October - 2013


  Vigneau Family Michael, 32 and Tanya, 31   Children: Keira, age 6 Israel, age 4 Nairi, age 2 Samuel,  <1

Tell us a little about yourselves - a paragraph or two . . . Where do you live? What parish do you attend? How did you meet? Tanya and I met in 2004 at Ste. Marie's. We were both members of the young adult ministry started by Fr. Marc Montminy. We were married May 12, 2006 at Ste. Marie's. We are active members of the parish and find Ste. Marie's to be a great fit for our family and welcoming to families with children. We currently reside in Manchester, NH. Tanya is a stay-at-home mom; formerly a Registered Nurse. I am a Senior Information Systems Engineer. Our children keep us active with Keira in first grade at St. Benedict's Academy while the other children are still at home. We have been involved with various ministries at Ste. Marie's including lectoring, marriage preparation for new couples, Adoration Chapel, Mom's Connection, Special Delivery Meals and Young Adult Ministry.

What is your favorite family activity? What does your family find most challenging to living as a Catholic family in our society? As our children have gotten older, we are finding it easier to do more things with them that they will remember and cherish. The children love going to farms and picking fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries and apples). We enjoy cooking and baking with them (and eating). We recently went on our first hike and it was a great success. In the summer, you can find the kids in the pool on almost a daily basis. We enjoy spending a lot of time at home relaxing, riding our bikes and playing outside.

What is a favorite family tradition? Both sides of the family are extensive and local. One of our traditions is to celebrate birthdays and holidays with big feasts, family and fun. Our children having a close relationship with extended family is important to us. Every summer we spend a week at the beach with aunts, uncles and cousins and the children regale us with stories all year long. One recent party we threw with friends and family was a "White Smoke" party. We decided that no matter where you were, when the announcement was made (Habemus Papum), we would all gather at our house to celebrate.

How does your family pray together? We attend Mass as a family every Sunday and Holy Day. We say grace before meals and always eat breakfast and dinner as a family. Before bed, we say 1 Decade of the Rosary with all of our children and each child takes a turn leading a Hail Mary. We belong to a monthly Rosary group that we attend with the children and other great Catholic families from Ste. Marie's. Sometimes the children go to Adoration, what they call the "Jesus Room", with my parents to say "Hi to Jesus".

What does your family find most challenging to living as a Catholic family in our society? Living as a Catholic family in and of itself is a challenge. We are constantly barraged with negative images of family, sexuality, parenting and children. We are very vigilant about what our children see which is one of the big reasons that we don't have cable. We keep a close eye on what our children watch. We don't allow TVs, computers or other electronic devices in bedrooms. Having a large family makes it easier to instill in our children the counter-societal "me-me-me" selfishness. Being a young family, we minimize our exposure to difficulties by seeking out other Catholic families that share our beliefs and values. In my workplace, there are coworkers that know I am Catholic that have questions on why and what the Church teaches. This helps me develop, research, learn and better understand my Catholic faith.

“How do we help our children come to peaceful resolutions in childhood conflicts?” Being a large family with small children, doesn't always equate to the societal sense of peace (silence/quiet). Peace is far beyond silence or quiet times. It is the stillness in our hearts that comes from knowing Jesus. Although we rarely have silence, we do; in fact, have Peace. We are not held down by material things (yes, we have stuff), and as a father, I feel that we are very grounded in the Peace of Christ. The way we live, through our actions and how we treat others is the example we show our children. Our children know that we love them through verbal and non-verbal communication. When they walk in the door, they can be themselves and feel comfort and love in knowing that we are there for them like Christ is there for us.

Carolyn McKinney