skip to Main Content

“The Church is the family of God’s children, and God wants every family to be a beacon of the joy of his love in our world. ~ Pope Francis

FAMILY LIFE
Finding Joy With Each Other

2713 West Chestnut Ave., Altoona, PA 16601
814.695.5579
Email: familylife@dioceseaj.org

Staff:

Andre McCarville, Director

Dotty Caminiti, Office Coordinator

Maureen Roberts, Administrative Assistant

Ages and Stages of Families
enriched and served
by Family Life Ministry

We serve parishes and families of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese:

Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clinton, Fulton, Huntingdon, and Somerset.

  • Traditional
  • Multi-Generational
  • Parents
  • Widowed
  • Elderly
  • Bereaved
  • Married
  • Engaged
  • Step-Families
  • Separated/Divorced
  • Single Parent
  • Childless
  • Young Children
  • Teens
  • Singles
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Family Spirituality
  • YOUR FAMILY!
For the remainder of 2020, please contact the Family Life Office to set up a one-on-one course with a Sponsor Couple, or to use the online course of Unveiled.

Email – familylife@dioceseaj.org
Phone – (814) 317-2647

9 Days for Life is a novena for the protection of human life. Each day’s intention is accompanied by a short reflection and suggested actions to help build a culture of life.

https://www.respectlife.org/9-days-for-life

The hectic and busy lives of people easily lead them into a situation of over-looking or forgetting those who cannot keep the same pace–those with intellectual disabilities–by accident or from birth. Faith & Light is a faith sharing group which includes family members, caregivers and friends of persons with intellectual disabilities. Meetings are held at the Family Life Office with activities held throughout the diocese.

Available to borrow:
– Books
– Periodicals
– DVD’s

 

Can be sent via mail

Natural-Family-Planning-2020

Rediscover the one you  love!

Get away from jobs, kids, chores, computers, phones and focus only on each other. If you would like greater depth, growth and enrichment in your relationship, don’t miss this chance.
412.635.7775 or 814.823.4600
www.yourmarriageisworthit.org

     FAMILIES AND THE GOSPEL

     Reflections on the Sunday Reading

       ~Used with permission from “Family Perspective” by Bud Ozar

“As we gather to give thanks this week, we must also ask how well we share with ‘the least.’ Happiness is secured not by having, but by sharing.”

“Families feed the hungry, give drinks to thirsty toddlers and welcome strangers and even estranged relatives into our homes. We clothe children and visit family members who are sick and imprisoned. The routine actions of family life are religious and priestly for we make Christ present in what we do. Family life is Beatitude life.”

“As the man in today’s gospel entrusted his servants with his money, so God has ‘entrusted’ our family to us. Like the good servants we are expected, not to play it safe, but to selflessly and totally invest ourselves in each other.”

“The bridesmaids in today’s gospel were considered ‘foolish’ because they let their lamps go out. Don’t be foolish. Pay attention to the small acts necessary to keep the flame alive in all your relationships.”

“Our loved ones, who have stepped through the door of death, are now at rest, free of all burdens. Our hope is that as they go home to the Lord they bring their love and concern for us with them. Death cannot totally separate families; our love binds us together forever.”

November 1, 2020 – All Saints (Matthew 5:1-12a)

“Anyone can be a ‘saint’ in front of strangers but the daily acts of patience, acceptance, forgiveness, listening, and dying to oneself within the family are religious acts. Family life is the turf of sanctity.”


October 31, 2020 – Halloween

“It is cute when children pretend and dress in costumes but it is sad when adults hide behind false identities. In our families we don’t need to pretend because we are loved, accepted, affirmed, appreciated for whom we are, and not for whom we want to be!”


October 25, 2020 – Thirtieth Sunday (Matthew 22:34-40)

“In today’s gospel the Pharisee was talking about commandments (Something we are forced to obey by external pressure) and Jesus was talking about love (an internal exhortation to give our heart, soul and mind to another). One demands allegiance, the other requires personal commitment. In our families we daily lay down our lives for each other not because we ‘gotta’ but because love compels us.”


October 18, 2020 – Twenty-Ninth Sunday (Matthew 22:15-21)

“Jesus was exasperated when he scolded: ‘Why do you put me to the test?’ It is natural for children to test parents; this is how they learn and how we teach limits, rules and values. Be like Jesus in today’s gospel; he was firm, honest and direct.”


October 11, 2020 – Twenty-Eighth Sunday (Matthew 22:1-14)

“Today’s gospel speaks about ‘unworthy wedding guests.’ What makes a ‘worthy’ guest? Presence and presents are not enough. The greatest gift we can give is support to the couple as they voyage through life together because marriage naturally contains within it the fields of disappointment. Think of the weddings you have attended. Have you been a ‘worthy guest?’ ”


October 4, 2020 – Twenty-Seventh Sunday (Matthew 21:33-43)

“Every family is visited by difficult times which can unite or divide. These hardships, which we would quickly reject, hold the potential to be the unifying ‘cornerstone’ where we drop our pettiness and defenses and pull together, linked by a common bond and love for one another.”


