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 | By Sheri Wohlfert

Creating Strong Catholic Homes

Home is where the seeds of Christ’s love are planted and nurtured. In a culture that often works against Christian values, the home becomes the greenhouse for growing strong, thriving, bold disciples who are equipped with the sturdy roots that allow them to live their lives according to the Father’s plan. In this column, we will offer some ideas to create Catholic homes that foster strong roots of faith and discipleship.

Because our faith stretches far beyond Sunday Mass, as Catholic Christians we are called to believe and be visible signs of Jesus in action all the days of the week. This begins in the home. If we want our family lives to foster these strong roots of faith, let us consider how we can bring that about.

Seeing Christ in our homes

Nearly every home has family pictures; they serve as witnesses to our belonging. They are a visual reminder of “our people” and the love we have for each other. Since we need to make sure there is a reminder of who loves us most and whose family we truly belong to, every Catholic home needs a crucifix. I used to tell my kids that the crucifix showed the greatest story of sacrifice and love ever known. On a hard day, it reminds us the hardest work has already been done. On a lonely, disappointing day, it reminds us that we are loved beyond measure and it always gives us cause to be grateful. Gratitude produces joy, and our homes can always use more joy!

Holy heroes should have a place in our homes. Pictures or statues of saints remind us that we have powerful, heavenly help just waiting to intercede for us. The world is quick to put role models before our children, but they don’t often point them heavenward. The saints not only intercede for us and cheer us on toward holiness, but their stories offer us hope, inspiration and direction. These are stories our children need to hear.

Great grace and protection come from blessing your family daily with holy water. Visible signs of prayer such as the Bible, prayer books and rosaries are great reminders to include family prayer in our busy days. Age-appropriate versions of these reminders are ideal in every bedroom. Seeing parents that read Scripture and spend quiet time in prayer will inspire children to spend time doing likewise.

Hearing Christ in our homes

Any parent can relate to the sometimes exhausting sound of “MOM” or “DAD” called over and over again like it was stuck on repeat, but how many times do we hear our heavenly Father’s name in our homes? We ask each other for help and we pour out our frustrations, successes and challenges to each other, but do our homes echo with the sound of speaking our thanks, our needs and our joys to God? There is no greater sound in a Christian home than the sound of voices calling out the name of Jesus in prayer and conversation.

The world would change if the sound of the Father’s name was spoken more often. Praying before meals should be as automatic as picking up a fork. Hearing family voices praying in the morning and at night fills the home with grace. When our children are fretful and worried, peaceful Scripture reading or quiet prayer together not only brings sweeter sleep but a calmer mind. Phrases such as, “I’m sorry,” “I love you,” “please forgive me,” “thank you” and “Jesus we trust in you” fill our hearts and ears with the love and mercy of the Father.

The world can be filled with some ugly sounds, so the truth of Jesus and his unending, unconditional love for us should be heard loud enough and often enough to counterbalance the noises that are not of the Father.

Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic school teacher, speaker, writer and founder of Joyful Words Ministries. Sheri blogs at