By Sean O'Donnell - 18 March, 2018
The Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy, has called for a “family check” to think about making the right “life balance” choices as boom time hits Ireland again.
In his St. Patrick’s Day homily at a special Mass for the defence forces and their families at Sarsfield Barrack, Limerick, Bishop Leahy said that there is a need to ensure we create more special family moments in the fast paced world we live in today.
Having returned from a meeting of a Commission of the European Council of Episcopal Conferences in Latvia yesterday, Bishop Leahy said that one of the themes at the gathering was how best to support family life. It is an issue, he stated, that is now a Europe-wide concern.
“Also in these days, I noticed that here in Ireland a report was issued telling us that almost 50% of parents are feeling overwhelmed, with finding time to spend with their children their biggest challenge. Work-life balance is a big question for many,” he said.
“On St. Patrick’s Day, when we are proudly displaying our Irish ‘St. Patrick’s brand’ all over the world, it is good for us to take a moment for a ‘family-check’. Our Christian faith reminds us that we need to set priorities for ourselves, priorities of love, priorities of values, priorities of care.”
Bishop Leahy said that on our national feast day it was important to remind ourselves that we have only one life and question ourselves if we are making the most of it. “How often parents tell me their children grew up so fast. As we are about to enter into another boom time in Ireland, we need to make good decisions regarding our families – the best investment for our society. Perhaps we can ask ourselves: if we had life all over again and were back as children, what would we ask of our parents?
“We might list loads of things but I bet ultimately we would ask for quality time with them. It’s the quality moments with our parents that we treasure from our youth.
“It’s not just a question of supplying the latest gadgets or fashion. Parents need creativity in how they invest themselves in quality time with their children. We need moments to simply read a book at night, go for a walk with children, play a game of hurling/soccer/rugby with them, go fishing – things where there’s just you and them.
“Because that’s above all what children want and need – our time, just like we would want more time with our parents if we had life all over again.
“I know of some families that simply turn off the TV, internet, etc. for an hour every week. They all sit down together and enjoy a common activity together. The life balance issue requires choices.
“On this St. Patrick’s Day, let’s do our own ‘family check’ in the light of the good example Jesus gave, the example St. Patrick was so keen to communicate to us.”