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Early introduction to key virtues is an important step in helping a child begin to develop a virtuous and purposeful life.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us:
A virtue is a firm attitude to do what is right. Its direct opposite is a vice. A vice is a habit to do what is wrong. Prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance are called the human or cardinal virtues because they forge our human character. These four habits assist us in developing a pure heart that is open to God’s will.
“The moral virtues grow through education, deliberate acts and perseverance in struggle. Divine grace (God’s special help that strengthens us) purifies and elevates the virtues in our lives.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1839
We have prepared some materials to help children of every age (and parents too!) understand and practice virtuous living. I hope they will be a useful tool for you as you raise our young brothers and sisters in Christ!
Fr. David P. Uribe, OMI
This Month’s Virtue is: Purity
“Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
- Explain to your child the meaning of purity. Purity is the virtue of benevolence which means kindness, compassion, generosity and good will. Purity is acting without any traces of evil or selfishness. Purity is when a person’s motives are genuine and sincere. Simply put, purity is also being humble and kind.
- Discuss with your child that it’s important for them to be confident and never lower their standards. They should surround themselves with friends who seek purity. They should look for friends who follow God in all they say and do.
- Talk to your child about keeping your soul free of sin. They can practice this by praying daily and asking God to guide them and keep them pure of heart and mind.
- Encourage your child to set goals of achieving good behavior for the day, week, and month. As they reach their goals, join them in thanks to God for his grace and love.
- Model acts of selflessness for your child. Be generous to those in need, offer to help your friends or neighbors, say please, and thank you to people. Hold the door for others or let someone go ahead of you in line.
- Have your child join you in picking out a gift or doing a task for someone in need, as an act of kindness and selflessness.
- Teach your child to act out of selflessness and to serve others. Collect items from family and friends to donate to the poor. Setting up a food or clothing drive is an easy way to involve friends and family as you serve God and others.
- Teaching your child to get involved in worthwhile activities like music, sports, drama, hobbies all activities that can develop talents. Remind them to give the glory to God as they succeed in their talents.
- Use the Measuring Up worksheet to help your child make a list of how they can live up to God’s Standards. This list should include movies, books and music that you think God would approve of based on His teachings of love, kindness, and forgiveness. Display this somewhere you can see it every day. After a month, review the list together and check your progress!
- Skillsheet #1
- Skillsheet #2
- Skillsheet #3
- Skillsheet #4
Welcome to Oblate Academy!
Exposing our children to stories of the Saints is important for their faith development. The Saints are heroes of the faith! We are called to be like them and to live for Jesus.
I hope you will enjoy the story of St. Dominic and be inspired to live close to Christ like him!
Much like St. Dominic, my brother Missionary Oblates spend their lives working hard
for our Lord Jesus Christ, ministering to the poor and most abandoned throughout the world.
Saint of the Month for December, St. Dominic
St. Dominic was born in 1170 in Caleruega, Spain. His parents, Felix Guzman and BI. Joan of Aza, were members of the Spanish nobility and related to the ruling class. His father was the royal warden to the village. His mother was a holy woman and according to one legend she made pilgrimage to an abbey at Silos when she was pregnant with Dominic. There she had a dream of a dog leaping from her womb with a torch in his mouth. The animal seemed to set the earth on fire. His mother saw this as a sign that her son would do great things in this world.
Dominic was educated in Palencia, studying theology for six years and the arts for four.
He showed himself to be a caring, giving person during one of the toughest times in his homeland. In 1191, a great famine left many people homeless and desolate across Spain. Dominic sold everything he had, including his furniture and clothes, and bought food for the poor. He even sold his valued manuscripts required for study. On two other occasions, he attempted to sell himself into slavery to the Moors to obtain the freedom of others.
In 1194, he joined a Benedictine order, the Canons Regular in Osama. He became the prior of the chapter in 1201. In 1203 he joined the Bishop de Acebo on a trip to Denmark to help find a bride for Crown Prince Ferdinand. Sadly, the princess died before they could leave Spain. As a result of her death, the Bishop and Dominic were free to travel to Rome. In Rome, the Bishop wanted to resign his office to pursue a new mission, the conversion of unbelievers. However, Pope Innocent III didn’t want them to do this. Instead, he wanted them to go to Southern France, the region of Languedoc, to convert heretics back to the true faith.
This was a dangerous time and many heretics threatened Dominic with violence. Despite the danger, Dominic traveled throughout the region preaching and converting many back to Catholic Christian faith and practice.
He established a convent at Prouille, France in 1206, which would become the first Dominican house. The house served as a place for the nobility to educate their children and the Catholic women to have a safe place away from hostile heretics. Bishop Diego and Dominic established their headquarters here. Even today, the monastery stands well known as the Notre-Dame-de-Prouille Monastery.
Dominic’s mission was to establish an order dedicated to promoting morality and eliminating heresy. In July 1215, he was granted permission to form his own religious order for this purpose. With six followers joining him, his group followed a Rule of Life with a strict routine of discipline in prayer and penance. His order was confirmed on December 22, 1216, and in 1217, Pope Honorius III named him and his followers “The Order of Preachers”.
In 1217, Dominic sent his followers out to spread the order. Realizing he needed help, Dominic went to Rome to ask the Pope for support for his mission. The Pope appointed him the “Master of the Sacred Palace”. The Pope issued a papal decree, asking all clergy across Europe to support the Order of Preachers. At this time the Pope asked Dominic to restore discipline to the religious order of women. Dominic did the hard work of persuading several orders of nuns to relocate. He was given the Basilica of Santa Sabina to complete his work. The Basilica remains the headquarters of the Dominican order today.
Following this success, Dominic traveled the rest of his life establishing new houses. During this time, he established a written rule of monks to follow. Dominic was known for choosing meager provisions, including refusing to lie in a bed.
St. Dominic spent his life preaching a message of love and forgiveness. In July 1221, he took ill and later passed away August 6 at 51. Pope Gregory IX canonized St. Dominic on July 13, 1234. St. Dominic’s feast day is August 8 and he is the patron saint of astronomers, the Dominican Republic, and the innocent falsely accused of crimes.
St. Dominic, Prayer for Students
St. Dominic please be my friend.
Help me to be like you and practice charity with others
and share the gifts God has given me every day.
Pray for me so I might serve the poor and others in their time of need.
St Dominic, pray for us!
Download the activity sheet and please send me your prayer requests and petitions in the form below!