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How can I get my children to return to the Church without nagging?

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children to return to the Church
Fr. Jim Van Vurst recently answered a mother’s confidential question  Since this is a very common concern for parents, with her permission, we are sharing Fr. Jim’s wise advice.
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Dear Mary Ann,

Thanks for writing. As I read your email, I was reminded that in today’s world no one has a more difficult ministry and work than a mom. And the reason is simple: You, I know, would lay down your life for your loved ones. It would be automatic for you to do that. That’s what moms do. But it’s almost harder to stand by and watch them fumble around, trying to figure out what they are doing and need to do. They have grown up (young people that is) in a totally mixed up world where society so often by word and example gives the WORST kind of advice. So, society has laid out for them a set of values and one of those is “do whatever feels good to you.” And that’s why religious activities have little “feel good” aspect about them and why they are not attractive at all for many young people in society. So, as you said, nagging will accomplish nothing or even worse bring about the very opposite.

children to return to the ChurchBut I want to approach this with you from a different point of view. Your role, it seems to me right now, is to be the “pray-er person” for your family…the intercessor and the advocate. Now, that means that your influence might seem less than if you could challenge the young ones. But of course, that would cause just the opposite to happen. Young people today are living in a society that constantly holds up bad examples, e.g. selfishness, “you first in everything” etc.

I want to emphasize that as a woman of faith and given your age and wisdom and life experience….you are the most important person in their lives right even if you don’t say a word to them or question, scold, argue, etc. Right now it is YOU AND GOD together going to spiritual battle for them. It’s an act of faith on your part but you are the kind of person, I think, who knows what faith really means…and that includes trust and hope. Above all, show your love for them and compliment them when they deserve compliments. Remember, if you love them as Mom and Grandma, God loves them infinitely and I guarantee you He is after them. Keep in mind too, more people today go through a growing up number of years and remember “wisdom comes with age.” And usually wisdom comes from learning from mistakes and finally waking up to what life is really about. Give them time to go through what they have to go through….and pray for them all every day. That’s the best thing you can do.

My prayers are with them and you.

God bless,
Fr. Jim Van Vurst, OFM

children to return to the Church

A first-class St Anthony relic at the Shrine.

You can share your prayers with our online community on our Prayer Page.
Pray for others who have also posted their needs and concerns at View Prayer Concerns.
St. Anthony was devoted to prayer to the Lord, read his words at St. Anthony Prayers.

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Search for identity as a Catholic woman

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Have you ever been dead tired?
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Catholic woman

Colleen Mitchell

We all get tired from time to time. But have you ever felt so drained that you just can’t take it anymore? Have you ever withdrawn from God and others because you don’t have the strength to move forward?

Colleen Mitchell has been there, and she has been lifted up by the merciful touch of Jesus. This missionary and mother of five shares her experiences and her path to wholeness through God’s healing touch.

Catholic womanWho Does He Say You Are?
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Colleen found healing in the Gospel stories of women who met Jesus. These women had an honest encounter with Christ and were transformed and healed. When we encounter Christ, we are healed also. In Who Does He Say You Are? Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels, Colleen shares the way these women’s stories spoke to her experience and how they can bring you transformation as well.

Thank you for your support of Franciscan Media and for supporting the charitable works of the Franciscan Friars.
God bless you!

Click here to purchase Who Does He Say You Are?

Click the image below to go to a blog and video message from Colleen at American Catholic.

Catholic woman

Colleen Mitchell has done a series of blog posts and videos about ‘Who does he say you are?’ and the ministry she and her husband founded to honor their son Bryce.

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St. Anthony’s anonymous friend

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Evelyn B had a strong devotion to St. Anthony.

Her selfless generosity was unknown to us until
we received this touching letter from her family
when she passed away.

May she rest in the arms of the Lord.
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St.  Anthony

We’d love to hear your St. Anthony story too. Use our Contact Page or Email: shrine@franciscan.org or Call Colleen Cushard at: 513-721-4700. Share your prayers with us and our online community at our Prayer Page. You can donate to St. Anthony Bread or any of our ministries at our Donation Page.

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