In Deuteronomy 6:4-9 we read a portion of Moses’ important message to all Israel: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
This passage is packed with vital instruction, ASK YOURSELF, “What instruction does this give me as a parent?”
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. This describes what my understanding of and love for God needs to be. It is clear that the relationship I am to have with God is not simply a priority; it is to impact all facets of my life. I am to love God with everything I am and to have his words inform and guide my life and the many choices I make. Interestingly, the next half deals with passing on this faith to our children, making it hard to miss that we have to live out our faith in order to effectively teach it. So, as a parent, it is not merely enough to instruct (or have others instruct) our children on the ways of God. The biblical model gives the primary responsibility of passing on the faith to believing parents who are to live out their faith in front of their children. Today Christian parents are called to partner with churches in this effort, but the primary responsibility rests with parents.
Parents of faith are giving the task of instilling in their children the ways of the Lord. We do this by working through everyday life situations from a biblical perspective alongside them, giving them more and more responsibilities as they mature. As children reach adulthood, they will ideally be able to carry on the faith and, likewise, pass it on to others (cf. 2 Timothy 2:2b).
The second part of this passage in Deuteronomy You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” describes how and when to pass on the faith to our children. We do this by diligently talking with our children about the words of God, using reminders that are unmistakable, and showing our children the daily ways God touches our lives. It can be through a promotion, a healing, a reconciliation, an act of forgiveness. In describing when, do this when you sit down in your house, when you walk anywhere, when you rest or sleep, and when you get up. This type of explanation shouts the biblical philosophy of parenting: God has given believing parents the primary responsibility for the spiritual nurture of their children, and this—the teaching of God’s Word and how we relate to him and to others—is to be done first by example and second through a holistic approach, which includes a variety of methods, incorporating everyday life situations.
Have a devotional time. Today there are many excellent movies with spiritual insight that you can watch as a family. Don’t neglect the more formal spiritual learning settings, most importantly, the holy sacrifice of the Mass. The Blessed Sacrament and reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus is the center of our faith and crucial to our spiritual survival. We can not claim to be practicing Catholics and neglect weekly Mass. The majority of children’s learning about God and the world is created through daily life situations. Whether on walks in the woods or shopping at a grocery store, nonstop real-life situations afforded amazing opportunities to discuss topics, act in kindness, or correct cultural distortions. Age-appropriate training is on going and creates an atmosphere of learning. A good question to have at the forefront of your mind is, “Does my child know how to do this?” If time permits (sometimes you have to simply make time) and they are mature enough for the task, consider letting them be involved. This most often involves little things, such as visiting a shut in, making a meal for someone in need, sending a card of get well, thinking of you or a little note. As you allow your child to try out various things, identify the child’s special interests, talents, and passions. These will be areas where more significant learning investments can be made
The great learning center “The dinner table” (Recommendation: Make this a tech-free zone!) is still an ideal and natural place to discuss things in a relaxed atmosphere. Today our children live in a microwave society. Everything is schedules, sports, homework, activities and the list goes on. Car rides can even provide an environment for open discussion.
The Bible (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) is crucial to our children’s spiritual growth. The children’s Bible stories is a great beginning for young toddlers. Like any aspect of their lives, as they mature so should their advancement in the Scriptures.
The most important aspect of our impact on our kids, from our Christian perspective, comes from whether we are loving God with everything we have and resultantly loving our children—God’s gift (cf. Psalm 127:3)—fully, which includes taking the time to relate God’s Word to them throughout the blessed time we have with them. In my life, the joy and blessing of being a parent is overwhelming to me. I am deeply grateful God allowed me the opportunity to be a father to Nathaniel and Jonathan (a few of their childhood photos are included with this article).
Relationships are important to God. You are important to God.
The most important aspect of our impact on our kids, from our Christian perspective, comes from whether we are loving God with everything we have and resultantly loving our children—God’s gift (cf. Psalm 127:3)—fully, which includes taking the time to relate God’s Word to them throughout the blessed time we have with them. The joy and blessing of being a parent is overwhelming, but God allowed you and me the opportunity to be a mother or father. With this opportunity comes a grave responsibility, that is to introduce them to God and help them discern His plan for their life.
Relationships are important to God. You are important to God.
