Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Everyday Grace:
Spiritual connections

by Mary Cronk Farrell

(From the Sept. 13, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)

Mary Cronk Farrell When Marie’s teenage son was diagnosed with lymphoma, one of her first reactions was to go to the internet for information on the disease. When Therese needs a recipe for a family meal, rather than crack a cookbook, she clicks a mouse.

More and more, parents depend on the web for information and daily connection. Mothers who once would have gathered in the kitchen for coffee, advice and companionship now hit

Beverly, a mother who works part-time in her family business and raises three daughters, says it’s easier to get to the computer than the phone because she doesn’t have to worry about what time it is or if someone will be home.

She told her sisters recently, “A simple conversation can take days by e-mail, but I’ve found a certain comfort knowing that you’re all out there, just a click away. And when I’m working away and get a message, I feel that connection.”

Many parents cruise the web for spiritual links as well. Michelle, a mother of five children under age 10, meets other parents at her kids’ ball games, at Mass, and her home school group. She also uses the web for information on homemaking, managing the kids and home, medical concerns, gathering information to teach a class, and to learn more about the Catholic faith.

“It is great to be able to get this information that I wouldn’t easily have access to without the internet,” says Michelle. “I love the Catholic Heritage Curricula’s website ( which sells Catholic home school materials. The site has a mom-to-mom connection service where you can ask various questions regarding home schooling, mothering, teaching faith, etc. It also has stories and ideas for kids to do, like coloring pages.”

Following is a list of popular websites for Catholic parents:

• is published by the Claretians and offers suggestions for prayer, practical parenting and basic information on Catholic faith and practice. Very clear site and easy to navigate.

• offered by the Franciscans offers a wide variety of information including a saint of the day, minute meditations, Catholic news, Catholic movie reviews, American Catholic Radio, a catalogue of books published by St. Anthony Messenger Press, and webpage for the St. Anthony Messenger magazine.

• Privately run site dedicated to celebrating Catholic motherhood. The author Lisa Hendey offers opportunities for mothers to share and learn about parenting and faith issues. She offers more than a dozen columnists on various topics, workbook type activities for kids, book, video and music reviews.

• is a blog by a Stay-At-Home Catholic Dad with two daughters. Joe Bittle is a former high school English teacher and football coach.

• is a privately operated site with activities for families each season of the year and for feast days. This particular link will bring you to a list of profiles of saints, most in three versions; for young families (children 0-8), for practiced families (children 8-14), and experienced families (children 14-adult).

• lists the daily Mass readings and is part of the official site of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops.

• published by the Jesuit Communication Centre in Dublin, Ireland. This site invites you to spend 10 minutes, praying here and now, as you sit at your computer, with the help of on-screen guidance and Scripture chosen specially every day. It also lists the pope’s special intention for the month so you can pray along with the pope.

• Not for parents, but teenagers, this website looks fabulous, so I’m including it here. It provides a forum for Catholic teens to discuss current issues, post prayer requests, and ask questions after faith. Information about the traditions and teaching of the Church, plus Lectionary-based catechesis and reflection, are presented in an attractive, interactive, teen-friendly format. The site is run by the Ministry of Disciples Now, a Catholic Youth Ministry in Maryland.

For ease in connecting to these sites check out this article on my website:

© 2007, Mary Cronk Farrell

(Mary Cronk Farrell is a Spokane free-lance and children’s writer. Her latest book, Celebrating Faith: Year-Round Activities for Catholic Families, has been published by St. Anthony Messenger Press. Contact her at

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