a) A Parent’s Mission

colourful childrens handsA Parent’s Mission:
Top Quotes

  1. “Parents, can you “waste time” with your children? It is one of the most important things that you can do each day.” (Pope Francis)
  2. “I ask for you the grace to be ever closer to your children, allow them to grow, but be close, close!
    They need you, your presence, your closeness, your love.
    May you be for them as St Joseph was: guardians of their growth in age, wisdom and grace.
    May you guard them on their journey: be educators and walk with them. And by this closeness you will be true educators.
    Thank you for all you do for your children.” (Pope Francis)(to fathers)
  3. “The influence received inside the family is decisive for the future development of the individual.” (Pope John-Paul II)
  4. “Parents are cooperators with the love of God the Creator, and are, so to speak, the interpreters of that love.” (Vatican II)
  5. “The main responsibility for your children’s religious formation rests upon your shoulders. So try to make your homes genuinely Christian.” (Pope John-Paul II)
  6. “Catholic parents must learn to form their family as a ‘domestic church’, a church in the home as it were, where God is honoured… prayer is a normal event… and everyone shares the hopes, the problems, and sufferings of everyone else.” (Pope John-Paul II)
  7. “Children have a right to be educated in authentic moral values rooted in the dignity of the human person, to be inspired by the truth of our Catholic faith and to learn ways of behaving and acting that lead to healthy self-esteem and lasting happiness.” (Pope Benedict XVI)
  8. “All relationships go through difficult periods, but God can help us make those very difficulties a source of deeper understanding and love. The example of the Holy Family encourages us to accept the reality of family life, which may at times be a painful reality. They are a source of hope and courage.” (Sr Wendy Beckett)
  9. “This treasure of faith is not given for our own personal use. It is meant to be given, to be handed on, and in this way it grows. Make the name of Jesus known.” (Pope Francis)
  10. “Don’t forget: the family that prays together stays together! This is important. There we come to know God.” (Pope Francis)
  11. “A mother’s presence in the family, so critical to the stability and growth of that basic unity of society, should instead be recognized, applauded and supported in every possible way.” (Pope John Paul II)
  12. “Society needs to call husbands and fathers to their family responsibilities.” (Pope John Paul II)
  13. “Remember how Jesus warned adults not to scandalize little ones.” (Pope Francis)

A Parent’s Mission:
Full Quotes and the Source of Quotes

“Parents, can you “waste time” with your children? It is one of the most important things that you can do each day.”

Pope Francis, in a tweet of Oct 27th, 2015

“In a special way, I would like to greet today, being fathers’ day, all parents, all fathers: I greet you from the heart! Let’s see: are there any fathers in the square? Raise your hands, dads! Look, there are many fathers! Best wishes, best wishes to you on your day!

I ask for you the grace to be ever closer to your children, allow them to grow, but be close, close! They need you, your presence, your closeness, your love. May you be for them as St Joseph was: guardians of their growth in age, wisdom and grace. May you guard them on their journey: be educators and walk with them. And by this closeness you will be true educators. Thank you for all you do for your children: thank you. Best wishes to you, and a happy fathers’ day to all fathers here, and to all fathers. May St Joseph bless you and accompany you.

Some of us have lost our dad, he has passed away, the Lord has called him; many in this square do not have their dad still with them. We can pray for all the fathers of the world, for the fathers living and deceased, as well as our own, and we can do it together, each one remembering his or her own father whether he be living or dead. And let us pray to the great Father of us all, the Father. An Our Father for our fathers: Our Father…. Best wishes to fathers!”

— Pope Francis, 19th March 2014, in a General Audience, Saint Peter’s Square, as reported on the Vatican website

“The family is the first school of living, and the influence received inside the family is decisive for the future development of the individual.”

— Pope John Paul II in “Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words”, 1998, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, page 63, with the subheading “Message for World Day of Peace, 1998”

“Parents should regard as their proper mission the task of transmitting human life and educating those to whom it has been transmitted. They should realize that they are thereby cooperators with the love of God the Creator, and are, so to speak, the interpreters of that love.”

— Vatican II, 1965, ‘Gaudium et Spes’ (section 50)

“Dear parents of these children: your love for Christ has made this day possible. For you are your children’s first teachers in the ways of faith. By what you say and do, you show them the truths of our faith and the values of the Gospel. This is indeed not only a sacred duty, but a grace, a great privilege. Many other members of the Church share in this task, but the main responsibility for your children’s religious formation rests upon your shoulders. So try to make your homes genuinely Christian. Help your children to grow and mature as Jesus did at Nazareth, “in wisdom, in stature and in favour with God and men” (Lk 2:52). Allow no one to take advantage of their lack of experience and knowledge. As you share with them in their personal pilgrimage to God, may you always be united in prayer and worship and in humble love of God and his people.”

— Pope John Paul II, Mass at Pontcanna Fields, Cardiff (First Holy Communion), 2nd June, 1982, as published on page 15 of “The Pope in Britain: Collected Homilies & Speeches” St Paul Publications, 1982

“The family is indeed sacred: it is the place in which life — the gift of God — can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of culture of life.”

— Pope John Paul II in “Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words”, 1998, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, page 63 & 64, with the subheading “Centesimus Annus”

“I sometimes reflect on the great damage parents do by not striving that their children might always see virtuous deeds of every kind.”

