TCA Radio Podcast – “Conversations with Consequences”

Episode 14: Building an intentional family, with the Hernons of the “Messy Family Podcast”

Does your family have its own “family” culture? Are you reacting to the challenges of parenting or do you have a plan? This week’s guests on Conversations with Consequences, Mike and Alicia Hernon, share their experience in running the Messy Family Project ( This dynamic husband and wife duo not only raised 10 kids, but also seek to help other parents become more “intentional” in parenting with marvelous tips and resources (and a fabulous podcast of their own). Listen and learn their tips and ideas for strengthening your family.

1. Faith leaders want reversal of chaplain ban, New policy in Texas prohibits visits on death row before capital punishment.

By Christopher Vondracek, The Washington Times, July 26, 2019, Pg. A6

A group of faith leaders across Texas are calling on state corrections officials to allow chaplains back in the execution chamber.

A July 23 letter signed by nearly 200 faith leaders and addressed to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice expresses dismay over the agency’s “new provision” that keeps chaplains out of the 10-by-8-foot cell that houses death row inmates before capital punishment is imposed. Chaplains provide a “small but vital form of human compassion in an otherwise dehumanizing process,” the leaders say.

The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops “wholeheartedly support allowing chaplains to return to the vital ministry of accompanying prisoners in their final moments in the death chamber,” a spokesperson said in an email, adding that the group was unaware of the July 23 letter.

2. Vatican: Retired Benedict XVI makes day-trip to Roman hills.

The Associated Press, July 26, 2019

Benedict XVI, the 92-year-old former pontiff, has made an unscheduled day trip to the Alban hills near Rome.

The Vatican on Friday said Emeritus Pope Benedict, who relinquished the papacy due to physical frailty, traveled a day earlier to Castel Gandolfo, which is home to the Vatican summer retreat.

He visited the gardens where he used to stroll when vacationing there as pope.

3. Lay People in the Renewal of the Church.

By Fr. Roger Landry, The Anchor, July 26, 2019
Fr. Roger J. Landry is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts and the National Chaplain of Catholic Voices USA.

Earlier this month, I had the privilege to go to New Zealand to give five talks over seven days, sandwiched around two days of sightseeing in one of world’s most beautiful countries. The first three talks were to young adults, the last two, at the Auckland Eucharistic Convention, for Catholics of all generations.

Certain talks are easier and more enjoyable to prepare and deliver than others. I loved comparing the thoughts of Popes John Paul II, Benedict, and Francis on love, describing John Paul II’s Theology of the Body as a way to holiness, addressing Christ’s summons to the young to follow him all the way, and discussing how Jesus Christ in the Eucharist seeks to fill us with courage before all our challenges, which was more or less the theme of the Eucharistic Convention, dedicated to Jesus’ words “Take Courage, I have overcome the world.” But the last talk I was asked to prepare, on the call to lay people to renew the Church as salt, light and leaven, struck me as too dry and theological — in short, too boring — for an hour-long speech before a large, non-academic Catholic crowd.

John Paul II emphasized two parables in his exhortation on the Christian lay faithful. The first is the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Mt 20:1-16), which underlines that Jesus wants and needs all of us with sleeves rolled up working hard in his vineyard. The second is the parable of the Vine and the Branches (Jn 15:1-8), which reminds us that we can do nothing unless we’re attached to Christ and to each other. Through Baptism all members of the Church have become united to Christ and share in his mission to proclaim the word, to offer our lives and work together with him to the Father, and to enter into and help others to enter his kingdom Remaining attached to Christ the Vine in the Sacraments, lay faithful are called as branches to be the extension of his holiness and charity in the world.

The renewal of the Church will always involve the renewal not just of the clergy and religious — which is deeply needed — but also and especially of the laity. There are many challenges involved, but Christ wouldn’t be calling the laity to be salt, light and leaven unless he were prepared to give everything needed for them to live up to this mission.

4. Catholic leaders condemn Trump administration’s move to execute inmates.

By Christopher White, Crux, July 25, 2019

Attorney General William Barr’s announcement on Thursday that the federal government would resume executing death row inmates after a nearly two decade hiatus is coming under fire from national Catholic leaders.

Bishop Frank Dewane, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said he is “deeply concerned” by the move and urged the Trump administration to reconsider.

“In 2015 Pope Francis, echoing the views of his predecessors, called for ‘the global abolition of the death penalty.’ He went on to state that, ‘[A] just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.’ The Catholic Bishops of the United States have echoed this call for many years, including their 2005 statement, ‘A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death,’” Dewane said.

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