Our names are Greg Bobbitt and Linda Rudachyk. We were asked to represent the Prince Albert Diocese by attending the World Meeting of Families and Papal Visit in Philadelphia last September. Now we have been asked to share some of our experiences, and what we learned. Along with Bishop Albert Thévenot, M. Afr., we developed several options. One was to have a series of reflections on family life included in each bulletin in our Diocese. This will be the first of six or eight. We are open to comments and hope that these reflections give rise to discussion.
We are married notwithstanding our different surnames. We spent our careers as a lawyer and social worker in Southeast Saskatchewan. We are now retired and live in Rosthern. Previously, we were extensively involved in developing and facilitating parish-based and community-based programs centering on positive family life.
A daily family meal around the table is essential. With the busyness of life we forget the importance of family time. A family meal should be unplugged time...no electronics, no answering phone calls, no television. All family members should remain at the table until all family members have completed their meal. If, like many of us, you are used to watching television at supper time, even justifying it by saying that we are just watching "the news", and then do what an addictions counsellor would suggest, start slow. Pick two days a week; say Tuesday and Sunday, when the television is not on. Realize that, sometimes, you may have to change the day. If it is Super Bowl Sunday or the final finale of "Big Bang", well don't fight it, just pick another night.
It IS very hard to do this. Most of us have tried it, and failed miserably. But the rewards are so great that it is worthwhile to keep working at it because it provides valuable magical time for family that will stay with them throughout their lives.
All members should help with clean up, and you probably will end up having some fun! This very simple practice can have a huge impact on your family, both now and long into the future!
Greg and Linda
St Odilon Parish, Rosthern