Supporting the Domestic Church: The Catholic Parents’ Survival Guide

The Catholic Parents' Survival Guide: Straight Answers to Your Kids' Toughest Questions by Julianne Stanz - author pictured next to book cover

Being a parent in today’s world is challenging. Now, add to that the job of being Catholic parents trying to raise children with Catholic values in a world where such values can be thought of as countercultural, and we’re talking about a major challenge. This is why we, as a Church, must do all we can to support parents in their efforts to make their home a domestic church.

Thankfully, help has arrived in the form of a new book by my friend and ministerial colleague, Julianne Stanz: The Catholic Parents’ Survival Guide: Straight Answers to Your Kids’ Toughest Questions.

This book is perfect for gathering parents for conversation about how to raise their children with Catholic values. Think about hosting small groups of parents in your parish for such conversations, using the book as a resource. This book is also perfect as a gift for all parents of children in the parish religious education program and Catholic school.

Julianne’s book offers an easy-to-use question-and-answer format that not only equips parents and teachers with tools to help explain Catholic beliefs, ethics, morality, and faith practices, but also prepares them on how to deliver this information in a manner that will resonate with children. Julianne addresses many complex questions, such as: Who is God? Who is the Holy Spirit? What happens if you miss Mass? What happens after we die? Does God answer prayers? What will we do in heaven? Do Catholics pray to Mary? Why can’t women become priests? 

In addition, each chapter includes key takeaways, notes for reflection, recommended resources, and tips for putting these insights into practice. The Catholic Parents’ Survival Guide gives parents reliable information about the Catholic faith and practical, parent-tested methods for sharing it with children.

Be sure to check out The Catholic Parents’ Survival Guide, and together let’s do all we can to build and strengthen the domestic church!

About Joe Paprocki 2771 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

2 Comments on Supporting the Domestic Church: The Catholic Parents’ Survival Guide

  1. Joe –
    I love the work you do here and how you are constantly resourcing catechists and leaders. And I am a HUGE fan of Julianne – and will get the book for sure.
    But. You wrote Under the Influence of Jesus; Julianne wrote Start with Jesus. So I know you both recognize what our starting point needs to be. I very much believe that the “values” conversation is problematic. I suppose that if you use values to get people into a conversation about the WHY behind the values (i.e. Jesus!) (IOW bait and switch) then it could work. But – I think that reducing the gospel to values is part of the reason we have such significant decline. Until they meet Jesus, they don’t care about our ethics, morals or practices. The biggest question we are working with is how to provoke, provide that encounter.

    • Hi Katie and thanks for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts about the place of “values” in catechesis/evangelization. I don’t think either Julianne or I “reduce the Gospel to values.” At the same time, the Catechism of the Catholic Church emphasizes the importance of values when it says: “Society is essential to the fulfillment of the human vocation. To attain this aim, respect must be accorded to the just hierarchy of values, which “subordinates physical and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones: “Human society must primarily be considered something pertaining to the spiritual. Through it, in the bright light of truth, men should share their knowledge, be able to exercise their rights and fulfill their obligations, be inspired to seek spiritual values; mutually derive genuine pleasure from the beautiful, of whatever order it be; always be readily disposed to pass on to others the best of their own cultural heritage; and eagerly strive to make their own the spiritual achievements of others. These benefits not only influence, but at the same time give aim and scope to all that has bearing on cultural expressions, economic, and social institutions, political movements and forms, laws, and all other structures by which society is outwardly established and constantly developed.” (#1886)

      and again here:

      “The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.” (#2207)

      and again here:

      “At its core the piety of the people is a storehouse of values that offers answers of Christian wisdom to the great questions of life.” (#1676)

      Likewise, the General Directory for Catechesis tells us the following about values:

      “In the light of the Gospel, the Church must appropriate all the positive values of culture and of cultures (31) and reject those elements which impede development of the true potential of persons and peoples.” (#21)

      and again here:

      “The morality of the Gospel assumes and elevates human values.” (#87)

      and again here:

      “The double commandment of love of God and neighbour is—in the moral message—a hierarchy of values which Jesus himself established.” (#115)

      and finally, here:

      “Believers, indeed, in the ordinary state of Christian life, individually or in age groups, are called to respond to the gift of God through prayer, participation in the sacraments, the liturgy, ecclesial and social commitment, works of charity and promotion of human values.” (#157)

      I hope this is helpful in recognizing the crucial place of teaching values in proclaiming the Gospel…all flowing from a relationship with Jesus Christ.

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