Showing posts with the label Parents



Honour your father and mother


Parents !!!



Pope Francis' encyclical reminds me we are not angels. We have bodies, and we must live in the physical world. It is this physical world, our common home, that Pope Francis asks us to consider: On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views. But we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair. Hope would have us recognize that there is always a way out, that we can always redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems. [61] Interestingly, when I searched for images of "home" to include here, nearly 100% of the photos looked like this: Read more at Praying with Grace!

Pope Francis' Big Heart For Children

A Big Heart Open to God. That's what the world's Jesuit magazines titled their interview with Pope Francis six months into his papacy. (You can read the English-language version at America Magazine here.)

Yes, Pope Francis seems to have a big heart open to God, and to all of us. He often reveals his heart for children too. I would like to dedicate today's blog to some of the Pope's inspiring words about children and the adults who care for them. (All excerpts come from the Vatican Information Service.)
We parents, grandparents, teachers, catechists, and other adults who work for the welfare of children can pray with the Pope. We can pick one or two lines from these passages and ponder them in our hearts, as Jesus' own mother Mary did:  Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. -Luke 2:19

Visit Praying with Grace to be INSPIRED!!

Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

Schools in Sierra Leone reopened today, having been closed since the Ebola outbreak in July. According to an NPR report, "more than one-third of the 10,000+ deaths have been in Sierra Leone."

When this year's harsh winter closed schools for several days in a row, some parents joked about how grueling it was to be trapped at home with stir-crazy children. Very few of us reading this blog can imagine what it's like to experience nine months of closed schools, especially amid a health crisis claiming thousands of lives.

Not that long ago, in 1991, Sierra Leone faced another horrifying crisis: civil war. A month ago, I had the opportunity to listen to a survivor of that war. Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, was forced to become a soldier in Sierra Leone at the age of thirteen.

Ishmael visited my children's school, where his book is required reading for the ninth graders. Students, teachers, alumni, and parents packed the gym to hear …

Parents, the First Evangelists

Pope Francis has an evangelization prayer close to his heart this month: he is praying for parents. As the Pope puts it, "Pray that parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith."

Mary and Joseph were the first evangelizers of Jesus. If evangelizing means to bring the good news of salvation to the world, then Mary was a literalist: she physically brought Jesus, the saving Word of God, to the world. Joseph and Mary cared for the Word, loved the Word, and shared the Word with others in their daily lives.
It almost seems unfair, in a way, doesn't it? SAY WHAT?! Read on at Praying with Grace.

Pope Francis Asks Us To Pray

Each month, Pope Francis entrusts his particular prayer intentions to the Apostleship of Prayer, which has offices around the world. The Pope has these two prayers on his heart in December:

Universal Prayer: Christmas, Hope for HumanityEvangelization Prayer: Parents Please visit the Apostleship of Prayer website for videos and reflections on Pope Francis' prayer intentions. 
Children can pray with the Pope too! Age-appropriate reflections and activities are here.
Thank you for praying with us!

Iggy Fever! Gearing Up for the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Indifference is great for parents. As I read through the latest issue of The Economist over the weekend, I plunged into an article about helicopter parents that made me remember the Ignatian principle of indifference. The article, titled Cancel that violin class, invites modern parents to relax. I imagined Ignatius reading the article, a secret smile on his lips, shaking his head slowly, as he learned about the savage preferences parents have for their children and the exhausting effort they put forth to make sure their children are playing the right instrument, volunteering the established number of service hours, and getting the necessary grades to enter an Ivy League school. The article cites the advice of Bryan Caplan, an economist at George Mason University: "if parents fretted less about each child, they might find it less daunting to have three instead of two. And that might make them happier in the long run. No 60-year-old ever wished for fewer grandchildren."

But wa…

My parents were married 70 years ago today

On Saturday 6 July 1942 John Coyle, a carpenter, married Mary Collins, a seamstress, in St Paul's Church, Arran Quay, Dublin, (photo below) the first Catholic church to be built in Dublin after the Act of Catholic Emancipation in 1829 that abolished most of the anti-Catholic Penal Laws in the United Kingdom, of which the whole of Ireland was then apart. The occasion was to have some impact on my life as I was the first-born of their union, arriving in the world nine months and two weeks later. The wedding photo above was taken in a studio in Dublin after their honeymoon. So it is likely that I was present on the occasion!
Full post here.

Estefanio Argall Luceño RIP, the father of a Columban missionary

Estefanio Luceño with his wife Teresita, 60 years married, taken in Dahilayan, Bukidnon, last year
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Estefanio A Luceño who died in Pagadian City on Holy Saturday, 7 April, and will be buried there on Easter Saturday, 14 April. He was 85 and the father of Aurora Luceño, a long-term Columban lay missionary who has spent much of her time in Pakistan.

