kids we have made a lot of mistakes, but also learned from them!  In this podcast, we go over 12 tips that we have found make a big difference in the life of a family.  They are principles that we live by and how we have gotten where we are today.  None of them are rocket science - but they are things you may not have thought of before or realized how essential they are.  We have released this podcast before, but now we have a new perspective since our kids are older and now we have grandkids.  The great thing is, we have found that these tips still work!  As you listen, make sure that you choose 1 or 2 things that you want to implement in your lives starting this week.  Don’t try to do everything! Small changes over time have the biggest impact.  Listen in and join the conversation!  

 

Key Takeaways

  • It is not your job to make your children into saints.  It is their job to make YOU into a saint!

  • You are irreplaceable.  Your children will only ever have ONE mom and ONE dad.  No one can do for your child what you can do. 

  • Your children cannot be the center of your family.  They are part of a community.  

  • Love requires boundaries.  But at the same time, remember that rules without relationship breeds rebellion.  

  • Children need to be taught everything.  They don’t know the words to say to be respectful, or the way to respond when you ask them to do something.  Do not be surprised when they don’t do what you want right away.  Your job is to teach them.  

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • Do I find it easy or hard to embrace my authority as a parent?  Do I recognize my unique place in the life of my child?  How would I articulate my role? 

  • How do I feel about my child making me into a saint?  What are ways I see them teaching me how to be less selfish? 

  • Do we have a plan for discipline? Are we on the same page?  Where do we disagree?

 

Apr 8, 2024

Summary

Most of us rarely have an opportunity to sit down and talk to a priest, let alone a bishop!  We were so blessed to have a conversation with not just a bishop, but an archbishop and one who loves the Lord, loves families, and who leads with the heart of a shepherd.  Join us as we talk to Archbishop Naumann of Kansas City who shares his story of growing up without a father and how his mother and family gave him the stability and security he needed to flourish and become the man God called him to be.  He provides insights to families in our conversation along with a good dose of humor and practical encouragement.  

Key Takeaways

  • Family stability and security are essential for children to flourish and fulfill their God-given potential, as Archbishop Naumann's own upbringing exemplifies.

  • Archbishop Naumann emphasizes the importance of love, faith, and commitment within families as foundational elements for building strong communities and societies.

  • Practical encouragement and humor are valuable tools in navigating the challenges and joys of family life, as shared by Archbishop Naumann during the conversation.

Couple Discussion Questions

  1. How can we emulate the stability and security that Archbishop Naumann experienced in his upbringing within our own family dynamic?

  2. In what ways can we prioritize love, faith, and commitment within our family to strengthen our bonds and contribute positively to our community?

  3. How can we incorporate humor and practical encouragement into our family life to navigate challenges and foster a spirit of joy and resilience?

  4. Reflecting on Archbishop Naumann's insights, what changes or adjustments can we make to our family routines or habits to better reflect our values and priorities?

  5. What lessons or inspirations can we take from Archbishop Naumann's story to enhance our own journey as spouses and parents?

 

Mar 25, 2024

In this episode, Mike and Alicia Hernon explore the transformative impact of conversations with children. They emphasize the importance of fostering a family culture centered around meaningful dialogue.

From toddlers to teens, discover practical strategies for nurturing curiosity, understanding, and mutual respect within the parent-child relationship. Don't miss out on this engaging discussion that highlights the profound influence of conversations in shaping both children and parents alike.

For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

Mar 18, 2024

“Thank you, every woman, for the simple fact of being a woman! Through the insight which is so much a part of your womanhood you enrich the world's understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic.”
~ John Paul II, Letter to Women

 

Summary

Women have particular gifts to bring to the world which were identified by John Paul II as the “genius of women”.  The Given Institute was created by religious superiors of the major orders in the United States and works with young women in all states of life to help them realize that they are gift, work to discover their unique giftedness and then make a plan to bring those gifts to the world.  In this podcast, we discuss these topics with Michelle Hilleart, their Executive Director who is  passionate about the need for women to know their own dignity and worth.  There are so many lies and confusing messages being given to young women today and these messages are preventing them from not just being who they were created to be, but also preventing them from knowing how they were created.  Listen in to hear about what REAL “girl power” is! 

