This past June, Archbishop José Gomez visited the University of Notre Dame to address Catholic leaders from around the country who were on campus for Liturgy Week and other conferences hosted by the McGrath Institute for Church Life. In keeping with Liturgy Week’s theme, “Liturgy and the Domestic Church,” the Archbishop’s talk centered on the importance of the family and the need to discover ways that the Church can nourish and support family life.
I’m known among my friends and family as a staunch curmudgeon when it comes to technology – particularly regarding kids, teens and our collective use of smartphones and social media. Back in 2007, I peered at ads of the forthcoming iPhone with lots of suspicion and a little fear, much like the way one looks at a feral cat. Surely, it was the beginning of the end.
Anyone with very small children – think, 0-3 years old – knows that things often do not go according to plan. There’s the blowout diaper right as you walk out the door. The nap-strike that leads to an emotional meltdown when dinner needs to be made. The relentless demand for a story when a deadline looms. Yet, we’ve all heard the adage “kids thrive with schedules.”
Out-of-uniform “dress down” days are a common way for Catholic schools to incentivize charitable giving among their students. This month’s dress down day at my children’s grade school benefitted the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, so the school was collecting canned goods instead of money.
Parents (and all people) today are rightly concerned about the safety and well-being of our children, especially when it comes to sexual abuse. While we can and should put institutional safeguards in place to reduce the risks of abuse, we parents can also teach our children to speak up when they feel unsafe or uncomfortable. For that to happen, we need to invest our time.