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{Evangelise} SEPTEMBER 2016


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Contents From The Editor ............................. 5 WITH A FULL HEART Marilyn Rodrigues

A Father's perspective ..................... 7 PARENTS: 'FIRST HERALDS ' OF THE FAITH sam guzeman

A mother’s perspective..................... 17 HOW MY CHILDREN TEACH ME ABOUT GOD Carrie McCormack Art and Culture............................... 21 THROUGH WORDS AND SONG Fr Rob Galea and annette young

Seasonal Notes................................ 29 FATHER’S DAY AND GUARDIAN ANGELS ACTIVITIES, RECIPES, AND CRAFT

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From the Editor Marilyn Rodrigues

With a full heart We have no greater treasure to pass on to our children than our faith. Father of three Sam Guzman, mother of five Carrie McCormack, and youth evangelist Fr Rob Galea share the reasons and the ways they share Christ's good news with the young people in their lives.

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Parents: 'first heralds’

of the faith By Sam Guzman When we think of education, we usually associate it with paid educators teaching from textbooks. Religious education, too, takes place at school or in catechism sessions at our local parish. In other words, we believe education is what someone else does for our children. But Scripture makes it clear that religious education is to take place first and foremost in the home. After delivering the old covenant law, God commands the Jewish people to teach their children his precepts constantly:

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"And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart;

and you shall teach them diligently to your

children, 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.

And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deu 6:4-9)

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God is commanding families to live his law so faithfully and diligently that the ways of God literally became the atmosphere, the breathed air, if you will, of the home. He is saying that everything, even the most mundane tasks, are to be teaching moments.

Likewise, the Church has always recognised parents as the primary educators of their children. The family is the domestic Church, and parents have the responsibility to create an atmosphere of faith and piety that defines the Catholic home. The Church summarises this beautifully in the Catechism: “Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule.

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The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery – the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the ‘material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones.” Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelising their children.

Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the ‘first heralds’ for their children.

Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens quite naturally when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents (and fathers have a particular role and duty in this regard) have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.

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10 things parents can do to evangelise their children

Sam points out that fathers have a particular, God-given role to model themselves after Christ’s example in catechising their children. But mothers certainly have an enormous influence on their children’s formation as well. Here are some of the ideas Sam gives fathers for evangelising in their home which are equally valid for mothers: The most important thing to remember is that children will learn far more by your example than by your words.

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1. Pray with your children, morning and evening

2. Bless them.

3. Be a student of the faith yourself, since you can’t teach what you don’t know.

4. Receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion frequently.

5. Apologise when you sin towards them. This requires humility, but it will teach them the power of forgiveness.

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6. Teach them about the lives of the saints. Forget Batman and Spider Man, the Church gives us thousands of real-life superheroes!

7. Take them to Mass, and not only on Sundays.

8. Read an age-appropriate spiritual book together, especially Gospel stories or stories from the Acts of the Apostles.

9. Be faithful. If you tell your children you will do something, do everything in your power to make it happen. Our faithfulness teaches them about God’s faithfulness.

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10. Suffer well. Suffering heroically is intrinsic to the Catholic faith. Teach your children to ‘offer it up’ by doing so yourself.

Jesus described his entire life as a mission “to bear witness to the truth”. We, too, should bear witness to the truth in our words and example, showing our children as much as possible through our marriage and family life what Christlike love looks like and teaching them the truths of the Catholic faith.

About the author Sam Guzman is founder and editor of The Catholic Gentleman website. This is an edited extract of an article which is part of a series on what fathers, in particular, can do to raise their children in the faith. It makes for a great Catholic Father’s Day reflection!

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How my children teach me about God By Carrie McCormack

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At the breakfast table last week our four-yearold says to me, “Mum, I had a dream last night, that Jesus smashed into the earth and it shook and wobbled”. “Oh, that’s interesting,” I responded. Then I asked her, “So what happened to our house, darling?” “Our house was fine Mum, because Jesus can come in the front door,” she said. The spiritual language of the child is so refreshing and simple, yet it conveys strong images and concrete principles. Children move from the transcendent to reality so easily. They have such closeness with God that they are unafraid to move between these two realities.

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Children lead us in this; we can learn from them. As an adult, I need a structured community life that keeps me accountable in seeking God’s presence in my everyday life, a mentor, a spiritual director and a fellowship around me keep my whole life’s perspective open to God. A child, however, will spontaneously proclaim the Good News to all who will hear. Two stories I’ve heard of lately are of a four-year-old Prep student boldly teaching his mum about the parable of the mustard seed from the back seat on their way home from school, and a two-year-old who got the attention of a crowd of 30 when she saw a painting on the wall, “Look everyone, it’s Mary and baby Jesus”.

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It’s the gift of preaching in action. Our nine-year-old’s imagination was open to visualising what it meant when the parish priest proclaimed the Good News that “… you will do even greater things than these”. She came home and drew these words on paper and stuck it on the wall in our home.

