Family rally promotes confident parenting, Christ-centered homes

by Michelle McDaniel

North Texas Catholic

January 27, 2017

During his keynote, Dr. Ray Guarendi talked on the topic of "Laughter: The Sanity of Family." (NTC Photo/Adrean Indolos)

CARROLLTON — Parenting, family, and home were the talk of the day at St. Catherine of Siena Parish’s second annual Family Rally held Jan. 14.

The four-hour event, which was open to all in the diocese, featured talks by Deacon Walter Stone, of St. Catherine of Siena, and Dr. Ray Guarendi, a psychologist, author, public speaker, and host of EWTN’s radio show “The Doctor is In” and TV show “Living Right with Dr. Ray.”

Roughly 300 people attended the event, which according to Dcn. Stone, is one of several events the parish hosts to bring the faith community together.

“It’s an opportunity to bring the entire parish together as we share who we are as a people,” he said. “And for our parish, the family rally is just one of several ways we do that throughout the year. Everyone got involved in this.”

This family-oriented event began in the church with a talk, “Laughter: The Sanity of Family,” given by Dr. Guarendi, followed by two breakout session talks — one by Dr. Guarendi and the other by Dcn. Stone. The central theme of the talks was confident parenting, but Dcn. Stone also spoke of caring for the Christian environment of the home.

Dr. Guarendi focused on the need for loving authority and discipline when parenting.

“Psychological correctness is a quagmire,” Dr. Guarendi said. “You overthink. You over analyze. You over negotiate. There comes a point where as a parent, you’re so frustrated. Why? Because getting cooperation is not easy. Authority is not a bad word. It’s a good word.”

Deacon Walter Stone, of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, speaks during a breakout session. His topic was “Church & Home: One Place or Two?” (NTC Photo/Adrean Indolos)

Despite advocating for stricter parenting than many modern child psychology books, he also vouched strongly on the need for love within these same relationships.

“Love is the center of all Christianity. Everything you do — whether it’s discipline, whether it’s demanding respect — you do out of love. If that’s not your motive, then you’ll ultimately struggle,” he said.

In his talk, Dcn. Stone shared that view, but also addressed caring for the home environment.

“You should be keeping your home clean for the right reason, for the same reason the Church does it,” he explained. “So that the environment itself screams out the glory of God. But I don’t care how clean your countertops are if you don’t have virtue in your house.”

He alluded to Creation, showing the importance of the care of the home.

“Our homes are our own Garden of Eden, and we have the same job [Adam and Eve did]: to care for God’s creation,” Dcn. Stone said. “I can’t fix the world, but I do have the power to control my home, and so do you. That space is yours, and how sacred that space becomes is entirely up to you.”

The Christian faith is experienced through the senses.

“As Catholics, we know that the universe is how we experience God. Everything we see and experience and do in the universe is an expression of, or a reflection of, how we feel about ourselves and our relationship with God,” Dcn. Stone said.

Because of this, he argues that Catholics should work to make their own homes a place in which one can connect with God. He added that guests should be able to tell that the home is Catholic without asking.

St. Catherine of Siena parishioner Nancy Greaux attended the event with her husband, staying for all three of the talks.

“It’s a wonderful day to spend with parishioners and the speakers,” she said. “[There was] lots of good information for parents raising their children... [Dr. Guarendi] set a lot of good guidelines and did a fantastic job.”

Reflecting on the rally, Dr. Guarendi said family events like these help parents with “self-confidence, authority, peace of mind, and the strength to go against the prevailing cultural winds.”

CARROLLTON — Parenting, family, and home were the talk of the day at St. Catherine of Siena Parish’s second annual Family Rally held Jan. 14.

Published (until 12/27/2035)