Education

India Mission Trip

by Steve Ray on July 21, 2016

It took us two whole days to get here from Detroit to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Dubai, Dubai to Cochin India. We arrived at the Divine Retreat Center at 10 AM Tuesday.

The Retreat Center in like a small village full of halls, chapels, dorms, paths through palm trees and outdoor shrines. This is a large family retreat so the place is packed with Catholics coming to pray, sing, learn and fellowship.

Last night I spoke to over 4,000 young people in their late teens and early twenties. What a joyful and responsive group. I talked about Mary the Real Girl and the Woman of Mystery. It was fun for me and they seemed very entertained and eager to learn. You’d have to be here to understand the electricity in the air.

Three talks yesterday along with two TV interviews. Another two talks today and a TV interview. Tomorrow we fly to Bangalore to give talks and meet the bishop there before coming back Sunday for four days of talking to 4,000 priests, seminarians, nuns and religious. I am excited and full of joy to serve the Lord in this unique manner.

It is a different world over here on the other side of the earth. We have mosquito netting over our bed, people eat with their hands, everything is flavored with curry and the people are delightful and friendly. It is invigorating to get immersed in a different culture and learn their ways and enjoy their food and way of life.

This is our 4th Missionary Journey to India and we learn new things every time. What a joy to share the Catholic Faith with such devout and holy people. More soon.

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This video is made by the Mormons but it is pretty good. It is for kids so they know what to do if they happen upon, see, or are introduced to pornography. It is worth a watch — at least it gets parents on the right track on how to talk to their kids and what the kids should do.

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I couldn’t agree more. We didn’t have these gadgets when we raised our kids. We got rid of television and opted to read books. My father was a radical when he raised me – he refused to get us kids a TV but read stories and books to us every night after we all ate dinner together at 5 PM sharp.

Watching my own kids raise my grandkids is a beautiful thing. My grandkids have no TVs in their homes. They have no iPhones, iPods or other gadgets attached to their heads. They carry books around and love to have conversations with people of all ages.

Actual pictures of the family at dinner "together" in Lourdes

A while ago I sat in a restaurant (at Lourdes France, no less) and watched a family with three young children walk in and sit across from my wife and I. Except for the father, each one had a iPhone, iPad or some other gadget.

They all had earbuds in their ears and were each in a world of their own – the mother included. The family did not talk to each other AT ALL during the meal and much of the food was left uneaten because the kids were so engrossed in their games, videos and music.

The poor father sat there looking bewildered and sad. He was not man enough to take charge of his family. Had it been me, I would have immediately confiscated the gadgets, taken the family home for a meeting. At the meeting I would have laid out some new rules for the family – and gadgets, TV, computers would be controlled if not eliminated, especially during family meals.

Fathers — man up! Get the family under control. Reclaim sanity in the home. Spend time with the wife and kids. Control the gadgets. Start reading books together. Take walks in the woods. Turn off the TV (or better yet, get rid of it). Restrict or eliminate the iPhones, iPads and other gadgets from young kids. Pray together. 

The Pope is right! Here is a bit about his talk as reported by Zenit.org.

Spending time interacting within the family is important, and therefore, togetherness shouldn’t be replaced by having phones out and televisions blasting.

Pope Francis stressed this during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square today, as he continued his catechesis on the family. Last week, he looked at the importance of the family as the place where we learn the value of forgiveness, and this week, he considered the importance of togetherness. 

Togetherness, he pointed out, involves sharing together the good things of life with your loved ones and being happy to do so, and also sharing the difficult times, such as loss of a loved one.

The Holy Father began his catechesis pointing out that sitting at the table for the family dinner, and sharing our meal and the experiences of our day, is a fundamental image of togetherness and solidarity.  He also said togetherness is a reliable “thermometer” to measure the “health” of the relationship.

He noted how if a relative has a struggle, speaking about it together at the table helps to find a solution.

“A family that almost never eats together, or is not at the table, but watching the TV or on their smartphones, is hardly a family,” he said, lamenting when “the children at the table are attached to the computer, to the phone and do not listen to each other.”

For a great movie to show the devastation of TV on the family, I highly recommend this masterpiece movie Avalon.

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