Starting a pro-family apostolate


I have been involved in various ministries in the Church (mostly with youth) but feel that God is leading me in a new direction now. I think I’ve outgrown the youth/young adult demographic.

The Catholic family is the building block of our church. This is an era where the family is under attack from all sides. I feel that ministering to the family should be the number one priority but is lacking in our parishes.

I’m not talking about the occasional church picnic or social. I’m talking about real life ministry where parents and children can lean on each other in a social and spiritual way.

One of the attractions of the early Christians was their fellowship. We’ve lost that as a church. We attend mass on Sunday and maybe talk to someone on the way out, then we go about our week. Would’t it be nice to have a network of families that can be that “domestic church” and not be afraid to show who we are.

Go to most Holy Day masses, bible studies, holy hours, committee meetings and you find the same people (mostly over 55). Try to attend one of these with children and you usually get grief from the “regulars.”

My wife was glared at by such people when she attempted to attend morning mass before taking the oldest to school. God forbid you take a 2 y/o to Mass and he happens to make some noise.

Our friends who hav a 2 y/o and an infant were “spoken to” after mass by the pastor (in front of other people) b/c the 2 y/o makes an occasional sound or doesn’t sit still.

Should’t we be welcoming the family and making them feel like they belong. It’s not easy packing up several children and bring them to mass in the first place, but many of us feel that it is important to attend as a family each week.

I would like to start somthing small at first with 3-4 families and then build from there. This ministry would not be sponsored by the parish in any way. I want to avoid the issues I had with youth ministry (see my post from 2 months ago).

I realize this thread could fit in on the vocations or parenting board as well, but I’ve come to respect the advice and opinions of the regular posters here. Please give me your honest opinions and advice concerning this important ministry.

God Bless.


Wow. This is really disheartening. Not one person on the** FAMILY LIFE **board responded to my question?
I guess my observations are correct; the family is not welcome in the church after all. :shrug:

It could be that my post is not about makeup, pre-marital sex, nfp, or someone not genuflecting at the correct velocity when entering a church after 2pm when there will be a TLM Mass and the music is heretical because it is published by OCP.


At our church we have a family ministry group of sorts. There is a main group of about 50 families that meets once a month, and smaller sub-groups of families (and grandparents and single men and women of all ages) that meet 1-3 times a week to do family activities, service, book groups, and general catechesis for every age. It’s a really great experience for the individuals, and it also has really helped our church to become a more familial community.



Well, maybe you do that. But that is a choice. One can be as involved in the parish as one wants… or not.

We stay after Mass and go to the donuts and coffee gathering (fellowship) each week, unless the kids have been really terrible. We serve the donuts and coffee as part of the hospitality ministry, and our kids do too. My oldest daughter is an altar server. We have our kids involved in ministries and activities that are appropriate for their involvement. I am a Lector and my husband has taught in both the high school youth group and the grade school RE classes. Since becoming involved in all these ministries, we have gotten to know many of our fellow parishioners very well. And they know us. They love our kids, offer to babysit, and want to keep up on their doings. When we see each other around town, we always talk for at least 5 minutes, because the parish is our common touchstone and there is always something to talk about.

There are persnickety, mean old people who complain about children, like any other parish. I put no stock in them, honestly. If they want to be that unkind when they are knocking on the Pearly Gates, I suppose that is their risk to take. But they are human sinners, like all of us. The pastor who criticized the mother for bringing her children to Mass should have been roundly told off, by the mother involved. That’s what I would have done. Just because people wear clerical garb or are in positions of power in your parish doesn’t mean you should volunteer to be their doormat! But the Church is full of sinners. We have to accept that. As the Church accepts us sinners, too…

Isn’t the K of C a pro-family apostolate? Their mission is the defense and protection of the Christian family, is it not? Instead of starting something new, why not support what is already there?


This snide attitude is really gonna get you far…


It generated a response from you. :smiley:

I can’t believe I try to start a discussion about something good and I get criticized for it.

My family is involved in the parish, that is not the issue. As far as social ministries, there are very few in my parish and it seems to be the norm around here. I’d love it if there more were offered somewhere.

They tried to start a K of C chapter but all that turned out were about 15 men over 70 and myself. That’s not my idea of “family” ministry. The state chapter reps that spoke at the meeting did not make a good impression on me. Once they had my name thought, I was called weekly by these people trying to get me to join and finally had to tell them to stop calling me.

Maybe in some parts of the country, there is more community. That’s not the case here. If I want fellowship, I have to go the the evangelical church down the street.

If I didn’t whole-heartedly believe that the Catholic Church is the one true church, and that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, what would keep me here? Thank God for the gift of faith.


This was why I responded as I did. I didn’t respond because you were snide… I saw this thread after it already had posts.

Frankly, if that is how you act when you don’t immediately get the response you want, I would not want to join any organization led by you. Maturity is one of the hallmarks of a good leader.


that quote was take out of context. We I said “We attend mass…” I was talking about my observations of Catholics as a group- not my personal habits. That appears to be where our misunderstanding lies. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

Again, the last thing I was hoping to accomplish here was to start an arguement. I’ll continue to pray for direction in my endevour and hope I can hear what God has to tell me.


I also want to have more pro-family activities at church. I try to volunteer my time, but I can’t bring my kids when I do that. I’m a stay at home mother, with very little extra money. I can’t just hire a sitter. I also don’t have many people local who can help with the kids.
But why should I leave them behind? They love their faith and I think they should also be serving, even at such a young age.

They have a mother/daughter tea twice a year (what about boys?). There really isn’t any “social” thing to do. We don’t have “coffee” afterwards, shrug

It really is different at each parish, I suppose. As a convert it hurts me to see that there isn’t much for the family. My former church was family and we always did things with kids in tow.

That’s what I want as well. So, OP, if you figure out how to do it. Let me know :slight_smile:


My sentiments exactly. Its tough to get a sitter for the kids. We try as much as we can to include our children (3,5) in what we do but any even is usually at 7pm during the week- too late for little ones.

We don’t have coffee either. I really enjoyed that in my former parish. It was a small parish and very tight-nit. The priests were from Communion and Liberation who are very family oriented. It was sad to see that church close.

I would want parents to be able to get together with the kids outside of church also. I love to entertain so having several families over with kids is no problem.

My wife also stays home and it would be great to have other stay-at-home moms to network with. The first Christians were very close communities and that’s one of the reasons they’re lifestyle was so attractive to others. The Holy Father told us not to just go to Mass on Sunday and revert back to secularism the rest of the week.

If I do find some answers to this problem, I will post them.

God bless


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