May - 2012
Family Name: Courant
Parents: Steve, Julie
Children: Collin (13), Jarrod (10), Jude (5), Rachael (2)
Our questions for Steve 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?
We moved to Weare from Merrimack 9 years ago. We chose to join Ste. Marie Parish after attending the 11:30 am Mass on Mother's Day 2003. I remember whispering to Steve, "We're home." Over the years we've been involved in various ways in parish life, including "Mom's Connection," FOCCUS to help prepare couples for marriage, and currently Collin and Jarrod are junior altar servers in the Guild of St. Tarcisius.
How we met is kind of interesting. My brother, Michael, is married to Steve's sister, Karen. So, we met one day when I was invited to come on his parents' boat while they were dating back in 1987. At the time, I was only 14 and Steve was 21. The age difference was too great and neither of us had an interest in one another anyway. We were chosen to be usher and bridesmaid at their wedding in November 1988. Then, they asked us to be our niece's godparents in 1995. The following year, we were at a family birthday party for our niece when all of a sudden we both started to look at each other in a different way. God opened our eyes to one another in love and His timing was perfect! We began dating and were married on April 18, 1998. This was Divine Mercy weekend and the 5th anniversary of St. Faustina's beatification. We have a great devotion to the Divine Mercy and included the novena in all of our wedding invitations. We have four beautiful children here on earth and have lost 5 children to miscarriage. We long to all be reunited one day in Heaven.
What is your favorite family activity?
We love to do outdoor activities together: hiking, biking, rollerblading, and skiing. The boys especially look forward to the Father-Son Camping weekend each summer. We really do a lot together as a family because we homeschool. We go on several field trips throughout the year, which creates great memories for us all. There is a big age difference between our two oldest and our two youngest, so this helps to keep us all close. I know the time is drawing near when the older two will be busy about their own lives, so we are enjoying this while it lasts.
What is a favorite family tradition?
Steve is Dutch Indonesian, so our family continues his family's tradition of Gourmetten. We choose to do this especially on New Year's Eve as a family. Gourmetten is a Dutch tradition where we prepare lots of cut up vegetables and marinated meats and fish and cook them on electric griddles. The kids love to be able to just toss on whatever they want and scoop it up onto their plates with their spatulas. We finish off the night with family board games, an annual viewing of "Happy New Year, Charlie Brown," and if the kids can stay awake, we watch the ball drop on TV together.
How does your family pray together?
We homeschool our children, so we are blessed to have the opportunity to pray together throughout the day everyday. We begin at 9am with the Family Rosary. At noon, we pray the Angelus. At 3 pm we take a break and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Steve puts the kids to bed, so he is the one to lead them all in night prayer. So, we have a rhythm of prayer permeating our daily lives. We also practice the devotion of the Nine First Fridays and Five First Saturdays in reparation to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary. We attend monthly homeschool Masses, as well as Sunday Mass as a family.
What does your family find most challenging to living as a Catholic family in our society?
I believe that the greatest challenge facing us is filtering all the media that comes our way. We are vigilant about previewing what our children watch or listen to or read. To quote St. John Bosco: "Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?" This also applies to all kinds of media, as well. It can be especially difficult, even among other Catholic families, who may have different standards than our own for media consumption. We try to fill our children's minds with what is good, and beautiful, and true. We hope, as time goes on, to equip them with critical viewing skills to make these determinations on their own in the future.
Question of the month: What is the most valuable lesson that your mother has taught you?
The most valuable lesson my mother taught me: Julie: The most valuable lesson my mother taught me was to be true to myself and my beliefs. Steve: My mom taught me to laugh and to not take things too seriously. The kids: the most valuable lesson they said that I have taught them is to treat others as they would want to be treated and to live a life of virtue. Jarrod added that the most valuable lesson I have taught him was to trust in God.
Thank you Courants! Check back next month to see another family featured on our Family Spotlight.