Our triune God has always been in relationship. He created mankind with the capacity for relationship. Jesus became fully man (while remaining fully God) to relate to us and die for us—serving as an acceptable substitute for us, taking the penalty on himself for our sins. His resurrection validated his sacrifice, making it possible for believers by grace through faith in Jesus to have an everlasting relationship with God.
Families are important to God. Your family is important to God.
Fortunately, God is there for us—helping imperfect parents pass on their faith in a perfect God. What awesome love!
This article is from Son Shine Ministries.
Our children really do learn what they live. Parents are the first and most important faith teachers. Summer is here and it gives parents a golden opportunity to show the children how to enjoy the “little” things and happiness is not obtained by only material possessions. Take the time to sit and talk with them, take walks together, play board games, do jobs around the house together. They can learn from you the very best things of life (God, family and friends) are free!
- Electronic giving recognizes your implicit financial commitment to our parish.
2. Electronic giving ensures a steady income for the parish. (Each weekend 25-30% of our regular parishioners are not in church because of sickness, vacation and other commitments.)
Ease of Use
- Winter weather sometimes means Masses are poorly attended and a collection that the parish was expecting is a fraction of its usual amount.
- No more weekly check-writing or digging for cash in your wallet or pocketbook.
- No more fumbling with envelopes.
- Choose to contribute from your checking account, savings account or credit card.
- In January 2010, 62% of payments in the United Sates were electronic surpassing the number of checks written.
- With electronic giving, there is no check or cash that can be lost or stolen.
- Electronic giving ensures the security of your account information.
NEWS & EVENTS
WANT TO EMBRACE THE FULLNESS OF
How many times do we hear from children and adults, I’m bored at Mass? There is a solution to boredom with Mass or anything—-get involved.
If you are a practicing Catholic (faithfully attends Mass EVERY Sunday, received all your sacraments, if married, you are married by a Catholic priest, you may consider becoming a Lector or Eucharistic Minister.
Other ways to be actively involved in the Mass:
*Take up the Offertory Gifts
*Be an user or greeter
*Join the Choir
We each need to approach the holy sacrifice of the Mass with the same enthusiasm we do when going to a movie, party, sport event, wedding and every other activity that we love. The Mass is our relationship with Jesus, and as in all relationships, you receive from it what you put into it. This relationship begins and grows when we put time aside to read Scripture, read the upcoming Sunday Readings and Gospel to prepare for Mass, tune our radios to Christian music and talk stations, view TV shows that feed our spirit and are in line with the morality Jesus calls us to. There is wisdom in knowing that garbage in is garbage out. Let’s not fill our minds and hearts with the things of the world when we can obtain the things of Heaven. Our heavenly Father has called each one of us to holiness, let’s get on that path and we will make our homes, parishes, workplace and world heaven on earth.
St. Thomas the Apostle memories.
Requests for Parish Membership
Since the restructuring of schools last year, we are restricted on who can and cannot join St. Thomas. If one lives within our boudaries, they automatically may register with us. If outside our territory and want to register for school, they may register for school if the Pastor of their jurisdiction permits it. The Aston/Boothwyn Pastors do not permit it since they have a regional school. Those from outside our Parish that come here for school with permission may NOT register with us as parishioners if living within this Archdiocese. They must keep their affiliation with their own parish of residence.
Protecting God’s Children
If you volunteer or work around children in any capacity at St. Thomas or are an employee, you need to have completed all necessary criminal background forms and training.
- PA criminal background check (update every 5 years)
- PA Child abuse check (update every 5 years)
- VIRTUS training class
- VIRTUS technology addendum
- Mandated reporter training
- PA Act 2011-24
Go to the LINKS section above and click on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia website, go to Protecting God’s Children for more info, or call the Rectory 610-459-2224.
Let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Every single one of us have been gifted by our Heavenly Father with a particular talent (or many talents) unique to each soul. This gift was given for you to share with God’s Kingdom here on earth. St. Thomas the Apostle is YOUR spiritual home and we need you to be an active part of it. Think about your gifts and ask God to show you where He would like you to use them. Depending on your time, interest and particular gift, you can find the ministry that answers your calling. If you are not an active member of your parish, please consider becoming one. Look at our Ministry page and see which one fits your call. Let’s be proactive and keep our parish growing in spirit, friendship and unity. Every person matters and every person makes a difference, YOU can make a difference in your parish life. God bless you and guide you.