 

Key Takeaways

  • John Paul II identified the “genius of women” as receptivity, sensitivity, generosity, and maternity.

  • Every woman is called to be a spiritual mother - whether she is a natural mother, single woman, or consecrated woman.  

  • Every woman is called and gifted and those gifts begin to grow when a woman knows who she is as a daughter of God. 

  • Once we know what those gifts are we should then create an “action plan” to bring those unique gifts to the world. 

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • Do I recognize my dignity as a daughter of God? 

  • What are the gifts that are uniquely mine? 

  • How can I develop those gifts and bring them to the people around me? 

 

Mar 11, 2024

“It's our experience that parents who don’t allow their children to play with weapons have little boys who will chew their toast into the shape of a gun”

 

Summary

Hello, I wanted to ask a question in regard to violent play for a toddler. My 4 year old boy is obsessed with all types of toy swords, lasers, etc. Any suggestions on how to manage it in a way that lets him explore but also places limits on it?  

This question came from a listener who is a mom of a normal boy!  But often this type of behavior catches parents unaware.  Our culture gives so many confusing messages to boys in the world.  Sometimes the behavior of little boys can be surprising or even shocking to moms who aren’t used to rough and tumble play.  But the beauty of boys is that they are made for this!  And playing is how they learn to make sense of the world around them, handle conflicting emotions and learn to relate in a healthy way to other boys.  In this podcast, we tackle the issue head on with some funny stories and practical advice.  We also discuss some of the psychology behind the emotional life of boys and what parents need to do to keep their boys well-adjusted and loved.  In the end we have tips for you on how to teach your boy to use his body in a way that respects himself and others.  

 

Key Takeaways

  • Violent play  in young boys is natural and when it comes from within their own mind (not from images introduced to them) it is not just harmless, but important to allow. 

  • Boys work out their emotions physically. The verbal and emotional parts of their brain are not hard wired as girls’ are.  

  • Getting your boys comfortable and confident in their bodies is essential for their emotional and mental health.

  • Boy’s emotions are just as present and as deep as girls are. They are just expressed differently and need to be responded to differently. 



Couple Discussion Questions

 

  1. What do I find hardest about my boys

  2. How can we respect the way they are made 

 

Resources: 

Documentary on the emotional life of boys

https://youtu.be/y9k0vKL5jJI?si=W8v5vmmWzNojXKAV

Mar 4, 2024

Join Mike and Alicia Hernon on this enlightening episode of the Messy Family Podcast as they sit down for an insightful interview with Bishop Joseph Coffey of the Archdiocese of the Military (United States). Together, they explore the intriguing question, "Where do Bishops Come From?" and delve into Bishop Coffey's personal journey of faith, discernment, and leadership within the Catholic Church.

With candor and wisdom, Bishop Coffey shares his unique perspective on the role of bishops in today's world and offers valuable insights into the formation and responsibilities of these spiritual leaders. From his early experiences in the military to his calling to the priesthood and eventual consecration as a bishop, Bishop Coffey's story is both inspiring and enlightening.

Throughout the conversation, Mike and Alicia engage Bishop Coffey in a wide-ranging discussion that touches on topics such as the challenges facing the Church, the importance of prayer and discernment in leadership, and the role of bishops in shepherding their flocks through turbulent times.

Whether you're a devout Catholic seeking a deeper understanding of the Church's hierarchy or simply curious about the journey of bishops, this episode offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and ministry of one of the Church's spiritual leaders.

Subscribe now and join Mike, Alicia, and Bishop Coffey as they navigate the complexities of faith, family, and leadership in today's world.

Feb 26, 2024

In this faith-filled episode of the Messy Family Podcast, Mike and Alicia discuss discuss the significance of authenticity, the power of family traditions, and the impact of a vibrant faith community. Whether you're a seasoned parent or just starting your family journey, this episode promises valuable insights and practical tools for nurturing a legacy of faith that will endure for generations to come.

Tune in to the Messy Family Project podcast today and discover how to build a legacy of faith that withstands the test of time. Don't miss out on this inspiring conversation that will empower you to embrace your role as a faith-filled parent and create a lasting impact on your family's spiritual journey.

