FAMILY: Be Together
“Safer at Home,” has allowed us to live out what we have heard from our Holy Fathers:
– St. Pope John Paul the Great told families to “Become What You Are.”
– Pope Francis has been advocating for years for families to “waste time together.” Read more here.
Now we have a great opportunity to do just that.
Key reminders during Safer at Home time:
- Guide for talking to kids about COVID-19.
- ReCreate Family Guidelines for improved relationships (from Teaching the Way of Love)
ENGAGE YOUR TEEN IN DIALOGUE – Make the most of this time together. Here are engaging 15 min. video segments to open up foundational parent/teen dialogue on relationships, God, freedom and many foundational life issues.
1. WHO AM I? DISCOVERING MY TRUE IDENTITY
2. OUR STORY: GOD’S PLAN, HUMAN SIN, JESUS’ LOVE
3. ME, MYSELF, AND I: BODY AND SOUL
6. TO USE OR NOT TO USE? THAT IS THE QUESTION: THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE
7. VOCATION: GOD’S CALL, MY RESPONSE
8, HOPE AND FUTURE: DAILY LIVING OUT THE LANGUAGE OF THE BODY
This is a limited time access (ends June 30) to content that offers a clear understanding of our inherent beauty and goodness and the deepest desires of our hearts.
An important note of caution with the increased time online.
Visit our webpage with resources to help you combat the never ending threat of online pornography at diolc.org/marriage/addressing-pornography.
NEW: Get 7 days of tech-free family activities and conversation starters delivered to your inbox through the “Safer at Home” version of the 7-Day Digital Detox
Make your home a Safe Haven from online threats of pornography is an article on 10 Ways to Avoid Porn (and COVID-19) When You Work from Home.
We too often forget the importance of humor. After all, this is something God gave uniquely to us as humans. Since we’re made in His image and likeness: levity and laughter reveals something of the Divine.
- Take turns choosing a favorite board game
- Play an outdoor game or create your own – see example>>
- Go for a walk, jog, run, bike ride, hike
- Play Guitar Hero and/or karaoke
- Choose and play a favorite outdoor game
- Enjoy High Tea
- Begin a new family hobby
TREE to TREE: When friends of ours had 6 boys 8yrs old and under, they created an outdoor game called “Tree to Tree” it simply consisted of the leader pointing to a tree, calling out, “That one!” and everyone running to that tree as fast as possible. Simple fun!
CALL YOUR HOLE: Friday night my family created a version of disc golf by taking turns “calling a hole” by naming an object and the number of throws. Our neighborhood quickly became a course and source of memorable family fun.
Looknig for Catholic crafts? Catholic Icing is a great resource for moms, teachers, and homeschoolers. https://www.catholicicing.com/catholic-crafts-for-kids-free/
Join the Play and Pray Challenge of the Messy Family Project from June 12 to June 21. It has three elements:
- Have a family fun day
- Have a date with your spouse
- Enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus in your home
“If you want to pray with your kids, you first need to play with them.” There are many ways in which play opens up a child’s heart and mind to God. Our natural parenting relationship with children helps form their first images of God. And when we play with our children, we communicate to them how special they are and how much we love them. This helps them understand His love for them. Placing the image of God in a child’s heart is a weighty responsibility for parents, but we must not be afraid! God will give us all the grace we need if we ask for it.
Our homes often become a place of business. And taking time for God is neglected. Now is a great time to refresh your relationship with God and each other.
There are many online Mass opportunities. Go to diolc.org/live to find links with information Click here for a print out with some valuable ideas for celebrating Mass in your home.
- Help younger children stay engaged with “The Kid’s Bulletin” – a fun way for Catholic kids to learn about the Faith every week
- Go to church and spend time talking about the statues, stained glass, art, architecture. Check with your parish office – they may have this information.
- 3-Step Nightly Family Prayer: 1. Share how you experienced God’s blessings today. Share your concerns of tomorrow. 3. Pray together in thanksgiving and petition: with a prayer that is spontaneous, memorized or both.
- Family Rosary Idea – for some children (and adults) to pray a rosary all at once can be too much. Spread it out during the day – one decade at a time and take turns leading prayers. Crayons are welcome too: Rosary Coloring Pages for kids
BE TOGETHER AS A FAMILY
“Waste time together as a family,” has been advice offered continually by Pope Francis. The time we spend together whether at work or play is designed by God to allow us to be a “communion of persons” made in the image of our Triune God. So, embrace this time to build strong relationships.
- Organize closets
- Read a book together
- Talk about important things
- Call your grandparents
- Catch up with thank-you notes
- Prepare meals together or
- Take turns selecting and/or making meals
- Watch a family movie using VidAngel which allows you to monitor content OR Pure Flix which creates movies and provides family-friendly options with no need for filtering. Here is a story with some very helpful information about online streaming.
FAMILY STORY TIME: Who doesn’t like to listen to a story? Whether you choose to read the life of a saint, an Easter story, the Chronicles of Narnia, the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid or something else, set a time each day when devices are turned off and everyone listens in. Do you have big kids? Take turns being the reader. (Don’t have a book, there are free online digital books available through your local library or Kindle)
RESPOND TOGETHER: Another diocesan webpage offers a great listing of ways to Pray and Act https://diolc.org/social-concerns/
The Catholic Kid is the perfect site for the child that loves to color. You will find coloring pages on all topics. An added bonus, scissor cutting exercises! Something I was always looking for when working with my preschoolers. http://www.thecatholickid.com/
BE TOGETHER AS SPOUSES
- Physically: Exercise together (can be a simple walk). [Also, pause for a 5 second hug -repeat often – when COVID cautions are clear]
- Emotionally: Take turns planning date nights (just the two of you)
- Spiritually: Take time each day to pray together and occassionally go on retreat or to a marriage conference such as the Marriage Summit (image on the right).
- You will find some great ideas for Marriage Enrichment at: https://diolc.org/marriage/marriage-enrichment/
Below, are some links to websites with valuable resources for your marriage & family.
is a family-owned apostolate loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. They offer a wide variety of FREE Catholic activities and resources (books, CD’s, DVD’s, and gifts) for all ages and stages throughout the liturgical year.
For Your Marriage
Here is a list of ideas from the US Bishops office for Building Stronger Family Bonds in your domestic church during COVID-19.
And here is a list from across the country of Resouces for Responding to COVID-19
FORMED – The Catholic Faith. On Demand
FORMED – which some people call “Catholic Netflix” – is offering your family FREE access for 40 days to all of their resources, and you can stream all of their content 24 hours a day!