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MFP 274: Leaving a Legacy of Faith

By acting in the world as earthly fathers, we begin to see the world through the eyes of the Heavenly Father and that includes seeing ourselves through the eyes of the Father.

In this faith-filled episode of the Messy Family Podcast, Mike and Alicia discuss the significance of authenticity, the power of family traditions, and the impact of a vibrant faith community. Whether you’re a seasoned parent or just starting your family journey, this episode promises valuable insights and practical tools for nurturing a legacy of faith that will endure for generations to come.

Tune in to the Messy Family Project podcast today and discover how to build a legacy of faith that withstands the test of time. Don’t miss out on this inspiring conversation that will empower you to embrace your role as a faith-filled parent and create a lasting impact on your family’s spiritual journey.


Key Takeaways:

1️⃣ To pass on the faith to our children, we need to first embrace the process of our own ongoing conversion. 

2️⃣ Moms and dads need to take up the mantle of spiritual leadership with confidence and humility.  This role has been given to you by God!

3️⃣ The culture of your home speaks to your children more powerfully than any written word.  Be intentional about having it communicate your Catholic values. 

4️⃣ Take the time to intentionally evangelize your children and introduce them to the person of Jesus. 

Subscribe now and join the Messy Family Project community as we navigate the beautiful messiness of family life together!

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Listen Here 62 MINUTE LISTEN

MFP 273: MPF 273: Tools for Family Bonding – an Interview with the Marianist Family Retreat Center

In this episode of the podcast, we delve into the heart of family bonding and spiritual growth with an enlightening interview with the Marinist Family. Guided by the profound core beliefs of the Marianist Family Retreat Ministry, our guests share invaluable insights into strengthening familial ties, fostering communication, and embracing forgiveness and commitment within the family unit.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the transformative power of affirming familial love and forgiveness.
  • Embrace the teachings of Mary as a model for nurturing familial spirituality.
  • Explore the concept of discipleship of equals and its impact on family ministry.
  • Learn how community plays a vital role in nurturing familial bonds and spiritual growth.
  • Uncover the structured and unstructured opportunities for growth within the Marinist Family Retreat Program.
  • Embrace the practice of prayer and discernment in opening oneself to the gifts of the Holy Spirit within the family context.

Couple Discussion Questions:

  1. How can we incorporate the teachings of Mary into our family dynamics?
  2. Reflecting on the pillars of the Marinist Family Retreats, which aspect do we feel is most crucial for our family’s growth?
  3. How can we create a balance between structured and unstructured family time to nurture spiritual growth?
  4. In what ways can we foster a sense of community within our family and extend it to the larger community?

Tune in to this enlightening episode as we uncover the tools for deepening familial bonds and fostering spiritual growth with the Marinist Family.

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Listen Here 49 MINUTE LISTEN

MFP 272: MPF 272: Disciplining Children without Shame

For a child to learn how to love, they need to first be loved.


Key Takeaways

  • We need to parent the way God fathers us, free of emotion and manipulation

  • Discipline starts with relationship because its all about forming their hearts.

  • We need to teach children how to repair and restore relationships when they do the wrong thing.


Couple Discussion Questions

  • In our childhoods have we experienced shame from our parents or those in authority?  How did that make me feel?

  • Do we imitate those behaviors in our parenting?

  • How can we reflect God the Father more in our formation of our children?

  • Consider one of your children in need of formation.  What is the best way to reach their heart?


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Listen Here 56 MINUTE LISTEN

MFP271: Why an Intentional Culture is Essential

Your family culture is the operating system in your home.  It communicates to your children more powerfully than any written word.

Family culture is something that we are passionate about in this ministry! We believe that this is the secret weapon of the Catholic family and something that every mom and dad needs to be very intentional about. The culture within the home is like the operating system in your family and it communicates more powerfully than any written word. In this episode we give the foundations of family culture and explain why it’s important. Because there is so much to cover, we only get to talk about the spiritual life of the home and what that means for the children. This is a re-release of a previous episode, but the information is timeless and the principles are the foundation of many of our courses and guides.

For more information on this and other topics visit:


Key Takeaways

  • Parents don’t create a culture, they steward it.  All the members of the family participate. 
  • Family Culture is the unspoken system that binds your family together and communicates your expectations, beliefs, and values more powerfully than any written word.  
  • Your culture must be stronger and more attractive than the secular culture and it must communicate more powerfully.
  • A wise family learns how to manage the urgent and prioritize the important.
  • The spiritual life of your home needs to be the foundation of your culture because it is our connection to God that gives meaning to our lives.


