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Raising Saints: Helping Kids Hear God's Voice

Raising Saints: Helping Kids Hear God's Voice

By Alexandra and Fr. Connolly
Kids have the most beautiful insights into the Catholic faith, but sometimes their questions are difficult to answer. On Raising Saints, we are a priest and a mom who are eager to do our best to answer kids’ questions on God, the Church, the faith, and more!
Alexandra Sullivan is a wife and mother of three. Fr. Michael Connolly is the Parochial Vicar of the Church of St. Columba in Hopewell Junction, N.Y.
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S3:E2 - Where is Heaven? & Why Can't We See Jesus?
Today we are fielding two questions from Peter.  He asks: Where is heaven? and Why can't we see Jesus? 
June 9, 2021
S3:E12 Lectio Divina - Road to Emmaus
We are leading listeners through Lectio Divina, a prayerful reading and reflection, of the Road to Emmaus story in Luke's Gospel. Listen as we read the Gospel story and then take some time imagining the scene, prompting thoughts, questions and conversation with God through the story.  This is part 1, to be continued in our next episode. 
March 17, 2021
S3:E11 - Why Didn't St. Thomas Believe Jesus Had Risen?
A question from Alexandra's son, John, age 8.  He is curious about St. Thomas the Apostle. Why didn't he believe it when the other Apostles told him that Jesus had risen from the dead?  This question led us to a discussion about the gift of faith.   Also, we introduced the idea of leading Lectio Divina for our listeners for the whole family to listen to together. Coming in our next episode, so stay tuned. 
March 4, 2021
S3:E10 - Fasting for Lent with special guests, The Sullivan kids
The Sullivan kids join us today to discuss fasting for Lent. We bounce around some ideas and brainstorm with the kids. And we discuss keeping it simple and specific. Also, there's a non-sequitur in the middle in which Matthew, age 5, tells us all about what he ate for the day! 
February 18, 2021
S3:E9 - Why Isn't God Featured in the Stained Glass at Church?
Today we answer a question from 5 year old, Nate, who asks: "Why is there not a picture of God, if He is the main character at St. Columba (Fr. Connolly's parish), in the pictures in the stained glass?" So we discuss how we don't know what God the Father, the first person of the Holy Trinity, looks like, but that we do see Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity, represented in the stained glass and other artwork. And we talk about how we see Jesus present in the Eucharist also. 
February 3, 2021
S3:E8 - Interview with Kimberly Cook, author of Motherhood Redeemed
"Why do only men become priests?" is an often asked question of boys and girls alike. Fr. Connolly regularly gets asked for an explanation. To help us address this question, we are joined by guest Kimberly Cook.  Kimberly is a writer, podcaster, wife, mother and Catholic apologist, and joins us today to discuss her new book, Motherhood Redeemed, How Radical Feminism Betrayed Maternal Love.  She gives us a good explanation of feminism, her own experience with feminism, a bit of her conversion story back to Catholicism.  And we discuss the ideas of true femininity and masculinity as understood in Catholic teaching, which was a good launching point for us to discuss the roles of men and women within the church.  If you'd like to find out more about Kimberly, visit her website. You can find her book on Amazon or through TAN books.   
January 20, 2021
S3:E7 - How can parents help their children develop their own prayer life?
We are joined today by a special guest, Patrick Sullivan (no relation to Alexandra), who runs a couple Catholic ministries, Evango and Me & My House. As a parent of 9, we thought he'd be a great help in answering today's question.  How do we help our kids develop their own prayer life, rather than prayer being another thing that parents put on their "to do" list?  Find out more about Patrick's ministries here: Evango - resources for evangelization Me & My House - geared toward Catholic parenting
January 6, 2021
S3:E6 - How do we prepare for Christmas?
 Today we are brainstorming and sharing some ideas and suggestions for entering into Advent.
December 11, 2020
S3:E5 - Thanksgiving Special
Today we are sharing some positivity - we discuss what are we thankful for during the time of Covid
November 25, 2020
S3:E4 - How Do We Explain to Our Young People the Importance of Staying in the Church?
Today is a heavier episode, and we are discussing a very important topic - how to help our young people and children so that they don't become a part of the growing group of "former Catholics." Specifically, we discuss the following questions: How do we communicate to our children why they should stay in the church?  And if they do stay, how do they sustain their faith in the midst of a culture that is so hostile to religion? 
November 18, 2020
S3:E3 - Free Will, Our Choices and God's Omniscience
Today we answer two questions from 8 year old Patrick: If God knows everything and knows what we are going to do, do we really have free will?  If God wants you to be a priest, do you have to do it? 
November 4, 2020
S3:E1 - The Domestic Church, Sibling Rivalry and More!
