Candidates for Friday Five

1. Children bear the brunt of parental conflict after divorce

2. Closing the Marriage Gap


When Not To Get Married: Some Late-19th-Century Advice
Slate Magazine (blog)

This fun book, which offered young lovers advice on wise courtship, was one of a series of dime novels printed and sold cheaply in New York City by ...

4. Why We Should Teach Empathy to Preschoolers

How to Save Your Marriage from Parenthood 
Emotions expert Amie Gordon offers five tips to maintain (or reignite) the spark in your relationship.  Read More>


Podcast: Welfare Reform, 20 Years Later

Does welfare work? In this 2016 Minnesota Public Radio segment, scholars Kathryn Edin, Ph.D., sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Ron Haskins, Ph.D., senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, provide insights into the 20-year history of welfare policy and welfare reform in the U.S. since the signing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. They also discuss the state of poverty in the U.S.

7. Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8

8. Evidence-based prevention and treatment of dementia

9. Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education: What’s the Point?
What’s the point of healthy marriage and relationship education skills? What impact could integrating these skills have for the families you serve? In this podcast, Resource Center Project Director Robyn Cenizal has a conversation with Dr. Dave Schramm, Ph.D. Associate Professor at the University of Missouri within the Human Development and Family Studies department, and with Colleen Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer at the Coalition for Children, Youth and Families, about addressing these critical issues.

Media player


A Manifesto Against ‘Parenting’


Thanks Alysse

Fwd: dotMagis - Ignatian Spirituality

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ignatian Spirituality <>
Date: Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 11:35 AM
Subject: dotMagis - Ignatian Spirituality

dotMagis - Ignatian Spirituality

The Symphony of Your Day

Posted: 18 Jul 2016 03:30 AM PDT

symphony - sheet music

There are certain routine sounds in our lives that call us into action simply by reflex. The morning alarm clock jolts us out of bed and into our morning routine. The ring tone on our phone beckons us to drop what we’re doing and respond to the person seeking us out on the line. The familiar beeping of a microwave leaves our taste buds anticipating another delicious meal. Familiar sounds call us into familiar actions.

So what then, of the quieter sounds in our lives that too often get drowned out by the well-practiced symphony of our routine? In a guided audio Examen shared here, the listener is invited during the preparatory phase of the prayer to “Gently listen to all the sounds around you; try to capture each one.” What a fantastic and profound invitation! We are invited to be still and listen for the sounds we’ve been too busy or too distracted to hear through the day. In the profound but fleeting pauses between the movements of the symphony of our lives, we are invited to listen to God’s voice hidden behind the fanfare.

We’re invited then to take one step further. Just as those routine sounds call us into action, we are invited to “capture each one” of those subtle sounds quietly playing in the background of our day. Capture. Not just to observe, not to meditate on it, but to actively chase and seize it! “Capture” is just the sort of militaristic word St. Ignatius would love. It’s very much in keeping with his vision of contemplatives in action. If we but take the time to enter into the stillness and listen to the more subtle voice of God whispering in the quiet moments, we can capture an opportunity to be contemplatives in action. We must seize that moment, for soon the Conductor will start the next movement in the symphony.

When the symphony of your day comes to a pause, what will capture your attention and call you into action?

Think more about the patterns of your day with today’s 31 Days with St. Ignatius entry, The Truth of My Life by Mike Hayes.

The post The Symphony of Your Day appeared first on Ignatian Spirituality.

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Fwd: Are We So Busy We Never Listen, Pope Asks at Angelus...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ZENIT <>
Date: Sun, Jul 17, 2016 at 3:00 PM
Subject: Are We So Busy We Never Listen, Pope Asks at Angelus...
To: Bill Coffin <>

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Are We So Busy We Never Listen, Pope Asks at Angelus

Posted by Kathleen Naab on 17 July, 2016

Angelus 30 August 2015

Receiving a guest into our home doesn’t require so many things, says Pope Francis, as only one thing is necessary: listening to the guest, hearing the thoughts of his heart, so that he feels he is truly among family.

