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Messy Family Podcast : Catholic Conversations on Marriage and Family

Mike and Alicia Hernon : Catholic Marriage Parent and Family

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Parenting is not a clean-cut, simple process for those who like to follow the rules. Family life is messy and unpredictable, but it is the greatest adventure you will ever have. We are Mike and Alicia Hernon, parents of 10 children ranging from 10 to 27 and we would like to invite you into some of the conversations we have had with each other about marriage, parenting, and Catholic family life. Our hope is that our conversation sparks a dialogue between you and your spouse that leads to grea ...
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Summary In this next part of our series on tech, we talk about the specific challenges that tech use brings to boys and girls. Just as men and women have different gifts, they also deal with different temptations in their tech use. Because of this, parents must be proactive in teaching boundaries to their children so they can use tech with freedom …
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The destructive effects of video games are not on boys' cognitive abilities or their reaction times, but on their motivation and their connectedness with the real world. ~Dr. Leonard Sax Technology can be a blessing or a curse. It can be used for great good and yet it can expose people to grave evil. Helping our children learn how to responsibly na…
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“We can only see our spouse clearly when we look at Jesus first.” - Dan Lawson Summary In this podcast, we tackle some hard issues in marriage. What makes couples believe that they need to get divorced? Why is it essential for couples to have a vision for their individual lives and for their marriage? What is the pattern in successful marriages tha…
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It’s easier to be patient after we come to realize how patient our Heavenly Father is with us. Why is it so hard for parents to be patient with their children? People who thought they were good and normal adults find themselves tearing their hair out over the things done by a child half their size and a fraction of their age! One thing we tell pare…
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“I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together.” Tobit 8:7 Summary Physical intimacy between spouses is a topic that is difficult to talk about, but one that is absolutely essential in Catholic circles. You see, Satan’s plan is for people to hav…
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Parenting is not an inborn skill. It is something that we learn over time from trial and error and with help from others. Summary Over the past 28 years raising our 10 kids we have made a lot of mistakes, but also learned from them! In this podcast, we go over 12 tips that we have found make a big difference in the life of a family. They are princi…
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Summary Most of us rarely have an opportunity to sit down and talk to a priest, let alone a bishop! We were so blessed to have a conversation with not just a bishop, but an archbishop and one who loves the Lord, loves families, and who leads with the heart of a shepherd. Join us as we talk to Archbishop Naumann of Kansas City who shares his story o…
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Summary In this episode, Mike and Alicia Hernon explore the transformative impact of conversations with children. They emphasize the importance of fostering a family culture centered around meaningful dialogue. From toddlers to teens, discover practical strategies for nurturing curiosity, understanding, and mutual respect within the parent-child re…
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“Thank you, every woman, for the simple fact of being a woman! Through the insight which is so much a part of your womanhood you enrich the world's understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic.” ~ John Paul II, Letter to Women Summary Women have particular gifts to bring to the world which were identified by John Paul II…
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“It's our experience that parents who don’t allow their children to play with weapons have little boys who will chew their toast into the shape of a gun” Summary Hello, I wanted to ask a question in regard to violent play for a toddler. My 4 year old boy is obsessed with all types of toy swords, lasers, etc. Any suggestions on how to manage it in a…
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Join Mike and Alicia Hernon on this enlightening episode of the Messy Family Podcast as they sit down for an insightful interview with Bishop Joseph Coffey of the Archdiocese of the Military (United States). Together, they explore the intriguing question, "Where do Bishops Come From?" and delve into Bishop Coffey's personal journey of faith, discer…
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In this faith-filled episode of the Messy Family Podcast, Mike and Alicia discuss discuss the significance of authenticity, the power of family traditions, and the impact of a vibrant faith community. Whether you're a seasoned parent or just starting your family journey, this episode promises valuable insights and practical tools for nurturing a le…
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In this episode of the podcast, we delve into the heart of family bonding and spiritual growth with an enlightening interview with the Marinist Family. Guided by the profound core beliefs of the Marianist Family Retreat Ministry, our guests share invaluable insights into strengthening familial ties, fostering communication, and embracing forgivenes…
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For a child to learn how to love, they need to first be loved. So many people find disciplining their children to be one of the biggest challenges of being a parent. We look back to the way our parents raised us and often we realize that we want to do things differently, but we just don’t know how. Without a new perspective, many times we just fall…
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Your family culture is the operating system in your home. It communicates to your children more powerfully than any written word. Family culture is something that we are passionate about in this ministry! We believe that this is the secret weapon of the Catholic family and something that every mom and dad needs to be very intentional about. The cul…
