Family Fully Alive

February, The Sacrament of Marriage

Key Points

Family Project

It may be difficult to schedule one of these activities during February. But use the month to do some of the planning to celebrate later in the year.

March, Family Difficulties

Key Points

Family Project

a. Set a time for everyone in the family to come together to work through the difficulty.  

b. Ensure that everyone has a common understanding of the situation.

c. Then have each person write a letter to the family that includes:

i. How they may have contributed to the difficulty

ii. What they can do going forward to improve the situation

iii. Ask forgiveness of the other family member(s)

iv. Acknowledge that the family unit is more important than whatever difficulty is being dealt with

April, Mercy and Forgiveness 

Key Points

a. The first synonym of Absolution in Websters is Forgiveness.  

a. Spouse

b. Family members

c. Co-workers

d. Friends & acquaintances

e. Yourself

Family Project

a. As part of your preparation for going to Reconciliation, make a mental list of those who you might have been better able to show mercy – and therefore – forgiveness.  

a. Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning another person’s actions as being just – but it does say that you can show mercy to that person despite the hurt that may have been caused. 

May, Hope

June, Self-Giving Love 

Key Points

Family Project

b. Helping with the Catholic Charities food truck

c. Helping an aging neighbor with yard work without any type of payment

d. Sharing what you have with others (even siblings), again without any expectations of reciprocal acts.

a. Reach out to an adult child who may be fully capable of living their lives and not dependent on your generosity.  Find out what ‘act of kindness’ may be meaningful to them and may require you to go above and beyond your normal comfort zone.  

July, Witnessing to the Faith

Key Points

1. As with any endeavor – whether its work, hobby, belief or faith – those with a passion for that endeavor are natural witnesses to it.  They’re compelled to share with others their successes and failures.  Sometimes, this leads others to pursue the same endeavor. 

2. With our faith as Catholics, we’re called to this same passion and as a by-product – the witness to others of being Catholic. 

3. The faith of an individual or family is not stagnant or static, it’s always evolving.  This constant morphing of one’s faith is influenced by many factors.  And it influences many factors in one’s life as well.  One of these factors is how you (as an individual as well as a family) interact with others.  Are you kind, considerate, compassionate, helpful?  Or are you indifferent, rigid, standoffish, mean-spirited?

4. How you interact with others is a most common way to witness your faith.


Family Project

1. The booklet provides 2 ways in which to enact your witness of your faith

a. Invite others (family, friend, etc.) to join you at Mass or other faith-based events.

b. As a family, have a list of small sacrifices and offerings you can make to others.  Choose 1 a day to undertake.  This might be nothing more than a prayer for that person – or maybe a small task.  Examples:

                                                    i. Wheeling the neighbor’s garbage cans back to their house on trash day.

                                                  ii. Checking in on someone you know might have had a difficult experience recently.

                                                iii. Sending a note (text) to someone to let them know you were thinking of them

August, Hospitality

Key Points

1.    Hospitality is making “a neighbor from a stranger”.  Guests should be welcomed as Christ – “I was a stranger and you welcomed me”.

2.    It’s a fundamental aspect of a Christians mission. 

3.    It can take many forms but the underlying principle isn’t just an open door to a stranger to but to share ‘social love’ with extended family, friends, acquaintances and neighbors. 


Family Project

1. Spend time in your family looking at how you show hospitality to others?  Are there opportunities for you to be more hospitable to those already in your circle?

a. Devise a plan on how to intentionally be more hospitable.  Is this once a week?  Once a month?

2. Invite others not in your circle but may be close for a meal or a social gathering.  Maybe someone from the parish or a neighbor who recently moved into the neighborhood.

September, Charity

Key Points

1.    Pope Francis called on the family to have expanding fruitfulness – that seeks to give life outside of one’s own family. 

2.    There are 3 elements of Chrisitan charity:

a. A heartfelt concern for the fullness of another’s humanity

b. A ‘heart which sees’

c. Faith

3. Heartfelt Concern

a. Allow the other person (whom charity is being bestowed) to give back to the giver.  Welcome their friendship, their faith.

b. Don’t look at it as a commandment but a result of active faith

4. A seeing heart

a. Like the Good Samaritan, a seeing heart sees where love (charity) is needed and acts accordingly.

5. Faith

a. Don’t leave God out of the equation.  Not all charity is faith-based, but bringing faith and God to whatever charitable works you do will shine onto others regardless of whether your faith is spoken or shown through loving actions.

Family Project

1.    Find a (new) volunteer opportunity as a family unit.

a. Add 1 new KofC activity before the end of the year

b. Check with Catholic Charities to see what opportunities exist to join an already formed group or volunteer as a family unit

c. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, shelter or similar charity

 November, The Communion of Saints

Key Points

1. A unique aspect of the Catholic faith is the Communion of Saints.  No other major religion has saints as part of their faith kingdom.

2. Saints are important to Catholics to demonstrate great faith can come from ordinary people.

3. The Catholic church commemorates many of the saints throughout the year through days being designated for those saints we hold up for specific achievements or great acts of faith.

4. Studying and understanding the lives of saints can guide us in our own faith journeys. 

5. While many of the saints went through sufferings that we would all like to avoid today, we also understand that we each have our own cross to bear in todays world. 


Family Project

1. Pick one or more saints and learn about their lives and what occurred in their lives to raise them to sainthood.  If there are children still in the home, using the saints they chose as their saint name during confirmation would be a suggestion.

2. If possible, make a pilgrimage to a location that is dedicated to a saint.

a. US locations

b. St. Mary’s, Kansas: