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All Things Start at Home

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All things start at home. All virtue. All habits. All learning.

In much of our literature at St. Dominic, we speak to parents as the primary educators of the children. While it reads as a bit of a "no brainer", the magnitude of this phrase is quite large. Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says, the source of this phrase:

The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute. The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable (#2221). Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God's law (#2222). Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness
to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule...Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to
their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them (#2223). Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life
in keeping with the Gospel (#2224).

 

Everyday Discipleship

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While I am now an empty nester, I remember very clearly when my children were in grade school. I was teaching fourth grade and working really hard at being a "good mom". I had great role models in my mother and my grandmother, for what it looks like to blend work and home. While both these things were my vocation, I was always wanting to do more in the church. I wanted to lector, be a Eucharistic minister, serve the poor in the various meal programs, and the list goes on and on. There was only so much of me to go around! My children needed me first, the children I served needed me second, and then I had to choose.

In sharing my frustration with one of my co-workers a long time ago, he wisely reminded me that I was being a disciple in raising my family. I was being a disciple by teaching my children, and the children I taught, to know, love, and serve Jesus. I was being a disciple by doing what I could with the time I had. He reminded me that when my life changed, so would how I served God's people.

Being a disciple also meant that I needed to take time to feed my soul - a person cannot give what they do not have. I now look at it as I need to be Martha but also Mary.

Our catechism says that as followers of Jesus, our goal is to know, love, and serve Him. How are you doing that? What is an obstacle you face? What is St. Dominic doing to help you? What would you need from your Church to assist you, if anything? I look forward to learning.

Pocket Saints

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I have a collection of pocket Saints. My pocket Saints are my go to group of "friends" that I call upon when needing some additional assistance in one way or another. Just as we have family/friends on earth that we call upon when we need assistance, I have collected a heavenly variety. I ask them to pray with me and intercede on my behalf to "get something done." I currently have a collection of twenty. They are, in no particular order, but for very particular reasons: St. Jude, St. Anthony, St. Dominic, St. Joseph, St. Gemma, St. Gianna, St. Marie Almondi, St. Cecelia, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Terese of Calcutta, St. Pope John Paul II, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Katherine Drexel, St. Monica, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Medjugorie, Mary Mother of God and All the Holy Men and Women. It is like saying a litany every time I lay them out like that. The newest addition is St. Monica.

I added St. Monica to my list of pocket Saints about a year ago. As a parent, my biggest fear is that my children, two daughters, would grow away from Christ. With my children now attending college, one is a junior at St. Norbert and the other a freshman at University of
Minnesota in the Twin Cities, I had to resign myself to the fact that I have done all I could to help them put on the armor of God, and it was now up to them to wear it. Faithfully. While I trust in God's providence in all things, I am only human. I want to control what happens to my children. I realized a little over a year ago that this is yet one more thing that I can't control. Therefore, I called upon all of my pocket Saints and solicited the help of St. Monica to surround my children with an extra layer of support to steer them in the right direction - straight to the heart of Jesus! St. Monica is the patient mother of the most notorious bad boy, St. Augustine. If her prayer power can turn the course for him, she certainly can keep my girls on track. The best tool I have now is my prayers. The hands-on work is complete.

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