Voice from the Valley

VFTV: January 30, 2019

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK

This year, we celebrate Catholic Schools Week January 27 through February 2. This celebration gives each school and parish community the opportunity to reflect on “what we are” as a Catholic School and “what we do.” This year’s theme is: “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”

A Catholic School is a community in which young people learn about life as God has given it, in an atmosphere of faith, and each person is helped to develop and grow in the life God has given them. Students learn to serve, to lead and to succeed. This education and growth involves the whole person and places Christ at the center. We are delighted that in the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Crookston, enrollment is up, and a few schools are engaged in building more classroom space. Thanks to all who teach and work with young people in our Catholic schools and thanks to parents who sacrifice to send their children to a Catholic school, giving their children a real advantage for life.

WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE

World Day for Consecrated Life will be celebrated the weekend of February 2-3. Each year this special day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. It is also known as Candlemas Day, or the day on which candles are blessed, symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. Those consecrated to God by the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience seek to live their Baptismal promises. We are thankful for all who have responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be a religious priest, brother, sister, hermit or consecrated virgin. In the Diocese of Crookston, we enjoy the witness and ministry of the Benedictine Sisters, Sisters of St. Joseph, the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation and the Priests and Brothers of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Pope Francis, speaking about religious life, has reminded us: “Worldly life aims to do whatever we want; consecrated life chooses humble obedience as the greater freedom. And while worldly life soon leaves our hands and hearts empty, life in Jesus fills us with peace to the very end.” We thank God for all the wonderful religious among us and pray that God bless them. May our young people consider dedicating their lives to God in this wonderful way, as a religious sister or brother or priest.

NATIONAL MARRIAGE WEEK & WORLD MARRIAGE DAY

February 7-14 is National Marriage Week, and Sunday, February 10, is World Marriage Day. National Marriage Week is a campaign to highlight marriage “which benefits children and reduces poverty.” This campaign notes that statistics are clear: “married adults live longer, have better health and great personal happiness. Children raised by both parents at home perform better in school, have less addiction, and less trouble with the law.”

We celebrate all who have this wonderful vocation and pray for married couples. You who have been called to this vocation, thank God in a special way for this wonderful vocation and ask him to continue to bless you as you live it. If you want a boost, take a moment to be enriched by visiting this USCCB sponsored website: ForYourMarriage.org.

May God help us all work to build a culture of life and love that begins with supporting and promoting marriage and family.