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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Forming Faithful Families
Jim Littleton talks about his new ministry, his life as a cancer survivor, husband and father of 14 children

Jim Littleton on the radio
Jim Littleton on the radio

James Littleton and his wife Kathleen have been members of Regnum Christi for much of their married lives.  Fourteen children later, and after surviving a life-threatening bout with cancer, Jim and Kathleen have started a ministry, "Forming Faithful Families," to aid in the New Evangelization.  Following is an interview with Jim providing more details.

First of all, please give us an update on your health? How are you feeling?

I have been doing very well. By the grace of God I am still cancer free since All Saints Day, 2011. I had a little set back wherein I was hospitalized with H1N1 influenza and double pneumonia in January, but by the marvels of our loving Father, I bounced back quickly to 100%. Thanks be to God! The management medications I take for my bone marrow/adult stem cell transplant lower my immune system, so picking up bugs can be more serious for me. But our merciful Father is in command of the life and health of each person, so we are all in good Hands. Every moment of every day is a gem of a gift from God.

Any major developments or news with your family you can share?

My wife Kathleen will be graduating in June with a Masters in Pastoral Theology from the Institute of Pastoral Theology of Ave Maria University.

And our most exciting news is that Kathleen and I are grandparents with our first grandchild expected to be born in April to their amazing parents, Ryan and our daughter Tara Reeves.

Our fourteen children now range in age from 28 to 8.  The oldest of our two sons is in the college seminary for the Archdiocese of Chicago discerning the priesthood. Three daughters obtained Masters degrees this past year, one in Biblical Theology and two in Literature. A fourth daughter will start her Masters this year at the University of Chicago, and another daughter is thriving as a Montessori educator.  Our high-school-age children attend St. Ignatius College Prep, and the four youngest keep us young at heart and appreciative still of the gift of small children in our lives.

Can you give me details on the website “Forming Faithful Families”?

Forming Faithful Families is a Catholic family ministry in service to the New Evangelization, offering parish-based and small faith community programs, retreats, services and resources.  My wife and I are available as speakers nationwide.  You can find out more at our website: or call 708-334-1988.

Any more books in the works?

On a
Forming Faithful Families
human level, Kathleen and I hope not, because it is very hard work.  But if God were to call us, I am sure we would say yes.

We really want to focus now on creating awareness about our current publications. (Go to our website to find out more:  Our first book is Better by the Dozen, Plus Two. Kathleen has written a sequel called Better By The Dozen Plus Two, Part Two:Lessons Learned through Loss and Leukemia by a Family of Sixteen. And of course there is my book, Healed through Cancer and Other Adversities.

Besides our books, storefront ministry, and speaking engagements, we are involved in the new evangelization of spreading the good news of the love and mercy of Jesus Christ for all of his children through radio media work, and in the future perhaps some video and television work.

You seem to find time to do a great many apostolates.  How, and why, do you do them all and still find time for your family?

We pour ourselves into our apostolates as a response to the amazing love and mercy Jesus has poured into our souls. We are re-invigorated daily at Holy Mass, and by receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. So our apostolic work is simply an overflow of the gift of our spiritual lives and grace made available to us through the Catholic Church.

Kathleen and I take one day at a time. We try to live by a Hierarchy of Values (see our book Better by the Dozen, Plus Two for more details) which includes not neglecting our spouse and children, but rather being present to them and loving them. Of course there is always some element of struggle in maintaining this proper balance, but we try to live immersed in God’s wonderful will doing what He inspires us to do, a little each day, a little at a time; and it is amazing how much this adds up, how much God can accomplish for His beloved children through each of us, His children, in this manner.

Also the center
Jim and Kathleen Littleton
Jim and Kathleen Littleton
of operations for most of our ministry, The Family Hearth, located in Frankfort, Illinois, just a short three blocks walk from our home.  It’s like another home where our family gathers and helps others. Our slogan is “Honoring Home, Faith and Family Life.” There we sell fresh coffee and tea, gifts, home décor items and books. We offer spiritual guidance, life coaching and faith sharing programs such as:

• Scripture Reflection Group on Tuesdays at 5:30 pm
• Christian Cancer Support Group on Thursdays at 5:30 pm.
• Women’s Book Study Group on Mondays at 10 am.
• Women’s Prayer Group on Fridays at 1 pm.

