A Review & Giveaway: Strengthen Your Family with This Great Book


It probably reveals way too much about me that, a chapter or two into Marge Fenelon‘s new book, Strengthening Your Family: A Catholic Approach to Holiness at Home, I was struggling with feelings of inadequacy and wondering if I could hire Marge to come and mother my children.

It speaks highly of this book, then, that I was able to feel pretty hopeful about myself and my future after I finished reading it.

I can do this, I thought to myself.

I credit this book for my new mommy policy: I will make something homemade once a week for after-school snacks (or end up at my mother-in-law’s, where she will make something homemade). The reason has to do with that warm feeling I get when my kids delight in eating freshly baked cookies and with the light in my seven-year-old’s eyes when she walks in the door and sees the goodies.

Much of what I read in Strengthening Your Family was not news to me, but it was refreshing and well-ordered. Fenelon speaks from experience, but she also commiserates with those of us still very much in the trenches of young motherhood. She offers suggestions, but she also offers prayer. She provides many ideas, but she also provides many caveats. Her foundation is not “being an awesome family,” but rather “getting your family to heaven.”

There’s a big difference between being awesome and getting to heaven, and I don’t know that I spent any time considering that before I picked up this book. It’s designed for Catholic families with kids, though I wouldn’t restrict it to kids of any age. If you have teens, you’re sure to find help within its covers, and if, like me, you have grade school and younger, you will get bolstered and emboldened.

Strengthening Your Family is a wonderful resource and guidebook for Catholic families. I’m glad to have read it, and plan to reference it in the coming years!

Want to win a copy of Strengthening Your Family?

<Contest now closed. Thanks for your participation!>

Thanks to the generosity of Our Sunday Visitor for making this giveaway possible. That said, they did not in any way influence my review. I said what I said without them knowing what it was going to be!

Copyright 2012 Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.


  1. Barb Patterson on

    Hope I win! I’m sure it will make me feel like a slouch of a Mom, but I will learn a lot.

  2. Barb Patterson on

    Hope I win! I’m sure it will make me feel like a slouch of a Mom, but I will learn a lot.

  3. Barb Patterson on

    I hope I win this book, even though it will probably make me feel inadequate.

  4. Lee Ann Cote on

    This sounds like a great book! I’d love to have steady confidence in my mommy-ness.

    • This is one of the books on the list for my moms’ group! Would love to have an extra copy. Thank you!

  5. My reply ended up in the wrong place above. Darn computer, or rather darn user!

  6. I have been looking for a book like this — I can use all of the help I can get – even better that it is within a Catholic framework.

  7. These children are my life. I do everything I can for them. I always want to do it better. I’d love to read this book.

  8. I think that any book on Catholic parenting that affirms as much as it challenges truly sounds wonderful. So many times when you have finished a parenting tips book, it leaves you feeling like you are climbing up a tall mountain pushing a stroller with one hand, holding an anvil with the other. It is wonderful that grade school and teens are included also – cause that is what I need 🙂

  9. This book sounds wonderful! As a mother of four also, I would enjoy reading on tips to help our family become more holy. Thank you for this offer!

  10. Caroline Winsper on

    5 Catholic kids at this house ranging from 17 months to 16 years… Any Catholic wisdom accepted and appreciated! I hope we win!

  11. Elizabeth Hull on

    Sounds like a great book! It will go on my list of books to read. Thanks for the recommendation!

  12. This book sounds great! If I am not lucky enough to win a copy, I will definitely buy one. Thank you!

  13. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful books on the website. If catholicmom.com didn’t write about these books I would never know about them. This book will be added to the list with the others. Thanks again.

  14. I am a junkie when it comes to books on Catholic family life, and this looks like a great read. I would love to win!

  15. Please draw my name so I can share it with the other moms in my Catholic Book Club. We’re always looking for something new to read about keeping our families/kids holy in such a fast-paced world. Thank You.

  16. As a mother that struggles wanting to give my husband and child a loving, warm, and Godly home yet falling short it seems everyday . . . I’d love to hear the advice and tips on this book that might help me in the battle 🙂

  17. Sounds like exactly what I need! I’ve raised two children & now I’m blessed with two fabulous granddaughters! This book will be a godsend!

  18. I would love to win! My little girl is due in three weeks and my husband and I are trying to read a lot about how to raise a strong Catholic family.

  19. I would to add a copy of this book to my library! I think it would be a very valuable resources as a Catholic mom as well as a second grade RE teacher.

  20. The review of this book really struck my interest. I have a 9 year old and a 5 year old and at times I feel like I am doing the worst job a parenting and teaching my kids about our wonderful faith. I often feel like I could use any help possible and would agree with one of the other comments that some of the other parenting books just make me feel like an absolute failure.

  21. It sounds like just the book I need! Lisa’s Handbook for Catholic Moms came into my life at just the right time and it sounds like this book will be a great next step. Thanks for the chance to win!

  22. Colette Hart on

    Sounds like good motivation. I could really use some right now. In my homeschooling slump with my 4 and thankfully only 6 more weeks to go 🙂
    We started doing a nightly decade of the rosary over lent, and thankfully it has just started getting easier and now the kids take turns leading. I love hearing our 4 year old lead!