Thursday, 03 May 2012 08:41
By Mike Christopherson
Whether young or old, all of us as parents question how well we have done, or are doing, with our parenting efforts. Perhaps that comes to mind even more now as our offspring are graduating from high school or college and about to enter a world of unknown challenges.
It’s difficult to evaluate and measure our efforts and we often have to rely on feedback from others or maybe we have been able to quietly observe them when they are not aware of our presence. As a parent we hope for the best and trust that our years of caring and nurturing will result in faith-filled and responsible young men and women.
We’ve heard repeatedly that parents are the first and most important teachers of our children. That teaching role began immediately after birth and continues forever. The question that comes to mind is what have we passed on to our children in terms of values and what have we done to foster the many gifts they have been given? Have our examples provided learning experiences for them? Have we used our gifts wisely and shared them with others?
Without question, we trust that our children will follow our example and be honest, faithful, loyal, generous and loving individuals. Hopefully, too, they have learned the importance of helping family and extended family members including their siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
Part of educating our children is to help them find a sense of purpose and value through assisting others. In our daily living experience, have we and our children been there to render assistance to others? In addition to our own family, have we included our Church family? By our example, have we taught them to be willing to share their time, talent, and treasure with their parish, specific ministry, or favorite charity?
Without question, the examples we set provide the stage for continued stewardship and future planned giving considerations on behalf of our children. Gaining an appreciation for helping our extended family, our parish family, and our larger church family is an important lesson for all of us. Remembering the church through a bequest in our will, as a beneficiary of an insurance policy, or through a gift of property or securities are only a few of the ways that we can set the example for our children relative to the importance of family, extended family, and future generations of our Catholic faith family. No matter how big or how small, your remembrance of the church is an important way for you to extend your legacy beyond the grave, help provide a secure future for the continued growth of our Catholic faith and serve as one final example to your children.
Need some help?
For assistance in reviewing or discussing the preparation of your will, please consult your estate planner or attorney. For suggestions as to how to Remember the Church, please contact Mike Christopherson at (316) 440-1733 or at