We also started a ministry called "One More Baby for Jesus."  The purpose is to create awareness and bring the Catholic Church’s beautiful teachings on the openness to life and the sanctity of life down to a simple, concrete application in daily family life.  We like to present this way of life, not as an imposition, but the sharing of a gift, an invitation.

The Family Hearth is also the location of the radio studio where we produce our radio ministry programming. (Click the following link to listen: Radio Program, Forming Faithful Families on Radio Maria or, for the audio and podcast page, click here --Audio & Podcast Page.)

Tell me about your radio show.

Kathleen and I have begun a program with Radio Maria called Forming Faithful Families. The weekly program is in service to the New Evangelization, and consists of reflections and anecdotes pertaining to our Catholic faith, scripture, the sacraments, the Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, prayer, marriage, family, parenting, openness to life, forgiveness and much more. We reflect on the certainty of the infinite personal love of Jesus for each of us, that He is supremely interested and in control of every detail of our lives, and that He is always bringing the greatest good out of everything for us.

Forming Faithful Families is full of encouragement and imbued with an assurance that our awesome and merciful Father is constantly performing “marvels of love” (Ps.31) in our lives. We will walk closely with you as we persevere down the road of Love together. When we have Jesus, we have everything!”

Our Audio Podcasts are available for free anytime at Additional audios of my program, Pouring it Out Radio, are available free at: 

Can you give any words of encouragement for discouraged “faithful Catholics” out there who are distressed with our country and world right now?

Every age has its trouble and we will always have trouble in the world. Don’t be weighed down by this! Our Lord Jesus anticipated this. He said: “In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world (John 16:33).” Only in Jesus will we find peace. When we have the sublime peace of Jesus, we are able to share that peace with others and that peace truly can spread across the world.

Do we really think there are storms in our lives, currently raging or yet to come, that are beyond our blessed Lord’s power? We must be convinced there is nothing that will ever happen or can ever happen that is beyond the power and control of our loving and merciful God. We are invincible when we take Jesus into our boat. Nothing can harm us then, nothing! Don’t doubt. Count on this! (See Better by the Dozen, Plus Two.)

It all comes down to love, love and love again. We receive love and we give love. If we can live in love, we will not fear. As our loving Father tells us repeatedly, and as Blessed John Paul II, the Great, would constantly proclaim: "Be not afraid!"  Fear is not of God. “In love there can be no fear, but fear is driven out by perfect love: because to fear is to expect punishment, and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love. We are to love, then, because he loved us first.” (1John 4:18-19, JB).

I give lots of insight in my book, Healed through Cancer and Other Adversities. We must become like St. Paul, “overwhelmed by the love of Christ.” (see 2 Corinthians 5:14). We need to ask the Holy Spirit to gift us with an unshakeable faith. We will become like Mount Zion, a “Mountain Fortress” in Christ. “Those who trust in Yahweh are like Mount Zion, unshakeable, standing forever” (Psalm 125:1, JB). 

Anything you would like to add?

Without a special grace, a divine strengthening, Kathleen and I are convinced that no one can come to know, accept, embrace, live, and persevere in the Church’s gift of truth in our culture today – to know the truth about the essence and meaning of marriage, the pivotal role of the family, openness to life and chastity according to one’s state in life.  This will come first and foremost through a Eucharistic revolution of individuals and families committed to the gift of daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Spiritual Communions, and prayer, including scripture.  From this approach will flow work in the arena of evangelization - empowered by grace, overflowing from our spiritual lives, from our union with God.

Come join us in our ministry!  We are always looking for volunteers to help.  For more information contact my wife Kathleen
The Littletons
The Littletons

Click the following links to read some past stories about Jim and his family on this website:



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