April - 2012


Family Name: Paiva

Parents: Jim, Tanya

Children: Katharine (18), Theresa (16), Joshua (15), Isabel (8), Madaleine (6), Samuel (4)

Pet: Snagglepuss (cat)

Our questions for Jim and Tanya:

Tell us a little about yourselves - a paragraph or two . . . Where do you live? What parish do you attend? How did you meet?

Jim and I met at a Mardi Gras party hosted by the young adult ministry at Ste Marie. We started dating shortly afterward and were married the following fall at Ste. Marie. We have been married 19 years and blessed with six wonderful children.

We have lived in Manchester for the past 14 years. Jim is an 8th grade science teacher and Tanya is a stay at home Mom homeschooling our two youngest children, Madaleine and Sam. Two of our older children, Theresa and Joshua, attend Holy Family Academy and our daughter Isabel attends St. Benedict Academy in Manchester. Our oldest daughter, Katharine, is preparing to graduate from Manchester Memorial High School in June.

We are actively involved at Ste. Marie, trying to instill in our children the value of service to God, His church and His people. Jim serves as an usher at mass and is preparing to become an Eucharist Minister. Tanya is the co-coordinator of the Family Program, a family based religious education program that has deeply blessed our family and marriage by helping to root us in Christ and giving us the tools necessary to live an authentic daily Catholic life. Our oldest daughters, Katharine and Theresa, are members of the choir and serve as cantors. Joshua is an alter server and helps with Children’s Lectionary. The kids are also actively involved in community theater and soccer.

What is your favorite family activity?

We look forward to family dinners every night. This is the time were we talk about our day, with everyone sharing the best part of his or hers. The older kids laugh at the younger kids antics and reminisce about things they did at that age. The younger children gain from a large captive audience and from the wisdom of their older siblings. As the kids have gotten older it is not every night that we have all six of them at the table with us because of work schedules and extra curricular activities, which makes the time we do have as a family all the more precious.

What is a favorite family tradition?

When asked what their favorite tradition is, all of the kids quickly reply that, “Friday night is pizza night!” We have been enjoying homemade pizza on Friday nights for as long as any of us can remember. Our children also enjoy celebrating the anniversary of their baptisms and birthdays with a special dinner and a family blessing cup and affirmations of their character from all of the family members. We also enjoy many traditions which center around the Liturgical Calendar, celebrating St. Nicholas Day with gold coins in our shoes, lighting the Advent wreath, making a good deed chain to hang on the Christmas tree, decorating Christmas cookies with cousins, celebrating the Triduum by attending all of the services, taking part in the Eucharistic procession and the Stations of the Cross and an enormous Easter egg hunt with cousins.

How does your family pray together?

We gather nightly to pray as a family before the younger children go to bed, offering intentions and thanksgiving for the many blessings we enjoy. We also enjoy saying the Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent.

What does your family find most challenging to living as a Catholic family in our society?

It seems that we are constantly being assaulted on all sides from society, entertainment, the media, and the government. We find that more often than not we feel like fish swimming upstream. It would be so much easier to just go with the flow, but we know that we are called to be in the world but not of the world. Teaching our children the importance of recognizing the moral absolutes of the Church and equipping them with the virtues and skills necessary to follow these absolutes is a large challenge when it seems that everything in the world runs contrary to those absolutes. It is for this reason that we are grateful for the community at Ste. Marie, especially the families we have met through Family Program, who provides us with a network of like minded families to share this struggle with.

Thank you Paivas! Check back next month to see another family featured on our Family Spotlight.

Carolyn McKinney