Holy Family

Holy Family

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feast of Saint Claude de la Colombiere

Good morning.  This morning’s Gospel speaks of our potential for influencing things for bad or good (Mk 8:14-21).  Our actions, our words can serve as yeast toward fermenting the good in others. As parents this is certainly an important thing to keep in mind. Yesterday I read an article that provoked a great deal of thought regarding the changes our society is undergoing, in particular it addressed teenage pregnancy and the failure of our society to effectively address this issue and other issues of character formation.  It likewise looked at the decline in our educational system to adequately educate our youth despite the enormous amounts of funding it receives every year. The author, Gerry Garibaldi, in his article titled “Nobody Gets Married Any More, Mister” suggests that the urban school systems are not in want of anything in the way of tools or equipment, but rather the problem with being able to effectively educate these children is not the result of any lack of funding, or any flaw in the lesson plan, but that the problem goes beyond the classroom.  He suggests that the problem exists out in the streets and in the homes and within a culture that offers no incentive to learn and to make the right choices.  He suggests that the problem is there staring everyone in the face and that as a society we refuse to recognize it. I am not certain that this problem is limited to only our urban school children. Teachers on both sides of the tracks frequently cite parental detachment as a fundamental problem within our educational system. The author offers no clear solution, but it seems evident to me that it does not necessarily rest with how much money is allocated or with  testing programs or with whatever new teaching approaches get spewed out from educational theorists. No, the answer to effectively motivating our children, is one that we have always had available, one spoken of in this morning’s Gospel; as parents we need to be the leaven toward fermenting within our children an understanding and appreciation for the importance of making the right choices. No amount of educational dollars or spit-polished teaching approach will make any difference if a child’s parents are not invested in the process.  In fact I’d venture to guess that if a child has not learned to make the right choices by the time they’ve entered school it is not likely to make any difference what side of the tracks the school house is located nor how much funding goes into the program. The solution for effectively attending to the overall development of our children is summed-up in title of Mr. Garibaldi’s article—“Nobody Gets Married Any More, Mister.” As our children’s first teachers we need to be looking at our own lesson plans, what are we doing towards influencing our children to make the right choices?  Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts and works of Saint Claude de la Colombiere.

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