Launched to Serve Parents and Families


STEUBENVILLE, OH (November 27, 2018): “Each family finds within itself a summons that cannot be ignored and that specifies both its dignity and responsibility: family, become what you are!” (Familiaris Consortio, #17). That quote from St. John Paul II sums up the goal of the new Catholic organization, The Messy Family Project.

The Messy Family Project’s mission is to empower parents, strengthen marriages and bring families to Christ. This is done through podcasts, short videos, free resources, live events, and workshops.

In 2015 Mike and Alicia Hernon, parents of ten children, started a podcast dedicated to discussing issues affecting families today. The goal was to encourage parents and get husbands and wives to talk to each other and to be intentional about their parenting. What began as a simple volunteer effort has grown to serve over 10,000 families. Believing they were called to do more to serve parents, and with the encouragement of many, including the Our Sunday Visitor Institute, the Hernons formally announce the launch of this new ministry.

Scott and Kimberly Hahn have added their encouragement to the new ministry: “We heartily commend the work of Mike and Alicia Hernon, our good friends of many years. We believe they are called to serve as mentors for couples and parents, both young and old. We also look forward to seeing how our Lord will prosper and use their ‘Messy Family Project,’ not only to inspire and empower parents, but also to strengthen marriages and bring families closer to Christ.”

Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, added his endorsement, “At this time, the family is at a crossroads and the Church needs to support parents in their vital mission. There has never been a more urgent time for a new mission to support parents, marriage, and family life. It takes parents to raise a child, not a legion of professional experts, as helpful as they can sometimes be. I believe that the Hernons have stepped into the role of being a mentor and guide for parents at just the right time.”

Jason Shanks, president of the Our Sunday Visitor Institute stated, “We believe supporting parents ought to be one of the top priorities of the Catholic Church. OSV is proud to help launch the Hernons and their Messy Family Project. We believe this ministry will be a great support for parents in their work of building vibrant Catholic families as well as a tremendous resource for pastors in trying to serve the faithful and draw in those couples on the fringes.”

So goes the family, so goes the Church, so goes the world. The Hernons believe they are called to change the world, one family at a time.

Mike Hernon, co-founder of The Messy Family Project, says this ministry was created as a resource for those on the front-lines of shaping our culture – parents. “Marriage and family is where the rubber hits road with faith and values in our society. In order to rebuild Christ’s Church and advance the Kingdom of God, we need to renew and strengthen marriage and family life.”

“We believe that parenting is a vocation, a path to holiness, which is filled with joys, sorrows, crosses, and triumphs,” said co-founder Alicia Hernon.

The organization’s name, the Hernons explain, comes from the reality that family life is far from perfect but it is something we need to work at like any project: “We remind parents that you don’t have to be perfect. The reality is that marriage and family life is messy but it is the greatest adventure this side of heaven.”

The Messy Family Project covers such topics as raising resilient kids, keeping marriage alive, evangelizing your children, the irreplaceable role of parents, and dealing with anger. The Messy Family Podcast is published twice a monthly and reaches over 10,000 families every month. The show can be listened to on their website, as well as iTunes, Google Play, or where ever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

The organization’s website offers an ever-expanding supply of free resources for families including over a hundred podcast episodes, blog posts, videos, and resources such as The Messy Family Guide to Discipline, Growing Your Family Culture, and Screens and Your Kids. Additionally, the Hernons have created a special thank you gift for supporters this season – an Advent Box, with everything a family needs to celebrate the feasts and celebrations from Advent to Epiphany.

The Messy Family Project’s mission is to empower parents, strengthen marriage and bring families to Christ. This ministry is a Catholic nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization recognized by the IRS and serves over 10,000 families. For more information please visit: