Bringing the Monastic into My Domestic: Summer in the Little Oratory

Holy Family - Monastery Road

Oratory. Ever heard of that word? Until a few years ago, I wasn’t familiar with it, and believe it or not, I actually remember my first encounter with it. It was July 2010, our first trip to Conception Abbey in Missouri for Joel’s weeklong summer diaconate formation classes. While attending the initial all-you-need-to-know-for-the-week type of meeting, […]

Make Your Own At-Home Stations of the Cross

At home Stations of the Cross

Note: This post originally published last year during Lent, and I’m updating it just a tad and republishing. I’ve seen a few “how to pray the Stations with your children” posts floating around social media lately, and I simply want to share something that works well in our home.

Consecrate Your Home to St. Michael the Archangel

St Michael Vatican

Pope Francis recently consecrated the Vatican to St. Michael the Archangel’s protection. So I pondered: If Pope Francis consecrated the Vatican to the Archangel’s protection, can Joel and I do the same for our home and family, the domestic church?

May Altars and Tips for Praying the Rosary with Kids

Pope Francis Tweets About Rosary

Hot diggity! I’m on a “Pinisher” role lately. I recently spotted a few ideas on Pinterest for how to assemble a family May altar in your home. Given the month of May is dedicated to Mary, I set out to create an altar to honor Mary. Now the next logical step is to actually gather the family around the altar and pray a Hail Mary or two. So here are some tips for praying the Rosary with kids.

My Forrest Gump Moment

Forrest Gump Stops Running

If you’ve seen the great motion picture Forrest Gump, you probably remember the scene when, after running across the United States for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours, Forrest suddenly stops running, turns around to the paparazzi following him and says,

“I’m pretty tired. . . I think I’ll go home now.”

My conversion begins a little something like that. Well, not really. Even though I’m a wannabe runner, there’s certainly no way on God’s green earth that I could run cross-country like Forrest Gump. But my story begins the day I quit running …

The Smells and Bells of the Domestic Monastery

Domestic Bell

The phrase “smells and bells” is a colloquial expression used within the Church that refers to various sensory experiences occurring during the liturgy — incense and bells, oil and water, bread and wine. The domestic church, at least my domestic church, has its share of smells and bells, too. Not quite the same as the Benedictine monastery, but there is a parallel.