St. Silouan the Athonite Mission Parish

Priest Musings

PHOS - June 24, 2012
by Fr Roberto Ubertino

Why PHOS? Why a childrens' program?


Because we parents have asked the church to baptize our children.


The Church baptizes children and then makes a real place for them and equally engages itself to support the parents in raising the children as Orthodox Christians.


Parents, by asking baptism for their children, also make a real commitment to give their children the necessary spiritual food.


PHOS is where the Church and the parent’s commitment towards their children join hands.


The parish, through various activities, helps the youth grow in their faith.


The parents also support the parish by bringing the children to these events.


“Church hopping” and “sporadic church attendance” speak volumes to children about the meaning and importance of community and parish life.


This year we invite again parents to register their children for the Sunday PHOS program.


Based on this registration, we will set up groups to meet the need including curriculum and activities.


Some may ask why going to church every Sunday is not enough; why have PHOS?


A true life of faith that is not just founded on emotions needs to be nourished by worship and study. We need to engage our heart and our mind. The world our children face is deeply ideological and anti-Christian.


Our children need to be equipped to give a “beautiful answer” when challenged by their peers on why they believe.


I personally consider this work with the children and youth as the most important work of our church.


As parents I ask you to please seriously consider how you can best be part of the parish so as to help your children grow in the faith. Several teachers last year have told me of their disappointment that some children who had registered for PHOS hardly ever showed up.


Please consider really taking this registration as a formal commitment to sacrifice time so that your children can attend every Sunday PHOS.


We do make many sacrifices for our children. Why not make one that will help them grow in faith and love?


Ioana and I, with the teachers, are open to any suggestion from parents. We plan to keep in touch with parents about the curriculum and any feedback that could be helpful to you as parents.


Remembering that it is to those who come as little children that the kingdom of God is given, let us not deprive us or our children of this gift.

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