It takes a family to raise a child

A Parent’s Perspective A lot of Catholic events and organisations seem to cater for 18-35 year olds; others are geared towards children or married couples with children. Single people; widows and widowers, with or without children; other lone parents and those who are married and childless can often feel a little bit out on a limb.…

Beating the back to school blues

A parent’s perspective   August can be a funny kind of month in many ways.  I’ve never quite been able to shake off that lingering childhood dread that marks the last weeks of the summer holidays. A few weeks earlier the summer break stretched out, full of promise. Anything could happen: another heatwave that would…

Newman’s vision more vital than ever

A parent’s perspective I’ve taken a great interest in Blessed John Henry Newman recently and was delighted with the announcement that he is to be canonised in Rome on October 13 this year. By all accounts, he was an amazing man: a great scholar, a friend to many, a great priest and pastor, a musician…

Signposts for a life of faith

A parent’s perspective   I attended Mass recently in St Eustace’s Dominican church in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. The homily preached by Fr John Harris OP was one of the best I’ve ever heard. You could hear a pin drop as he painted a vivid description of the Gospel story where the apostle, Peter, jumps out…

Living the Easter message all year long

A Parent’s Perspective   At the Easter Vigil Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh some years ago Archbishop Eamon Martin recalled how St John Paul II loved to quote St Augustine: “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and Alleluia is our song.” As a child, a lot of my…

Lessons in love our children deserve

A Parent’s Perspective   I always remember my mother giving me a little pamphlet titled My Dear Daughter which was the equivalent of what’s commonly referred to as ‘The Talk’. Schools often depend on outside-trained speakers now to supplement the information they deliver on sexuality and relationships.  Parents may be relieved to leave this aspect of…

Cleanliness: a kindly road to Godliness

A Parent’s Perspective   I’ve already seen the first pictures of snowdrops posted on Facebook and am beginning to notice the ‘grand stretch in the evenings’ and the first hopeful signs of spring. Of course, after last year’s experience we can’t rule out a late fall of snow and I’m sure a few wise people…