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The art of family relationships

Renowned parenting author to lead retreat at St. Mark’s, Boise

Kim Cameron-Smith will facilitate an upcoming event for parents, “A Catholic Parenting Retreat: Cultivating a Healthy and Holy Family,” sponsored by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Diocese of Boise.

Cameron-Smith is best known in the Catholic parenting world as the author of Rooting Your Teen in the Faith: A Field

Guide for Catholic Parents and Discipleship Parenting: Planting Seeds of Faith, both published by Our Sunday Visitor. She hosts the Gentle Catholic Parenting Podcast and blogs at Intentional Catholic Parenting. Her writing has been featured in “The Imaginative Conservative” and “Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly.”

Kim Cameron-Smith describes herself as “an on-fire Catholic revert, bibliophile, armchair philosopher, mediocre cook, and ‘an artist of family life.’” She lives in Northern California with her husband and four children.

She holds a B.A. in English from Wellesley College, an M.Phil. in Medieval Literature from Oxford University, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, and a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley. In her day job, Kim is employed as a trusts and estates attorney. She also teaches a Confirmation class at her parish.

“Catholic Parenting as a Sacred Vocation” will be Cameron-Smith’s first retreat presentation, followed by “Growing Your Discipleship Home,” and “Managing Weeds and Thorns.” After each reflection, there will be time for small group discussion and interaction with other retreatants. Morning Mass will be offered on Saturday, April 27, with an opportunity for silent prayer and Adoration.

This commuter retreat will begin the evening of Friday, April 26, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., and will resume Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For a complete schedule, scan the QR code below. The retreat is hosted by St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Boise in their Religious Education Classroom. The cost is $40 per couple or $25 per person and includes refreshments on Friday evening and a light breakfast and boxed lunch on Saturday.

Cameron-Smith describes her thinking about Catholic parenting as “shaped by many disciplines, including developmental psychology, neuroscience, Gordon Neufeld’s attachment paradigm, Catholic social doctrine and virtue ethics.


n her website, she explains, “Her understanding of what it means to live a joyful, intentional life with her children continually grows and evolves as she learns more about them, herself, and how God has created us to find him in all things, especially relationships.”

Her website further describes Kim as “an artist of family life,” adding this doesn’t mean “she lives in an Instagram-worthy house!”

Cameron-Smith notes the parenting vocation is an organic process of growth and not a hard science. Describing her retreat, she says, “You’ll learn how to cultivate nourishing growing conditions in your home so your child’s faith can take root and flourish.”

For Cameron-Smith, cultivating family relationships is an art. She writes

Sometimes we are walking blind, trying a little of this here and little of that there, like an artist playing with color on a canvas. Sometimes we see that what we’re doing isn’t working, so we have to reconsider our assumptions about what our children need and our vision of how we get there. With experience and maturity, we begin to see our children the way a seasoned artist sees a landscape, gaining perspective, recognizing veiled beauty, accepting the limitations we bring to our craft. In this uncertainty, we as parents are changed. In our parenting journey, we learn as much about ourselves as we do about our children.

Kim admits that she is a curious student of parenting but doesn’t claim to be a perfect parent. She’ll be straight with you about her shortcomings. She explains that we’re

all wounded and blind in some way, which is why parenting is filled with moments of grace: God grows us up along with our children.

To learn more and register: Catholic Parenting Retreat

You can also call the Marriage and Family Life office at 208-350-7555 or email This retreat has limited space, and scholarships are available for those needing financial assistance.

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Diocesan Pastoral Center

FAX: (208) 342-0224

1501 S. FEDERAL WAY, SUITE 400, BOISE, ID 83705

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