September 27, 2020 – Twenty-Sixth Sunday (Matthew 21:28-32)

“In today’s gospel Jesus asked, ‘What is your opinion?’ Why do we think our opinion is dogma or fact? An opinion is only how we perceive a situation or how we feel comfortable doing something. Don’t argue over or become divided by ‘your opinion.’ “


September 20, 2020 – Twenty-Fifth Sunday (Matthew 20:1-16a)

“Today, Jesus is saying to us: ‘Why are you idle? Go into my vineyard.’ Family, where ‘the last will be first,’ is the ‘vineyard’ entrusted to us in today’s gospel. Successful families are constructed by ‘laborers,’ who work hard on family relationships, and not by couch potatoes.”


September 13, 2020 – Twenty-Fourth Sunday (Matthew 18:21-35)

“Unable to forgive another, means we are holding onto a past wrong and hoping for a better past. That is not going to happen. We must move on with our life by accepting we were unjustly treated and it will not be corrected. We aren’t condoning the injustice. We just don’t let it control our lives any longer. Forgiveness is critical to living a healthy life in the present.”


September 7, 2020 – Labor Day

“Labor Day we celebrate our ability to respond to the challenge of Genesis. Our labor an opportunity to enter into partnership with The Creator, unfolding the possibilities within ourselves and within our world through the creative skills planted within us.”


September 6, 2020 – Twenty-Third Sunday (Matthew 18:15-20)

“The key word in today’s gospel is ‘listen.’ We cannot change another person; not alone, not with others and not with a whole Church. All we can do is state our position and ‘if he listens to you’ then he/she can take the steps necessary to change themselves. Change comes from within.”


August 30, 2020 – Twenty-Second Sunday (Matthew 16:21-27)

“Relationships live in a careful balance. If a person changes, the balance is altered requiring a shift in the relationship. In today’s gospel, Jesus announced a change and Peter resisted. Sometimes, those we count on for support may actually get in the way. Jesus told Peter: ‘You are an obstacle to me.’ “


August 23, 2020 – Twenty-First Sunday (Matthew 16:13-20)

“Like Jesus in today’s gospel, we are seen by others in different ways. Perhaps the name our family gives us is closest to our true identity. They know us best. Who do they say you are?”


August 16, 2020 – Twentieth Sunday (Matthew 15:21-28)

“The mother in today’s gospel persisted, even when she was ignored and insulted. She would do whatever was necessary to bring relief to her child. Parenting is more than bringing life into the world; it is also about sacrificing daily for your children.”


August 15, 2020 – The Assumption of Mary

“ ‘Blessed is the fruit of your womb’ can be said of all mothers, because every child is ‘blessed’ and a child of God upon whom God ‘looks with favor.’ This is our deepest identity and destiny. We do not earn this blessing. God’s love is a free gift to each of us.”


August 9, 2020 – Nineteenth Sunday (Matthew 14:22-33)

“The demands of family can be so overwhelming we feel walking on water would be easier. When Jesus was pressured, He dismissed everyone, so he could be ‘by himself and pray.’ When overwhelmed and stressed, go to a quiet place and surrender your pressured feelings to the Lord using Peter’s prayer in today’s gospel: ‘Lord, save me.’ “


August 6, 2020 – Transfiguration Thursday

“At the Transfiguration the disciples saw a different side of Jesus. All of us have ‘another side’ which we reveal only to those we trust. A family is the sacred place where we can be transfigured to be our truest self.”


August 2, 2020 – Eighteenth Sunday (Matthew 14:13-21)

“The apostles were just being practical when they asked Jesus to ‘dismiss the crowds to go buy food.’ Jesus knew there is always enough when we place our trust in the Father, even with just 5 loaves and fishes. Trust is the bridge to miracles.”


July 26, 2020 – Seventeenth Sunday (Matthew 13:44-52)

“The man in today’s gospel ‘sold all he had’ for the treasure he found. Family relationships are ‘treasures’ and demand our total personal investment. Invest yourself in the ‘treasure’ of your family.”


July 19, 2020 – Sixteenth Sunday (Matthew 13:24-43)

“Parents plant values in their children anticipating the tiny seeds of honesty, respect, commitment and fidelity will grow with their child and one day become ‘a safe haven’ to many.”


July 12, 2020 – Fifteenth Sunday (Matthew 13:1-23)

“The stress and anxieties of family life are like ‘thorns which choke off’ any opportunity to reflect on God’s presence in our lives. Notice in today’s gospel Jesus ‘left the house’ so He could connect with His Father. Grasp five minutes each day to appreciate God walking with you.”


