Imagine not having a chance as a child or youth to hear God's word and his message of love, mercy and forgiveness, let alone ever experiencing them. For some, this may be the result of an unstable home life without proper physical and mental health care, food and nutrition, educational opportunities or religious or spiritual guidance. This can make living productive and faithful citizenship a challenge. Approximately 3,000 youth, ages 10 to 17, are currently serving time for various crimes at juvenile detention centers in Harris, Fort Bend and Brazoria counties.
Bridget Reagins was in her second semester of her freshman year at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School in Houston when she was ready to call it quits. It was Father T.J. Martinez, SJ, the founding president of the school, who talked her out of leaving.
In a recent global message from Pope Francis when he declared this as the Year of Consecrated Life, the Holy Father said it's important to reflect on the origins and history of the Church, and to look to the past with gratitude for the gifts God has provided to the Church. He said grateful remembrance of the past leads us to implement ever more fully the essential aspects of our consecrated life and to "live the present with passion."
In life, sometimes the most difficult decisions people face involve impending death. Pain and grief can’t always be avoided. Some of it can be mitigated in the end-of-life decisions one makes for themselves and loved ones. But in doing so, one must neither prolong pointless suffering nor hasten death — in accordance with the Catholic faith.
In the words of St. John Paul II, all members of the family are responsible for making the family a “school of deeper humanity” (Saint John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, Second Vatican Council, GS, 52). He defines this as the day-to-day commitment to the caring and loving of children, the sick and aging, and sharing “goods, of joys and of sorrow.”
Matt Garcia-Prats, the principal of our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School in east Houston, couldn’t have put it more bluntly. “In reality if we didn’t have The Cardinal’s Circle we wouldn’t exist,” Garcia-Prats said.
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