Subscribe now and join the Messy Family Project community as we navigate the beautiful messiness of family life together! For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

Feb 19, 2024

In this episode of the podcast, we delve into the heart of family bonding and spiritual growth with an enlightening interview with the Marinist Family. Guided by the profound core beliefs of the Marianist Family Retreat Ministry, our guests share invaluable insights into strengthening familial ties, fostering communication, and embracing forgiveness and commitment within the family unit.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the transformative power of affirming familial love and forgiveness.
  • Embrace the teachings of Mary as a model for nurturing familial spirituality.
  • Explore the concept of discipleship of equals and its impact on family ministry.
  • Learn how community plays a vital role in nurturing familial bonds and spiritual growth.
  • Uncover the structured and unstructured opportunities for growth within the Marinist Family Retreat Program.
  • Embrace the practice of prayer and discernment in opening oneself to the gifts of the Holy Spirit within the family context.

Couple Discussion Questions:

  1. How can we incorporate the teachings of Mary into our family dynamics?
  2. Reflecting on the pillars of the Marinist Family Retreats, which aspect do we feel is most crucial for our family's growth?
  3. How can we create a balance between structured and unstructured family time to nurture spiritual growth?
  4. In what ways can we foster a sense of community within our family and extend it to the larger community?

Tune in to this enlightening episode as we uncover the tools for deepening familial bonds and fostering spiritual growth with the Marinist Family.

Feb 5, 2024

For a child to learn how to love, they need to first be loved. 

So many people find disciplining their children to be one of the biggest challenges of being a parent.  We look back to the way our parents raised us and often we realize that we want to do things differently, but we just don’t know how.  Without a new perspective, many times we just fall back on what we experienced as a child and we react from our own woundedness or our own view of what a father or mother should be.  In this episode, Mike and Alicia talk about how parents can model the perfect parent, God the Father Himself.  As we do this, we will find ourselves walking in our true  identity as a son or daughter of the Most High.  When we understand that, then we can form our children as God forms us.  

Listen in to this essential conversation and use our Key Takeaways and Discussion Questions to go deeper with your spouse on this topic.

Key Takeaways

  • We need to parent the way God fathers us, free of emotion and manipulation

  • Discipline starts with relationship because its all about forming their hearts.

  • We need to teach children how to repair and restore relationships when they do the wrong thing.  

 

Couple Discussion Questions

  • In our childhoods have we experienced shame from our parents or those in authority?  How did that make me feel?

  • Do we imitate those behaviors in our parenting? 

  • How can we reflect God the Father more in our formation of our children? 

  • Consider one of your children in need of formation.  What is the best way to reach their heart? 

 

Jan 29, 2024

Your family culture is the operating system in your home.  It communicates to your children more powerfully than any written word.

Family culture is something that we are passionate about in this ministry!  We believe that this is the secret weapon of the Catholic family and something that every mom and dad needs to be very intentional about.  The culture within the home is like the operating system in your family and it communicates more powerfully than any written word.  In this episode we give the foundations of family culture and explain why it's important.  Because there is so much to cover, we only get to talk about the spiritual life of the home and what that means for the children.  This is a re-release of a previous episode, but the information is timeless and the principles are the foundation of many of our courses and guides.  Re-release MFP096 Building a Family Culture

For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

Key Takeaways

  • Parents don’t create a culture, they steward it.  All the members of the family participate. 

  • Family Culture is the unspoken system that binds your family together and communicates your expectations, beliefs, and values more powerfully than any written word.  

  • Your culture must be stronger and more attractive than the secular culture and it must communicate more powerfully.

  • A wise family learns how to manage the urgent and prioritize the important.

  • The spiritual life of your home needs to be the foundation of your culture because it is our connection to God that gives meaning to our lives.

Couple Discussion Questions

  • There is a culture in our home right now.  What is this culture communicating to our children? 

  • What are some values that we want our children to learn from our culture?  How can we do this better? 

  • What are the Urgent things in our life that we need to manage better? 

  • What are the Important things that we are putting off? 

Resources

 

Jan 22, 2024

In this episode, Mike and Alicia keep diving into the complex relationship of man and woman in marriage. It is vitally important that we keep in mind that we need to act according to our nature to have a successful, peaceful marriage! Part of this is realizing that there is a dance that happens between spouses - that is the giving and receiving. So what some fundamentalists may call “headship” we would say this is really men giving to their wives and families because this is what enables them to receive. What others may call “submission” we would say is really women receiving from their husbands in order to give. This is where the idea of “mutual submission” comes from. Both men and women are called to give and receive, but it is in a different order.

