Our Future Hope
All your children shall be taught by the LORD; great shall be the peace of your children.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Saint Mother Teresa, whose feast day we celebrated on September 5th, had this advice, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. “
As we transition from summer into autumn and our children and educators begin another school year, let us all remember the wisdom imparted by this modern Saint. “It is very important that children learn from their fathers and mothers how to love one another, not in school, not from the teacher, but from you.“
Parents are the first teachers. They are there to instruct their child how to walk and how to talk. They set the example of how to live in a family. Children learn cooperation and sharing from their parents. They learn about God and how to pray with the guidance of their parents. But most importantly they learn how to love. All of this happens before the child ever steps foot in a school.
Extended family is instrumental in the education of a child, as well. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and close family friends can help in the faith formation of our children. The Office of Faith Events (OFE) last month premiered a new feature called Faith Sparks. The purpose of which is to engage parents, grandparents and other adult family members in their faith, empowering them with the confidence needed to ignite this faith in our children. We have dedicated a special page to this effort where new articles and resources will be added. I encourage you to visit and share this link with others –– NorwichDiocese.org/FaithSparks.
I am privileged every year to participate in events celebrating your generous efforts in support of our children and their families. One such extraordinary gathering was the Catholic Foundation Awards Dinner. It is here that many of our students receive tuition assistance, and diocesan schools receive program assistance grants.
I thank all the parents who live as Christian role models for their children. Many families expressed with great gratitude the help received with their children’s tuition. Your generosity means so much not only to the parents but to the students as well. I am forever grateful for the many donors who support Catholic education and those parents who have made a Catholic education a priority in their family.
Our schools, from elementary through secondary, are providing our students a sound education as well as instilling character, faith and a sense of service and respect for others.
Our prayers go out every day to all who dedicate themselves to education–– all teachers and support staff, public, parochial and private, active and retired, of all faiths –– who encourage the self-confidence and hope of our next generation of caring and responsible citizens of this great country under God.
This month also kicks off the 40 Days for Life campaign, where we, as a diocesan community, fast and pray for an end to the taking of innocent lives. I am reminded again by the words of Mother Teresa, “The greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion . . . any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. “
On Tuesday September 25th there will be a Vigil Mass at 7pm in the Cathedral to kick off the 40 Days for Life campaign. Please join our diocesan community as we ask God’s continued blessings on our efforts to preserve life at all stages of its existence.
Children learn by what they observe and experience. Your prayers and actions in support of life will prepare our young people by showing them that hope can overcome despair. Armed with this knowledge they will be able, as they grow into adults, to take the advice of Mother Teresa to spread love throughout the world.
Sincerely yours in Christ’s love and joy,