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Why I Speak…

When I left academia to be at home full time with my children, one of the things I knew I would miss was my classroom teaching. I loved my semesters where I was responsible for helping a group of college students learn about how we develop as children and adults. Speaking with students, teaching them about theories and providing real life examples of those principles at work was exciting. Regular exclamations of “So that’s why they do that!” would come frequently from my students who were also moms raising children while they worked on their degrees.

What they were learning was instantly applicable.

I decided then, that wherever my life took me, I would still try to help parents develop their own best practices, by teaching them a little bit about normal development. As a convert to the faith, I have found it not only natural but essential to integrate my faith life into my intellectual work. Both writing and speaking in areas of faith development has helped me to appreciate the richness of our faith and the importance of seeing the human person as whole and integrated.

How I am Unique …

As a speaker-scholar, I offer a somewhat different background than most. My approach comes from research, the bible, and what I have experienced raising my own children. I bring alive the concepts of human development and help individuals to internalize a deeper understanding of normal development, so that they can make intentional choices in their own lives. My work brings the theory and research together in a practical way. I bridge the gap between academic researcher and the individual trying to live out their purpose in the real world.  

Talks given at Enkindling the Flame of Faith Parenting Conference

Transmitting the Faith to Your Teens

Specifically geared to parents of adolescents, this talk discusses how parents of tweens and teens should approach faith in the home, to give the best chance of transmitting the faith across generations. It outlines specific research on concepts of faith and authority held by Gen Z. 

Kids Spiritual Development

How do children’s concepts of faith form? How and why can teach our children about the Kerygma?. How can we proclaim the Gospel in a way that it takes deep roots in our children’s hearts?

Suggested Topics

Possible topics for parents, RE groups, teachers, or women’s groups include by are not limited to:

Identity Development: Including areas of Gender, Sexual, & Faith

Identity as God’s daughter

Mental health and families

Babies – everything from neurodevelopment to sleep to attachment.

Screens, gaming, phones and their effects on the mind and soul.

Faith Life and Teens

The Domestic Church

Emotional Resilience

Moral Development



Shame Free Discipline

Raising Honest Kids

Parenting without perfection

Virtual Session 2022

Enjoy this virtual talk offered through Blessed is She in Spring 2022

Recent Events

-Diocesan Teacher Inservice, AZ

-Our Lady Sodality Group, AZ

-Women’s Retreat, IN

-St. Patrick’s Moms Group

-Diocese of Phoenix School Board

-Our Lady of Mount Carmel Home and School

Talks for 2023

-Jan 2023 Keynote: Notre Dame Prep Mother’s Guild Annual Luncheon

-February 2023 Parish Mission: St. Andrews Parish

-February 2023 Notre Dame Prep Senior Mother’s Retreat

-June 2023 Keynote: Arizona School Nurse Annual Conference

-June 2023 LifeTeen Conference

– Tom Quinlan

Ministry Director St. Joseph’s Educational Center, Iowa

“Dr. Mary Ruth Hackett is a blessing to the Church.  During a conference at which we both spoke, I was impressed by her expertise, her home-spun practical wisdom and her deep faith.  She brings a blend of qualities that will enrich any group she is with.” 

Chez Filippini

Director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life, Dioceses of Pensacola-Tallahassee

“Dr. Hackett’s blend of well-researched psychological insights, theology, and her own experiences as a mom resonated deeply with our conference attendees. She managed to inspire and provide practical advice to parents who desire to hand on a living faith to their children.”

Sara Graf

Retreat Host

“I discovered Mary Ruth Hackett when seeking a Catholic speaker who understood the science and faith around women’s psychology. Mary Ruth was so friendly to talk to, and instrumental in assisting me plan and speak at two retreats in one day (one for teen girls and another for adult women). The participants gave me lots of positive feedback from the two retreats, and I myself left extremely encouraged by our work together.”

Donna Higgins

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Sodality Prefect

“Dr MaryRuth Hackett uses her expertise and training  in child development, as well as her practical common sense and strong Catholic faith to help parents make good decisions in raising their children. But in my opinion, she has an even greater gift– she connects with her audience, no matter the age. Speaking recently at our Woman’s Sodality meeting, our mixed age audience of moms and grandmothers thoroughly connected with her. She jumps over those “age barriers” effortlessly. After reading her blog or book, or listening to her speak at meetings, you will come away a better and more thoughtful person in your relationships with your children, your peers, and your faith.”