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Growing Up Catholic Parent Conversations Living the Good Life Six Parent Small Group Sessions on Catholic Morality

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Six Parent Small Group Sessions on Catholic Morality
Growing Up Catholic Parent Conversations
Living the Good Life

Gather your parents for faith-sharing and conversation while their children are in faith formation classes!

These small group sessions for parents are about where the rubber meets the road: the challenges and joys of parenting today. Here is a great way your parish or school can accompany your parents as they fulfill their important vocation.  Help your parents enter into meaningful conversations about how their faith informs their parenting and way of life and connect with other parents. In our experience, when you gather parents to discuss issues such as these, it's hard to get them to stop talking!

View all parent session resources here.

Most of us intend to be good. We want to do the right thing, but we often fail—sabotaging our own happiness—and don’t know why. We watch this same pattern play out with our children. Is there anything we can do about it? Long before there were life hacks, ancient wisdom from our faith tradition outlined practical, battle-tested insights for becoming the best version of ourselves (and teaching our kids to do the same). We will explore those insights in this series.

This small group series presents Catholic morality in an accessible and understandable manner for even skeptical parents. This resource will show parents how to embrace a virtue ethics approach in their lives and use it to form their children. Paul Canavese offers thought-provoking insights and guidance, sprinkled with examples from popular culture, psychology, Scripture, and Church tradition to show how the Good Life that Jesus proposed is the most fulfilling way to live. Best of all, this series outlines practical tools that parents can put to use right away.

The sessions include:

  1. What Does It Mean to Be Good?
    • The Good Things in Life - Why Catholicism is about being joyful, fulfilled, and truly free.
    • What We Do and Who We Are Becoming - It's more about breaking a rule and more about the path we're on.
    • When We Fail - As Genesis tells us, sin comes down to four broken relationships.
    • Goodness in Real Life - If we want to be good, we have to practice at it.
  2. Creatures of Habit
    • Old Habits Die Hard - Breaking Bad and how "good" people go wrong.
    • Healthy Growth - How virtues can change us.
    • Embracing Virtues - Finding the healthy balance between extremes.
    • Examples of Virtues - Understanding virtues in today's world, for you and your kids.
    • Bonus: Catholic virtues take-home handout.
  3. In Good Conscience
    • Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide - How God leads us through the messiness of life.
    • One Voice among Many - Psychology, the inner and outer voices that guide our decisions, and how our conscience is unique.
    • Forming Our Consciences - Following our conscience doesn't mean doing whatever we want.
  4. The Examined Life and Forgiveness
    • Missing the Mark - Whatever happened to sin? Why understanding it is more important than you may think, for you and your kids.
    • The Examined Life - Tools for evaluating our lives and why they matter.
    • Reconciliation - It's not about beating ourselves up. How we may get this sacrament wrong, and why we need it.
  5. Choosing the World as It Should Be
    • Visualize Goodness - "Third way" thinking and the Christian imagination can change the world.
    • You Have Heard It Said... - No, Jesus doesn't want you (or your child) to be a punching bag. How Jesus changed everything with creative and defiant love.
    • Discernment of Spirits - A step-by-step process for tuning in to God when making decisions.
    • Bonus: Discernment take-home handout.
  6. All Together
    • Hanging Out with the Right Crowd - Proof that peer pressure is not just for kids.
    • Hanging Out in the Right Places - How your environment is manipulating and provoking you.
    • Social and Socially Acceptable Sin - Just because everyone's doing it doesn't make it right.
    • The Heart of the Matter - Want to love? It's going to cost you. But you'll get even more back.

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This reproducible eResource is sold with a lifetime license for use within a parish, school, or diocesan office. You are allowed to make unlimited copies for use within your own community. You may also email these to members of your team or participants in your program. If you serve more than one parish or school, each should purchase its own license. You may not post our eResources to any web site without explicit permission to do so. Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for cooperating with our honor system regarding our product licenses.

Format: eResource
Product code: GUC702
Dimensions: 8½" x 11"
Length: 31 pages
The Pastoral Center
Written by Paul Canavese


Paul Canavese serves as director of The Pastoral Center (, author, frequent conference speaker, and pastoral consultant. He has his MTS from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley. He directs (focused on coaching parents) and ("intentional daily life Catholicism"). He has served in a wide range of parish ministries, most recently as a pastoral consultant at Corpus Christi Parish in Piedmont, CA. Paul also has 20 years of experience in software development and management with technology startups and social media. Along with his wife Ann, two daughters, and seven chickens, he lives in Alameda, CA, where they operate a mini-urban farm and looks for creative ways to build community in their neighborhood.

View all resources by Paul Canavese