Dear St. George Families,
Bishop Soto of the Diocese of Sacramento gave a keynote address to religion teachers
within his diocese in which he outlined what we all must do if we are to grow in the
customs, wisdom and ways of Jesus. If we wish to become Christ-like, Christ must
become part of us; this means putting faith into practice. His speech was addressed to
teachers of religion but they are applicable to every parent raising children; parents who
want their children to grow in spirituality. What are those habits we should teach?
*The habit of prayer: Children should know the prayers of the faith; prayer should be
part of every family meal. Prayer is particularly good at bedtime including an
examination of conscience asking for forgiveness for any wrongs of the day. It's a great
bonding time for parents and children.
*The habit of the Commandments: Along with knowing the Commandments, children
should know the positive reasons for the Commandments and avoid sinning against them.
*The practice of charity: Use any opportunity to encourage works of charity and justice
with your children; with young children, just the importance of sharing.
*The habit of sacrifice: It's good to focus on needs, not only wants. It's important to
teach children the difference.
*The common meal: A minimum of three family meals together a week has a huge
impact on children. Ordinary moments of family life can be the saving grace of the
family. Don't overlook them.
*Keeping the Lord's Day holy, especially by attending Church Services: Every family's
top priority on Sunday should be to attend Church, and then to keep the rest of the day
holy as well. Sunday used to be family day. Families would gather for dinner and to
spend time together.
*The practice of meditation, especially through the recitation of the rosary. Be sure to set
aside some time each day for your own prayer time. Offering a prayer on the way to
work or in the evening at bedtime is an excellent way to ask God's blessing on your
family. Meditation is also an excellent way to let God speak to us; take some quiet time
and listen! God is speaking to you.
*The rituals of reverence: Children and young people need to be taught the rituals of
reverence in a Church or any other sacred space: kneeling, genuflecting, the reverent
bow, and maintaining a reverential silence during Church services are all important
rituals to teach children - and need to be modeled and taught by parents.
You are your child's first and primary teacher - especially in matters relating to faith and
spirituality. Spirituality begins in the home; it is supported here at school. God bless you
in your most important job - that of being a Christian/Catholic parent. We can't just talk
about it; we must do it. It must be part of our life! My father didn't tell me how to live.
He lived, and let me watch him do it.