For Moorhead couple, witnessing to church’s teachings, prayer has led to strong family life

Categories: Around the Diocese,Synod,World Meeting of Families

By Katrina Genereux
For The Visitor

Whether biking to confession as a family, praying the rosary with their five children or blessing their food before eating at a restaurant, the Davis family is working toward holiness one day at a time with the guidance of the Catholic Church.

Jenny and Casey Davis have been married for almost 12 years. They live in Fargo, North Dakota, but belong to St. Joseph Parish in Moorhead, Minnesota.

WMF Davis

The Davis family stops for a photo at the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park on a recent trip to Chicago. Jenny and Casey are pictured above with their five children, Peter, 10; Charlotte, 7; Jameson, 5; Stella, 3; and Bridget, 1. Photo courtesy of the Davis family

“It’s amazing that our church has … this history and all of these opportunities for families to nurture their relationships,” said Jenny Davis.

“Coming from a non-Catholic background, it is very nice to have the church as kind of a teacher,” said Casey. “When I grew up in the Evangelical Church … you just decided what you thought you were supposed to be doing and you didn’t really have a lot of direction.”

Casey said he enjoys being able to look to the traditions and teachings of the Church when tough questions come up. He likes being able to give their children solid reasons for church teaching.

“It’s not just what I believe, it’s what we believe,” he said. He describes the teachings of the church as “best practices” to follow as guidelines for true happiness.

Praying together

One thing that has helped Jenny and Casey deepen their family’s faith life is belonging to Teams of Our Lady, a Catholic couples group. Jenny describes the group’s purpose as “working on your marriage and relationship before you need to.”

They meet with five other couples and a spiritual director monthly for a potluck dinner, faith sharing and prayer. Being part of Teams of Our Lady has helped Jenny and Casey draw their family, as a whole, into a deeper relationship with Christ and his church.

world-meeting-of-families-philadelphia-2015-logoPart of that deepening faith life includes saying the rosary as a family. Jenny and Casey laughed as they shared the story of their first attempt at praying the rosary with the whole family. When they were three Hail Marys in, their 5-year-old turned to them and said, “I think we already said this.”

“Yeah, we did,” Casey told him.

“And we have 50 more, so buckle up,” added Jenny, laughing as she relayed the story.

Little by little, everyone is getting accustomed to the practice of praying the rosary together.

“They like leading different sections and, of course, fighting over which one gets to lead and who gets to hold which rosary and all that kind of stuff,” Jenny said.

Overall though, she enjoys being able to take another step in faith with them. She said when they start to get swept away by the daily tasks of working, maintaining the household and raising their children, remembering they can sit down to pray the rosary as a family helps bring the eternal perspective back to the forefront.

“We didn’t start where we are,” Casey said. He credits being inspired by others and acting on those inspirations with leading to their growth in faith and the state of their family today. “[It] got us to be able to be willing to accept five, or as many kids as God has planned for us, or to be willing to sit down as a family and say a rosary. … We probably wouldn’t have thought that was us when we were first dating.”

Jenny and Casey work to make prayer a part of their day-to-day family life and to instill it as a habit for their children.

“If you’re used to something, it’s so much easier,” Casey said. “If we wouldn’t have started praying with our kids [from the beginning] … when they are teenagers, trying to get them to pray in front of their friends would be scary.

“The way we are raising our children and living our family life together, touches a lot of other people, even if we are not aware of it,” he said.

Katrina Genereux is editorial assistant at Our Northland Diocese, newspaper of the Diocese of Crookston.