Tell us a bit about your family.

Lisa and I (Jeff) have been married 21 years and have 4 children here, and a little one in heaven that we’re all dying to meet.  I am an attorney (keep it quiet) and real estate broker.  Lisa is an accountant by education and a St. Francis preschool teacher by the grace of God. Lane (20) served in NET Ministries last year after high school, and is a freshman at Franciscan U in Steubenville, OH. We may have to abduct him to pry him from that amazing campus.  He says his calling right now is “to love more.” Cole (18) is in the Army National Guard Reserve, currently in AIT (specialty training) at Ft. Huachuca, AZ. He wants to fight injustice and will no doubt win a war single-handedly after he gets a Commission through ROTC at Texas A&M or Texas Tech. Both Lane and Cole are Eagle Scouts and were altar servers; Cole is now a Eucharistic Minister. Both continue to be open to the priesthood, and we thank God for that. Tate (16) is an altar server and active in SFATX youth ministry.  She is an athletic freak, winning three varsity letters at Colleyville Heritage as a freshman. She’s also a brainiac, artistic, musical and funny.  However she made her first “B” ever last semester, and her room is a disaster, so we’re getting rid of her. Keely (11) is our resident family Saint. Every family should have one! She is a St. Terese groupie. If this were the 70’s she would have a poster of the Little Flower on her wall instead of David Cassidy and be playing Gregorian chants on 45rpms instead of “I Think I Love You!”  She organizes our rosaries and I saw in a recent writing when asked if she had one wish granted: “That everyone in the world would be Catholic.” Yeah, we might keep her! (if her room stays clean.)

What is a favorite scripture passage for your family?

The Bread of Life Discourse in John Chapter 6. We discuss it often, as everything in our Catholic Faith rises and falls on whether Christ meant what he said about his body and blood. It is not ours to understand fully the mystery of the Eucharist, but rather to confess in the words of Peter when Christ asked the Twelve if they also would leave him over this hard teaching: “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Do you have any fun or interesting family traditions? 

We put up a 7’ cross in our front yard every Good Friday (with spotlight) and add a shroud on Easter Sunday. We keep it up 50 days through Pentecost. We are now adding a Christmas Manger in December through the Epiphany. We also pray (with sign of cross) every time we eat out – just a little way to evangelize our neighbors and community.  It also keeps us from eating like animals (I think).

What is one way your family prays together?

We love the Divine Mercy Chaplet. We get comfortable on couches and organize a table with candles and the Divine Mercy image, then take turns leading each decade. Also, we try to pray the vocation prayer (“Father you call each one of us by name…”) at dinner. Our kids each learned a part when they were young.We also listen to Catholic Radio (910AM; 850AM Spanish). If you don’t already, start – you will truly fall in love with your Catholic Faith!

What do you love most about the parish?

SFATX preaches the Truth of the Faith, with love and firmness. Also there are so many wonderful ministries, parishioners, and educational resources/staff that EVERYONE has an awesome opportunity to deepen their love and understanding of the Catholic Faith.  Father Flynn is simply an amazing gift – we won’t have any excuses when we meet Christ at our judgment!

What mass do you typically attend and what parish ministries are your family involved in?

We typically attend the 4:30pm Sunday Mass.  We live just 2 minutes away, so no excuse when we are late!  We also participate in Scouting, Faith Formation, Altar Serving, Eucharistic Minister, Lector, Pre-School Education, Young Church, Adoration, and Serra Club.

How would you describe our parish if you were to explain it to an outsider or fallen away Catholic?

Where Truth is clearly taught in Christ’s Love; you can literally live your life around the Parish life.

This family spotlight was originally published in the March issue of the St. Francis Grapevine. Do you know a family that should be featured? Email Danielle Milliken at [email protected] to suggest someone.