Motherhood and the Gift of Life

This coming week we celebrate two big events within our parish community. While I am hoping that no one guessed the Minnesota State Fishing Opener, I am also wise enough to know not to enter into this annual debate; instead, I will leave this discussion up to each family and be the eternal optimist and believe that everyone guessed Mother’s Day and Confirmation.

Do you realize that these two celebrations actually have something important in common? Quite simply, both celebrations involve an individual making a conscious choice — one to be a parent and the other to be a Catholic.

Mother’s Day involves the celebration of both our mothers; namely, our birth mother and the mother who raised us. For most of us these roles were handled by one person; and yet, this is not always the case. In fact, some people had numerous women who guided their formative years. Before a debate begins, we have to acknowledge that all women have the potential to bring a child into the world. This can be done with little or no thought or planning. Regardless of the details of our creation, on Mother’s Day each of us should celebrate our birth mother, whether she was/is a saint or a sinner, we would not be here on this earth if not for her choice to allow us to be born. In addition, we should honor the woman/women who made the commitment to help raise us. Clearly, conscious choices have been made by the mother(s) in our lives — whether they are birth mothers, step mothers, foster mothers, or simply women who have played a formative role in our development — on Mother’s Day we honor these women. Therefore, be sure to offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for the mother(s) in your life.

The Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated this Monday, May 12th at the Cathedral of St. Paul with some forty of our 9th grade students. This will be the first time in the lives of these young people that they will have the opportunity to confirm the decision their parents and godparents made to bring them into our Catholic/Christian faith. Each student will be completing their formal education; that is, the Church will no longer require that they participate in our formation programs. While we hope they will continue to involve themselves in our various education and service opportunities, now the decision is up to them. (Of course, when I grew up my parents had the rule that as long as I lived under their roof and expected financial support from them, then I was expected to go to Church. I still believe in and promote this principle for all families.) Therefore, please keep these young students in your prayers as they celebrate their Confirmation. May God bless them as they become fully initiated members of our Catholic Church. Also, remember that our role as the adults responsible for guiding their religious formation now changes, but does not end. If you have been blessed with having such a young person in your life, please continue to be a good role model for the faith and to invite them to be actively involved in our parish community.

Yes, God asks each of us to make conscious choices in how we will live out the gift of life we have received.

Whether it involves being a parent, a person of faith or simply a good role model, let us all continue to work hard to grow in and share our faith with the people God has placed in our lives. This is what the Easter season is all about, namely, the ongoing support of the Church and our family. This is how we build the kingdom here on earth.

Easter blessings, Fr. Brian