March - 2012


Family Name: Cusson

Parents: Leo, Julie

Children: Samuel (10), Zachary (8), Kayla(niece) (12)

Our questions for Leo and Julie:

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

Leo and I met back in the early 1980's through NH High School basketball, but it wasn't until 13 years later that we started dating. We have been married for 14 years and have made our home in Merrimack for the past 12 years. Leo works in the computer field, and Julie is a stay-at-home mom, after 14 years of coaching college basketball.

We attend Sacred Heart Church in Manchester where Leo has been a parishioner for 20+ years, and Julie, since we were married. Leo is a Eucharistic Minister, and our son, Samuel, serves as an altar server. Our other son, Zachary, is making his first communion in April, and he, too, is eager to be an altar server. We are involved in the Family Religious Education program and have found that this program has really kept us living our faith, as we are called to teach our children about God, the church, and our beliefs. We are very family-oriented and really try to focus our lives on living for Christ.

Our boys go to public school in Merrimack. They are both involved with the Merrimack Youth Association, playing soccer in the Fall and basketball in the Winter.

Kayla (Leo's niece) has recently joined our family, coming to us from Florida. God has blessed our family in many ways since her arrival. We know that God has a plan for our family and we pray that we can faithfully live out the life that he has planned for us.

What is your favorite family activity?

As a family, we enjoy being outside together any chance we get. Some of the activities we enjoy doing together are traveling around the country to visit extended family, camping, biking, hiking, and going to the lakes and beaches. We enjoy cooking out and picnicking with friends and family. I'm not sure a week doesn't go by without the neighbors having to listen to us in the yard, excited over a family whiffle ball game or a flag football game.

What is a favorite family tradition?

The kids thoroughly enjoy the holidays and the religious celebrations that go along with them. During Advent, the kids enjoy celebrating St. Nicholas by putting their boots outside the door and waking to a surprise delivery the next morning. They also enjoy taking turns lighting the advent candle each night at dinner time and saying a prayer. As a family, we celebrate the Triduum at Easter. We attend mass for Holy Thursday and the kids' favorite part is the procession down the streets of Manchester by candlelight singing songs. We also celebrate the Stations of the Cross every Friday night during lent, and attend the Stations of the Cross at Mt. Calvary Cemetery on Good Friday.

How does your family pray together?

Our family prays together at every meal. Once a week, we sit down together after supper and teach bible lessons to the kids from the Family Religious Education program. As a family we say the rosary each night before bed. Once we put the kids to bed, they read their devotions with one another. It really is neat to see them growing together in Christ.

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

We think that the thing our family finds most challenging is that the Christian family life seems to be in danger and disappearing. It has become the norm to be so busy that families don't sit down and eat meals together. Extracurricular activities are planned on Sunday mornings during mass times. Prayer has been taken out of schools. Religious celebrations have been changed so as not to offend others. It is a difficult society to raise our kids in. We have tried to stress that we, as Christians, have an obligation to show Jesus to the world. In spite of what others choose to do, we strive to attend Mass weekly, keep prayer as the focus in our family life, help others in need, pray for others, bow our heads for meals in school or out at a restaurant, and say "Merry Christmas!" We know God is in control! Chronicles 29:11 - Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.

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

Carolyn McKinney