This was the Pope’s reflection today before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Commenting on the Gospel of today from Luke, which recounts the story of Mary and Martha receiving Jesus in their home, the Holy Father spoke about the virtue of hospitality.

“In busying herself and doing things, Martha runs the risk of forgetting — and this is the problem — the presence of her guest, which in this case is Jesus,” the Pope explained. “She forgets the presence of her guest.”

The Holy Father said that a guest — any guest, not just Jesus — doesn’t need only to be served and fed. “Above all it is necessary that he is listened to,” he said.

With listening, a guest is welcomed as “a person, with his history, his heart rich in sentiments and thoughts, so that he might feel truly that he is among family.”

Failing to do this, the Pope said, is like treating the guest like a rock.

“A guest must be listened to,” Francis emphasized, adding, “Certainly, the answer Jesus gives Martha — when he tells her that only one thing is necessary — finds its full meaning in reference to hearing the word of Jesus himself, this word that enlightens and sustains all that we are and all that we do. If we are going to pray, for example, before a crucifix, and we talk and talk and talk and then we leave, we don’t listen to Jesus. We don’t allow him to speak to our hearts.”

Lost virtue

Pope Francis said that in understanding hospitality in this way — with an emphasis on listening so as to respect the personhood of guests — we see that it is a human and Christian virtue, and one that “runs the risk of being left aside.”

There is an increasing number of guest houses and types of accommodations, he said, “but in these places, a true hospitality isn’t always lived out.”

Are the stories of the ill, the marginalized, the refugee, the migrant listened to, he asked.

“Even in one’s own house, among one’s own family, it’s easier to find service and care of various types than listening and welcome,” the Pope lamented.

“Today we are so busy and in such a hurry, with so many problems, some of which are unimportant, that we lack the capacity to listen. We are constantly busy and thus we don’t have time to listen,” he said.

The Pope then turned his reflection to questions: “You, husband, do you have time to listen to your wife? You, wife, do you have time to listen to your husband? You, parents, do you have time, time to lose so as to listen to your children, or your grandparents, the elderly?”

Grandparents, especially, he said, need to be heard.

“I ask you to learn to listen and dedicate more time to this,” the Pope concluded. “In the capacity to listen is the root of peace.”

On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full text:


Angelus Address: On the Waning Art of Hospitality

Posted by ZENIT Staff on 17 July, 2016

ange-740x493 (2)

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave this artaorning before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Candidates for Friday Five


2. Strengthening Families Goal of AgriLife Progam


By Amber and David Lapp, Love and Marriage in Middle America Project
Essay from The Heritage Foundation’s 2016 Index of Culture andOpportunity
When we interviewed Carly, 31, in the sum­mer of 2010, she had been in an on-again, off-again cohabiting relationship with the father of her child for about 12 years. Never married, she called marriage a “piece of paper.”


4. Assisting Two-Parent Families through TANF

6. Students of today are more afraid of growing up than in previous generations

7. The House Divorce Built

This app provides week-by-week information on essential topics to help mums and dads adjust well to the first six months of life with a baby.

9. Income inequality leads millennials to start families before marriage

10. Defining Evidence Down

11. Welfare reform to promote work and marriage

Robert Doar,@RobertDoar
Kiki Bradley

Thanks Alysse

Fwd: My Goals in Writing This Column - Ethics & Religion Col.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Michael McManus <>
Date: Wed, Jul 13, 2016, 10:55 PM
Subject: My Goals in Writing This Column - Ethics & Religion Col. #1,820
To: Bill Coffin <>

Ethics & Religion

July 14, 2016

Column #1820


My Goal In Writing This Column

By Mike McManus


            With this column, I complete 35 years of writing Ethics & Religion.  This anniversary might a time to outline to readers what I am trying to do each week, and some of the results of the column.


            My pledge to editors is that I would address America’s toughest moral problems - but would always suggest an answer.  The subliminal message: hope!


