The Family Room

Join co-hosts Mari Cleveland from St. Jude the Apostle and John Gordon and Craig Wesemeyer from St. Peter Chanel as they speak with authors, theologians, and local priests and lay leaders to provide your family encouragement, resources, and hope. Enjoy heartfelt stories and engaging conversations with Catholics who are excited to share their life experiences and acquired wisdom to help your family continue to live out your faith with joy.

Dr. Ralph Martin discusses his book, A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward, his journey of faith, and how the Word of God in Sacred Scripture enlivens his life, vocations, and works of mission and evangelization. Dr. Martin shares about his personal relationship with Christ and leads us to want to spend more time with our Lord who, in Word and Sacrament, helps us through troublesome times. We also hear a beautiful story about Ralph and Anne Martin’s baby granddaughter, Maggie, who helps us feel the profound Love of God.

Resources

  • Dr. Ralph Martin’s book, A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward, is available on Renewal Ministries’ website.

  • The Choices We Face began in 1985 and is currently the longest-running Catholic television program in the world.

  • Dr. Martin points us to Dei Verbum to encourage our love of Christ and His Church in His Word.

Key Scripture

John 17; 1 Corinthians 6; Galatians 5; Ephesians 5; Romans 1; Revelation 21


Join us in The Family Room for a quick-witted and energetic conversation about apologetics that will likely change your ideas about how to defend the Catholic faith. John Martignoni’s broadcasts and new book, Blue Collar Apologetics, give us four strategies and simple rules of engagement to help bring our loved ones back to the faith, to engage “Bible-only” Christians, and to evangelize in friendship any person of good will. John tells us how he came to found The Bible Christian Society in 1996 - what a story!

Resources

Key Scripture

Colossians 4:6: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” https://bible.usccb.org/bible/colossians/0

Katie Warner, Catholic author and speaker


The daily walk of faith with her husband and children is what matters most to Catholic author and speaker, Katie Warner. Katie shares how the Holy Spirit has surprised her, guided her, and taught her the value of living an intentional faith. One of her favorite quotes, from St. Francis de Sales, is, “God takes pleasure to see you take your little steps.” Start today with a new spiritual motto or see the links below for resources on Katie’s website.

Resources

Key Scripture:

Galatians 6:9: “Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.” https://bible.usccb.org/bible/galatians/6

Dr. Bob Schuchts, Founder of the John Paul II Healing Center


Dr. Bob Schuchts shares his personal journey through early family tragedy, trauma, and divorce to a powerful encounter with Christ, marital healing, and true devotion. Dr. Schuchts gives us practical ways to pray with, and for, our spouses, including a couples’ meditation on the “Our Father.” He gives us real examples from his own personal, marital, and family struggles and growth. This episode concludes with a beautiful meditation on marriage and the Mass.

Resources

  1. John Paul II Healing Center: Transformation in the Heart of the Church: https://jpiihealingcenter.org/

  2. Dr. Schuchts’ book, Be Devoted: Restoring Friendship, Passion, and Communion in Your Marriage: https://jpiihealingcenter.org/product/be-devoted-dr-bob-schuchts/

  3. Restore the Glory podcast: https://www.restoretheglorypodcast.com/

  4. Upcoming events at the JPII Healing Center: https://jpiihealingcenter.org/events/

Key Scripture

  1. Genesis 2:24: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” https://bible.usccb.org/bible/genesis/2

  2. Colossians 2: 6-7: “So, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” https://bible.usccb.org/bible/colossians/0

Dr. Edward Sri, husband, father, theologian, and author


Dr. Sri discusses his new book on the virtues, The Art of Living: The Cardinal Virtues and the Freedom to Love. Dr. Sri shares personal examples of the three ways we grow in virtue to live and love well in our marriages and families.

Resources

  • The Art of Living: The Cardinal Virtues and the Freedom to Love is available through Dr. Sri’s website, along with his many uplifting books and videos: https://edwardsri.com/books/
  • Dr. Sri’s weekly podcast, “All Things Catholic”
  • From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1803, “A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good.”

