Messy Family Podcast : Catholic conversations on marriage and family show

Messy Family Podcast : Catholic conversations on marriage and family

Summary: 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 6 to 23 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 greater unity and intentional Christian parenting in your home. Listen in to our podcast and start the conversation as we seek to lead our families to heaven. Visit us at for resources, guides, links and show notes.

Join Now to Subscribe to this Podcast
  • Visit Website
  • RSS
  • Artist: Mike and Alicia Hernon : Catholic Marriage Parent and Family
  • Copyright: 2019


 MFP 127 : Celebrating Lent and Easter with your family | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:33

This Lent and Easter why not walk on the path of holiness that God has laid out for you already? We are proposing that couples intentionally embrace their calling as parents and spouses. Since we are called to love and sacrifice first within their own homes, we designed a simple program called Cana90 to challenge families to become more of who God is calling them to be – communities of life and love. We will help you choose commitments of prayer, fasting, and mercy that turn your heart towards your family. What would Lent and Easter look like if we leaned into our vocation even more. Let us begin again and seek transformation through prayer, fasting, and mercy for our marriages and our families. Sign up for the Cana90 program:

 MFP 126 : Sharing Your Story | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 38:44

Each of us has a story and we are part of a story. We are part of the story of the human race, of the Church, of our country, and most importantly, you are part of the story of your own family. In our modern world we tend to forget this! We also need to be aware that when we engage with our story in a healthy way and then we share that story with our children, we empower them. When parents are at peace with the story of their own lives, they can share their experiences with their children and teach them using their own examples. We can give our children hope through the witness of our own lives. Sign up for Cana90 at Other links and resources referenced see:

 MFP 125 : Tough Topics | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 57:25

Our culture all around us is throwing tough issues into our lives and the lives of our children all the time. We are dealing today with topics that our most of our grandparents never had to confront, let alone explain to a child. To guide our children in the way of truth, we must first understand the truth ourselves. Then, before we communicate, we need to recognize that children have specific stages of moral development. We as parents need to realize this so we can “feed” them information appropriately and in a way that children can digest and use correctly. In this podcast we group “tough topics” into categories and then give our take on how to explain these to children. Get your free book by sharing your experience of handling tough topics with your kids: If you're interested in buying and finding out more about this great resource, visit

 MFP 124 : Praying as a Couple – A threefold cord is not easily broken | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:02

For some couples, praying together is very natural but for others, it feels awkward or forced. (You’ll have to listen in to hear our experience!). The reality is that there are many different ways to pray with our spouse and every couple is unique! In this podcast, we discuss how you can engage in speaking to your Heavenly Father as a couple, bound together with Him in a covenant of love. Each type of prayer is important - blessing, intercession, plea for guidance, communal prayer, and repentance. Growing in your prayer life is an essential way to develop and deepen your relationship, but also a way for you to support your spouse and love them more profoundly. Family Board Meeting worksheet: For more information and resources visit

 MFP 123 : Parenting and Appreciating the Giftedness of Boys and Girls | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:02

We started this topic in our last podcast MFP122, but there was so much to cover we had to continue the discussion! In this podcast, we discuss the different ways boys and girls deal with aggression and why parents need to teach self-control differently to their sons and daughters. Navigating friendships is another way in which parents need to understand gender differences. Don’t have the same expectations of peaceful play for your sons and daughters - they each have their own challenges! And as kids get older and become adults the process of independence looks very different for moms than it is for dads. All of this is good for parents to realize so they can appreciate the gifts of their children and their amazing uniqueness found in their personality, temperament, and gender. Support the work of this ministry to families at Dr. Leonard Sax’s book:

 MFP 122 : They Sure are Different! Boys and Girls in a Messy World | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 49:50

In a culture that is proclaiming gender as “fluid” and is encouraging “gender-neutral” parenting, we proudly stand and say boys and girls are defined and different. Wonderfully different. And did you know those physical variations extend beyond simply the obvious? Boys and girls have distinct wiring in the brain, eye structure, and hearing acuity. Boys overestimate their abilities, and girls underestimate them. Boys feel just as deeply as girls, though they are less verbal. The distinctions are many and sometimes subtle. What does this deeper understanding mean for parents? The more parents realize how their sons and daughters are uniquely made, the better they will be able to understand and guide them to further maturity. In this podcast we draw from the research of Dr. Leonard Sax in his book Why Gender Matters, which we highly recommend. There is so much ground to cover we split this into 2 podcasts! Part 2 coming next week. Referenced in this episode: Advent Kit for Families: Tampa Event: Dr. Leonard Sax’s book:

 MFP 121 : Lessons Learned from our Jewish Brethren | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:51

The power of a name, the importance of memory, the responsibility to heal the world, the reality that God dwells with us - all of these are lessons that we as Catholics can learn from the Jewish people. At the end of October 2019, we had the privilege of being guests of the Foundation Stone Institute who hosted us for a trip to Israel and the holy sites there. We had a powerful experience visiting the places where Jesus lived, worked, preached and healed. The trip gave us a deeper understanding of our Catholic faith, but also of the Jewish people, our “elder brethren”. There were many insights that we had and lessons learned, but in this podcast, we decided to limit ourselves to four things that we walked with that we think families can benefit from. These values have been held by the Jewish people for centuries and we can and should learn from them. Support this show and ministry at

 MFP 120 : Raising Happy Kids in a Messy World | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:15

