From Father Ken's Quill

Father Ken Halbur is the Pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Parish in Ankeny, Iowa and these posts are letters written in the church’s weekly bulletin.

Beginning Another School Year

It is hard to believe that school started last week. The first day is always challenging, trying to get them where they need to be and get them calmed down and ready to learn again. This year, with the changes in staff and administration, there are a lot of new faces around. As someone who has been at a Catholic school for many years, I have seen the first day meltdowns, the pictures in front of the school, and many other things that go along with starting school. Each of the children that we serve are different, sometimes we run into those children who love to go to school and those who just do not want to go and would rather stay home playing all day, but parents tell them that school is good for them and that they have to go. Along with this, sometimes I also hear that parents do not bring their children to Mass because the children don’t want to go, they would rather stay at home and sleep, so they let them. What is the difference? School gives them an education to get through this life, but the Mass gives them an education to get to eternal life. We bring our kids to school even if they do not want to go because we know that it is good for them, we should also do the same with church. We should take them to Mass every weekend even if they make some noise, and on the other side we should also be aware that with kids at Mass, they sometimes make some noise. We should be a joyous example for our children in the practice of the faith. Being a person who wants to go to worship God, and to be with others that are on the journey to heaven is a wonderful thing. When our children ask us questions about the Mass or about our faith, we should help them to find the answer even if we do not know it. This is something that will not only help our children’s faith, but it will help us with our own faith life. God doesn’t want us to have blind faith, but as St. Augustine talks about Fides et Ratio or faith and reason. The Church has a reason for everything we teach and how wonderful it is that we have an opportunity to be able to look it up and find it. We all want our children to be the best people that they can be and with the help of God, they will be, but we need to help them to see that gift that God is for them, buy showing them our own love for God. Take the time to pray with them and also to bring them to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist so that we can all be drawn close to God, and when we take that time to get close to Him, we will see that joy and light that He has to offer us.

God bless,
Fr. Ken