Family and Kids

I couldn’t agree more. We didn’t have these gadgets when we raised our kids. We got rid of television and opted to read books. My father was a radical when he raised me – he refused to get us kids a TV but read stories and books to us every night after we all ate dinner together at 5 PM sharp.

Watching my own kids raise my grandkids is a beautiful thing. My grandkids have no TVs in their homes. They have no iPhones, iPods or other gadgets attached to their heads. They carry books around and love to have conversations with people of all ages.

Actual pictures of the family at dinner "together" in Lourdes

A while ago I sat in a restaurant (at Lourdes France, no less) and watched a family with three young children walk in and sit across from my wife and I. Except for the father, each one had a iPhone, iPad or some other gadget.

They all had earbuds in their ears and were each in a world of their own – the mother included. The family did not talk to each other AT ALL during the meal and much of the food was left uneaten because the kids were so engrossed in their games, videos and music.

The poor father sat there looking bewildered and sad. He was not man enough to take charge of his family. Had it been me, I would have immediately confiscated the gadgets, taken the family home for a meeting. At the meeting I would have laid out some new rules for the family – and gadgets, TV, computers would be controlled if not eliminated, especially during family meals.

Fathers — man up! Get the family under control. Reclaim sanity in the home. Spend time with the wife and kids. Control the gadgets. Start reading books together. Take walks in the woods. Turn off the TV (or better yet, get rid of it). Restrict or eliminate the iPhones, iPads and other gadgets from young kids. Pray together. 

The Pope is right! Here is a bit about his talk as reported by

Spending time interacting within the family is important, and therefore, togetherness shouldn’t be replaced by having phones out and televisions blasting.

Pope Francis stressed this during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square today, as he continued his catechesis on the family. Last week, he looked at the importance of the family as the place where we learn the value of forgiveness, and this week, he considered the importance of togetherness. 

Togetherness, he pointed out, involves sharing together the good things of life with your loved ones and being happy to do so, and also sharing the difficult times, such as loss of a loved one.

The Holy Father began his catechesis pointing out that sitting at the table for the family dinner, and sharing our meal and the experiences of our day, is a fundamental image of togetherness and solidarity.  He also said togetherness is a reliable “thermometer” to measure the “health” of the relationship.

He noted how if a relative has a struggle, speaking about it together at the table helps to find a solution.

“A family that almost never eats together, or is not at the table, but watching the TV or on their smartphones, is hardly a family,” he said, lamenting when “the children at the table are attached to the computer, to the phone and do not listen to each other.”

For a great movie to show the devastation of TV on the family, I highly recommend this masterpiece movie Avalon.

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Today I was on Take 2 with Jerry and Debbie on EWTN Radio discussing my Seven Rules for dealing with family and friends who disagree with us, oppose us, want to argue and are against the Catholic Church and our morals.

Cover story on Catholic Answers Magazine

Steve Ray’s Seven Rules:

1) Never argue with them, it will only push them further away.

2) Love them more than ever before, especially between spouses

3) Pray seriously and constantly and make sacrifices

4) Show the Joy of the Lord in your life so they see the result of the fullness of the Faith

5) Study apologetics and do biblical homework so you are ready when they finally ask questions

6) Be patient – God is not in as big a hurry as you are.

7) Ask God to bring someone else into their lives to influence them since they won’t listen to you

Joint us on a pilgrimage. Visit

Read the whole article in  Catholic Answers Magazine 


This is a fun family. Janet and I went to Mass Saturday evening so we could cook a nice brunch for my son Jesse, his wife Anna and the seven kids.

Psalm 127:3–4  ”Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.”



The Literacy and Spirituality of a Day Gone By; A Tattered Yellowed Page; A Poem I Found from my Great-Grandmother

July 1, 2015

I never knew my Great Grandmother Frances Picard. She was originally an O’Grady. They had a deep spirituality and she converted to the Catholic Church later in her life. (By the way, this was all new to me since I never knew – in my childhood – that I had several lines of Catholic ancestors.)  [...]

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A Limerick for a Questioning Grandson – Did Jesus Really Exist?

May 21, 2015

My grandson Josh asked, “Did Jesus really live? Maybe he didn’t and it was just a good story someone made up.” So I sat down and wrote him this limerick and gave him a stack of books from my library. The topic has not come up again since. Was there really a man named Jesus? [...]

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My Grandson’s Surprising Three Instrument Composition – in one day!

April 21, 2015

My son Jesse wrote this morning about our 12 year old grandson Joshua Thomas Ray. Here is what he said,  “Yesterday I teased Joshua about his compositions only having one instrument in them. Today I came home from work and he asked me to listen to this (video below) also linking his sheet music. It [...]

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Steve Ray’s Conversion Story up on “Why I’m Catholic”

April 10, 2015

 This is a great website with conversion stories from every religious tradition imaginable to Catholic. The Why I’m Catholic website should be passed around to family and friends. It is very well done, beautifully laid out and full of great stories. Our story was posted this week. You can read it HERE.  

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Fun Article in Faith Magazine: For Stephen Ray Evangelizing is an Adventure!

April 6, 2015

Faith Magazine came out to do an interview last year and the article showed up this month (April 2016). Hope you enjoy it. Today we are ON OUR WAY to Fatima, Avila and Lourdes! Stay tuned for updates, daily videos and more.

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Tears Reading Happy-Sad-Emotional Story to the Grandkids; and Saving a Bird

April 5, 2015

Families are great and so are great stories. One of our favorite authors is W. Wilson Rawls who only wrote two books but they are both treasures — especially for reading aloud to kids.  The first of Rawls’ books we read a year or so ago was entitled Where the Red Fern Grows. What a great [...]

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My Grandson Josh’s (12 years old) Latest Piano Composition – finished between lunch and dinner :-o

March 27, 2015

He has a gift and it must be from God because it didn’t come from us :-)

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Emily is an RN and we are Proud of her

March 23, 2015

Our daughter Emily worked hard for this card. It says RN which stands for Registered Nurse. She graduated this year, passed the licensing exam with flying colors and just received this card today. Her mother and I could not be prouder and the people she cares for are the luckiest in the world to have [...]

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Abraham Footprints DVD Premier Showings

March 20, 2015

Abraham, Father of Faith & Works is now for sale!  We have had a great time this week showing it to very different audiences — and to rousing applause and rave reviews.  First, we showed it to the wonderful Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist at their convent in Ann Arbor Michigan. I was [...]

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Abortion: High Schooler Asks; My Daughter-in-Law Answers – Brilliantly and Compassionately

March 10, 2015

A few days ago a high school girl wrote to ask me questions about abortion. She was writing a paper and wanted to “interview” me on the topic. I was busy jumping planes and giving talks so my daughter-in-law Anna graciously — and brilliantly — answered the young lady for me. I think you will [...]

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Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love Our Spouses in Heaven?

February 19, 2015

My dad died almost two years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will no be married” in heaven. I wrote the following to comfort my Mom. Mom, I know it is important to you since Dad’s death as you look forward to eternity and [...]

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Tears Singing Good Ole Baptist Hymns

February 10, 2015

The old Baptist hymns still stir me and bring tears to my eyes. They take me back to my childhood when the family would dress up, us kids in our little suits with cheesy ties and short-legged pants. Dad would always give us candy during the service and put his arm around us while tickling [...]

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What Grandkids Do at Night

February 6, 2015

Caught them!  Our grandkids prowling around at night. My son Jesse had his camera ready! This is 2 1/2 year-old Joey and his 1 year old brother Johnny. The expression on little Johnny’s face as he looks – up watching his brother from inside the fridge is just too cute!  

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