Many of us have read stories, including vocation stories, about and by missionaries and been inspired by them. We don't hear quite as often from the parents of missionaries, about their part in the vocation stories of their sons and daughters or of what it costs them. Below is an article we published in Misyon, the Columban magazine I edit here in the Philippines, in January-February 2004 by the late Estefanio:We had to let her go. Now God has asked his wife and family to let him go. As the Irish prayer for the dead goes, 'May the light of heaven shine upon him'. Aurora Luceño, known to her…

My Dad's 99th birth anniversary

My ordination day, 20 December 1967, with Dad, Mam and my brother Paddy.  My late Dad, John Coyle, was born 99 years ago today - or possibly yesterday. He was never quite sure whether his birthday was the 26th or 27th but finally opted for the latter.

He is still the biggest influence in my life because of the quiet way he lived his deep faith as a husband, father, neighbour, carpenter and general foreman for many years on building sites. One of his strongest characteristics was his respect for others. He went to Mass every day, including the day he died suddenly, 11 August 1987.

Dad also influenced my taste in popular music. He loved a good tune. Sometimes he would 'doodle' on the piano but couldn't play it. One of his great favourites was Charlie Kunz, in the video above, an American-born bandleader and pianist who settled in England. He would sometimes tell me about the time he saw Charlie perform in the old Theatre Royal in Dublin before World War II.

He and my mother, Ma…

Strengthening Your Family

 Through our baptism, we're called to be royal, priestly parents to our children, exercising our God-given authority with kindness and benevolence. When we truly understand the essence of our authority, we can be leaders and nurturers of our children and help them to become the nurturers and leaders of the future.~ from Strengthening Your Family by Marge Fenelon, p.176  I did a lot of babysitting when I was young and became quite proficient at handling other people's children. I wondered at some parents' inability to control their children in church and other public places, since I rarely had any problem getting my little charges to listen to me. There was no doubt in my mind that I would someday be a  model parent with model children, all sitting quietly in the pew with rapt attention. However, when I finally married, God in His wisdom saw fit to send me the most rambunctious little girl ever created, the kind of child who loves to perform in public with comp…

Motherhood Matters

In Motherhood Matters, Canadian author Dorothy Pilarski writes with profundity and wit about matters practical and divine. Full of anecdotes and humor, this book makes us take an honest look at the lives of women today, and helps us to focus on what matters most. Has "liberation" truly led to greater happiness for women? Are children to be viewed as commodities, to be acquired just as we acquire a house or car? Or should children be seen as the gifts from God that they are, given to our stewardship? Dorothy makes it clear that until we rectify our confusion about such basic questions then peace of heart will elude us. To quote:
We will find happiness in living out God's purpose for our lives, not our own. The culture of the early twenty-first century makes it easy to follow mistaken paths. The media bombards us with the temptation to fulfill ourselves, to find ourselves, to meet our own needs. It is a message of selfishness. And it is spread constantly. Maga…

Parents for Eternal Life

I recently read an article titled “The Teaching of the Catholic Church on Home Schooling – Parents for Eternal Life” by Jesuit priest Fr. John Hardon, and the following paragraph really struck me:

“...what they (children) mainly need is to know why God made them; why they are on earth at all; why they are in this world; that they are here in this life in order to prepare and train themselves for the world to come. In a word, children are to be taught that their short stay here in time is only a preparation for the world that will never end. They are to be trained for heaven.”

Our kids need to be “trained for heaven”?! What a big responsibility we parents have then! In fact, Fr. Hardon goes on to say:

“The Church teaches that, ‘Under God, parents are the first in time, first in authority, first in responsibility, first in supernatural ability, and first in dignity to educate their children for eternal life.’”

“...believing Catholic parents...must be convinced that their primary responsib…

Born Sinless

Joachim and Anne.  Parents of a child conceived without sin.  The smug in me might like to think, oh, fortunate Joachim and raise a child without sin!  But a moment of reflection reminds me that Joachim and Anne battled sin.  Just like me.  Just like all of us. Would I trade places?

What might that be like?  While the idea of my own children being sinless sounds so...peaceful; the idea my children being sinless and me still in my present state...sounds...disastrous.

Such a high calling for Joachim and Anne.  Little Mary, always sweet, always obedient, always kind.  Joachim and Anne, sometimes tired from toil, sometimes anxious about their future, sometimes perhaps short tempered.  How any small acts that fall short of holiness might appear beside a sinless maiden.

"Of what small spots pure white complains."

No, I would not trade.  Anne and Joachim were given their particular task.  And the grace to fulfill it.  I was given my particular task.  Mothers and Fathers bat…

St Joachim and St Anne

Today we celebrate and remember the parents of Our Lady, the bible does not mention them at all, but by tradition of the Western Church and the Easter and Orthodox we honour them and call them Joachim and Anne.

The ancient story of Marys conception and birth mirror the story of Samuel and John the Baptist in that a childless couple pray devoutly for a child to God  vowing to dedicate that child to God. Whatever the exact truth there can be no doubt that Marys parents must have been a pious and devout couple to raise such a daughter! The parents of Mary were the mechanism God used as the physical reality of the Immaculate Conception and the honouring of Anne and Joachim goes back to the early years of the Church. St Anne was one of the most popular Saints of the middle ages and is seen in many statues and murals teaching her daughter the scripture or holding a young Mary who herself holds the Infant Christ. They make a wonderful example of holy marriage and good parenting.
St Anne and St J…