You are the primary teachers of the faith to your children. Your deepest legacy in life will be helping your children know God and, through God’s grace, to get to heaven. It is never too late to make this a priority and to ask God’s assistance.
Your good example of faithfulness to Sunday Mass, prayer and moral decency preaches more eloquently than the homily of any priest. When children see that their parents love Sunday Mass they likewise will grow to love it too. Too often parents “come for the kids” and kids come because “Mom and Dad brought me.” Articulate to your children your love for Jesus, why you attend Sunday Mass as a family and why their instruction in the faith in school or at CCD is one of the most important gifts you can give them. I ask that you live Sunday as the Lord’s Day, a day that includes Holy Mass, religious instruction, leisure activities, a family meal, spiritual readings, and acts of charity.
Please take an active role in the catechetical instruction of your children. This is a great opportunity to witness to your faith and to tell stories of how your own parents, family members and friends handed on the faith to you. Children delight in stories and these conversations can be part of the tradition handed down to the next generation. Introduce them to the stories of the saints. In a time where society elevates entertainers and professional athletes to “hero” status quickly, you will be doing your children a huge favor if you share with them the stories of those that have made the “eternal hall of fame.”
Please make prayer a natural and regular part of family life. Pray before bedtime, before meals, and in difficult situations such as illness or stress in the family. Ask your children for their prayers for you, explaining that God loves children’s prayer in a special way. Catholic educator Jim Stenson writes that children often feel that they cannot contribute big things to family life but they can learn that their prayers are powerful before God. When your children see you living your faith happily, they learn an important life-lesson: that prayer is part of grown-up life.
Show children by your example the need for God’s mercy, forgiveness and love in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. No matter what sins we have committed, God’s love surpasses them. Confession gives us a chance to “hit the reset button” on our relationship with God. It is particularly a helpful sacrament for adolescents as they navigate very challenging years. When adolescents see confession as a normal activity for parents and peers, it becomes a normal and helpful step in their own lives.
I would like to add a brief note to fathers: Research studies show that children more regularly practice their faith when they see both their mother and father practice it together. These studies also indicate that it is the faith practice of the father that most helps both boys and girls to see faith practice as an important adult activity. So, in a particular way, I ask all fathers to be heavily involved in faith formation and to consider volunteering as catechists in religious education programs.
I know that fidelity to the Church’s vision of family life is challenging, especially in our increasingly secular culture. You and your family can offer society at large a powerful witness to the primacy of God in your life. Jesus did not promise that His way would be easy but He did promise that He would supply the grace needed to live your vocation. I ask you, fathers and mothers of young families, to imitate Joshua and the people of Israel who, when asked whether they would serve the Lord or pagan gods, gave the answer: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”
The sacrament of Confession is available every Saturday from 4 to 4:45 p.m.; 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. and before the 7:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday.
The Flame of Love is being lit at
St. Thomas the Apostle
Our Flame of Love Holy Hour from 8:00am to 9:00am. in the main Church the FIRST Saturday each month. Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary will be offered before the Blessed Sacrament. We hope to make this first Saturday devotion every month to console the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Come and find rest for your soul. Every Monday we offer the gift of Adoration at 7 p.m. in the Chapel. Take advantage of this spiritual and grace-filled encounter with Jesus. Stop in and spend some time with Him. No one who encounters Jesus, leaves the same. Be renewed in mind and spirit by His sacred Presence.
ST. THOMAS THE APOSTLE NEW MASS TIME
Our Saturday Vigil Mass is 5:00 p.m.
Our Sunday evening Mass is 5:00 p.m.
Please be on time for this Mass. The Chapel is limited to the number of people we are permitted to hold, once we reach capacity, the doors will be closed and you will need to go to the 9:30 Mass at the main Church.
The final blessing at the end of Mass is given by Jesus, through the celebrant. Leaving Mass before this blessing is given, is leaving the Last Supper before Our Lord has finished given you His blessing.
We are guest at the Lamb’s Supper. Let’s not walk out before He has dismissed us with His personal blessing. He has made the greatest sacrifice with His precious Body and Blood, we can sacrifice an hour or less of our time in gratitude and respect.
Thought: Judas was the first one to leave Mass early.