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.

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  • Artist: Mike and Alicia Hernon : Catholic Marriage Parent and Family
  • Copyright: 2019


 MFP 109 : Our Lent is on FIRE! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 40:06

Have you ever felt like your world was going up in smoke?  Listen in as we explain this dramatic story of our car fire, where no injuries occurred or lives lost, but the disaster was complete.  Though the loss was great, God’s faithfulness and providence was even greater. We felt it was not a coincidence that this happened during the season of Lent because we are able to see the themes of fasting through detachment from goods, mercy that was shown to us, and the prayer that protected us and our children. No matter how Satan plans our demise, God can always have the victory. Video and article: Join our newsletter (don’t miss out): Cana 90 meditations:   

 MFP 108: Men! Called to the Battle | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:05

Men today can’t do anything right. The world has taken the idea of masculinity and distorted it to the point that it is barely recognizable from the ideal man celebrated one hundred years ago. As dynamic Catholics living in this time, we want to celebrate men and encourage them to reclaim their true identity and realize who God created them to be - fully using their gifts and masculine qualities to serve others. In this podcast, we use the apostolic letter “Into the Breach” written by Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, AZ to put forward and answer three questions - What does it mean to be a Catholic man? How do men love? And why is fatherhood so crucial? Referenced For the full Apostolic Exhortation: Into the Breach visit Wild at Heart: Abba’s Heart: For past posts for Cana 90:

 MP 107 : It’s Not About You – Lent and Cana 90 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:29

We have a very exciting program to share with you all in this podcast that we are doing for Lent. We know that we want to bring our wills and our hearts closer to God, but how do we make sacrifices and offer up our wills as a married couple? What do sacrifices in Lent look like when you are raising children and are already laying down your life and your body for them? Our beautiful faith provides the answer for us. Offer up our prayers and fasting to subdue our wills and then show mercy first to those closest to us, our spouse and children. Allow all the “built in” sacrifices that we do NOT choose during the day to become an offering pleasing to God. Do it all under the authority of your spouse, who you also have authority over. Listen to this podcast and sign up for more ideas, structure, and accountability in Cana 90! Sign up for the Cana 90 program:

 MFP 106 : Family Operations | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:46

Very frequently people will email or write to us asking for our organization secrets, tips, or techniques. Our secret is.. We don’t really have one. We do have principles and a philosophy that we live by, but the perfect system of organization for our home still eludes us. But, what we can give you is an overall view of how we make decisions and communicate with our children on making our home run so children are clothed, fed, and get where they need to go (for the most part!). Doing chores and managing schedules takes up much of our time as a family, but in the context of family culture, that is actually not the most important part of your family. Family operations needs to be seen in the context of your WHOLE family life and parents need to make sure the rest of the family culture is not neglected because so much energy is spent on our physical needs. Listen to the podcast, and then take a look as some of the resources that go with this podcast on our website. We have more practical tips there! For resources, family organization app and cool products we use visit us:

 MP 105 : Deepening Unity in Our Marriage | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:44

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” – Brené Brown There have been times in our marriage when we felt ourselves drifting apart. Not because of any one catastrophic event, but just because we weren’t working on our relationship. We were just getting by. But in a culture antithetical to marriage, just getting by is not enough. All Catholic couples need to work to cultivate a dynamic, vibrant relationship, strong enough to bear the demands of family life, and weather everything the world will throw at it. The reality is, we are never done working on our marriage. In this podcast we discuss the importance of “checking in” with our spouse to see how we are doing. To do this effectively we need to practice how to listen but also practice being vulnerable. This podcast has a worksheet that you can download at our website and use as a tool to work with your spouse towards a more intentional, unified marriage. Download our three part guide to a more united marriage at Also you will find other items like the parish bulletin insert and how to celebrate and advocate for marriage online. Its not about the nail video- Daring Greatly by Brené Brown (

 MP 104 : Parenting Fails | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:53

A parenting fail is simply a lesson wrongly considered.   ~ Mike and Alicia Hernon Have you ever let your emotions get the better of you? Have a discipline plan go south? Have a fun family time turn into a disaster? Yes, us too. All parents make mistakes! Even though we have a marriage and family podcast and we share advice and ideas, please don’t think that we (like you!) haven’t had some big “fails” ourselves! In this podcast, we share some stories of things we have done that didn’t turn out the way we planned. The good news is that through these fails we have learned lessons that stay with us even today. Hopefully you will be able to see yourselves in our stories, laugh a little bit and maybe even learn something from these examples of our own messy parenting!

 MP 103 : Family Board Meeting 2.0 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 53:06

“A family doesn’t need to be perfect; it just needs to be united.” Families are busy – running from place to place with little time to look where they are going or to even form an idea of what they want their family to look like. The Family Board Meeting is a tool that couples can use to cast a vision for their family and create concrete goals that will make that vision a reality. In this podcast we discuss the importance of this time, talk about elements of a Family Board Meeting, and we give suggestions on logistics that will make it happen. Go to our website to download the guide that can go along with this podcast. Creating a vision for your family and setting goals as a team is a powerful way for couples to be more intentional about building their own family culture.

