by Fr. Bob Hoffman
Children are a great gift to us. But they are also a responsibility. They trust us to care for them. And we are obligated to make sure that their trust is misplaced.
No matter our role with children, the saints offer great examples for us.
For fathers, that model is, of course, Saint Joseph. He did God’s will in accepting the Blessed Mother after Jesus had been conceived. He protected the Holy Family from Herod as they fled to Egypt. And he sacrificed his own plans for the good of his family.
For mothers, there is no greater example than the Blessed Mother. Mary always accepted God’s will in her life. From saying yes to God when the archangel Gabriel shared God’s plan with her to suffering through her own Son’s Passion and death, she followed God’s plan always. Her last words in the Bible are an example for us too: “Do whatever he tells you.”
For priests, Saint John Vianney is our patron saint. His tireless work on behalf of his parishioners changed the whole town where he served. His parish became a pilgrimage site for others in France.
Saint John Bosco worked endlessly to improve the lot of poor boys in Italy. He helped some 800 boys to get off the streets and into lodging.
For Catholic educators, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is a great example. A convert to Catholicism, she was forced out of New York City because of her Catholic faith. She went first to Baltimore and then to Emmitsburg, Maryland. There, at the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, she established a community of religious sisters and founded a school. Many religious sisters in this country trace their beginnings to Mother Seton’s first community in Emmitsburg. And Mother Seton School still educates children there today.
We can follow the example of these saints. We can also ask their intercession with the Lord through prayer.