December 22, 2012
St. Alphonsus Liguori is a community of many young families with children who join us during Mass and in ministry. Since we are together with these young impressionable minds, it is important for the parish to be very mindful of messages that may be heard and shared.
When our world faces alarming tragedy, reports automatically fill news broadcasts, social media channels, outdoor signs and public announcements. These reminders help bring and build awareness for the knowledge, concern, and prayers of adults. It is also very possible that such stories can instill fear in children, especially if tragic events took place in an environment similar to where they themselves spend much of their own time.
In order to keep St. Alphonsus Liguori a comfortable gathering place for all ages, the parish shares messages at Mass and in ministry while keeping the following in mind:
Parents and their children: The parish respects a parent's responsibility to determine whether or not to discuss tragedies with their children. Parents who decide not to discuss such events should not worry about bringing family to church where their young ones might learn new information.
Public prayers and preaching: Immediately following a tragedy, St. Alphonsus Liguori priests and volunteers will often times not discuss details in homilies, community petitions and ministries. Prayer petitions and other reminders may instead be announced in a way that the parish can offer prayer without alarming or causing distress to younger members. The call to show concern, compassion and offer prayer is still accomplished. Our Lord will always know what is written on our hearts.
Spiritual guidance for members: The parish is also a place for healing. A person troubled by information regarding tragedies may seek consolation by speaking with a priest for spiritual guidance. Please contact the parish office at 873.2885 to be put in touch with a priest.
Personal efforts: In efforts to bring our petitions to the altar in a way that does not create fear for our members, we also ask ministry volunteers, parish leadership, families and other individuals to please use similar consideration when gathering around campus near younger ears. In troubled times, personal prayer, penances, and acts of charity can bear much fruit in bringing the light of Christ into the darkness of tragedy.
Rev. Father O’Keeffe