Together in Holiness Conference renews life of Domestic Church

By Mary Powers

On the memorial of Pope St. John Paul II, more than 37 married couples from across the Archdiocese gathered at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Redwood City for the Together in Holiness marriage retreat co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the St. John Paul II Foundation.

Two of the presentations of the day were given by Danielle Bean, a Catholic author and podcaster, who talked about marriage and family life—most specifically on how to center domestic life around prayer and setting the expectation for her children to put their faith first in their life, such as making Sunday Mass a priority and memorizing Scripture.

In addition, she reassured parents that life with a big family can be messy. Speaking as a mom of eight children, Bean noted that it can be easy to look at other families on social media and think they have the perfect life, but in reality, parenting can be hard and messy.  

John Hanlon, formerly the associate director of the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco and author of A Call to Families: A Commentary and Study Guide for Familiaris Consortio, spoke on the Pope’s encyclical and the importance of strong, holy marriages in the world today.

The retreat also gave time for spouses to join in prayer. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone celebrated Mass and encouraged couples to build the Christian faith at home through service.

“Putting nothing before that call of living out the Christian faith in the family and the home—this is where the Christian faith is implanted in the soil,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “This is where we learn and live out the meaning of self-sacrificing love, which is the only way to Heaven.”