Moorhead couple: Family rosary a teaching moment

| Katrina Genereux | September 8, 2015 | 1 Comment
The Davis family stops for a photo at the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park on a recent trip to Chicago. Jenny and Casey are pictured with their five children: Peter, 10; Charlotte, 7; Jameson, 5; Stella, 3, and Bridget, 1. Courtesy the Davises

The Davis family stops for a photo at the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park on a recent trip to Chicago. Jenny and Casey are pictured with their five children: Peter, 10; Charlotte, 7; Jameson, 5; Stella, 3, and Bridget, 1. Courtesy the Davises

Whether biking to confession as a family, praying the rosary with their five children or blessing their food before eating at a restaurant, the Davis family is working toward holiness one day at a time with the guidance of the Catholic Church.

“It’s amazing that our Church has . . .  this history and all of these opportunities for families to nurture their relationships,” said Jenny Davis, who has been married to Casey Davis for nearly 12 years. The couple and their children — whose ages range from 1 to 10 — live in Fargo, but belong to St. Joseph parish in Moorhead.

“Coming from a non-Catholic background, it is very nice to have the Church as kind of a teacher,” Casey said. “When I grew up in the evangelical church . . . you just decided what you thought you were supposed to be doing, and you didn’t really have a lot of direction.”

For Casey, looking to Church teaching and tradition is especially important when tough questions arise. He likes being able to give their children solid reasons behind Church teaching. He described that teaching as “best practices” to follow for people seeking true happiness.

“It’s not just what I believe, it’s what we believe,” he said.

Mother, teacher, family: The nature and role of the Church

The Church has institutional forms because she must work in the world. But that does not exhaust her essence. The Church is the bride of Christ, a “she,” not an “it.” In the words of St. John XXIII, she is our mother and teacher, our comforter and guide, our family of faith. Even when her people and leaders sin, we still need the Church’s wisdom, sacraments, support and proclamation of the truth, because she is the body of Jesus himself in the world, the family of God’s people writ large.

— World Meeting of Families

Family prayer

One thing that has helped Jenny and Casey deepen their family’s faith life is belonging to Teams of Our Lady, a Catholic couples group. Jenny describes the group’s purpose as “working on your marriage and relationship before you need to.” They meet with five other couples and a spiritual director monthly for a potluck dinner, faith sharing and prayer.

Being part of Teams of Our Lady has led Jenny and Casey to draw their whole family into a deeper relationship with Christ and his Church.

Part of that deepening faith life includes saying the rosary together. The first time they prayed it as a family, they had prayed three Hail Marys when their 5-year-old turned to them.

“I think we already said this,” he said.

“Yeah, we did,” Casey told him.

“And we have 50 more, so buckle up,” added Jenny, laughing as she relayed the story.

Little by little, they’re getting used to the practice of praying the rosary together.

“They [children] like leading different sections and, of course, fighting over which one gets to lead, and who gets to hold which rosary and all that kind of stuff,” Jenny said.

Despite navigating those age-typical antics, Jenny enjoys being able to take another step in faith with their children. When the Davises start to get swept away by the daily tasks of working, maintaining the household and raising their children, remembering that they can sit down to pray the rosary as a family helps bring the eternal perspective back to the forefront.

Spiritual habit

The efforts and witness of the Davis family is what Pope Paul VI referred to 40 years ago in the apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Nuntiandi” (“On evangelization in the modern world”), when he wrote, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”

For the Davises, becoming witnesses has been a process. “We didn’t start where we are,” Casey said. He credits other Catholics for inspiring his family to growth in faith. “[It] got us to be able to be willing to accept five, or as many kids as God has planned for us, or to be willing to sit down as a family and say a rosary. . . . We probably wouldn’t have thought that was us when we were first dating.”

Jenny and Casey work to make prayer a part of their daily family life and to instill it as a habit for their children.

“If you’re used to something, it’s so much easier,” Casey said. “If we wouldn’t have started praying with our kids [from the beginning] . . . when they are teenagers, trying to get them to pray in front of their friends would be scary.”

“The way we are raising our children and living our family life together touches a lot of other people, even if we are not aware of it,” he added.

WMFlogoTenth in a series
Created for joy

In partnership with the publications of all Minnesota dioceses, The Catholic Spirit is launching an 11-part series on families based on the meeting’s 10 themes.



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Category: Featured, World Meeting of Families