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What's a Parent to Do? View Comments
By Susan Vogt

Jacinta and Mark were engaged. Jacinta’s parents were concerned because they didn’t see in Mark
the capacity to love generously. Their dilemma was whether to share their misgivings with Jacinta. Would it drive her to defend Mark and alienate their prospective son-in-law? They decided to share their concern with Jacinta while reiterating that they trusted her judgment and would welcome Mark wholeheartedly into the family if this was her choice. They knew Jacinta and Mark would be attending a reputable marriage preparation program, so they prayed and said no more.

During the Engaged Encounter, Jacinta observed how other couples treated each other and that, by comparison, Mark acted like a spoiled teenager. She decided to break off the engagement. It was hard, but her parents’ words helped her to be open to this possibility and to make the decision herself.

A discussion of marriage such as the one above must begin before any wedding or, preferably, even before the engagement. I hope you find that you really like the man or woman with whom your young adult appears to be getting serious. Still, there are bound to be times leading up to the wedding and afterward when you see things differently.

Generally, these are relatively minor and can be handled by the overall rule of thumb: Intervene as little as possible, and trust your young adult’s good judgment.

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Susan V. Vogt is an award-winning freelance writer and speaker on marriage, parenting and spirituality. She lives in Covington, Ky., with her husband, Jim.

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Josephine Bakhita: For many years, Josephine Bakhita was a slave but her spirit was always free and eventually that spirit prevailed. 
<p>Born in Olgossa in the Darfur region of southern Sudan, Josephine was kidnapped at the age of seven, sold into slavery and given the name Bakhita, which means <i>fortunate</i>. She was re-sold several times, finally in 1883 to Callisto Legnani, Italian consul in Khartoum, Sudan. </p><p>Two years later he took Josephine to Italy and gave her to his friend Augusto Michieli. Bakhita became babysitter to Mimmina Michieli, whom she accompanied to Venice's Institute of the Catechumens, run by the Canossian Sisters. While Mimmina was being instructed, Josephine felt drawn to the Catholic Church. She was baptized and confirmed in 1890, taking the name Josephine. </p><p>When the Michielis returned from Africa and wanted to take Mimmina and Josephine back with them, the future saint refused to go. During the ensuing court case, the Canossian sisters and the patriarch of Venice intervened on Josephine's behalf. The judge concluded that since slavery was illegal in Italy, she had actually been free since 1885. </p><p>Josephine entered the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa in 1893 and made her profession three years later. In 1902, she was transferred to the city of Schio (northeast of Verona), where she assisted her religious community through cooking, sewing, embroidery and welcoming visitors at the door. She soon became well loved by the children attending the sisters' school and the local citizens. She once said, "Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!" </p><p>The first steps toward her beatification began in 1959. She was beatified in 1992 and canonized eight years later.</p> American Catholic Blog St. Paul talks about the Christian life as a race, and encourages us to run so as to win. So it’s not just OK, it’s commanded to be competitive, to strive to excel. But true greatness consists in sharing in the sacrificial love of Christ, who comes to serve rather than to be served. That means that this race St. Paul is talking about is a race to the bottom.

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CATHOLIC GREETINGS
St. Josephine Bakhita
Today we honor the first saint from the Sudan, who was a model of piety and humility.

National Marriage Week
During this week especially tell each other how much your marriage means to you.

St. Valentine's Day
Schedule one or more e-cards today to be sent next Sunday.

Carnival
Create a festive atmosphere and invite friends over for one last party before the Lenten fast.

Catholic Schools Week
In the Catholic schools, parents know that their children are being formed as well as informed.


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