July 5, 2020 – Fourteenth Sunday (Matthew 11:25-30)

“Just as Jesus received a mission today, parents accept the mission of raising a family. Parents are not alone in this exhausting and difficult mission. Today, Jesus tell us, ‘Come to me and I will give you rest.’ “


July 4, 2020

“Our nation is blessed with so many opportunities our lives are often frenzied as we try to take advantage of all the possibilities. As we celebrate our independence this weekend, perhaps we need to be aware of our dependencies on fashion, fad, and cultural pressure to consume.”


June 28, 2020 – Thirteenth Sunday (Matthew 10:37-42)

“Today’s gospel challenges us to resist the individualism of our culture. Everything we are and have is pure gift which we are expected to share especially to the ‘lowly ones.’ What has been freely given needs to be shared freely. No strings attached.”


June 21, 2020 – Father’s Day

“Fathering is an awesome responsibility and not for the weak or transient. Today, we humbly recognize our need for courageous fathers to stand boldly in the face of the powerful cultural forces in our culture which threaten our children. Today we ask fathers to be the courageous leaders we need.”


June 14, 2020 – Body & Blood of Christ (John 6:51-58)

“Parenting is a Eucharistic activity because from the first moment of conception children consume us, our flesh, blood, energy, time and resources. If we don’t sacrifice ourselves, our children would not have life. This is the priesthood of parenting. Christ is present in this self-sacrifice.”


June 7, 2020 – Trinity Sunday (John 3:16-18)

“As the Father, ‘sent his son into the world,’ so parents send their children into the world, ‘so that the world might be saved.’ This is the missionary role of the Christian family. Your family is a school where your children develop convictions which enable them to make a difference in the world.”


May 31, 2020 – Pentecost (John 20:19-23)

“Like the disciples in today’s Gospel, there are times we shut the doors of our hearts to people or events. It’s how we create emotional distance. Permanent distancing is lethal and prevents the peace Jesus offers you today.”


May 24, 2020 – Seventh Sunday of Easter (John 17:1-11)

“Jesus tells us today, ‘you are my witnesses,’ and guarantees the ‘promise of the Father’ to ‘clothe us with the power to accomplish this mission. It is not worldly power which dominates and manipulates. It is the power of the Kingdom of God to live in peace, forgiveness, compassion, service to others, love of enemies, and care for the poor and defenseless.”


May 21, 2020 – Ascension Thursday (Matthew 28:16-20)

“As Jesus appointed apostles, he also appoints parents to represent Him in the family; ‘make disciples of your children, baptizing and teaching them all I have taught you. Don’t worry, I am with you always.’ “


May 17, 2020 – Sixth Sunday of Easter (John 14:15-21)

“In today’s Gospel, Jesus prepared his disciples for his departure. Family life is a series of departures. As we mature and grow older, we constantly transition from the familiar to the new unknown. Today, Jesus assures us we are not alone in these transitions. ‘I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.’ “


May 10, 2020 – Fifth Sunday of Easter/Mother’s Day (John 14:1-12)

“Jesus tells us in the Gospel: ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me!’ The point is: God is in each one of us, in our relationships and in our homes. The vocation of the Christian family is to live the divine gift which is already in and around us.

Mothers are instrumental of Christ’s presence in the home. A mother’s love reveals the attentive, thoughtful, serving, forgiving, and concerned side of God’s love. Thanks to all mothers for showing us the tender and loving face of God.”


May 3, 2020 – Fourth Sunday of Easter (John 10:1-10)

“In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us He is the way and warns anyone who offers ‘another way’ to happiness is ‘a thief and a bandit.’ Strong words! Don’t listen to the sales pitch of society for happiness. Look to yourself where God is present and ‘calls you by name and leads you to abundant life.’ “


April 26, 2020 – Third Sunday of Easter (Luke 24:13-25)

“In today’s Gospel, the disciples were returning home so ‘downcast’ they did not recognize Jesus walking with them. In our homes we can be so overwhelmed with responsibilities we don’t see God with us. Today’s Gospel tells us to stop and open our eyes to the blessings we are to one another.”


April 19, 2020 – Second Sunday of Easter ~ Divine Mercy Sunday (John 20:19-31)

“‘Whose sins you forgive, are forgiven’ means the grudges we carry only make us miserable. The Kingdom of God begins in your home where children learn the paths to peace promised in today’s Gospel through merciful and forgiving demonstrations by their parents.”


April 12, 2020 – Easter Sunday (John 20:1-9

“Today’s Gospel instructs us Jesus ‘had to rise from the dead.’ The dying we experience with unmet expectations in marriage and parenting is normal to family life. Families must rise above disappointments and be Easter people all year long.”