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In this episode, Mike and Alicia keep diving into the complex relationship of man and woman in marriage. It is vitally important that we keep in mind that we need to act according to our nature to have a successful, peaceful marriage! Part of this is realizing that there is a dance that happens between spouses - that is the giving and receiving. So…
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Join Mike and Alicia Hernon on another insightful episode of The Messy Family Podcast, where they fearlessly delve into the timeless and relevant topic of headship in marriage in reference to the key passages in Ephesians 5. In this episode, the Hernons share the behind-the-scenes of their podcast and video show on YouTube, inviting you to subscrib…
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🎙️ Dive into a captivating episode of the Messy Family Podcast with Mike and Alicia Hernon! In this edition, titled "Angels Watching Over Us with Fr. Wolfgang Seitz," we explore the fascinating realm of guardian angels and the divine assistance that surrounds our lives. 🌟 Join Mike and Alicia as they welcome Father Wolfgang Seitz from the Order of …
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In this episode, we look into the world of toys, discussing their impact on children's development and the importance of purposeful and intentional choices in selecting toys for our families. Our special guest, Regina Doman, shares valuable insights into cultivating imagination, creativity, and responsibility in children through thoughtful toy choi…
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“For it is good to be a child sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when the mighty Founder was a child Himself.” ~ Charles Dickens Christmas is a magical time for children. Whether you celebrate Santa, St. Nick, Elf on a Shelf or other traditions, this season is a wonderful time for children to develop wonder and awe. How do parents do th…
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“The family is where children discover how to be human.” - Archbishop Charles Chaput Over and over again people ask us how to help their kids get along with each other. We usually respond that of course their kids don’t get along - because they are kids! That is what you are doing as a parent. You are the ones teaching them how to live at peace wit…
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Boundaries are not meant to keep people out, but to set a clear understanding of what is acceptable and what is not within our relationships At a few of our events, we have gotten questions from older parents who ask what to do about adult children who have cut them out of their lives. At first we were surprised by this question, since the parents …
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“The idea that the family is a democracy and that children and parents have the same responsibility within the home completely ignores the developmental needs of the child ” - Mike and Alicia A child’s temper tantrums are frustrating to parents, but we should recognize that they are often a result of a child’s deficit in communication, understandin…
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“You are called to have great hearts here, counter-cultural and brave. You can build something better, freer, more generous, and nobler, beginning in your own home.” - Bishop Thomas Olmstead, Complete My Joy 59 Man and woman coming together to build a home is a natural experience that has happened over and over again since the creation of the world…
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“An important element in forming Christian maturity in teens is creating a ‘Yes’ culture in the home, where a child can take risks, try new things, and find out more about who they are all while under your guidance.” - Mike and Alicia With the advent of the sexual revolution in the 60s and 70s and the subsequent increase in teen sexual activity, th…
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“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” - CS Lewis Life can be hard. Sometimes, in response to difficulties, instead of turning to the Lord in our pain, we self-medicate which can lead to addictions of one kind or another which only leads to more pain in the…
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“With careful planning, honest communication, and the right help and care around you, your different tomorrow can be meaningful and extraordinary.”― John Delony Let’s be honest, family life is full of stress! Sometimes there are big stresses like the loss of a job, a new colicky baby in the house, overwhelming responsibilities, or marriage issues. …
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“The point is that neuroses don’t have to ruin a marriage. If you can accommodate each other’s “crazy” side and handle it with caring, affection, and respect, your marriage can thrive.” ― John M. Gottman Many people are good at functioning in their marriage, getting along, caring for kids, paying the bills… but are they really thriving? How can we …
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"Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love” - Jesus to St. Margaret Mary How can we love like Jesus? What is His love like? Answering these questions is the role of devotions in the Catholic world. They help us learn more about God and how He relates to …
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We need to take a sacramental view of ordinary life - Mike and Alicia Hernon We often say that family culture is the secret weapon of Catholic families. Why is this? Because the culture within your home is more powerful than any written word. It communicates expectations, beliefs, and values to everyone in the family. In this podcast, we tackle som…
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Christ is present in a special way when a couple prays together. They not only renew their yes to God, but also achieve a deeper union with each other, which springs solely from the union of hearts and couples in the sacrament of marriage. - Fr. Henri Caffarel How can couples move their marriage from surviving to thriving, or from good to great? By…
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The indissolubility of marriage…should not be viewed as a ‘yoke’ imposed on humanity, but as a ‘gift’ granted to those who are joined in marriage… God’s indulgent love always accompanies our human journey; through grace, it heals and transforms hardened hearts, leading them back to the beginning through the way of the cross. - Pope Francis The marr…
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Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. - Proverbs 31:30 Back by popular demand, this is another interview that we did with Michele Doman, Alicia’s mom and mother of 10 grown children, grandmother to over 55, and great grandmother to more than 7! In the last interview, we talked about Michele’s l…