            For example, in recent months I have offered answers to alcoholism, abortion, drunk driving, the federal deficit, pornography and ISIS persecution of Christians.


            In 1990 I wrote a column about a question Rev. Richard McGinnis asked his church:

“Are there any couples here whose marriages were once on the rocks, but who have come off of them and restored their marriage? If so, meet with me after the service.”  Out of 180 people in church, 10 couples met with him.


            He told them he was overwhelmed trying to save marriages in crisis. Then he thought about how Alcoholics Anonymous got started, with “Bill” and “Dr. Bob,” working together to keep each other sober. They developed the “12 Steps of AA” that have helped millions to stay sober.


            Father Dick asserted, “I want to meet with you to see if there is anything of a common nature you had to do for your marriage to be restored.” Seven couples agreed to tell their stories.


            At first, their stories seemed wildly dissimilar.  One woman had been in adultery for eight years. A husband was an alcoholic who was out of work for two years. There was a workaholic dentist and a bisexual who had homosexual affairs.


            Yet the couples were able to agree on 17 “Action Statements” like the 12 Steps of AA. One was, “Through other Christian testimony and personal example, we found hope for our marriage.”  Each couple decided “to follow Jesus as my Savior and Lord.”  Each husband and wife also “realized the problem was with myself, and began to change with the Lord’s help.”


            The result was a “Marriage Ministry” in which those seven couples met with 40 couples in crisis over five years, saving 38 of them!


            I provided Pastor McGinnis’ address, sparking 1,500 letters!  No column had such an impact.  But in calling back a sample of those who wrote in, not one created a “Marriage Ministry.” My column appeared to be a failure.


            However, in researching my column, I have found other strategies to better prepare couples for a lifelong marriage, to enrich existing ones and save those in crisis. For example, 4 million couples have taken PREPARE-ENRICH, a premarital inventory which asks couples to respond to 150 statements:


·         I go out of my way to avoid conflict with my partner.


·         Sometimes I wish my partner were more careful about spending money.


My wife and I trained couples in our home church to administer the inventory and talk

through the issues it surfaced.  Of 288 couples prepared for marriage in the 1990s, 58 decided not to marry.  But of the 230 who did marry, we know of only 18 divorces in two decades!


            Thirty years ago, I suggested that the pastors of Modesto, California consider requiring every couple marrying in the city to take the inventory in a “Community Marriage Policy.” Some 86 pastors signed on.  The result? Modesto’s divorce rate plunged in half!


            My wife and I have now helped the pastors of 230 cities create Community Marriage Policies which included the Marriage Ministry described here, plus three other interventions:


            “10 Great Dates” is designed to enrich existing marriages.  Couples come to church on 10 Friday nights, watch a brief DVD on a topic such as “Resolving Honest Conflict” and then go on a date to discuss it.  It’s a fun way to reinvigorate marriages.


            What if one spouse in a crisis marriage refuses to seek help? The committed spouse can take “Marriage 911,” a 12-week workbook course with a friend of the same gender, designed to help him or her grow so much they win back their errant mate. It usually works.


            Seventy percent of couples with stepchildren divorce.  But if a church creates a Stepfamily Support Group, it can save 80% of stepfamilies.


            An independent study of Community Marriage Policies reported they cut divorce rates by an average of 17.5% in seven years, saving 100,000 marriages, reduced cohabitation by a third and raised some marriage rates.


            Thus, writing this column led to a national ministry that is saving marriages.


            Would you like to create a CMP in your city?  Call me 301 978-7105.


Copyright © 2016 Michael J. McManus is President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist.  For earlier columns go to and hit Search for any topic.








Mike McManus is President of Marriage Savers

and a syndicated columnist, writing Ethics & Religion weekly

9311 Harrington Dr.

Potomac, MD 20854




Fwd: Give Your Marriage a Tune-Up this Summer!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dr. Manny & Karee Santos <>
Date: Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 10:00 PM
Subject: Give Your Marriage a Tune-Up this Summer!