Listen in and send us your questions! We would love to tackle them in a future episode!

Key Takeaways:

  • The Fall broke the unity between husband and wife and made them distrust each other.  Adam was passive and Eve took the initiative.  This was disordered. 

  • Jesus elevated marriage to a sacrament and called us all to something greater.  To a supernatural call that only He can give us the grace to accomplish.

  • Both husband and wife are called to give and to receive, but the order is reversed.  Men are called to GIVE in order to RECIEVE.  Women must RECIEVE in order to GIVE.  This is the difference between leadership and submission. 

  • Husbands need to learn to receive from their wives, and wives need to learn how to give from their husbands.  

Couple Discussion:

  • What does our “dance” look like in our home?  How to be operate when we make decisions? When we run the family? 

  • How easy is it for him to give first in our home?  How can we both support that initiative?  

  • Are there areas in which he is receiving without giving?  

  • Are there areas in which she is giving without first receiving?  

Resources

 

Jan 15, 2024

Join Mike and Alicia Hernon on another insightful episode of The Messy Family Podcast, where they fearlessly delve into the timeless and relevant topic of headship in marriage in reference to the key passages in Ephesians 5. 

In this episode, the Hernons share the behind-the-scenes of their podcast and video show on YouTube, inviting you to subscribe and become a valuable member of their growing community. They take you on a journey through recent family events, from unexpected hospital visits to the joyous arrival of their seventh grandchild, Declan John.

Amidst the chaos, the Hernons ask for your prayers for a family facing health challenges, emphasizing the power of community and support in navigating life's trials. They also share exciting updates about upcoming events, such as the Good News cruise with Father Mike Schmitz and the Catholic Couples Getaway with Chris and Natalie Stefanik. Stay tuned for announcements for Catholic Couples Getaway 2025!

As the episode unfolds, Mike and Alicia explore the concept of headship in marriage, addressing the age-old question: Do wives have to obey? Gain insights, reflections, and practical wisdom on this crucial aspect of family life. Whether you're a parent, spouse, or part of a messy family, this episode offers valuable perspectives on collaboration, obedience, and the beauty of shared roles in marriage.

Don't miss out on this engaging and thought-provoking discussion that aims to navigate the beautiful chaos of marriage, offering inspiration and support for every member of the messy family community.

Jan 8, 2024

🎙️ Dive into a captivating episode of the Messy Family Podcast with Mike and Alicia Hernon! In this edition, titled "Angels Watching Over Us with Fr. Wolfgang Seitz," we explore the fascinating realm of guardian angels and the divine assistance that surrounds our lives.

🌟 Join Mike and Alicia as they welcome Father Wolfgang Seitz from the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, an expert on the Holy Angels. Fr. Wolfgang shares insights into the deep devotion his order has for the angels and provides a unique perspective on the vital role they play in our lives.

👼Discover the untapped source of strength that our guardian angels offer, and learn about a yearlong consecration program that can deepen your connection with these celestial beings. Fr. Wolfgang's experiences and teachings shed light on how our guardian angels collaborate with us in both natural and supernatural aspects of life.

🏠 As you listen, gain a profound understanding of the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross and their mission to spread devotion to the Holy Angels. Explore the rich history of the order and how it intersects with the powerful tradition of consecration.

🙏 Whether you're a believer seeking to enhance your spiritual journey or simply curious about the divine mysteries, this episode provides valuable insights. Tune in to the Messy Family Podcast and let the wisdom shared by Fr. Wolfgang Seitz inspire you to embrace the unseen yet eternal presence of angels in your life. Don't miss out on this enlightening conversation that may forever change the way you perceive the guardianship of these heavenly beings!

🔗 Subscribe to the Messy Family Podcast for more engaging discussions and practical insights on navigating the beautiful chaos of family life with Mike and Alicia Hernon. Your journey into the messy and miraculous tapestry of familyhood awaits!

For more information on this and other topics visit: https://www.messyfamilyproject.org/

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