Practicing Catholicism can be a challenging feat in this modern world when we’re surrounded by a “Me” generation and  modern culture tends to promote material values instead of Christian ones. Trying to raise a family with Catholic values, well … that almost seems impossible. How do we show our children to appreciate the Catholic culture when so many are starting to flee the nest and turn away from it? How do we teach our kids to understand the beauty and richness of our Catholic Faith in the craziness of everyday life? Husband and wife Tommy and Karen Tighe share their views in their book How to: Catholic Family and give some  practical tips on “how to” approach raising a family in Catholic values and traditions. While the book commonly centers on families with younger children, they also give ideas on how to create family practices even for those getting a late start in the game. One of my favorite tips in the book focuses on how to make Mass more interesting for children. Growing up, I didn’t always understand the beauty of the Mass or appreciate until I was an adult. The Tighes talk about incorporating practices that make the Mass more meaningful to children, such as sitting in the front row so that kids see what’s happening and explaining to kids “what’s happening" in the Mass. Without giving away all other great tips, I’m happy to report I’ve tried out some of these ideas and they’ve been very effective and successful. It was very encouraging to know that I wasn’t the only one who experienced these same issues in my family. The book also covers some great ideas for incorporating the saints into our children’s lives along with how to get more meaning out of Advent and Lent beyond the commercial aspects. How to: Catholic Family is a great book for anyone who wants to keep their children enjoying and participating in the richness of our Catholic traditions. Overall, the book stresses the idea that the role of the family in our children’s faith formation is truly a group affair.

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Copyright 2019 Andrea Bear