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Tune Up Your Marriage this Summer!

The lazy days of summer are a great time to reconnect with your family.No worries about homework for the kids means more relaxation for everyone. Take advantage of the long, light-filled days to revive your marriage. Talk a little more, laugh a little more, kiss a little more.

To help you out, we're including links to a 12-part series of printable marriage prep/enrichment worksheets on every topic under the sun. If you'd like to communicate better but don't know where to start, try these out!

The 12-Point Relationship Tune-Up

Click on the links below to download and print the worksheets. Whether you use one or use them all, we hope they make your relationship better tomorrow than it is today.

Exclusive Excerpts


In case you missed it, we ran a series of exclusive excerpts on, featuring the introductions to each of the four parts of our book. It's not too late to read the excerpts here and share them with friends and colleagues who haven't snagged their copy of The Four Keys yet.   

Click here to purchase on Amazon

Click here to purchase on B&N

As always, feel free to forward this email and invite your friends or colleagues to sign up here for our free newsletter and Marriage Rx eBook: 50 Inspirational Quotes to Make Your Marriage Better Today.


Copyright © 2016 Can We Cana?, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you asked for exciting news and updates about our Catholic marriage ministry and advice book.

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Candidates for Friday Five





Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls


The (not-so-hidden) costs of caregiving

4. Register for NRCECLive

Those unable to attend the conference in-person can still participate via the conference livestream, NRCECLive. The schedule for sessions that will be made available on the live stream is provided below. To register for NRCECLive, click on the following button.

5. How TV dating shows helped change love and marriage in China forever

Early childhood data opportunities
Recent changes to the Child Care and Development Block Grant, Proposed Head Start Standards, and Every Student Succeeds Act have broad implications for early childhood data collection. On Tuesday, July 19 at 1 p.m. ET, the Early Childhood Data Collaborative will host a discussion of strategies and approaches, led by an expert panel.


Healthy relationship education training to be held in August


The State of Our Unions: Marriage in America

Thanks Alysse

Fwd: The Home Buying Process + 5 Communication Tools

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Together for Life Online <>
Date: Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 10:10 AM
Subject: The Home Buying Process + 5 Communication Tools

Together for Life Online | Catholic Wedding and Marriage Advice If you are having trouble reading this email, you may view the online version
Each month we collect articles and inspiration for married couples to help build the foundation to stay together for life. Check out these articles from about being Catholic and being married for life:
Kathleen Kittle, missions and conference administrator for Renewal Ministries, shares a powerful realization about mercy in marriage after an encounter with Teresa Tomeo and Deacon Dominic Pastore.
Communication: "5 Communication Tools that Saved My Marriage"
Rob Flood shares five tools that he and his wife continue to use to help communicate and resolve arguments.

Purchasing a home can be difficult, however, blogging couple from True Good and Beautiful, Jonathan & Amanda Teixeira, share the impact Dave Ramsey had on their decision to purchase a home. They documented their home buying process in a three-part series.  
Romance and Date Ideas: "Date Night"
Contributing blogger for Verily Magazine, Bethany Grow, shares how she and her husband keep date night a priority among the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Email us with topic requests and your biggest challenges as a married couple. 

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Fwd: July Marriage Monthly: Summer Reading, the Meaning and Purpose of Catholic Marriage, and more.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: USCCB / For Your Marriage <>
Date: Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 11:14 AM
Subject: July Marriage Monthly: Summer Reading, the Meaning and Purpose of Catholic Marriage, and more.