Scripture

  • Ephesians, chapter 6
  • Matthew, chapter 6: 25-25
  • Romans 8:28

Mary Ann McNeil and Liz Youngs of PATH, Post Abortion Treatment and Healing


Mary Ann McNeil founded PATH, Post Abortion Treatment and Healing, almost 30 years ago in response to the sorrow and suffering she witnessed in friends who had abortions. She and many volunteers, including Program Director Liz Youngs, have ministered to hundreds of people through retreats and Bible studies specifically designed to offer hope and healing to post-abortive women and those who grieve the loss of abortion including the fathers and siblings of those lost to abortion.

Resources

Scripture

  • Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
  • Psalm 34:19: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed.”
  • Jeremiah 29:11-14: “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me,says the Lord—and I will change your lot; I will gather you together from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the Lord—and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.”
  • 2 Cor 5:17-19: “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
  • 2 Cor 1:3-4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.”

Marc Greenberg, Jewish convert to Catholicism


Marc Greenberg shares his beautiful story of conversion that begins as the beloved great-grandson of a Russian Orthodox Jewish immigrant and is completed upon meeting his Catholic American wife and surrendering to the love of Jesus. Marc shares the ways that God continues to weave his Jewish heritage into his ministries as a Catholic husband and parishioner ­– from teaching Christians the beauty of Seder suppers to surrendering to God’s love in pre-Cana classes. Marc encourages us to point ourselves to Jesus, seek after God, and surrender our will to His.

Resources

  • Tefillin/Phylacteries: small square leather boxes containing Hebrew texts on vellum worn by Jewish men at morning prayer as a reminder to keep the law. The boxes are strapped to the left arm and to the forehead of Jewish men during weekday morning prayers with leather straps according to interpretation of the instructions from Deuteronomy 6:8 and 11:18. Jesus refers to the potential of hypocrisy of the teachers and Pharisees when He says, “All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.” (Matthew 23:5)
  • Seder meal; the Passover meal. The instructions were given by the Lord to Moses and Aaron in Egypt (see Exodus 12). Jesus’ Last Supper (Holy Thursday) was the Jewish Passover meal, a Seder, celebrated according to Jewish custom.

Scripture

  • The Shema: A daily prayer in the ancient Israelite tradition from Deuteronomy 6:4-5 – “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.”
  • In John 3:30 John the Baptist points to Jesus – “He must increase; I must decrease.”
  • Psalm 139 is a beautiful expression of how God knows us!
  • Philippians 2:10-11 – “At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Cathy Schneider, Right to Life Coordinator at St. Brigid Catholic Church in Johns Creek, Georgia


Cathy Schneider, wife, mother, nurse, and Right to Life Coordinator at St. Brigid, offers insight and inspiration drawn from years of meeting expecting moms and couples at abortion clinics and providing them hope and encouragement as they walk into parenthood. Her compassion and love are contagious, and her practical ministry and service are inspiring. Join us to learn what you can do to serve moms and couples who have been led to believe that abortion is their only choice.

Resources

  • To contact Cathy Schneider or be put on her weekly e-mail distribution list to receive information on how you can help with everything from baby showers to car replacement programs: respectlife.saintbrigid@gmail.com
  • Talking Points on Dobbs Case from Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
  • 2363 campaign: Tools to educate others and motivate friends and family to fight for our children
  • Life-changing encounters on the sidewalk
  • Save The 1: 100% pro-life charity whose mission is to educate everyone on why all pre-born children should be protected by law and accepted by society, without exception and without compromise
  • Pro-life Minutes on AM 1160 The Quest
  • Archbishop Hartmayer’s statement following overturning Roe v Wade
  • Archdiocese of Atlanta Walking With Moms in Need ministry
  • Archdiocese of Atlanta parishes with Walking with Moms in Need ministries:
    • Christ the King Cathedral, Buckhead
    • Holy Spirit, Atlanta
    • Holy Trinity, Peachtree City
    • Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Carrolton
    • Sacred Heart, Hartwell
    • St. Benedict, Johns Creek
    • St. Brendan, Cumming
    • St. Brigid, Johns Creek
    • St. Francis of Assisi, Blairsville
    • St. John Neumann, Lilburn
    • St. Joseph, Marietta
    • St. Joseph, Athens
    • St. Jude, Sandy Springs
    • St. Lawrence, Lawrenceville
    • St. Mary’s Mission, Elberton
    • St. Michael the Archangel, Woodstock
    • St. Paul the Apostle, Cleveland
    • Transfiguration, Marietta
  • Ways to help Walking with Moms in Need ministry at St. Brigid Catholic Church.

