Family Faith Snapshots: Dr. Jared Staudt
“Selfishness undermines family harmony more than anything else.”
Who are you?
I am a Catholic educator and I carry out my work primarily by supporting parish catechesis in the Archdiocese of Denver, but also by teaching various courses, supporting Catholic schools, and through writing, especially for the Denver Catholic paper and the website Those Catholic Men.
Tell me a little about your family.
My wife Anne and I have been married for close to 15 years and have six children ranging from 13 down to one.
What is your family’s prayer routine on an average day?
I pray the Rosary with the kids in the morning on the way to school. In the evening we read from the Bible, sing songs, and pray together as a family.
Do you have a devotion that is particularly important to you as a family?
We have a strong devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, Divine Mercy, and to the family of St. Thérèse. As a Benedictine oblate, St. Benedict and his Rule also plays a big part in our family spirituality.
Does your family have a patron saint?
When I first met Anne, we both prayed a novena to St. Thérèse at the same time. We then began learning about her parents, especially from Fr. Piat’s Story of a Family, and their intercession was decisive in getting us through a very difficult birth. We named our oldest son Louis Martin Staudt after Thérèse’s father. Our youngest is named Rose Azalea both for Thérèse as the little flower and her for her mother, whose full name was Marie Azélie (French for Azalea). Anne and I are excited for visit Alençon and Lisieux on a pilgrimage we are leading together to France and Belgium this October.
How do your children inspire you to grow in faith?
First, my children help me to be humble and to grow in charity! I have found that they keep me accountable for my faults and inspire me to be a better Dad.
My son Daniel, who is preparing for his Confirmation in March, has developed a strong devotion to the Rosary, which has been inspiring for me and Anne to see. My oldest, Mariana, although she is not very excited about prayer in general, enjoys learning about the Old Testament, which has brought about some great conversations. My 4-year-old, Colum (short for Columba), has an insatiable desire to learn about angels and Heaven, which keeps us thinking!
Is there a specific book or resource that has been especially helpful in your effort to raise a holy family?
In general, it's important to read the lives of the saints as a family. I noticed when reading these stories to my kids that the saints themselves were inspired by hearing the lives of other saints.
Do you have a written or unwritten mission for your family?
Our mission is to live the faith as a way of life. We want to build a Catholic culture in our home, working with other families to support each other. We did a family retreat with some other families to talk about how to live the faith more as a family and we hope to do more retreats on building family culture.
What is your family's favorite Catholic tradition or celebration?
The kids enjoy dressing up for All Saints Day and attending parties that day at school and church. We enjoy celebrating days related to our heritage as well, like St. Patrick's Day and Oktoberfest. We also celebrate the Epiphany with a King's celebration, with a special cake and crowns. We have a special dinner on our name days as well, the feast day of the saints we're named after.
What are some of your DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to technology and media?
We are very cautious with technology. There is overwhelming evidence that screens prohibit deep learning and thinking and strain relationship, so I don't see how we can be anything but cautious. We don't have a TV and our kids don't have phones or play video games. We do watch a family movie on my computer about once a week. We encourage our kids to read, play board games, spend time outside, and they even like writing letters (imagine that!).
Can you share a word of wisdom that has been particularly beneficial to you in your Catholic family life?
I've been realizing more and more than parents need to affirm their children, representing the love of God to them. It can be tempting to focus on the results of how they're doing in school or how closely they follow the rules. In the end, family life, like life in general, comes down to love. I am constantly reminded that my life is not my own, but I find my own happiness in giving my life to others, especially my family. Selfishness undermines family harmony more than anything else.