What has Pope Francis recently said about marriage and the family? Read his reflections and more in this edition of the monthly newsletter.
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For Your Marriage

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marriage monthly
July 2016

Home   Dating & Engaged    Parenting & Family    For Every Marriage    About Catholic Marriage

It Is Summertime!  
What do Catholics Read?
It's summer, and perhaps you have time for a little extra reading--maybe even some spiritual reading. But where to start? Here are a few suggestions.     
Understanding Catholic Marriage 
Meaning and Purpose
New Year's Couple
The Sacrament of Matrimony is a covenantal union between a man and a woman. Marriage is both a natural and sacred institution, strengthened by God's all-encompassing love. Learn more about the Catholic Church's teachings on marriage and the family.
Pope Francis Corner 
Pope Reflects On Amoris Laetitia: Respect, Conversion, And Witness

In a recent reflection on Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis reminds all to be compassionate towards others, to remain humble, and to witness the inspiring and faithful love of elderly married couples.
Featured Blog: Two to Tango   
Marital Love Is Like Fine Wine- It Gets Better With Time
In her new blog post, Kathleen reminds readers of Christ's constant presence in marriages. She compares marital love to her family vineyard, explaining that marriages are the fruit, and Christ the vine. Read more for Kathleen's reflections on married and divine love.
Book of the Month 
Thriving Marriages, 2nd edition
By John Yzaguirre, Ph.D & Claire Frazier-Yzaguirre, MFT, M. Div.

Reviewed by Alexandra Lahoud

The Yzaguirres provide a how-to guide for married couples who want to keep their marriages strong. By incorporating spiritual and psychological approaches, the authors outline factors that affect marital relationships. Looking for ways to strengthen your marriage? Check out this book!   
Marriage in the News  
China's Only Children In Marital Crisis
Tracy You recently published an article in Daily Mail that evaluates the effect of the one-child family policy on divorce rates of couples born in 1980. The interference of parents could be a possible contributor to increased divorce rates. Nonetheless, divorce is becoming more common amongst 'post-80s' Chinese couples.    
In This Issue
What Do Catholics Read?
Understanding Catholic Marriage: Meaning and Purpose
Pope Francis: Pope Reflects on Amoris Laetitia: Respect, Conversion, And Witness
Featured Blog: Two to Tango
Book Review: Thriving Marriages, 2nd edition
Marriage In The News: China's Only Children In Marital Crisis
Marriage Tip of the Month
July 5, 2016: 
Summer months are the perfect time to reconnect with old friends. Plan to visit friends or "long-lost" relatives this summer. 

FYM Find Help

Become a Fan of Marriage
Find us on FacebookJoin our Facebook fans: 13,798 and counting!
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Fwd: Marriage Foundation news

Congratulations to the Harry and Kate Benson on 30th anniversary 

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Harry Benson <>
Date: Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 6:14 PM
Subject: Marriage Foundation news
To: <>

Modern Marriage
View this email in your browser

Family policy?

Brexit and its fallout are the only subjects in town at the moment, which makes it unlikely that there will be much political appetite for discussions on more or less any important subject that is not related to the resulting leadership campaigns pre-October or EU/trade negotiations post-October. 

At Marriage Foundation, we have always taken the view that our role is less about politics and policy and more about getting good information out to the public on family stability. We are here to give couples and families the confidence to talk about marriage because marriage is so utterly key to strong families.

So even if, not surprisingly, it's been a quiet month for us in terms of media coverage - and may be for a while longer - interest will inevitably return because marriage and family life provide such a rich seam of stories. 

In the meantime, here are some reasons why we need to keep speaking out about marriage and family: 

  • Family breakdown still remains a national epidemic. One in four toddlers and nearly one in two teenagers are not living with both natural parents. 
  • Despite often heroic efforts, half of all lone parents still end up in the lowest income group and rely on benefits for support. Their children are twice as likely to have health or educational problems. Nobody wants this.
  • Picking up the pieces of family breakdown still costs the taxpayer £48 billion per year, more than five times our £8.5 bn net contribution to the EU (and more than three times our £13 bn gross contribution less rebate).
  • Cohabiting parents still account for half of all family breakdown although they comprise only one in five couples. 
  • Parents who marry are still far more likely to stay together. Whereas two out of ten married parents will split up before their child sits GCSEs, seven out of ten unmarried parents will do so. Age and education don't explain this huge gap. 
  • The trend away from marriage has hit the poorest most and the richest least. Among parents with children under five, just 25% of the lowest earners are married - and therefore face the highest break-up risk. In sharp contrast, almost 90% of those earning over £40,000 (which ironically includes all the policy-makers who keep telling us that marriage doesn't matter) are married. 
There remains an ongoing battle to be won to restore confidence in marriage and to encourage commitment, especially among the lower income groups who have been so badly advised by our do-as-I-say policy makers. 