Scripture

  • Deuteronomy 30:19 - “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live.”

Susan Milani, Parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena in Kennesaw, Georgia


Raised in a very Jewish home in Charleston, South Carolina, Susan is the only child of immigrant parents, a Polish Jewish survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, and a German Jewish escapee from East Germany. Through beautiful experiences and people Susan encountered from a young age, God wooed her into the Catholic Church. Susan lives her faith out loud in practical and winsome ways that draws others to Jesus and the Catholic Church. Her witness encourages us to step into opportunities to evangelize in our everyday lives.

Susan and her husband Bob are parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena in Kennesaw, GA ,and own the Lazy Labrador Coffee House in downtown Kennesaw where they offer God’s love to all who enter.

Scripture

  • Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”

Dr. Greg Popcak, co-founder of CatholicHÔM and Catholic Counselors and co-host of More2Life

Dr. Greg Popcak shares meaningful and practical ways for family members to draw closer to one another by living out their faith in their everyday home lives, starting with forming a deep, personal relationship with Christ. As a real, personal encounter with Jesus, The Eucharist should change everything, Greg notes, especially how we live and love each other as families. Greg discusses how the CatholicHom program teaches families to bring the grace of the Eucharist home and make the faith its center. Greg takes us through a model of family spirituality called the Liturgy of Domestic Church Life and provides ideas on how to live out our Baptismal priestly, prophetic, and kingly missions through three main areas: Christian relationship, family rituals, and reaching out. Greg calls the Eucharist the super-food we need to consume to fulfill our mission as a family. God puts us in families with particular gifts, and when we connect everything to Eucharistic grace, we put ourselves on the path to be healthy, happy, and holy. It’s about meeting the Lord, inviting Him to be the most important member of your family, and being more intentional about walking with Christ all day long. Having presented the Liturgy of Domestic Church Life model to family ministers in 30+ countries on 5 continents, Greg notes that it works with all types of families - from those who identify with the Cleavers to those who mirror the Simpsons - including families that have experienced divorce and single-parent, fostering, grandparenting, or step families.

Dr. Greg Popcak. Ph.D., MSW, LISW-S, is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, the author of almost 20 popular books and programs integrating solid Catholic theology and counseling psychology, and an expert on the practical applications of Pope John Paul the Great’s Theology of the Body. He is the Chair of the Marriage and Family Studies program at Holy Apostles College and Seminary and serves as an adjunct professor of both psychology and graduate theology at Franciscan University. Dr. Greg Popcak and Lisa Popcak were honored to be the Vatican’s choice to present the opening keynote on the Liturgy of Domestic Church Life model at the 2022 World Meeting of Families in Rome.

Resources

  • Register for the family track at the Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta June 18, 2022, hosted by Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak: CatholicFamilyAtlanta.com
  • Digital platform (website and app) dedicated to providing information and resources to help Catholic families encounter Christ more meaningfully at home, to love like Christ, and draw closer to each other by living the Liturgy of Domestic Church Life: CatholicHÔM (Catholic Households on Mission)
  • Pastoral tele-counseling practice serving Catholic individuals, couples, and families worldwide: CatholicCounselors.com
  • Original research and professional training in support of Catholic family spirituality and well-being: Peyton Institute for Domestic Church Life
  • Books:

Scripture

  • Luke 10:38-42 - “[Jesus] entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary [who] sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

Fr. Larry Richards, pastor of St. Joseph Church/Bread of Life Community in Erie, PA

A gifted and captivating preacher, retreat master, and author, Father Larry Richards discusses the importance of knowing Jesus Christ by having a heart-felt relationship with Him and sharing that love of Christ with the world. Essential elements of an intimate relationship with Our Lord are daily committed prayer time, which must entail listening to God, and spending time with His Word. Fr. Larry also shares practical ways to be daily in Christ’s presence with a simple 5-point method.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1989 for the Diocese of Erie, Fr. Larry Richards serves as pastor of St. Joseph Church/Bread of Life Community in Erie. He is also the Founder of the Divine Mercy Encounter Retreat Program for the Diocese of Erie. Fr. Larry Richards is the founder and president of The Reason for our Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to ‘spreading the Good News’ by educating others about Jesus Christ.

