Welcome to Oblate Academy!
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: Courtesy
“They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone.” (Titus3:2)
- Show your child how to be courteous. Being polite, kind and considerate to others reflects courtesy. Speaking and acting courteously give others a feeling of being valued and respected. Share the story of God’s love for us (1 John 4-11): “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.” God loved us so much that He sent His only son into the world so that we might have life through Him forgiving our sins. He commands us to love one another as He loves us. Practice God’s love by showing courtesy to others.
- Explain to your child that you should always look at someone in the eyes when they are speaking. When saying hello, you should politely shake hands and offer a nice greeting, saying “Nice to meet you.”
- Teach your child how to listen politely and not interrupt others when they are speaking. It is important to pay attention when someone is speaking or teaching. An example of courtesy could be when you are at church listening to Mass.
- Demonstrate for your child how to open the door for others to enter first. It is showing courtesy by allowing others to go into the elevator or building ahead of you.
- Explain to your child that saying “Excuse me” if you accidentally walk in front of someone is showing courtesy. Saying sorry when you are wrong is another way to show courtesy.
- Teach your child that serving others is showing courtesy. Plan to visit a nursing home or retirement center and drop off a card or baked good. Explain how we should not forget about the elderly that get lonely and often don’t have as many visitors. Another act of courtesy could be bringing supplies to an animal shelter or a children’s shelter.
- Show your child how to pay a compliment to someone. Model this by paying them a compliment when they are courteous to others.
- Skillsheet #1
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. Martin de Porres and be inspired to live close to Christ like him!Much like St. Martin, 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 November, St. Martin de Porres
St. Martin de Porres was born December 9, 1579, in Lima, Peru, to unmarried parents. His father was Spanish gentleman and his mother was a freed slave of African and Native descent. At a young age, his father abandoned his family, which left them in deep poverty. Martin only attended primary school for two years before he was placed with a barber/surgeon where he learned to cut hair and the medical arts.
Martin spent many hours in prayer and wanted to belong to a religious community, but in Peru, the law did not allow people of African or Native descent to become members of religious orders. The Dominicans of Holy Rosary Priory in Lima accepted him as a volunteer. He was only allowed to perform menial tasks, but he was allowed to wear the habit and live within the religious community. At age 15 he was admitted into the Dominican Convent of the Rosary in Lima as a servant boy and eventually moved up as a church officer in charge of distributing money to deserving poor.
Martin worked barbering, healing, and cleaning for eight years in the Convent before the Prior Juan de Lorenzana decided to disregard the law restricting Martin based on race. Finally, he was granted privilege to take his vows as a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic. Unfortunately, not all the members in the Holy Rosary were open minded and they called him horrible names and mocked him for his race and family.
Martin took care of the wealthy and the poor regardless of their race or wealth. Martin became a Dominican lay brother in 1603, at the age of 24. Ten years later he was assigned to the infirmary where he would remain in charge until his death on November 3, 1639. By the time of his death talks of his miracles in medicine and caring for the sick were widely known and accepted.
Martin’s life reflected his great love for God and all God’s gifts. Martin was known to have extraordinary abilities of instant cures, miraculous knowledge, spiritual knowledge and relationships with animals. He was praised for his unconditional care of people and animals. Martin even founded an orphanage for abandon slaves and children.
After his death, he was exhumed 25 years later and his body was still intact and exhaled a splendid fragrance. St. Martin de Porres was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI on October 29, 1837, and canonized by Pope John XXIII on May 6, 1962. He is known as the patron Saint of people of mixed race, innkeepers, barbers, public health workers and more. His feast day is November 3.
St. Martin de Porres, Prayer for Students
St. Martin de Porres, 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. Martin de Porres, pray for us!
Download the activity sheet and please send me your prayer requests and petitions in the form below!