April 5, 2020 – Passion/Palm Sunday (Matthew 26:14 – 27:66)

“The cruel death of Jesus tells us bad things can and do happen to very good people. It also tells us God is present during the suffering. Bad things happen but God does not abandon us.”


March 29, 2020 – Fifth Sunday of Lent (John 11:1-45)

“Our families can become wrapped up chasing things we perceive will make us happy. Jesus’ words to Lazarus, He says to us: ‘Come out’ from what entombs you. In this fifth week of Lent, ‘untie’ yourself and be free from unnecessary possessions.”


March 22, 2020 – Fourth Sunday of Lent (John 9:1-41)

“Failure to forgive blinds us to another’s goodness. Lent provides an opportunity to wash away our blind-spots in the pool of forgiveness. Listen to Jesus in today’s gospel: ‘Go wash and see.'”


March 15, 2020 – Third Sunday of Lent (John 4:5-42)

“Our children are like the Samaritan woman in today’s gospel. They need more than material things. They need the ‘living water’ only the adults can give. It will teach them how to make decisions, take responsibility, respect themselves and others and live their commitments. With this ‘living water’ they will ‘never thirst.’ “


March 8, 2020 – Second Sunday of Lent (Matthew 17:1-9)

“Transfiguration is a common occurrence in families. When we commit to another, such as a spouse in marriage or a child in parenting, we are not committing to them only as they are today, but to the person they are becoming.”


March 1, 2020 – First Sunday of Lent (Matthew 4:1-11)

“In today’s gospel, Jesus cautions it is not enough to provide food for our children; ‘One does not live on bread alone.’ Let Lent 2020 be a time when you are ‘led by the Spirit’ to explore new ways to be a moral guide to your children.”


February 23, 2020 – Seventh Sunday (Matthew: 38-48)

“Giving the shirt off your back, turning the other cheek, or walking / driving the extra mile is normal stuff in families. We do that for one another. Today’s gospel reminds us all people, even those we don’t like, are our brothers and sisters. Our family should prepare us to be FAMILY to others.”


February 16, 2020 – Sixth Sunday (Matthew 5:17-37)

“To experience the peace which Christ promises we must shed our grudges, jealousy and feelings of being misunderstood, unappreciated or ignored. Peace and anger don’t mix. Today’s gospel warns, if you want peace in your heart and home, get rid of your anger. Anger is too costly.”


February 9, 2020 – Fifth Sunday (Matthew 5:13-16)

Today’s gospel challenges us to be a “light” to our family. Parents shine their guiding light, not in front but behind them, inviting their children to follow their “good deeds.”


February 2, 2020 – Feast of the Presentation (Luke 2:22-40)

“Family life provides opportunities to grow in holiness. We are never perfect on this side of Heaven. Each of us has areas that could be presented to the Lord for purification. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your family in finding those areas and offering them to God.”


January 26, 2020 – Third Sunday (Matthew 4:12-23)

“When Jesus called his disciples, they came ‘immediately.’ Parents wish their children would respond as quickly, but they don’t. Children grow slowly into responsibility. It is a process like walking, not done ‘immediately’, but in small steps. Parenting demands patient encouragement.”


January 19, 2020 – Second Sunday (John 1:29-34)

“Can you say, ‘I have testified Jesus is the Son of God?’ If you aren’t talking about Jesus in your family, you aren’t testifying. If you are not talking your talk, your children will see your words as meaningless.”


January 12, 2020 – Baptism of the Lord (Matthew 3:13-17)

“The words in today’s Gospel, “This is my beloved, with Him I am pleased,” are words every child needs to hear often. Affirmation is important to raise happy and confident children.”

Helpful Links to Family Situations:

Publications for purchase from the Family Life Office:

 Practical and spiritual ideas for grieving persons and families. Focuses on grieving as a normal process of healing. Section with questions for individual reflection or group discussion. 55 page booklet.

Out of the Darkness into the Dawn: A Journey Through Grief Booklet

Ideal guide for families and individuals in search of spiritual and festive home practices. Contains traditions, activities, home rituals, and holiday legends from Thanksgiving to Epiphany. 53 page booklet.

Holiday Spirituality in the Home: Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas Booklet

Ideal guide for families and individuals in search of spiritual home practices focusing on the Lent and Easter seasons. Contains popular traditions, rituals, and devotional activities. 40 page booklet.

A Change of Heart: Lent and Easter at Home Booklet

This ministry attempts to reach out to families who have experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage or early fetal death by providing them with spiritual tools to help them to grieve their child.

Heaven's Treasure Box

Parent resource for married and single parents, Catholic and Christian interfaith couples, parents already strong in their faith practice and those wondering where to begin. 

Parent resource for Baby’s First Year “Passing on the Faith”

Sequel to Passing on the Faith: Baby’s First Year.

Parent resource for Age 1-4 “Passing on the Faith”

Back To Top