by Vince Cascone
I write this article from the basement of my childhood home in Chicago.
Just over a week ago, on January 2, my sister Regina informed me that my 78-year-old mother was being taken to hospital. She felt very sick and had little or no energy. My mother has suffered from COPD for several years and has trouble breathing.
After a short stay in the hospital, we learned the news we dreaded: she had Covid. On top of that, she had pneumonia. From everything we had heard during the pandemic, as well as her already compromised health, it was hard not to think she would die. I headed to Chicago for what seemed like a trip to say goodbye.
Over the next week, I spent time with my brothers, my sister, and my father. We seemed to go from expecting the worst, to hoping for the best, to preparing for his return home. We have seen a miracle happen during this week.
She returned home on January 9. So many people were praying for my mother who spent so many days and years praying rosary after rosary for them and for others. Truly there is power in the name of Jesus.
This past week has been a journey of reflection and prayer for me. I have thought a lot about my role as a parent and the role of my parents in my life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
“Parents are primarily responsible for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity and service are the rule. The house is well suited to education in the virtues. It requires an apprenticeship in self-sacrifice, good judgment and self-control, prerequisites for all true freedom. Parents must teach their children to subordinate “the material and instinctive dimensions to the interior and spiritual dimensions”. Parents have a heavy responsibility to set a good example for their children. By knowing how to recognize their own shortcomings in their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them (n° 2223).
Parents are, of course, the first educators of their children. The Catholic school supports parents in their most important responsibility of raising their children in the faith.
That said, the Second Vatican Council Declaration on Education states: “The council also reminds Catholic parents of the duty to entrust their children to Catholic schools wherever and whenever possible and to support these schools to the best of their ability. abilities and to cooperate with them for the education of their children.
The past two weeks have given me a new appreciation for my parents and all they have done for me. I am very grateful for the Catholic education they gave me.
I encourage you to support the Catholic educational ministry of the church within your family and with those in your community.