Couple Discussion Questions

  • There is a culture in our home right now.  What is this culture communicating to our children? 
  • What are some values that we want our children to learn from our culture?  How can we do this better? 
  • What are the Urgent things in our life that we need to manage better? 
  • What are the Important things that we are putting off? 



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Listen Here 62 MINUTE LISTEN

MFP 270: Part 2 of Headship – Navigating the Beautiful Chaos of Marriage

Embark on the second part of the compelling discussion with Mike and Alicia Hernon on The Messy Family Podcast. In this captivating follow-up to the previous episode, “Headship – Do Wives Have to Obey?” the Hernons dive even deeper into the nuances of marital dynamics and the concept of headship.

As the Lenten season approaches, the Hernons extend an invitation to their audience, encouraging participation in the Cana 90 Lenten program designed for couples. Reflecting on the importance of embracing one’s vocation, the conversation seamlessly picks up from the last episode, addressing the complexities and challenges faced by couples in different stages of marriage.

Drawing inspiration from the teachings of John Paul II, the Hernons continue to explore the delicate balance of giving and receiving in the context of marriage. They delve into the significance of wives receiving love and husbands actively leading, debunking misconceptions and offering practical insights for couples striving for a harmonious partnership.

Mike and Alicia share personal anecdotes and observations from their 30 years of marriage, providing a unique perspective on the dance of collaboration within marriage. The episode unfolds as a profound exploration of the beauty found in the messy and intricate tapestry of family life. Whether you’ve just joined the Messy Family Project community or have been a dedicated listener, this episode promises to deepen your understanding of headship and inspire intentional, loving partnerships.

Subscribe now to The Messy Family Project Podcast and join a community that embraces both the challenges and beauty of family life. For more information on this and other topics visit:

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Listen Here 46 MINUTE LISTEN

MFP 269: Headship – Navigating the Beautiful Chaos of Marriage

Join Mike and Alicia Hernon on another insightful episode of The Messy Family Podcast, where they fearlessly delve into the timeless and relevant topic of headship in marriage in reference to the key passages in Ephesians 5.

In this episode, the Hernons share the behind-the-scenes of their podcast and video show on YouTube, inviting you to subscribe and become a valuable member of their growing community. They take you on a journey through recent family events, from unexpected hospital visits to the joyous arrival of their seventh grandchild, Declan John.

Amidst the chaos, the Hernons ask for your prayers for a family facing health challenges, emphasizing the power of community and support in navigating life’s trials. They also share exciting updates about upcoming events, such as the Good News cruise with Father Mike Schmitz and the Catholic Couples Getaway with Chris and Natalie Stefanik. Stay tuned for announcements for Catholic Couples Getaway 2025!

As the episode unfolds, Mike and Alicia explore the concept of headship in marriage, addressing the age-old question: Do wives have to obey? Gain insights, reflections, and practical wisdom on this crucial aspect of family life. Whether you’re a parent, spouse, or part of a messy family, this episode offers valuable perspectives on collaboration, obedience, and the beauty of shared roles in marriage.

Don’t miss out on this engaging and thought-provoking discussion that aims to navigate the beautiful chaos of marriage, offering inspiration and support for every member of the messy family community.

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Listen Here 42 MINUTE LISTEN

MFP 268: Angels Watching Over Us with Fr. Wolfgang Seitz

🎙️ Dive into a captivating episode of the Messy Family Podcast with Mike and Alicia Hernon! In this edition, titled “Angels Watching Over Us with Fr. Wolfgang Seitz,” we explore the fascinating realm of guardian angels and the divine assistance that surrounds our lives.

🌟 Join Mike and Alicia as they welcome Father Wolfgang Seitz from the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, an expert on the Holy Angels. Fr. Wolfgang shares insights into the deep devotion his order has for the angels and provides a unique perspective on the vital role they play in our lives.

👼Discover the untapped source of strength that our guardian angels offer, and learn about a yearlong consecration program that can deepen your connection with these celestial beings. Fr. Wolfgang’s experiences and teachings shed light on how our guardian angels collaborate with us in both natural and supernatural aspects of life.

🏠 As you listen, gain a profound understanding of the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross and their mission to spread devotion to the Holy Angels. Explore the rich history of the order and how it intersects with the powerful tradition of consecration.

🙏 Whether you’re a believer seeking to enhance your spiritual journey or simply curious about the divine mysteries, this episode provides valuable insights. Tune in to the Messy Family Podcast and let the wisdom shared by Fr. Wolfgang Seitz inspire you to embrace the unseen yet eternal presence of angels in your life. Don’t miss out on this enlightening conversation that may forever change the way you perceive the guardianship of these heavenly beings!

