November 3, 2016
Dear St. George Families:
"Our children are our messages of the future!" This is a quote I came across the other day and it struck me how powerful and true it is. What kind of people do we want our children to be? What kind of world do we want them to be a part of?
The mission of a Christian family is to give witness to others of Christ's presence in the home and the specific function or purpose of the family. What we want our children - and family - to become takes careful planning and must be purpose driven. Your family achieves its identity through the use of its gifts and talents. The value your children will develop will be initiated and nurtured in the home.
What does this mean? If someone were to visit your home, how would they recognize or know that yours is a Christian/Catholic family? What signs, symbols and actions would they see and experience? What they would see and experience is the environment that shapes the values and attitudes of your children.
Teaching children to be spiritual, to be kind, caring and respectful does not just happen. It is taught. The family's mission is to become more and more of what it is - a community of love, respect, and caring.
To this end Pope John Paul II published "The Role the Christian Family in the Modern World." In this publication he identified four major tasks of the family:
- Forming a Community of Persons. All family members have a responsibility to use their individual gifts and talents to build richer spiritual bonds with one another.
- Serving Life.This includes the creation of new life along with the primary vocation of parents to educate their children in those ways in which they too will mature and develop as Christians.
- Participating in the Development of Society. The family is the first and most vital cell of society. Families should be especially focused on serving one another and also the broader community.
- Sharing in the Life and Mission of the Church. Parents need to teach their children to pray and to be active, participating members of the church community.
These four tasks for the family are important. The message that we send to our children now will be with them for a lifetime. What will be the legacy you will leave to your children and society?
May God bless all of you!