Allison Auth is wife and mother to 4 living in Denver, CO. She enjoys helping couples prepare for marriage as an online instructor for www.catholicmarriageprep.com. Before having a family, she was a youth minister and director of Confirmation and has a Catechetics degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She enjoys board games, hiking in the mountains, and a glass of red wine with good friends. You can contact her at allisonandnathan@catholicmarriageprep.com.

Weddings, Sacraments, and Sacrifices

Weddings, Sacraments, and Sacrifices

Last week we had a bunch of family come into town for my husband’s brother’s wedding. It was a busy week filled with morning outings and evening dinners all together (18 kids- most under the age of 10, 2 grandparents, and 13 parents). So by the wedding on Saturday, we were already tired!

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Marriage is a Union of Everything, Even Money

Marriage is a Union of Everything, Even Money

It’s been on my heart to write about money, because it’s something that I see pulling at couples before they are even married. Believe me, I remember the moment that I had to accept that marrying my husband meant taking on his student debt. There was a day in the midst of joining finances that I realized we would be repaying his loan for many years. 

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What Love Looks Like In Our Home

What Love Looks Like In Our Home

Sometimes we get confused on what love is. We think it’s this strong emotion where you can’t imagine life without your spouse. Or we think that it’s a constant adventure where adrenaline and oxytocin are constantly pumping through our veins. I have thought those things myself, and sometimes they can be true. But then, when our marriage didn’t seem that adventurous anymore and I wasn’t always feeling those strong emotions, I questioned whether or not I was still in love.

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NFP is like eating vegetables: my love/hate relationship with NFP

NFP is like eating vegetables: my love/hate relationship with NFP

Some things that are very overwhelming about using NFP are: how much I don’t know how to use it, how much you have to abstain if you are really trying to avoid having children, and how hard it is post-partum. I have talked to many who are in the same boat, and are wishing someone would have warned them on how challenging it is instead of painting it as a romantic walk on the beach during  a sunset. 

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Practical Ways To Pray As A Family

Practical Ways To Pray As A Family

Last week we talked about some ideas of how to pray throughout the day individually and as a couple. Today, I want to focus more on how to do this with your kids.
The best thing that I can recommend is family prayer time. This time brings you not only closer to God, but to each other. And a family that prays together, stays together! 


For us, this is part of our bedtime routine sandwiched between getting jammies on and brushing teeth.  Some families do it right after dinner. The important thing is to do it, and make it a habit! It takes time, but eventually the kids will get used to it!

Growing up, there are many family prayer times that I recall and enjoyed. We used to read short devotional stories or age-appropriate reflections. One year we did a saint-a-day calendar, and boy are there some unusual saints out there! One time I even cried because my family had prayer time without me.

Nowadays, our kids our young so we try to keep it pretty short, but we’ve been adding to it as the kids get older. We first started with praying the Our Father and Hail Mary. We’ve since added the Glory Be, Angel of God, and St. Michael prayer. We also have everyone say one thing their thankful for (although our 3 year old girl usually says closer to 30) and one thing (or person) they want to pray for and ask God’s help for. We’ve started to also read a few pages from the Children’s Bible with the older two.

Here are some other great ideas that other families do during family prayer time:

- Pray a blessing for each child

- Short bible study, study of virtue, etc.

- Lay hands on and pray for a kid going through a particularly hard time

- Praying the Rosary (or decade for young kids).
- Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet (I love to listen to this beautiful version in song!)

- Each person say a short thanksgiving and/or intention

- Singing a praise song or hymn together

- Read a story about a saint.

- Create a sacred space, using candles, liturgical colors, holy images or icons to show that this time is special. Have your kids help set it up, and use your senses to pray with your whole body!

Other Great Ways to Pray with your Kids:

*Pray when hear siren or helicopter. Children can pray, “God help them!” or “Lord be with them.” You can also say a Hail Mary asking for protection for whoever is hurt or in trouble.

*In the car, you can listen to praise and worship, sung prayers, saint stories, etc.  For our kids, we like Cat Chat CD’s, Holy Heroes Glory Story CD’s, and Christian radio stations.

*Stop to say a short prayer at a certain time of day, such as the Angelus at noon or “Jesus I trust in You” at 3pm, the hour of mercy.

*Celebrate their Baptism Days  - It’s their birthday into the family of God! Recite baptismal promises, have their favorite meal

*Celebrate the Liturgical year:

- Advent: Create an advent wreath to use during prayer time. Our kids love lighting and blowing out the candles! You can also make or buy Jesse Tree ornaments and add to the symbolism of the tree.
- Lent: do the Stations of the Cross either at Church or in your home. We love these Stations of the Cross eggs!). Do sacrifice beads, a crown of thorns, or Lenten Adventure by Holy Heroes.
- Easter: Garden Party of the Good Shepherd

*Don’t forget to celebrate other feast days throughout the year with parties (and some prayers! Holy Days of Obligation require going to Mass, but there should be some feasting that go along with it!) Here is a great blog from last week on doing just that!


In short, there are so many ways that you can invite God into your child’s day and show them how much God loves them, and how He is always present with them. Having a set time for family prayer is very important, but they also need to know that while sometimes prayer is very serious, sometimes it can also be fun! The beauty of using the liturgical year is that there are times of fasting and feasting, which help our kids to enter into a relationship with God in a very real, daily way!

Good resources for liturgical living with kids:

www.catholicicing.com

www.holyheroes.com

www.showerofroses.blogspot.com

www.catholiccuisine.blogspot.com

catholicplayground.com

Have a great resource or way to pray with your kids? Or, have a question to ask? Share it with me at: allisonandnathan@catholicmarriageprep.com.

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Ways to Pray As A Couple

Ways to Pray As A Couple

I am so excited about today’s blog, as I’ve asked all the online instructors for their input on how to pray during the day and as a couple! Together, there’s easily over a century of marriage experience. Most of these couples have been married longer than I have, and I really value their advice and experience!

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The Reality of Sin and Grace in 750 words

The Reality of Sin and Grace in 750 words

One of the most surprising –and quite frankly, disturbing- things I have learned since being an online marriage prep instructor is how many Catholics don’t actually know what a Sacrament is. They have been raised Catholic and sadly for one reason or another, they have not grasped the beauty of what grace is all about.

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Why It’s Good That Opposites Attract

Why It’s Good That Opposites Attract

Last month I went to a conference where I heard a talk on the four temperaments by Larraine Bennett, author of “The Temperament God Gave You.” I had read about them in college and found them to be very beneficial to understanding myself, and my relationship to others around me. 

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Bearing the Cross of Infertility

Bearing the Cross of Infertility

A few weeks ago I was sitting with a group of friends. One was crying and sharing about her miscarriage earlier that week. It was her fourth one. Another had gone to the doctor earlier that week to see why she was having trouble conceiving again. One mom wasn’t with us because she was suffering a miscarriage that weekend. 

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Striving to Forgive Like St. Maria Goretti

Striving to Forgive Like St. Maria Goretti

Last week we celebrated the feast of St. Maria Goretti, the youngest canonized Saint in the Church. A modern saint who died on July 6th, 1902 at the age of 11. Most people who have heard of her know that she died from being stabbed 14 times by an older boy who wanted to rape her. 

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