October - 2011
Family Name: Mannella
Parents: Keith (45) and Julie (42)
Children: Isaac(16), Anthony(14), Anne Marie(12), David(10), Jessica(6), Michael(4)
Pets: Cat "Tiger"
Our questions for the Mannellas:
Tell us a little about yourselves - a paragraph or two . . . Where do you live? What parish do you attend? How did you meet?
We moved to Bedford, NH last year from Rogers, Arkansas where we lived for 12 years. When picking a town to live in finding a parish was very important to us. After leaving a wonderful faith family in Arkansas, we feel very blessed to be worshipping at St. Elizabeth Seton. Having always lived away from our families, which are in Texas and Pennsylvania, we have leaned on our parish families.
Our marriage and consequently our family life was established with our Catholic faith as the foundation. Julie and I met at a Catholic young adults group in Houston TX and quickly made our faith life the center piece of our family life. We have been blessed with 6 children with an age range from 16 years old to 4 years old. Our children are very involved in school, music, sports and of course being with friends. Even with busy schedules we work hard and enjoy doing things together vs. splitting up.
Allowing our family to be active in today's society while not allowing the trappings of today's secular society to be a negative influence is an important way that we try and give our children a strong faith-filled foundation.
What is your favorite family activity?
We love to take family field trips like going to the beach, hiking the NH trails or touring downtown Boston. We have really enjoyed exploring the area together. Apple picking is a new favorite!
What is a favorite family tradition?
With Keith having an Italian heritage and Julie having a Mexican heritage, family gatherings around the dinner table are always big and festive.
How does your family pray together?
We bless each of the children in the evening with Blessed Oil with a special prayer of protection. We also have family circle time where we say a prayer together and then go around and each family member shares an intention to pray for. It goes without saying that we really enjoy being at Mass together!
What does your family find most challenging to living as a Catholic family in our society?
Our faith and what we believe in unfortunately is counter current to what society tells us is right and popular. This can be difficult for children who at a young age often have to go against what most people are doing, wearing, saying or believing. This is where continually sharing the beauty and truth of our Catholic faith with our children is critically important. Our goal as a family is to get each other to heaven and with the headwinds of a secular society we must be even more diligent in our pursuit.
Thank you Mannellas! Check back next month to see another family featured on our Family Spotlight.