Guiding Your Family in the Faith

Dave “Do you even lift bro?”’ VanVickle and I answer a question from a listener about how to guide your family in the Catholic faith without overdoing it.

Snippet from the Show

“Connection is more important than perfection.”


“It’s time to be a saint.”


Listener Email

Carla writes:

“Thank you for your podcast. I have been binging on past episodes since I discovered it last month. I LOVE it.  I am a ‘cradle Catholic’. My husband and I have 4 children ,and we raised them Catholic, or we thought we did. Our version of Catholic looked like going to weekly mass and “most” Holy Days of Obligation. We enrolled them in CCD classes, and they have received the sacraments. Our children range in age from 22 to 13. 

Now, after approximately 4 years in the ‘desert’, I feel that I have finally discovered Jesus. I have developed a prayer hour and have joined a few prayer groups to help with my formation. I read the bible daily, I read the daily readings for the mass, and keep a prayer journal. I am really drawn to learning and growing in Faith. 

I do not know how to help grow my family to be a more faithful family. It is not our normal, and my kids are not young. It feels so difficult to implement. Because Jesus was not at the center for our life, I do not know how to help make this shift without being too preachy. How can I gently guide them? I want to plant seeds and water like crazy so ‘God can do the growth’. Thank you!”

How to Guide your Family in Faith

  • Take a deep breath and realize that God loves them more than you do. 
    • That’ll prevent the “trap” or the attack with Jesus. Slowly start to introduce conversations in their lives that push conversations into their lives and be the best listener you possibly can be.
  • Pray like crazy every day for conversion.
    • Pray for them in three ways: for a person who is influential to sow/water; for you to have opportunities to speak the gospel; for suffering to be beneficial in their lives.
  • Humble yourself. You might not be the one who evangelizes them. 
    • Our fear is we failed them, but that may paralyze you from action or make them a project for you. Conversion is a deeply personal thing and it is never on a parent’s timetable.
  • Read Forming Intentional Disciples and Ananias Training. 
    • Realize that youth culture is their context.
  • Talk about how God is working in your life. 
    • Not in a fake, overly spiritual way. Especially if they struggle with the intellectual side of faith, your overly spiritualizing things makes it unbelievable.
    • This is hyper-religiosity. Avoid this because it only makes new barriers.

“Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.”

1 Peter 3:15

5 Practical Takeaways

  1. Group Intercessory Prayer: Pray a decade of the Rosary for Carla’s kids the day you hear this episode.
  2. Examination of Conscience: Examine especially for humility and fear, religiosity or zeal, paralysis or projectism
  3. Involve your spouse in some sort of explicit weekly prayer for your kids, like a visit to the church
  4. Tactics and self-knowledge: Make a list of things that your kids might find “unbelievable” for someone who professes belief in Jesus Christ.
  5. Sharpen your listening skills: When your kids come to you with a problem, just ask questions and listen. Don’t give any advice unless they explicitly ask you.


Meet Your Hosts


Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael spent 17 years in full-time parish ministry and is now the Mission Evangelist for That Man Is You!, a men’s apostolate for Paradisus Dei. Michael is a frequent speaker at conferences, retreats, and parish missions all over the US and Canada.

He is the founder and creative director of, and hosts three Catholic podcasts: Every Knee Shall Bow, Catching Foxes, and Becoming God.

He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon, and has four beautiful and hilarious children: Kateri, Cecilia, Noah, and Thomas.


David “Dave” VanVickle

Dave VanVickle

Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen and has since dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.

He is a speaker and retreat leader who focuses on proclaiming the universal call to holiness, authentic Catholic spirituality, spiritual warfare and deliverance. Additionally, Dave has over ten years of experience assisting Priests with their ministries of exorcism and deliverance.

Dave married his late wife Amber in 2010. He now resides in Pittsburgh with his five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.

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