Is this word for her alone or for the household? Do we welcome our children’s Word?


Carrie at home with her children

Parents need to receive the gift of their child’s proclamation of the Good News. It will come in many forms, it will come spontaneously and it will be freely given. As a community of adults around children, how are we welcoming the child, their word and their testimony? We need to know and receive both the child and their gift.

Children give us, in their very nature, delight, joy, tenderness, friendship and community as they grow up around us. I ponder how often I have gotten cross at my children and fractured our relationship. However, children offer much hope that my relationship with them is restored again and again. My children show me forgiveness and acceptance. To me, they demonstrate the nature of God.

About the author Carrie McCormack is married to Luke and they have five young children whom they raise in Queensland. Carrie is the founder of Mother Effect, a ministry for mothers and children.

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"Music somehow reaches the heart when words fail."

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Sharing faith through words & song Two artists explain the ways in which they feel called to evangelise beyond their own parish or family. Fr Rob Galea Fr Rob Galea is an assistant parish priest at St Kilian’s parish in the Sandhurst diocese. He’s also a sucessful recording artist who has placed his music career at the service of God through a broad-reaching youth ministry. He performs with his band at 80 secondary schools a year, and to large audiences around Australia and overseas. I have always known that music is part of my ministry. My vocation as a priest is to share God’s love and God’s presence through words and through the sacraments. That is my primary role. And I think there’s no better way to share God’s word than through the language of the heart, and that is music.

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When you are a young person who is angry about something, you might slam your bedroom door, and the first thing you will do is put on your One Direction music or whatever it is you listen to. When they feel the whole world cannot understand them, young people's music still connects with them. This is the power of music.

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When I am preaching people will listen, but when I sing a song while I am preaching, all of a sudden I will see tears begin to roll, or joy is evident. Young people are thirsting for the Word of God and music allows them to be less defensive and more ready to receive it in their hearts."

Click here and watch a track

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Annette Young Annette Young lives with her husband Francis in Maitland in NSW’s lower Hunter Valley region, where they also home-school their four young sons. Her first historical novel for young adults, A Distant Prospect, was warmly received by young people and also parents in Australia and overseas. She is currently writing a trilogy sequel titled In the Hearts of Kings. "In my writing I tend to explore matters of faith. In the Hearts of Kings deals with issues of justice and mercy.

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For me writing means exploring the Big Things: life, death, conscience, suffering, joy, truth, goodness, evil, love.

I find fiction is a valuable way of making faith accessible to others. A person who won’t set foot in a church will perhaps read a novel and identify with a character, and that character’s experience may be the key that unlocks a door to another way of life or thought.

I have a special regard for Blessed Charles von Habsburg. I discovered his story when researching World War I and Vienna for A Distant Prospect. I was very moved by the difficulties he faced in his life, his efforts to end the War, and his endeavours to bring about a just outcome for Europe after it, by his deep piety, and by his devotion to family and his duties of state amidst the enormous stress of international conflict and despite prematurely having to accept such responsibility. He is my hero. Somehow I have to bring his world to life."

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A new FRANKLY is on the way! First Edition

Last year FRANKLY, our lifestyle bookazine, was launched to great acclaim and our 2017 issue is shaping up to be even better. Make sure you look out for it - we will be taking orders in a few weeks. PS: Limited stocks remain for the first editon. www.franklymag.org

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2017 Topics • • • • • • • • • •

Pope talk - Amore: love in the little things Cover feature - On the wall, devotional street art Parenting - Seeking Happiness Catholic culture - Holy Beer, Wine & Spirits Money - Generosity & Wealth Life matters - Goin’ Natural Celebrities - Faith under the Spotlight Inspiration - A Selfie Culture Relationships - Our Many Marriages Photo essay - Wedding Traditions

New Content

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Seasonal Notes

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Activities, Recipes, Prayers CRAFT

Alpha & Omega Kids can make this Christian take on the traditional Tic Tac Toe game for Dad. Using salt dough or stones for the reusable playing pieces, store them in a simple pouch that doubles as a playing board.

PRAYER

A Prayer for Fathers Print and pray this beautiful prayer for Dad this Father’s Day.

RECIPE

Mini Footy and Hole-in-One Savoury Bites The humble sausage roll has been given a make-over to give Dad a tasty treat!

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CRAFT

Salt Dough Crosses Kids young and old will love to make and decorate these crosses! They can be hung up or placed in your prayer space on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross or Good Friday.

CRAFT

Angels' Wings Download our template for easy-to-make angel wings for the Feast of the Guardian Angels at the end of September.

For more ideas and inspiration visit www.CathFamily.org Evangelise | 31


Amor

The Joy of Love

A special print edition featuring Pope Francis' exhortation on Love in the Family - Amoris Laetitia. It contains key excerpts from the document, stories from real people, and commentary.

Order Now!

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Cf201608 Evangelise  

We have no greater treasure to pass on to our children than our faith. Father of three Sam Guzman, mother of five Carrie McCormack, and yout...

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