Listening to our kids

Today’s gospel reading was from Matthew 25, about the wise and foolish virgins preparing for the wedding procession. I often ask our students what are some of the issues they and their peers face. Teen pregnancy is high on that list. I used the occasion to talk about preparing for the future, and the value in waiting until marriage to have children of their own. A lot of our students come from single parent families, or are being raised by grandparents or another relative. I hope they will be the generation that waits and prepares for that special someone who they can commit their entire life to, and are able to be there for their children.

Clare, who teaches one of our high school religion classes after church, said that it led to some lively discussion with her group. They remarked that they don’t often get to talk about premarital sex and its consequences, and had lots of thoughtful things to say, as they think about and prepare for their future.

I ate lunch with Raphael Home (1st-3rd grade boys). Around the table there was never a lull in the conversation, as each child had something “urgent” they had to share. It’s important to take time to listen when kids are young and full of questions and stories. If we don’t when they are young, they won’t open up as they get older.

The priests in my our local SCJ community gathered for our monthly meeting. Fr. Vincent works on the Indian reservation in Lower Brule and told me how much the parishioners there enjoyed having William Home (4th-5th grade girls) join them for mass. For the William Home service project, the girls baked muffins and invited the parishioners to stay after mass for breakfast. Who can turn down such an invitation from a smiling 10-year-old with a muffin?

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 90 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

One thought on “Listening to our kids”

  1. Yes, Fr. Steve,

    It is wise to wait for that special someone. It makes for a higher quality of life for all involved. Waiting until marriage is Sacred- Waiting to, at least, ’25’ to get married is wise. Education first!

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