🔗 Subscribe to the Messy Family Podcast for more engaging discussions and practical insights on navigating the beautiful chaos of family life with Mike and Alicia Hernon. Your journey into the messy and miraculous tapestry of familyhood awaits!

For more information on this and other topics visit:

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Listen Here 62 MINUTE LISTEN

MFP 267: Toys and imagination with Regina Doman

In this episode, we look into the world of toys, discussing their impact on children’s development and the importance of purposeful and intentional choices in selecting toys for our families. Our special guest, Regina Doman, shares valuable insights into cultivating imagination, creativity, and responsibility in children through thoughtful toy choices.

As we explore the role of toys in shaping a child’s worldview, we reflect on the significance of simplicity, quality over quantity, and the benefits of open-ended toys like building blocks. We also touch upon the idea of rotating toys to keep a sense of novelty and excitement while minimizing clutter. Regina emphasizes the importance of recognizing the formative nature of the home environment and the valuable lessons children learn through play.

We address the common challenges parents face, such as dealing with violent play, and how to navigate these situations with wisdom and balance. To further enrich this discussion, Regina suggests checking out her article on Nova Natural, where she elaborates on her philosophy and approach to toys. We conclude with a prayer for parents, seeking God’s guidance and blessings in raising children who embrace the beauty of simplicity, creativity, and responsibility.

Your support and prayers contribute to the mission of rebuilding families and making a positive impact on marriages and children. If you’ve been blessed by what we do, consider making a donation or spreading the word to help us continue our work.

Thank you for joining us on this journey of exploration and reflection. May God bless your families abundantly, and until next time, may the Lord bless you and keep you.

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Listen Here 59 MINUTE LISTEN

MFP 266: The Importance of Wonder to Celebrate Christmas

“For it is good to be a child sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when the mighty Founder was a child Himself.” ~ Charles Dickens

Christmas is a magical time for children.  Whether you celebrate Santa, St. Nick, Elf on a Shelf or other traditions, this season is a wonderful time for children to develop wonder and awe.  How do parents do this in a way that encourages their children to keep their eyes on the eternal significance of this holy time?  There are so many things that we can do with our kids that it forces parents to be intentional.  We need to make sure we choose to do those activities that have the most impact on our kids in a way that communicates truth.  Listen in as we share our ideas, but also set realistic expectations during this intensely busy time for parents. 

🎄 Resources Mentioned: Explore additional resources on Advent and Christmas traditions by checking out our Advent and Christmas Traditions Book, visit our website for more information.

🌈 Join Us in Creating a Joyful Family Culture! Discover how these traditions not only bring joy and wonder to your home but also form the identity of your children in profound ways. Let’s build a community that stands out in love, service, and faith.

🔗 Connect with Us:

👍 Like, Share, and Subscribe! If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to give it a thumbs up, share it with your friends, and subscribe for more heartwarming discussions on faith, family, and traditions.

🌟For more information on this and other topics visit:


Key Takeaways:

  • Children celebrate Christmas differently depending on their age

  • There is wonder and beauty in Christmas that we should encourage in our children

  • Parents need to be discerning about the environments that we put our children in


Couple Discussion: 

  • How can we create an environment that communicates truth to our children? 

  • What are the traditions we want to establish in our home for our children? 

  • What needs do our children have right now?

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Listen Here 45 MINUTE LISTEN

MFP 265: Brothers and Sisters – Our First Community

“The family is where children discover how to be human.”
– Archbishop Charles Chaput

Over and over again people ask us how to help their kids get along with each other.  We usually respond that of course their kids don’t get along – because they are kids!  That is what you are doing as a parent.  You are the ones teaching them how to live at peace with other human beings in the world and they are practicing what you teach them in your home!  This is the training ground for their lives.  But that doesn’t mean that parents do nothing.  There are important lessons that parents need to teach their children at home so they can learn key social skills and have great relationships with their siblings not just while they are under your roof, but for the rest of their lives.  Listen to this re-release of our 2016 podcast on this subject.

Key Takeaways:

  • Be open to giving your children as many siblings as possible.

  • Don’t always intervene.  Let your children alone to work things out on their own.

  • Help them value differences between different personalities by learning to appreciate each other.

  • Teach them how to forgive and repair relationships when they are broken.

Couple Discussion: 

  • How can we structure our home routine to foster better relationships between our children?

  • Do we intervene too much in sibling conflicts?  Not enough?

  • Have we taught our children how to ask for forgiveness?  If not, how can we do this?

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Listen Here 57 MINUTE LISTEN