The Talk and Beyond

The Art of Teaching: A Conference for Teaching Men


November 9-11 • The Heights School, Potomac, MD

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In this week’s episode, we sit down with Mr. Michael Moynihan to discuss his new book, The Talk and Beyond.  In the book, Michael shows parents how they can best communicate to their children God’s plan for human love.  The book offers insights on how parents can comprehensively form their children to embrace the beauty of marriage.

In this episode, we speak with Michael about:

  1. The significance of the title: why the beyond part is crucial.
  2. What “the talk” is and how parents can approach it.
  3. Why his book is especially relevant in today’s current culture.
  4. The broader context—both historical and philosophical—for his book’s insights.
  5. Some key messages that his book seeks to convey.

As we hear from Michael in the episode, it is not enough to present God’s plan for human love as a series of negative rules.  What is needed, rather, is to form men and women who are prepared to embrace the positive adventure that love entails.  We need to help our children be daring so that, when they are sent into the world, they will be prepared to live out that crusade of manliness which our world needs, and to undo the savage work of those who see man as merely a beast.

“To be happy,” wrote St. Josemaria, “what you need is not an easy life but a heart which is in love.”  And, we might add, to have a heart in love is not the work of a single moment, but the task of a whole life.  Indeed, this is the task of each day: to grow ever deeper in love.

Show Highlights

  • The meaning of the title
  • The talk: what it is and how to do it
  • Why the beyond part is more important
  • How to communicate the beauty of God’s plan
  • Why both indirect and direct means of formation are necessary
  • Why it is not enough to just have the talk and then move on
  • Importance of the book in today’s culture.
  • How this book relates to Michael’s other projects
  • Why a child’s identity ought to be rooted in God
  • On the broader context for navigating cultural trends
  • What is the role of educators in these matters?
  • How literature, movies, and other forms of entertainment shape our children’s notion of love
  • The importance of telling the love story of mom and dad
  • How do you prepare kids to enter a wounded world
  • Why we need to set our sights very high

Further Reading

Decisive Parenting by Michael Moynihan

The Father and His Family by Michael Moynihan

Michael Moynihan

About the guest:

Michael Moynihan


A native of Rochester, NY, Michael Moynihan earned B.A. degrees in history and science pre-professional studies with a concentration in the Honors Program from the University of Notre Dame. He graduated Summa Cum Laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After teaching for one year and earning a master’s degree in theology from The Catholic University of America, he joined the faculty of The Heights School in 1995. He has taught chemistry, Advanced Placement chemistry, eighth grade science, ethics, math and religion, has coached The Heights’ cross-country team and founded The Heights Mountaineers program. Michael was named Head of the Upper School in 2002. He and his wife, Angela, have eleven children, with four sons here at the School.