Liturgy of Domestic Church Life

Renewing Catholic Family Life and Creating CatholicHôMs - Households on Mission

Research indicates that family life is crucial to creating the next generation of adult Catholic worshippers.

Raising children who happily embrace the Catholic faith as adults is no easy task. According to research, 85 percent of young people turn away from the Church when they get older. So what makes the remaining 15 percent stay and find fulfilment with their faith as they age?

A new study by CARA (The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate) commissioned by the Peyton Institute for Domestic Church Life has identified key traits for successfully raising children committed to being Catholics when they grow up. Not surprisingly, the data shows that supportive family life plays a crucial role in helping youngsters remain faithful to the Church as adults.

Research focused on successful families and how they helped their children become fully invested in their faith. Loving parents who demonstrate to their youngsters the importance of prayer and other Catholic rituals within the family were more likely to pass on their belief structure.

The study identified specific family practices that helped families pass the faith on to their adult children. These included:

  • Prioritizing family time and being careful to not let extracurricular activities crowd out family activities and rituals
  • Generous, healthy affection between parents and children
  • A gentler approach to discipline that focused on teaching good behavior and virtue instead of punishment
  • Strong family rituals that enabled the family to regularly work, play, talk, and pray together, often daily
  • The rituals included regular Mass attendance, and regular family prayer, especially the Rosary
  • Teaching good manners in and outside the home.
  • Parents encouraged children to discuss personal and/or faith struggles freely and openly without fear of receiving lectures or negative judgments.
  • Families regularly discussed ways to take better care of each other.
  • Families regularly discussed ways they could care for others, including simple things like being polite to strangers and more involved things like family service projects, family charitable giving, and hospitality.

Dr. Popcak and Dr. Mark M. Gray have written a special report about the CARA study, entitled “Future Faithful Families Project: Successfully Raising Catholic Children to be Active Catholic Adults.” It includes detailed data on how the research was conducted and interpretive analysis of what the information means. For a downloadable copy of the special report 

Conducted by the Center for Applied Research (CARA) in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, the research was sponsored by the Peyton Institute for Domestic Church Life in Easton, Mass. Created by Holy Cross Family Ministries in collaboration with Pastoral Solutions Institute, the Peyton Institute for Domestic Church Life was formed to create a collaborative think tank of distinguished theologians, social scientists, and pastoral ministry professionals noted for their work and writings on family life.

For a downloadable copy of the full version report




Developed by noted Catholic marriage and family life experts, authors and EWTN radio hosts, Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak, the CatholicHôM program is an exciting new partnership between and the Peyton Institute for Domestic Church Life. The principles behind the program received a unanimous commendation from the bishops serving on the USCCB Subcommittee on Ecclesial Ministry and Service. The CatholicHôM program is the first-ever comprehensive resource to help you and your family live the Catholic vision of family life to the fullest! CatholicHô

Leaders Resources
We encourage all leaders in Family Life Ministry to participate in our upcoming webinar series.
Click here for more information and to register.

Download a copy of the Liturgy of Domestic Church Life Leaders Guide:

English        Italian         

 French       Spanish   


Family Resources
For resources for families, download a copy of the Family Overview and go to CatholicHô for a link to the free app, registration for premium resources, and more to assist the families you serve.

Download a copy of the Family Overview:

English    Italian

French    Spanish


Special Reports on Catholic Families

There are many important changes occurring in Catholic families in the United States. While the number of Catholic infant baptisms in the United States celebrated annually are at levels similar to the period preceding the baby boom in the middle of the last century (about 720,000), the similarity ends there.

In the following special reports, the changes in Catholic families are outlined. It is important to note that this is a poll of Catholic parents, unlike other recent studies of all Catholic adults. In fall 2014, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University conducted a national poll of adult Catholics, ages 25 to 45, who are parents of a minor child in order to explore the 21st century Catholic family. This survey, completed in September and October 2014, includes interviews with 1,014 self-identified Catholic parents resulting in a sampling margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points. Questions similar to those used in other recent CARA Catholic Polls (CCPs) were utilized, making comparisons possible between Catholic parents and all Catholic adults. This research was made possible by Holy Cross Family Ministries.

Research Document:  The Catholic Family - First Special Report


Download the Report

Research Document:  The U.S. Catholic Family - Demographics - Second Special Report


Download the Report

Research Document:  Practice of Faith in the Catholic Family - Third Special Report


Download the Report

Research Document:  Research Document: Catholic Families and Media Usage - Fourth Special Report


Download the Report