Even if marriage and family issues have temporarily dropped off the news and policy agenda, it's up to us to keep this vital subject alive in our own homes and in our conversations with friends, family and neighbours.  

I hope our work encourages you. Don't forget our Key Facts pages are there to help. 

May your own marriage and those around you flourish!

Harry Benson, Marriage Foundation

NEW The best Father's Day present 

Sir Paul Coleridge writes to unmarried dads 

Continue reading →

NEW Having married parents boost self-esteem 

The surprise finding that teens are affected by whether their parents are married or not 

Continue reading →

Low conflict break-ups ... 

...and why we should be worried about them 

Continue reading →

The most obvious indicator of life chances?

It's "Births outside marriage"

Continue reading →

The case for marriage - The basics

Stuff that everyone should know 

Continue reading →

No trouble! Why our 29th year has been the best

For years, it was the bane of our marriage. But finally, we sorted it.

Continue reading →

The Marriage Gap

The rich marry (and stay together). The poor don't.

Continue reading →

Get married before you have a child: The hard evidence

If there was ever any doubt, our new study based on the best new UK data dispels it. 

Continue reading 

Staying together in a 'hopelessly unhappy' marriage

It's twenty years ago that Kate invited me to a meeting about our marriage ... my most read blog

Continue reading 

If you'd like to add your name to Harry's list, just click here to subscribe
It may have been a quiet month for Marriage Foundation. But it's been a busy month for the Benson family. 

Kate and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with a party at our home in Somerset.

We had the most fabulous day, surrounded by our children, family, and friends.

Our children organised the church service, where they each spoke movingly about our influence as parents on their lives, and we reaffirmed our marriage vows.

Afterwards, during our celebratory meal, four very special friends spoke in different ways about some the ups and downs of our married life so far. 

Our anniversary service and party was of course an indulgent treat for us. But it was so much more than that. 

If you haven't already considered it, may I encourage you most warmly to think about celebrating your next major anniversary in some way. 

There are so many reasons why this is such a great idea. 

An anniversary party celebrates the whole of your married life, all that you've achieved so far and all that you still have to come. It combines the very best aspects of a wedding - the future - and a funeral - the past. 

It's affirming, inspiring, encouraging, and great fun!

We were inspired to do this by friends of ours who celebrated their 50th anniversary a year ago. We are hugely grateful for their inspiration.

We hope we can inspire you to do the same, whether for your 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th or whatever!

The Marriage Foundation is a registered charity.
No 1150453

(If you'd like to support our work, you can make a one-off donation online or a regular donation by contacting our office on 0203 291 0912)

Marriage Foundation in the news
Brexit squeezed out most other news stories last month. The political fallout looks certain to dominate the news agenda for the coming months.

Our media coverage was limited to a couple of interviews with BBC local radio, a mention in the Mail and a reference to Paul's retirement as a high court judge in the Times. There were also a few follow-up stories in European papers and the Christian press, such as the Catholic Herald

Since our launch in May 2012, we have appeared on BBC News, BBC Newsnight, Channel 4 and 5 News, ITV This Morning, BBC Radio 4 Today programme and You & Yours, BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine, and many other stations. 

Most of our newspaper coverage in the major national newspapers can be found here
Our latest research papers
Our aim is to rebuild confidence in marriage. And there's nothing quite like good solid data and top notch research to dispel myths and help create the conditions for change.

Here are a few of our findings, all of which made headlines: 

NEW Teen Self Esteem 
Report - Telegraph - Mail - Sun - Express

Vanishing Divorce 
Blog - Report - Sunday Times