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Of course your children don’t get along. They don’t know how to get along! That’s kind of what you are doing as parents, teaching them what they don’t know - Mike and Alicia All of us struggle to live in a community. That is the human condition - we need other people but we also find it hard to live with them! This is true for children, but also fo…
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“Healing is an essential dimension of Christinaity. It expresses the entire content of our redemption.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth Some of us think of healing as being “for other people”, those with trauma, abuse, or mental illness. But that is not the way that Dr. Bob Schuchts sees healing. As you will hear, he believes that healing is…
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"Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer God did not create man in isolation, He created man to live in community with others. This is the best path for the full development of the human person! Men need other men to push them, s…
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"This is a book about love; more exactly, it is about the love that knows no end, the love our hearts yearn for. The love that consumes, that reverberates, that heightens—it is a love that costs everything—yet offers everything. - Theresa and Peter Martin, The Rule When the young priest Fr. Karol Wojtyla was living in Poland, he wrote a “rule” for …
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“When an army retreats on the battlefield, it doesn’t mean that they are giving up. It can mean that they are taking time to reassess and regroup so they can come back stronger. This is the essence of a Family Retreat.” ~ Mike Hernon The concept of a family retreat is something that we have developed over the years for our own family. It grew out o…
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We love hanging out with Chris and Natalie but in this interview, we found out something else we have in common. Both of us had honeymoons that were epic fails! Is the last time you got away, your honeymoon? Hear from all four of us as we talk about the first time that we got away as a married couple without our children and why we think it’s so im…
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“Christian marriage is the school of love, where despite the limits of our own love, we can discover Christ’s presence and power to teach us to love one another with the Love that never fails” - Peter and Debbie Herbeck When we offer date nights, we try to pick topics that are fun for couples but also useful and thought-provoking. That's why we are…
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“Teaching is an essential part of our faith that reminds us that following Jesus Christ transforms every part of our lives, from our attitude toward money, to the choices we make at the doctor’s office, to the way we build our families.” ~ Nancy Bandzuch Parents are charged by God to be good stewards of their children and caring for children includ…
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“Words of affirmation are simply true statements affirming the worth of another person” ~Gary Chapman Parents need to take time to consider how they are intentionally calling out the good in the lives of their children because it is within the family that people have their identity - who they are - confirmed and then affirmed over the years. This i…
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“Mothers are the strongest antidote to the spread of self-centred individualism… It is they who testify to the beauty of life”. - Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia The life of a mother is hidden and powerful at the same time, but the message of our culture is that you only matter if you have a strong resume, evidence of your worth, and an education to …
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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ” – Mark Twain All families need to play together. Why? Because this is how you lay the foundation for your child’s belief in God, his self-esteem, and this is how you communicate to him, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you love him. …
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“Do a date night! It’s cheaper than marriage counseling.” This is an oldie but goodie podcast for you. We released this one way back in 2015 when we were just starting out but the content in it is something that even we need to be reminded of! When we have gotten into “slumps” in our marriage when we don’t feel like we are connecting, working toget…
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“If all fathers fulfilled their duty of watching over the discipline of their children, we should have but few crimes and few executions.” ~ St. Alphonsus Ligori If you haven’t listened to MFP239 on the foundations of discipline, you should do that first. This podcast will give the practical steps for those principles. Once a parent has clear in th…
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One thing that we at the Messy Family Project are passionate about is family culture. We call it “the secret weapon of the Catholic family” because it can be so powerful! In this interview, we talk to Elissa Tiprigan of Catholic Family Crate, a business that is in the business of Catholic culture. We talk about how and why she started her business,…
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To become a better parent, I need to become a better person ~ Mike and Alicia One of the subjects we are most often asked about is discipline. We know how hard it is to form the will, heart and mind of a child! Though every child is different and every parent is different, there are some principles that we can give you to help you make a discipline…
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“When we're able to put most of our energy into developing our natural talents, extraordinary room for growth exists. So, a revision to the "You-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be" maxim might be more accurate: You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” ― Tom Rath, Strengths Finder Very often parents focus …
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“You know that feeling you get after a good night’s sleep? Yea, me neither.” - Every Parent Ever If you feel like you are living in a state of almost constant exhaustion, you are not alone. It's not just the sleepless nights and crazy days - that’s a reality that parents have always had to deal with. We believe parents are more exhausted today beca…
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