Domestic Church

Building a Life of Faith in the Home

Domestic Church

The term “Domestic Church” refers to the family, the smallest body of gathered believers in Christ. Though recovered only recently, the term dates all the way back to the first century AD. The Greek word ecclesiola referred to “little church.” Our Early Church Fathers understood that the home was fertile ground for discipleship, sanctification, and holiness.
Tools for Building the Domestic Church

May Altars

A May Altar or Mary Altar is a small surface in your home or a small protected area outside the home that is dedicated to honoring Our Blessed Mother during the month of May or the “Month of Mary”. Children collect various Marian items—rosary, pictures, prayer cards—from around the home. These are usually gathered on a white cloth with flowers and candle. This special area or altar becomes a place for focusing Marian devotions and coming together with Our Lady in prayer. Please send us a picture of your famiy's altar to add to our Gallery (

Fr. Joseph remembers May Altars
Fr Joseph talks about St Joseph the Worker and Mary in this short video. He describes the May Altars of his childhood at 2:18 of the video.

A Practical May Altar How-To
Honoring Mary in the Month of May
Creating a Prayer Altar to Honor Mary

Renewing the Consecration of the United States to the Care of Our Blessed Mother
As the world continues to face the ongoing effects of the global pandemic of the coronavirus, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the USCCB has announced that the U.S. bishops will join the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on May 1 in renewing the consecrations of the two nations to the care of our Blessed Mother.

Through a collective dedication or entrustment of a nation to Mary, an act of consecration is meant to be a reminder to the faithful of the Blessed Mother’s witness to the Gospel and to ask for her effective intercession before her Son on behalf of those in need.  
Prayer of Renewal of Our Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary

May -- United States Rededicated to the Protection of Mary
"Mary our Mother will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial." Pope Francis

Plant a Mary Garden

Mary Gardens have their roots in the medieval Age when rural Christians bestowed names upon flowers and plants to represent Mary, Christ, the saints, and the liturgical year. These names were almost forgotten once the printing press allowed for the proper classification of plants although some names held strong, (for example, marigolds come from the old name, Mary’s Gold).

The Mary Gardens movement in the twentieth century resurrected the tradition of using flowers and their historic religious names to create spaces of prayer dedicated to the intercession of Our Lady. As St. Louis de Montfort wrote, “Through her, Jesus came to us; through her we should go to him.”  Help your family start a garden this summer.

Baby's Breath - Our Lady's Veil Black-eyed Susan - Golden Jerusalem
Bleeding Heart - Mary's Heart Columbine - Our Lady's Shoes
Dahlia - Mary-Love Dandelion - Mary's Bitter Sorrows
Forget-me-nots - Eyes of Mary Iris - Mary's Sword of Sorrow
Pansy - Our Lady's Delight Peony - Christ's Blood Drops
Sunflower - Mary's Gold Violet - Our Lady's Modesty

Mary Altars

Serrano Family

Ferguson Family