Helping children grow

Helping children grow

By: Re. Richard Cortese

The Messenger. 06.05.08 Written by members of the Obion County Ministerial Association I want to say how clever Mr. Michael Paul Miller is to get our Union City Elementary School children to read over 100,000 books. That’s amazing! What ingenuity to spend the night on the roof of the school to challenge them and to perk up their enthusiasm to read. Well, I certainly think he’s great! And I want to congratulate him as principal and also all our teachers (both in Union City and in Obion County) for all you do to help educate our children. The truth is, is that these are all of our children, which as church and state we, together, try to raise and bring up properly and with those human and also religious values which will help make them the best persons they can be — both for us now, as they continue to grow and develop, and in the future, when they will merge in with the society and world and, hopefully, be prepared to assume their proper place according to God’s plan for them. I hope, too, that our children will be reading their Bibles over the summer, and that they will be encouraged to be a part of programs at both church and school. We have, for example summer, Vacation Bible Schools in most of our churches. Immaculate Conception Church’s will be June 23-28 from 5:45- 8:15 p.m. Our churches have also regular Bible studies and other activities for our youth to help form them spiritually. Perhaps the most important area of spiritual youth formation comes from attending Sunday church with parents, family and friends. Like school attendance, which is required Monday through Friday during the school year with punctuality and dress code required, Sunday church attendance, too, is required by Divine Law and church law as part of God’s providential care and ongoing spiritual formation for our youth and for all of us. Education, as well as spiritual formation, is life long, even after the elementary and high school years have passed. This is the reason why you will find that at Sunday church services the reading of the Bible takes place and is explained and developed in the preacher’s sermon. Books are wonderful things. I love to read books myself and am grateful to my teachers who, in school, taught me and helped me be who I am today. (My first grade teacher — by the way — Sister Rose Clare of Nazareth, Ky., is still alive at 93 years young, and I am so happy and pleased to say I am able to visit her and feel a special bond of affection, gratitude and love for her.) Teachers are wonderful! And Mr. Michael Paul Miller must be wonderful to love his school children so much so as to spend the night on the roof for them! Father Richard Cortese Immaculate Conception Catholic Church 1303 East Reelfoot Ave. Union City

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