Catholic bishop: Parents who homeschool are ‘a gift to our diocese and to our Church’
GAINESVILLE, Virginia, October 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Homeschooling families are a “gift” to “our diocese and to our Church,” Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge said last week.
Speaking at the Diocese of Arlington’s second annual Mass for Homeschool Families at Holy Trinity parish, Bishop Burbidge thanked parents who homeschool their children for “taking seriously that responsibility of being the first teachers of your children in the ways of faith.” He noted that parents are told at babies’ baptisms that they are to be their children’s primary teachers.
He continued to the parents, “You understand what the Second Vatican Council says: ‘It particularly belongs to the Christian family, enriched by the sacrament of marriage, that children are to be taught knowledge of God, to worship God, and to love neighbor.’”
“Dear parents, thank you for your faithfulness, for your dedication, and most especially at times, I am sure, for your perseverance,” said Bishop Burbidge. “You may not always see the visible and immediate results that you want as homeschool teachers, but you can be assured that the seeds you are planting God will use miraculously. Thank you for the gift you are to our diocese and to our Church.”
Several times during his homily, Bishop Burbidge addressed his “young friends,” encouraging them to thank their parents and to trust in God. Discussing the day’s readings, the bishop commented on the differences between foolish and wise actions. He also quoted newly-canonized Saints Paul VI and Oscar Romero.
“Dear parents and students, I know your curriculum is very demanding, as it should be, [because] we want excellence in education,” he said. “But I sure hope and pray that every day at that heart of the curriculum is that time to listen and to be still with the Lord. And finally, the foolish rely on their own resources; the wise, on the strength that comes from God. The foolish will think, ‘everything depends on me. Everything rests on me.’ And when we think that way, especially my dear young friends, life can become very anxious and very chaotic. Please don’t do that. Rely on God’s strength.”
That strength can be found “in your daily prayer and most especially in the Sacraments.”
Bishop Burbidge concluded:
“And my young friends in Christ, please remember that God in the midst of all that you’re asked to do, all the decisions you have to make every day, He doesn’t want you to walk alone. That’s too dangerous. So He puts special people in your life: your parents, trust friends, counselors, others who love you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. They are God’s instruments to you. And you know what, it’s when we ask for help that we are really strong. That’s when we’re the strongest. And so how blessed can we be today, that we gather around this altar, and we find the source of our strength, Jesus, the one we will soon receive in the Holy Eucharist. May I suggest that as you come forward today to receive Holy Communion, in the silence of your hearts, just entrust to the Lord any of your goals, any of your dreams, any of the decisions that are weighing upon your heart at this moment in your life. And with renewed trust and confidence, say, ‘Come, Holy Spirit. Keep me truly wise today and always.’ Amen.”
The Arlington Catholic Herald quotes a homeschooling mother of six who expressed gratitude for Bishop Burbidge’s support.
Earlier this month, Catholic bishops at the ongoing Youth Synod were criticized for making disparaging remarks about parents who homeschool, saying the practice can be done for “ideological” reasons and asking, “are parents qualified to homeschool [their kids]?”
It does not appear the bishops at the synod have explored with any depth the anti-Catholic ideological agendas pushed in many public schools, particularly in the U.S., where children are subject to the promotion of homosexuality, transgenderism, and abortion.
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