Every parent wants their children to be happy, but it seems children today are more unhappy than ever before! Part of the problem stems from the expectations and pressure on our kids and part of the problem is that most of us don’t recognize the path to happiness ourselves. Dennis Prager states, “Happiness is a moral obligation.” We all need to realize that happiness is a choice, not something that just happens. We need to teach our children that happiness is under their control, show them the choices that lead to happiness, and then form them with the self-discipline needed to make those choices. We can’t force our children to be happy, but we can give them the guidance and tools they need to choose it for themselves. Find out more about our mission and vision for the future:

 MFP 119 : Babies Can Rock Your World | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:45

There are few bigger changes in life than going from having no children to having children. After that the next biggest life change is every child that comes after! Moms and dads who have newborns need the support of family and friends in a particular way as they make these transitions. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, and even brothers can all listen to this podcast to learn about how they can support new parents at this critical time. It's good for parents to know that it is important to be honest about the feelings they are having because sometimes expectations do not reflect reality. Being open to life is not easy but it can bring you more joy than anything you've ever done. It can also bring more unity and strength to your marriage if you keep lines of communication open and if you are willing to be vulnerable. To contact us, and for more information and resources visit us at Event Info:

 MFP118 : Know Your Enemy: Spiritual Warfare for Parents | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:54

We believe there is a conspiracy afoot in the world against marriage and family life, but it is not a conspiracy of earthly powers; it is a spiritual one. Parents, by raising a family you have entered into this battle, so you need to keep your eyes open and take spiritual authority within your home and within your own life. In this podcast we discuss things like how the Evil One tries to deceive us, how we can give him footholds in our lives, and how we should respond to his attacks. By freeing yourself up to love, living in the light, and taking authority in our own lives we can live a life spiritual freedom, allowing nothing to hold us back. Remember, Christ the Victor has come to bring us life and it is by His grace and in His name that we shall overcome. Take our listener survey - More on our Tampa Couples Getaway - Prayers and book links can be found at:

 MFP 117 : Pursuing Your Spouse | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:28

There are different types of love, but the love that is exclusive, belonging to husbands and wives is eros, a passionate, romantic love which is an essential part of any marriage. As parents we are concerned with so many things - keeping our families financially afloat, the many needs of the children, feeding and clothing everyone - it is easy to neglect to fan the flame of romance between you and your spouse. In this podcast we give you some encouragement and practical ideas for ways wives can pursue their husbands and how husbands can pursue their wives. We talk about WHY this is important and HOW you can do it better than you are today. Take Our Listener Survey - The Four Loves by CS Lewis - Love Languages episode - Messy Family Minute Weekly Email -

 MFP 116 : Habits: Let Us Begin Again | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:49

St. Francis would tell his followers “Let us begin again for until now we have done nothing.” This is a great inspiration for us because sometimes we feel like we are always beginning again with new habits, plans, and goals for our family. We are the most consistently inconsistent parents out there! But we have become less stressed out about our inconsistency because we see that it is an opportunity to begin again with our children. It is hard to create habits in ourselves, let alone a group of children! But habits are an important part of formation, as the quote above from Stephen Covey shows. Since we have made so many plans with our family, we would like to share with you some of what we have learned in creating habits for your family. In this podcast we discuss questions such as how do you create appropriate habits for your family? How do you come up with a plan with your spouse? How do you keep those kids motivated? 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families: The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family: Amazing Camp for Teens: Special weekend in Tampa for couples in February 2020… interested in hearing more?

 MFP 115 : Mom – More Than Meets the Eye | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:10

Our society not only devalues mothers, but also underestimates their importance in the life of a newborn child. Some biologists believe that humans are born too soon because so much formation happens in the first years of life outside the womb. The essential element in this formation is the mother. No matter how much time a mother spends with her child vs. being in the workplace, the quality of her relationship with her infant is what makes the difference. In this podcast, we use the book Being There: The Importance of the First Three Years by Erica Komisak as a reference for parents seeking to do all they can to develop a healthy, securely attached, independent child. Buy this book : Get our messy family newsletter: Family Retreat Kit: Related shows Every Mother is a Working Mother - High Powered Parents -

 MFP 114 : Blessed in Our Brokenness Counseling and the Catholic Family | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:39

Social fragmentation, the break down of the family, isolation, and stress has wounded and broken many of us. Families need to be honest about their need for professional help - honest with themselves and with those around them. It is a sign of strength to admit weakness! Plus, there are burdens that parents simply cannot carry alone. Marriage counselors, child therapists, 12 Step groups, doctors, and support groups are all resources that families can and should take advantage of in order to function in a healthy, holy way. Counseling can offer hope, healing, and a path forward. Listen in as we discuss some of the challenges and obstacles, what to look for in a counselor as well as a note on therapy for children. Kheriaty’s A Catholic Guide to Depression - Mike's interview with Dr. Kheriaty for EWTN: Article on choosing a good therapist -

 MFP 113 : Parenting Essentials | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:44

Parenting is a path to holiness, that is clear. Part of this growth in your holiness is taking on the responsibility for the formation of your children. It's hard to form people! But it is a job for unselfish, dedicated parents and no one can do it better than you can! In this podcast, we discuss principles that are important to keep in mind as we form our children. Ideas such as your children are not the center of your family, but part of a community; that you need to teach your children to give themselves away; that trust is earned and love requires boundaries. We pick a few other rules that we have found to be important in our parenting to pass on to you. Along with parenting philosophy will come some very practical insights also that will help you form your children and bring peace to your household. Family Retreat Kit and Videos: Related Episodes and Blog Post: The Irreplaceable Role of Parents (episode): The Irreplaceable Role of Parents (blog post): Growing a Family Culture:


Login or signup comment.