Resources

Key Scripture

  • Psalm 46:11: “Be still and know that I am God.”
  • Mark 1:11: “And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
  • Ephesians 6:15: “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
  • John 15:15: “I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.”
  • Galatians 2:19-20: “For through the law I died to the law, that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.”

Jordan Burke, Content Coordinator with Avila Institute




Jordan Burke shares his powerful and personal story of overcoming a pornography addiction to bring truth and healing to others. Jordan shares how all kinds of addictions can result from using things to seek consolation and comfort instead of turning to God. He explains how an addiction is a type of self-medicating to overcome pain and inebriation to avoid a deep wound. As an adolescent, Jordan had a computer with unlimited Internet access and warns that pornography wasn’t something he sought out but happened to stumble upon and that’s when the hooks sunk in. Jordan also discusses in understandable terms the physiological and neurobiological components of addictions that can make them especially strong and addictive with just one encounter, impacting one’s reasoning and cognitive development. Jordan’s story of healing culminates in a beautiful moment of the right form of intimacy, leading to experiencing the deep love and touch of God Who wants to enter into our pain and order our relationships and lives correctly. Through his experience and research, Jordan shares five practical steps to help overcome an addiction.

After spending a little over half a decade protecting and serving Birmingham, Alabama, as a police officer, Jordan felt called to serve others in a different way by helping people avoid falling into pornography addiction and to free themselves from addictions. Through developing his own company, he found creating YouTube videos to be one of his many natural talents, ultimately leading him to discover his passion for all things digital media. Since 2014, he has continued to develop these passions and callings and now enjoys putting his talents to use serving others through the Avila Institute. He resides in South Alabama with his beautiful daughter.

Resources

  • Free digital downloads available on Jordan’s websites: www.DoTheHarderThing.com

  • Christian treatment and healing for those damaged by pornography and other forms of sexual addiction: Bethesda Workshops

  • Software accountability tools designed to help you and those you love live free from pornography: Covenant Eyes

  • Education, training, encouragement, and resources to break free from pornography, heal relationships, and to assist parents in preventing and responding to pornography exposure which is so devastating in the lives of our children: Integrity Restored

  • Blogs, podcasts, and videos for spiritual direction through an apostolate of the Avila Foundation.

  • Spiritual education and formation from the Avila Institute

Scripture References

  • Romans 1:28 - “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper.”

  • Luke 22:31-32 - “Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”

  • Luke 22:60-61 - “But Peter said, “My friend, I do not know what you are talking about.” Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed, and the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.”

  • John 21:17 - “[Jesus] said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

  • Hebrews 12:4 - “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.”

  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 - “For, although we are in the flesh, we do not battle according to the flesh, for the weapons of our battle are not of flesh but are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses. We destroy arguments and every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ…”

Melissa Foley, founder of the healing ministry Loved Already, shares some conversation tools in a lively discussion about how we can speak life, healing, and restoration in Christ into our relationships. Part two of a two-part series.

Resources

Sister Briege McKenna with Father Pablo Escriva de Romani, a missionary priest from Madrid

Melissa Foley, founder of the healing ministry Loved Already, joins us in The Family Room in a lively conversation that inspires us to consider our identity in Christ as beloved sons and daughters of a providing Father. Part one of a two-part series.

Resources:

  • All are welcome to attend the Virtual Catholic Conference on Healing and Forgiveness, October 8-10. https://go.virtualcatholicconference.com/Healing2021
  • Melissa Foley’s healing ministry, Loved Already: https://LovedAlready.com/
  • From Melissa’s blog: “Who am I?” https://LovedAlready.com/identity-impact/
  • Key Scripture from Luke 11:11, What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? https://bible.usccb.org/bible/luke/11
  • From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. … In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life” (CCC, paragraph 1).
Previous
Next
The Family Room Page

Click on episode title from list to start listening.