Category: Parenting

Faith in the Family

Well so far the feet look fine and the hips are still working! Danny and I are four days and about seventy kilometres into the Camino de Santiago. We are also celebrating our twenty sixth wedding anniversary today. So what profound reflections have come to me as we walk through woodlands and vineyards, up boulder-strewn…

Dad’s Diary

For much of the past decade, my wife’s medical training has dragged our family around Ireland and Britain. We have moved house 11 times in 10 years, through Cork, Dublin, Surrey and the Isle of Wight. Thankfully, our nomadic existence is at last coming to an end, as we settle back into where we began,…

Faith in the Family

I remember when I was small, I asked my Daddy why I had a belly button. He replied that it happened when God was checking if the babies were ready for delivery to families. “God went along the line of babies” said my Daddy, “poking each one gently in the tummy and saying, ‘You’re done…

It takes a family to raise a child

A Parent’s Perspective A lot of Catholic events and organisations seem to cater for 18-35 year olds; others are geared towards children or married couples with children. Single people; widows and widowers, with or without children; other lone parents and those who are married and childless can often feel a little bit out on a limb.…

Dad’s Diary

Most of us still have vivid memories of our first day in school. My mother says she can still see, like yesterday, that morning in the mid-1950s, when she turned to look at her mother as she walked out the door of the classroom, leaving her alone in this new and unfamiliar environment for the…

Faith in the Family

It used to be the playroom, the place where our four played school all through the summer holidays, where they rehearsed and performed their own nativity plays each year. Now, it is more like the old-style grocery store in rural Ireland where you could buy a heavy iron skillet, a tin of beans and a…

Dad’s Diary

I’ve been awake since 2.30 this morning, when I was jolted awake to the screams of a five-year-old girl. She’d had a “very bad dream with monsters in it”. Despite hours spent comforting her, she could not easily get back to sleep, and she tossed and turned until dawn. When she at last found slumber,…

Faith in the Family

This time one year ago I was busily working on my input for the World Meeting of Families Pastoral Congress in the RDS. I had to be ready in good time because my input had to be sent off to Rome in advance of the Congress just to make sure that I wasn’t saying anything…

Beating the back to school blues

A parent’s perspective   August can be a funny kind of month in many ways.  I’ve never quite been able to shake off that lingering childhood dread that marks the last weeks of the summer holidays. A few weeks earlier the summer break stretched out, full of promise. Anything could happen: another heatwave that would…