APRIL 2015 edition of The Domestic Church publication
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          On April 28th we will be celebrating the Feast Day of Saint Gianna (Beretta Molla) a "Modern-Day Saint". Burning with a deep love for Jesus, she dedicated her life to the sanctity of marriage, family, and all human life. She made a heroic choice, but it was something she prepared for every day of her life. Her genuine holiness and love for life, remind us that God entrusts each one of us with a personal vocation. 
         Each and every day presents us with choices that have the power to prepare us to take heroic action whenever it will be called for. We can do this, only when we surrender ourselves to God, and desire only His will for us.
        Saint Gianna...wife, mother, doctor, prolife witness...pray for us!

     A form of trustworthiness; the trait of being answerable to someone for something or being responsible for one's conduct.
"Train a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)
Just as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me. Matthew 25: 31-46
Parents and Responsibility

          Parents hold a privileged role and responsibility in family life (CCC2221-2230; GDC 226). Before the Christian community, parents present and name their child and ask the Church for Baptism—the gift of faith and life of grace. In doing so, they accept the responsibility of "training them in the practice of the faith, to bring them up to keep God’s commandments [and to] love God and our neighbor" (RBC 39). Only after acknowledging this responsibility do parents sign their infant child with the cross of salvation, claiming the child for Christ (RBC 41). Through this sacrament, parents ritually express their personal commitment to God, to the community of faith and to their child. They can do so only because they first have faith. It is the promise of this living tradition, of God present in the community of faith—as parish and as domestic church—that is the foundation of hope and our ability to transmit faith from generation to generation.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

          Adam and Eve had everything anyone could possibly desire. Why reach for the forbidden fruit?
          The serpent had said, "You will be like God" - on top of the world, dependent on no one. And so they lost the very thing they wanted: freedom, independence.
          Look how free young children are. They don't worry about soiled clothes, tonight's supper, tomorrow's schedule. They have parents who love them perfectly, and they trust them completely. They are rich because they are poor, strong because they are weak, free because they are dependent.
          Linus, Charlie Brown's friend, has a security blanket. And as long as he has it, he really feels safe; it's what he depends on. We all have our security blankets: clothes, cars, position, accomplishments, talents, reputation, anything that gives us confidence.
          Who are the poor in spirit? The contented: those who are happy with God and each other. They have nothing but the knowledge that they are loved. 
          As a bride and groom marry, they make a declaration of interdependence: "Without you I'm poor, incomplete. I need you. What God wants me to have, he's going to give through you. What he wants you to have, he will give through me. Alone, I may be a zero, you may be a zero, but God is Number One. All together, God, you and me, we're 100." The poor in spirit have their own math.
(Resource: "Blessed Are the Married" Beatitudes for Happiness by Edward Vernon, OSA)
What’s Unique About Marriage?
      Marriage is both a natural institution and a sacred union. It is a one of a kind, multi-dimensional relationship. It is unique to any other human relationship, a chosen commitment, founded upon the mutual love and devotion of one man and one woman. Yet this is not its sole purpose. Marriage is an essential mechanism in society which unites children with their moms and dads. The true nature of marriage honors the sexual differences between men and women and is beneficial for children.

Marriage Honors Sexual Differences

      “Man and woman, God created them.”
Men and women are different, biologically and physically. The complementarity of the sexes is intrinsic to marriage and thereby allows the marital union to result in the birth of children.
     For example, men and women bring different strengths to parenting even though a good deal of overlap does exist.
  • Mothers are more sensitive to the cries, words, and gestures of infants, toddlers, and adolescents, and, partly as a consequence, they are better at providing physical and emotional nurture to their children.1
  • Fathers are more likely than mothers to encourage their children to tackle difficult tasks, endure hardship without yielding, and seek out novel experiences.
  • “The link between nature, nurture, and sex-specific parenting talents is undoubtedly complex, [however] one cannot ignore the overwhelming evidence of sex differences in parenting — differences that marriage builds on to the advantage of children.” Marriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles (The Witherspoon Institute, 2008)

    “It is necessary to emphasize the right of children to grow up within a family, with a father and a mother able to create a suitable environment for their development and emotional maturity.” Pope Francis, Address to International Catholic Child Bureau (April 11, 2014)

    Find more resources here:
A Child’s Prayer
Dear God,
Help me turn away from being selfish and thinking only of myself.
Help me remain ever faithful as I journey in this world.
Show me how to be responsible in all that I do
so that by your grace, I may bring your love to others.
Help me to see that you love me as I am and you are all that I need;
rather than to think that I must have the world accept me as I am.
Help me to be self-controlled and self-disciplined in all that I say, think, and do;
so as never to offend others, because when I offend others I am offending you.
In all things, in all ways, show me the full responsibility of being your child and how I can best accomplish your goals for me and my life.
Please keep me responsible so I can be a blessing in your eyes.
In the name of your Son Jesus,
I thank you.
“Love between man and woman cannot be built without sacrifices and self-denial.” 
Saint John Paul II, Love and Responsibility
Find out more 'Tips for Parents' the next issue....

“The Church’s concern for the family begins with good preparation and proper accompaniment of the bride and groom, as well as a faithful and clear presentation of Church doctrine on marriage and the family. As a sacrament, Marriage is a gift from God and, at the same time, a commitment.” Pope Francis

Joy Filled Marriage Weekends for the Engaged
 We are excited to announce the 2015 schedule for this new marriage preparation program in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. The weekends in 2015 are July 11-12, September 19-20, November 14-15. To register for a weekend, please visit our website here: or contact Socorro at: via phone at: 269-903-0199

Prayer of Praise - TRISAGION (meaning "thrice-holy")
Holy is God!
Holy and strong!
Holy immortal One,
have mercy on us!

   The Family Fully Alive Student Contest

          We’d like to thank all students, parents, teachers, families who participated in the “Family Fully Alive” Student Contest this year. In particular, we extend our congratulations to the following participating schools and parishes: St. Margaret/Otsego, St. Ann/Augusta, St. Augustine/Kalamazoo, Holy Angels/Sturgis, St. Charles Borromeo/Coldwater, Lake Michigan Catholic Elementary/ St. Joseph, St. Basil Catholic School/ South Haven, Hackett Catholic Prep, St. Monica School/Kalamazoo, St. John Bosco/Mattawan. We received over 50 local entries in art, writing and music - expressing the theme: “My Family Fully Alive”.

          At the National Contest level, we also received entries from schools and parishes in the following: Archdiocese of Detroit, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Archdiocese of Newark, and Diocese of Lansing. Stay tuned as the finalists will be announced shortly after Easter!

Praying for a heart of... RESPONSIBILITY

Lord, make my child willing to accept
the responsibility for her actions.
May she bear her own load and
not expect others to bear
what are rightly her responsibilities.

"For each will have to bear his own load" Galatians 6:5


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