Domestic Church Resources

Helping your family realize its potential as the Domestic Church

The family is the domestic church... the home is the Church in miniature.
                                                                                           - St. John Paul II


Highlighted Domestic Church Resources: 
- Archdiocese of Seattle At Home with Faith Newsletters:

- Celebrating the Liturgical Year: Making Saint's Days and Other Feast Days Special in Your Home.
- Praying Together as a Family building a strong fountation for prayer.
- Thy Kingdom Come prayer booklet PDF from the Archdiocese of Seattle with an excellent collection of prayers rooted in our Catholic Tradition.

- Growing Your Family Culture PDF (from The Messy Family Project)
- See below for recommended websites, podcasts, books, and other tools

What is the Domestic Church?
The concept has been used since the early Church, and it remains an essential expression even today for the identity and mission of a Catholic family. It is in the family that children first come to experience, understand, and appreciate the love of God through the love of their parents and siblings. The family is where they learn of their divine origin and how to become saints as they are evangelized by the example of their parents. The way children absorb the fundamental Catholic experiences of family life has a much more profound and lasting effect on their spiritual development than any parish or school religion class ever could. In the domestic church, they learn (or fail to learn) the habits of family prayer, of making Sundays special, of attending Mass, of generosity, forgiveness, and sacrifice, of celebrating the liturgical calendar of feasts and saints days, and of learning to love and trust God based on the story of salvation history in the Bible.

Luckily, there are several resources to help families succeed in this mission. Several are listed below, and we invite you to share your favorites with us to help grow this list. The resources vary from the most basic to more creative ideas for making every saints day a memorable event. They all have a shared vision for your family as a place where everyone is following Jesus together (as a kind of school of discipleship). What would it look like in our homes if all family members acted and treated each other as if they were in church?! What if your family made a conscious decision to commit to learning about and living the Catholic Faith at home every day?

We are not expected to be perfect before committing to be a domestic church, nor does the commitment guarantee that we will become perfect or that our children will
necessarily remain practicing Catholics when they leave home. But embracing our shared mission to become a domestic church creates the single best-known method for passing on the Faith to our children. It is an incubator that can nurture their growth in holiness to support the plans that God has for them. It creates the conditions for the possibility of the entire familys joyful and loving dependence on God and his Church.

Additional Resources:
The Messy Family Project:
Mike and Alicia, parents of ten, started a podcast dedicated to simply discussing issues affecting families today. The goal was to encourage parents and get husbands and wives to talk to each other and to be intentional about their parenting. This podcast, which started as a hobby, grew entirely by word of mouth to over 10,000 families listening monthly. They bridge the gap between theory and practical application. 

Catholic Sprouts: 
Then click on podcast to access their Daily Podcast for Catholic Kids That Strives to Plant Seeds of Faith. This is an easy way to get started (no special crafts or meals required); just listen to these ~6 minute episodes with your young family and discuss. You can start listening at any point or search their archive of over 800 episodes (in Jan. 2021 they explored the domestic church in episodes 624 -628).

Growing Up Catholic: For Parents:
Includes a number of brief and helpful guides for parents on topics such as basic principles, teaching children to pray, having family meals, using the Bible, and faith sharing in the home.

Teaching Catholic Kids:
A family faith resource created by Our Sunday Visitor. Their website offers a variety of tools for parents with children, including Saints for Kids, Mass resources, liturgical living, and more.
Tons of resources and links to online content for creating a Catholic Culture of the Home.

Catholic All Year: 
Author and Catholic mom Kendra Tierney has expanded to multiple media platforms; the website includes her blog and builds upon her helpful book The Catholic All Year Compendium, an introduction to liturgical living in the home. It has the histories and backstories of over one hundred feast days and seasons throughout the year. Lots of good ideas here.

At Home With Faith:
Sign-up online to receive these weekly newsletters: there is a downloadable handout with talking points and short online video. On this webpage, under the Family tab at the top, there are several more great resources:
     - Great Conversations (how to talk about faith and God)
     - Finding Calm in the Storm (practical ways to find peace at home)
     - Going to Mass as a Family (the whys and hows of attending Mass as a family)
     - Make Space for God (taming technology)
     - Made for Excellence (starting the virtuous cycle)
Online videos and audiobooks – free to parishioners due to a paid parish subscription – videos, podcasts, articles from a variety of great presenters – videos, articles, courses by Chris Stefanick and his team – videos, articles, books, courses by Bp. Barron and his team

Catholic News:;;;;; 

Share your favorite Catholic podcasts, sites, and other resources so I can add them to this list.

Getting Started:
An incomplete list of basic tools for building a domestic church:
- pray daily as a family

     - encourage daily private prayer
     - parents:  allow your children to see you at prayer
- read the Scriptures regularly
- having a crucifix and
sacred images visible in the home
- celebrate sacraments
regularly (including Confession)
- create your own
family traditions based on the liturgical calendar
- teach and practice habits of charity and service
- encourage
and forgive each other often
- remind each other that they
are beloved by God and have given gifts with which to
    share  God
s love with others
- actively engage in parish ministries
- share meals together daily
- be present to each other daily without distractions
talk openly about God in the joys and sorrows of your life