 MP 102 : The Spiritual Life of Children | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:15

Most parents realize that young children are not little adults and they have particular needs for their physical and mental well-being. We must realize that they have particular needs for their spiritual well-being as well. Parents need to learn how to tend the seed of their child’s faith life and that starts with acknowledging the differences, and realizing that in many ways, the child is closer to God than we are! The beautiful thing about parenting is that as we nurture our child’s faith, we will grow closer to God ourselves. We must learn from the child how to have a “child-like” faith as Jesus taught in the gospels. Listen in as we explain how the child’s faith is different than ours and how we can nurture their faith in appropriate ways. For more on this show and other resources visit:

 MP 101 : Principles of Discipline | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:10

More than any other topic, discipline is something listeners have asked us to address in our podcast. Our hesitation has been that this is just such a complicated topic!   One that deserves much time and thought because, well… it's complicated and there are no easy answers, as much as we would like there to be. So instead of trying to cover all things regarding discipline, we decided to give some foundational beliefs in our discipline philosophy.  This podcast explores 5 principles of discipline that all parents can apply to their children, no matter what the age. This podcast compliments our Guide to Discipline found on our website.   Download the Messy Family Guide to Discipline at Podcast episodes referenced in this show The Five Love Languages - The Irreplaceable Role of Parents - Parenting as a Team -

 MP 100 : Greatest Influence on our Parenting | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 55:48

Welcome to the 100th podcast! We are celebrating the public launch of our ministry with new branding, new website, and even new intro and outro music on the podcast itself! As promised, we decided to interview the people who had more influence on our parenting than anyone else, and who have taught us the most. Those people would be (drum roll, please!) our children! We hope you find both interviews entertaining and informative (though the younger kids were more entertaining than informative!). We decided that 12 people talking altogether would be too much so we first interviewed the oldest 5 children and then the youngest 5. We talk about such topics as – What are the best and worst parts of being in a big family? What life lessons have you learned from our family? How did you handle fighting with siblings growing up? What did that teach you? It was fun for us to interview the older children and hear what influenced them and made the biggest impression on them. They came up with some really great insights that we hadn’t even thought of! We hope you can listen in and celebrate with us, but also gain some insight and inspiration from hearing from the Hernon Ten. For more on this show and other resources visit:

 MP 099 : Yelling – The Lazy Approach to Parenting | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:26

We listen to what our parents say to us because this is how we figure out who we are. – Dr. Meg Meeker The words that parents say to their children are important, but equally as important (if not more) is HOW we say those words. We have found this through our own struggles with yelling! Communication happens not only verbally, but also emotionally, so our words can be lost in the way in which we express ourselves. When we raise our voices in anger through yelling we may unintentionally be verbally assaulting our own children. In this show we talk about having a plan, getting perspective and asking for help. Stay connected and hear about the new website, Advent box, and more by signing up for our newsletter:

 MP 098 : Parenting as a Team | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Raising children is beautiful but also hard work. It’s a task for unselfish, devoted parents. ~ Archbishop Chaput Parenting is not for cowards, that is for sure! Thankfully, God gives children two parents who, when they work together, can provide the best environment for their child. But working together can be tough. Spouses come from different backgrounds, have different personalities, virtues, and vices. All of this needs to be worked through to get in sync with each other. Presenting a united front to your children is not only good for them, its good for you and your marriage as well. Listen in as we give some tips on how to parent together with respect, unity, and God’s grace. Join the Messy Family list at:

 MP 097 : Elements of a Family Culture | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

“Each family finds within itself a summons that cannot be ignored and that specifies both its dignity and responsibility: family, become what you are” (Familiaris Consortio, #17) We have discussed how important a family culture is. It is a powerful construct that communicates more effectively than your words alone can. But how do parents build a healthy culture in their home? What should the elements be? The first priority should be building a spiritual life, which we discussed in “Building a Family Culture” but what comes after that? In this podcast, we discuss the next 4 priorities: your marriage, the family’s network of relationships, discovering giftedness, and family operations. Listen in and then take some time to discuss with your spouse what needs to be strengthened in the culture you are building in your home. (BONUS: At the very end we are joined by a special guest.) Sign up for more on Family Culture at

 MP 096 : Building a Family Culture | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:25

Creating a Family Culture is a powerful way to influence our children in a way that goes beyond our relationship with any one individual child. It is greater than just you or your spouse. Family Culture is the unspoken system that binds your family together and communicates your expectations, beliefs, and values more powerfully than any written word. It is a natural construct, but it is actually spiritual also because it creates an invisible web that binds your family together. This system of values and beliefs that result in behavior powerfully forms the way of life for your family. Parents need to be thoughtful and intentional about the culture that they are stewarding within their home. Listen in as we explain the priorities that should be found in a healthy family culture.  Part 1 of 2… more to come You can take the survey to help shape the direction of our ministry at  

 MP 095 : Sibling Challenges | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Siblings: Children of the same parents each of whom is perfectly normal until they get together ~ Sam Levenson One of the greatest gift we can give our children is more brothers and sisters. But as parents our responsibility isn’t just to provide those siblings and just walk away saying, “Hope it all works out!”. We need to provide the environment and guidance that children need to have healthy, life-giving relationships with their brothers and sisters. This is a challenge – no doubt about it! But the effort that parents put into this formation is worth it in the long run. Listen in as we give tips, perspective, and encouragement to all parents who are working to overcome sibling challenges. Download and more at (pending)


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