Welcome back!!!  We are so excited to be back with you for season 3!!!  In this episode we are talking about the domestic church, what that is and means.  We briefly discuss the experience of practicing the faith during the pandemic.  Also, all this togetherness can sometimes bring strife within the family, so we are sharing our thoughts on how to handle sibling rivalry situations.  And this leads nicely into a discussion about how to raise siblings to be lifelong friends and support each other. Throw in some good old Fr. Connolly and Alexandra tangents, and we have the season 3 premiere! 
October 7, 2020
S2:E15 - Random Questions About the Hosts
Today we are wrapping up the season before the summer with some random questions about the hosts.   Can Fr. C wear shorts and sneakers when it's hot?  What are some of our favorite Bible stories? How did the Sullivans introduce their children to prayer?
June 22, 2020
S2:E14 - What is Divine Mercy?
Happy Easter!  Today we are talking about Divine Mercy.  What is mercy? What is the celebration of Divine Mercy?  What is the Divine Mercy chaplet? Well, we pray it at the beginning of the episode.  Join us! And we share #HowIHeardGod this week!
April 21, 2020
S2:E13 - All About Holy Week
You can tell we are stuck at home as we talked for nearly an hour during this episode! Fr. Connolly tells us about all things Holy Week starting with Palm Sunday.  (Side note: Fr. C mentions that his church would be giving out palms, but as things change almost daily, this did NOT happen.) Learn  about the Chrism Mass, Tenebrae, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil.  
April 7, 2020
S2:E12 - Questions about quarantine, Coronavirus and cancellation of Masses
In today's episode, Fr. Connolly speaks with the Sullivan children, Samantha, John and Matthew and their very good friends Kaitlyn, Nathan and Madeleine.  Each child has a question about the quarantine, Coronavirus and the cancellation of Masses and sacraments. 
March 24, 2020
S2:E11 - Part 2 - Interview with Mom of a Religious Sister
Today we finish our conversation with Cynthia O'Connor about her daughter who is a religious sister. We talk about the joy of finding your vocation,   Fr. Connolly sings a boy band song, and Cynthia tells us about a panini press that had to be returned because of her daughter's vow of poverty! 
March 10, 2020
Ash Wednesday!
Why do we flock to our churches to have dirt put on our faces and what’s the significance of the sign of the Cross?
February 26, 2020
S2:E10 - Interview with a Mom of a Religious Sister
Today we speak with Cynthia O'Connor, mom, grandma and school nurse extraordinaire! Cynthia's daughter, Sister Clare (Anna) is a Sister of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.  We speak with Cynthia on how the family helped their daughter discern her call, what family prayer life was like, and her thoughts about having a child enter religious life, and many more topics.  Learn more about Sister Clare's order here on their website.  Sister Clare is featured in the video on the homepage. 
February 25, 2020
S2:E9. How Can We Learn to Feel Sorrow for Sins? & Why Did God Create Bad Guys?
We answer two kids' questions today.  Cassidy, age 10, wants to know how we can be sorry for our sins when we don't know how.  And Joseph, age 5, wants an answer to the age old question about why there is evil in the world. Plus, #HowIHeardGod is back this episode!
February 11, 2020
S2:E8: Interview with Sister Marie, Part 2
We are continuing our conversation with Sister Marie Pappas, a Sister of the Resurrection and DRE at St. Columba in Hopewell Junction, NY.  She tells us more about her vocation and answers some rapid fire questions sent in from some local children. 
January 28, 2020
S2:E7 -Interview with Sister Marie Pappas
This episode we begin a series on vocations.  We start by interviewing a religious sister, Sister Marie Pappas of the Sisters of the Resurrection.  Sister Marie currently runs the religious education program of St. Columba parish in Hopewell Junction, NY.  In part 1 of the interview, Sister Marie tells us her vocation story. 
January 14, 2020
S2:E6: Is God a Punisher? & Did Adam Get Another Rib?
We answer call in questions today from two boys - Did Adam get a new rib after Eve was made? And is God a punishing God?  - We chat about Thanksgiving traditions and plans, and we share #HowIHeardGod this week. 
November 26, 2019
S2:E5 - How Do I Stay Engaged in Mass?
Have you ever thought, "I just don't get much out of Mass."  Or are you not sure how to actively participate in Mass? This episode we tackle some of those challenges.  
November 12, 2019
S2:E4 - Should Catholics Celebrate Halloween?
There is a debate across the internet about whether Catholics should celebrate Halloween.  What do we think?  Well, we dressed up at Saints John Paul II and Teresa of Calcutta for this episode, so yes, but also be careful! 
October 30, 2019
S2:E3 - Why Did God Create Us?