— St Teresa of Avila, as quoted on page 19 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“Catholic parents must learn to form their family as a ‘domestic church’, a church in the home as it were, where God is honoured, his law is respected, prayer is a normal event, virtue is transmitted by word and example, and everyone shares the hopes, the problems, and sufferings of everyone else.”

— Pope John Paul II in “Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words”, 1998, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, page 65, with the subheading “Homily at Aqueduct Racetrack 1995”

“Parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it.”

— Vatican II, Declaration on Christian Education, 1965

“Children deserve to grow up in security, loved and cherished, with a strong sense of their identity and worth. They have a right to be educated in authentic moral values rooted in the dignity of the human person, to be inspired by the truth of our Catholic faith and to learn ways of behaving and acting that lead to healthy self-esteem and lasting happiness. This noble but demanding task is entrusted in the first place to you, their parents.”

— Pope Benedict XVI in his letter to the Catholics of Ireland, 2010

“If communion between man and woman is lost,
relationship with their children is inevitably affected.
It may become impossible for parents to love their children
with a freedom-giving love.
They become possessive,
making the children feel guilty
if they do not conform to parental desires.

Possessive love is stifling—
children cannot grow,
life cannot flow.
And naturally there will be anger….
Children must push this anger down,
for it is too dangerous,
too unbearable, to live with.
….
True indeed it is that the sin of brokenness
is visited upon us from generation to generation.
From this original broken state
it is impossible to love freely;
from the lack of being loved freely and with respect
stems more anger and frustration.”

— Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities, in his book ‘The Broken Body’, 1988, page 23

“The family is the first setting of evangelisation, the place where the good news of Christ is first received and then, in simple yet profound ways, handed on from generation to generation.”

— Pope John Paul II in “Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words”, 1998, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, page 65, with the subheading “Meeting with African Americans, New Orleans, 1987”

“Joseph and Mary had a rocky start to their marriage. He, quite naturally, suspected her of betraying him, both a great sorrow and a scandal. She, on the other hand, must have been wounded that he did not trust her. Then there was the difficult journey to Bethelehem, the astounding events there; and now there is this dangerous crisis. It must have been a time of real growth in marital love for both of them. Each had to trust the other. Only as true partners could they nourish and protect their son.

All relationships go through difficult periods, but God can help us make those very difficulties a source of deeper understanding and love. The example of the Holy Family encourages us to accept the reality of family life, which may at times be a painful reality. They are a source of hope and courage.”

Sr Wendy Beckett, in her book ‘The Art of Christmas’, Redemptorist Publications, Hampshire, England, 2008 (ISBN 978-0-85231-354-1)(page 33, part of a reflection on the painting ‘Rest on the Flight into Egypt’ by Orazio Gentileschi)

“If I should have to give advice, I would tell parents that they ought to be very careful about whom their children associate with.”

— St Teresa of Avila, as quoted on page 22 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“Children need the positive environment of a stable family life that will ensure their development to human maturity – girls on an equal basis with boys.”

— Pope John-Paul II in a 1995 letter to Mrs. Gertrude Mongella, Secretary General of the Fourth World Conference on Women of the United Nations

“I beg you, as your father and brother in Jesus Christ, to take care of the faith you received in Baptism.

And, like the mother and grandmother of Timothy, hand on the faith to your children and grandchildren, and not only to them. This treasure of faith is not given for our own personal use. It is meant to be given, to be handed on, and in this way it grows. Make the name of Jesus known.”

— Pope Francis in a video message from Rome to pilgrims in Mexico City, 16th November 2013

“… Resting in prayer is especially important for families. It is in the family that we first learn how to pray. Don’t forget: the family that prays together stays together! This is important. There we come to know God, to grow into men and women of faith, to see ourselves as members of God’s greater family, the Church.

In the family we learn how to love, to forgive, to be generous and open, not closed and selfish. We learn to move beyond our own needs, to encounter others and share our lives with them. That is why it is so important to pray as a family! So important! That is why families are so important in God’s plan for the Church! To rest in the Lord is to pray. To pray together as a family.

— Pope Francis in a meeting with families, in the Philippines 16th of January 2015 (a Rome Reports video on youtube of the highlights of his talk and tips is here)

“It is a disservice not only to children, but also to women and society itself, when a woman is made to feel guilty for wanting to remain in the home and nurture and care for her children. A mother’s presence in the family, so critical to the stability and growth of that basic unity of society, should instead be recognized, applauded and supported in every possible way. By the same token society needs to call husbands and fathers to their family responsibilities, and ought to strive for a situation in which they will not be forced by economic circumstances to move away from the home in search of work.”

— Pope John Paul II in his Encyclical ‘Redemptoris Mater’ (Mother of the Redeemer), March 1987

“When we remember how Jesus warned adults not to scandalize little ones (cf. Mt 18:6), we better understand the vital responsibility to maintain and protect the bond of marriage which is the foundation of the human family. We thank God that although these wounds may lead some to separation, even then many men and women remain true to their conjugal bond, sustained by faith and by love for their children.

For those who enter into so-called irregular situations, we must reflect on how best to help and accompany them in their lives. Let us ask the Lord for a strong faith to see with his eyes the reality of family life, and for a deep love to approach all families with his merciful heart.”

— Pope Francis in a General Audience address June 24 2015

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