It really takes a village to raise a child and on Saturday, October 13 parents and two teachers of children attending La Puerta Government Primary got a helping hand at the ‘Children Are Gift’ workshop conducted by the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC).
Some were single parents, some married, some had large families, some small, but there were two things they had in common with one another, and with so many other parents who worship here at St Finbar’s. They knew the struggles involved in bringing up children, and they wanted to become more understanding, better parents.
Giving up a Saturday is not easy for most of us. One mother who badly wanted to attend had no choice but to bring her four children; another was accompanied by two small ones; and a grandmother also came with her young grandson, but they were welcomed and accommodated.
Ms Simon, the principal, was not only on hand to ensure that everything was well prepared, but generously undertook the supervision of the little ones so their parents could participate.
Tricia Syms and Richard Smith of the AFLC were down-to-earth, and simply inspiring, and the parents themselves shared openly, listened attentively, and had fun in the various warm-up activities.
Together they explored fundamental topics like understanding yourself, the critical importance of fathering for both boys and girls, the stages of development in children and teens, a spiritual plan for family life, and helpful ways to build healthy attitudes towards sexuality.
At the end of the day one parent voiced the sentiments of the entire group: “We feel the energy, really feel we are taking away something important, and we will be on a better track with our children.”
We hope the day will bear much fruit in the family life of all the participants. The workshop itself was a testimony to the co-operation between family, school and Church community that is so greatly needed in our country, and it really would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of the SVP Conference here at St Finbar’s.
All children are gifts. They are our treasure. They have enormous potential but some face hardships that can impede their development. Providentially, God gives us opportunities and imagination to make a difference. Thank God for all the ways we lovingly take hold of these opportunities.
In one address on the family, Pope Francis ends by reminding us:
The Lord judges our life according to what the angels of children tell him, angels who “always behold the face of the Father who is in heaven” (cf Mt 18.10). Let us always ask ourselves: what will the children’s guardian angels tell God about us?- Mary Lochan