This week’s Principal’s Message is being written as we begin to introduce the RCL Benziger Family Life Program to our students over the next ten weeks. The program is designed to teach our children the meaning of family life through the lens of Catholicism. The family is deemed the “domestic church” and the vessel through which the relationship between God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit is lived out in our current time. To understand the way a family should function, one need go no further than the Holy Family for guidance and direction. St. John Paul II wrote: “It is in the Holy Family, the original “Church in miniature”, that every Christian family must be reflected. Through God’s mysterious design, it was in that family that the Son of God spent long years of a hidden life. It is therefore the prototype and example for all Christian families.”
Although Lent is a time for personal reflection, prayer, almsgiving and fasting, it would be a tragedy to overlook keeping the family in our thoughts and prayers during this time. As Catholic Christians, we believe that many, if not most, of the world’s problems stem from the attack on, and disintegration of, the family. Never in the history of mankind has there been a crisis the likes of the one we are witnessing at the present time. One simply needs to watch the news to see what the loss of family has done to the last few generations of children. We have children finding their way into gangs and cults, being involved in all types of nefarious activities, forming “friendships” via technology, becoming anxious and depressed at alarming rates, relying on the acquisition of “things” as a means to happiness (things never satisfy), winding up in jail, and taking their own lives through addiction or suicide. My take on all this is there’s something missing from their lives. I believe the cultural pressures that all seem to be against the traditional family and faith are chewing and spitting out our children. I know this sounds like a bleak outlook to have, but the statistics support my point-of-view. The rise in the issues I’ve listed above coincides directly with the advent of a more liberal and lax view of the family. To quote St. John Paul II once again: “The future of the world and Church pass by way of the family”. Some interesting findings that obviously support these claims are:
- The media has become the primary means of education for faith and relationships;
- Formal religious institutions and clearly defined beliefs about God are presented negatively 2.5 times more frequently than positively;
- Marriage is most frequently presented as burdensome and confining; and,
- Spoken and visual references to unmarried sex outnumber those to married sex 4.25 to 1 in “family hour”.
So, you can readily see why the RCL Benziger Family Life Program is so important to the way our children view family and faith. We here at Saint Mary School are committed to supporting you, the families, as you raise your children in the Faith and fight against this culture that seems to have no regard for either. Please keep fighting the “good fight” as we attempt to provide our children with the “weapons” they will need to fend off the Devil. He knows that, to cause chaos and confusion here on Earth, he must destroy the family.
Please check our website, Facebook page and the Church bulletin for updates and upcoming events that you can enjoy with us. Please continue to pray for our school, its staff, students and families, and our clergy as we strive to provide an education that is unapologetically Catholic, family centered, caring to others and respectful to all.
Craig Palmer, Principal