The Southern Cross invited members of our faith community to share why they are thankful this Thanksgiving. The following are responses from parents of students at Sacred Heart School in Brawley. We’re thankful to Ms. Annalisa Burgos, the school’s principal, for gathering their wonderful thoughts.
Kaylin Rubin Duffy:
I’m thankful for the countless blessings I have received from God in my life. I am grateful for my dedicated, hardworking, kind, loyal, resilient, and strong husband, Frank, who provides for our family both financially and spiritually. Together we have been blessed with a beautiful daughter, Jordyn and four vibrant sons, John, Aaron, Luke, and Nicholas.
I’m thankful for my parents, who have always supported, believed in and guided my siblings and me in our lives and in our Catholic faith. I am thankful for my 99-year-old grandmother. She has always set the example that Jesus is the center of our lives and for that I will be forever grateful.
I’m thankful for my nieces and nephews who I’ve been able to welcome into our Catholic community through baptism and witness them grow in their faith.
I’m thankful for Sacred Heart Parish and our church community. I’m grateful for Sacred Heart School where my children experience a Catholic education learning about God, Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Spirit every day in Brawley. I’m grateful for my school family — the principal, teachers, and staff who have embraced my children, enriched their lives and continue to show my children the role of faith in their lives. And I am thankful and grateful that I have had the opportunity to serve and support the school board of Sacred Heart School for the past six years. I always give thanks, praise and glory to God for all my blessings.
First and foremost, I am Roman Catholic because it is my roots; I was born to Filipino-American parents who baptized me and raised me Catholic. I am Catholic because of the religious education I received from Sacred Heart School. I am Catholic because there is always an open door, and I’m incredibly thankful for it.
I believe that the best gift a parent could give to a child is a “great education.” Providing excellent spiritual and developmental skills will help build a bright academic future. I consider school to be a second home for children. They spend more time in school than at home. So, who they associate with and do in school is very important to me. Therefore, I invest because I know that Catholic schools provide a safe and nurturing environment.
Of all the investments I make as a father to prepare and protect my family, none is greater than the investment in their education and Christian faith.
As life gets busier and my responsibilities grow, I find myself drawn back to the Church to help me be a better father, husband, son, uncle, etc. I want and am obliged to have the same foundation in Catholicism bestowed upon my exceptional children as I received. We are all truly blessed to have a Catholic school in our lives.
I am Catholic because I know the Church will never abandon me or lead me astray, and I know I cannot walk life’s path alone. Being part of this fantastic global body of believers is a glorious blessing to me. I am Catholic because it is who I am and who God wants me to be. But most importantly, I am Catholic because our local and global community’s time, talents, and treasure combat poverty and overcome social injustice internationally.
Thanksgiving is a special time to reflect on what I am grateful for. I try to remember to include my blessings and what I am most thankful for in my prayers. Health is almost always on the top of my list when it comes to being thankful, along with the life and safety of my family.
One particular blessing that I am grateful for is being able to send my three children to Catholic schools. Most often that is included in our family prayer at the dinner table. I want them to know and understand how fortunate they are to attend and how important it is to support Catholic education.
All three of my children have attended Sacred Heart School in Brawley since preschool, and my oldest now attends Vincent Memorial Catholic High School in Calexico. I am thankful they are learning and living their Catholic faith daily in a nurturing and safe environment.
Happy Thanksgiving and thanks be to God!