The Catechism states: "to know, love and serve Him." But what does this mean? 
October 15, 2019
S2:E2 - Why Should We Care About Jesus' True Presence in the Eucharist?
Last week, we spoke about the theology behind the Eucharist.  This week we talk about what it means for us and why we should care.  Learn about some Eucharistic miracles, and hear a couple examples of our personal experiences of Jesus' True Presence.  Also, more of our new segment, #HowIHeardGod 
October 1, 2019
S2:E1 - The Eucharist: What is Transubstantiation?
We address the now famous Pew Research study that said only 30% of Catholics believe in the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  We touch on some biblical passages to help explain what happens during the consecration.  And we introduce a new segment, #HowIHeardGod. 
September 18, 2019
Season 2 Trailer
Welcome back! Here's what you've got to look forward to this season! 
September 12, 2019
S1:E11 - Interview with Leila Miller
In today’s episode we interview Leila Miller, Catholic blogger and co-author of the book, Made This Way, from Catholic Answers. The book discusses 10 difficult issues that modern parents are facing, from modesty to divorce to pornography. They explain what the Church teaches and why, and how to discuss these issues with younger kids and older kids.
June 10, 2019
S1:E10 - A Visit with an 8th Grade Faith Formation Class
An 8th grade faith formation class had sent us some questions via email.  In this episode we visit their class and record in person!  This is our first foray into questions from teens.  We discuss the how and why of miracles.  And that transitions into a discussion on the meaning of suffering.   PS - we are sorry for the average audio quality.  Please forgive us. 
May 28, 2019
S1:E9 - Be Not Afraid
Today is a little different.  We break from our usual format of answering questions to talk as the Holy Spirit moved us.  We discuss the darkness in the world around us, and how we will all likely encounter resistance to our faith.  But that we should be not afraid because God is always with us.  And we encourage all our listeners to be lights of Christ in the world.  Plus, if you're a Batman fan, Father Connolly does an impression of Bane from The Dark Night.  
May 14, 2019
S1:E8 - The Purpose of Sacraments & Dealing with a Frustrating Person
Father Connolly brought a question from the 3rd grade class at St. Columba school.  A student asked: What is the point of the sacraments? As we answer this question we also address a question from a parent, Kristy, who wonders why we go to Confession rather than just asking Jesus to forgive us privately.  And then Will in 4th grade asks us to tackle a difficult issue - how to show compassion to a frustrating classmate!  Please forgive the background noise and the 3 year old yelling for mommy in this episode!  (#CatholicMomLife) 
April 30, 2019
S1:E7 - Abstaining from meat & Jesus' 40 days in the desert
As we complete 40 days of Lent, Evie brings us a perfectly timed question - why did Jesus wander in the dessert for 40 days?  And her younger sister,  Chiara, age 8, asks why we are supposed to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in Lent.  But did you know that the Church recommends we do this year round?  
April 16, 2019
S1:E6 - All About Faith
In this episode, we answer 3 questions all about faith.  First, Grace, age 7, and her 2nd grade faith formation class, would like to know when CCD was started.  Then, Marcelo, age 6, wonders how faith develops in people!   Our final caller, Nick, 6th grade, wants to know what "the word" is when we say at Mass "only say the word and my soul shall be healed."  That question was actually submitted by two kids - the exact same question - one caller, one by email!  WOW!
April 9, 2019
S1:E5 - Dinosaurs & Dogs
If you are a parent, you have probably heard one, or both, of today's questions.  Mason, 2nd grade, would like to know if Jesus was alive during the time of the dinosaurs.  And Gracie, age 11, is curious if her beloved dog will be in heaven.  
March 26, 2019
S1:E4 - "Happy Lent", Ashes and Incense
This week we talk a little about Lent and what we personally are doing for Lent.  We answer a question from Mary, age 7, about why we receive ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday.  And also, find out why and when our priests use incense, thanks to Alexandra's son John, age 6.    
March 12, 2019
S1:E3 - Good Friday
As we enter Lent, we have a few questions today wondering about Good Friday.  Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?  And if He knew He had to die, why did He pray to God the Father asking to not have to die on the cross? 
February 27, 2019
S1:E2 - Purgatory and Liturgical Seasons
Ever wonder what Purgatory is and what we do when we are there? And, what's the reason for all the different colors during the church year?  Find out on today's episode. 
February 27, 2019
S1:E1: Questions about Creation
In our first ever episode we tackle questions about God and creation.  Find out how we answer the questions: who made God, and why Adam and Eve believed the lie of the devil in the Garden of Eden.  
February 27, 2019
Show trailer
Welcome to Raising Saints! Here's a quick intro to our show.  
February 8, 2019