Welcome to Oblate Academy!

Introducing our children to stories and experiences that model the virtues are important for their development in cultivating a virtuous and purposeful life.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us:
A virtue is a firm attitude to do what is right. Its direct opposite is a vice. A vice is a habit to do what is wrong. Prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance are called the human or cardinal virtues because they forge our human character. These four habits assist us in developing a pure heart that is open to God’s will.

“The moral virtues grow through education, deliberate acts and perseverance in struggle. Divine grace (God’s special help that strengthens us) purifies and elevates the virtues in our lives.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1839

I hope you will enjoy the straightforward and easily understandable explanations and resources we have prepared to help you teach and model the virtues.

Fr. David P. Uribe, OMI

This Month’s Virtue is: Fortitude

“Endure your trials as “discipline,” God treats you as sons. For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:7)

Teaching Tips:

    • Explain to your child the meaning of fortitude. Fortitude is the strength of character that enables a person to endure pain or adversity with courage. Words like endurance, strength and perseverance are often used in the Bible.
    • Share with your child the story of Moses. Moses gained courage because God promised He would be with him through his journey. Moses’ bravery inspired the Hebrews to follow his lead through the parting of the Red Sea to escape the Egyptians. Ask your child if they would have the fortitude to follow Moses’ example.
    • Explain to your child that you must have fortitude in life to follow the Lord. Faith guides you to trust in His decisions and know that His love is enough to help you through the toughest of times. Ask your child to pray for others facing trials in their lives, so that they may be blessed with the fortitude to persevere and continue down the path God has chosen for them.
    • Volunteer to take a meal to a sick person in your church or someone in your family that is facing a tough time due to illness. Pray for them that they have the strength to overcome their illness.
    • Teach your child that fortitude involves practicing what is good — doing what is right, even when others criticize them. A person of fortitude practices “quiet courage” when facing obstacles. One example of this could be bullying. In school, children need to be able to stand up for others and not participate in teasing or bullying. Children who are displaying the virtue of fortitude are capable of standing up to others who bully.
    • Use the worksheet linked here to make a List of Fears and Worries. Discuss things you can do to make you stronger when these fears and worries arise.
    • Practice this prayer with your children and younger loved ones: ‘Jesus, take my hand.’ Encourage them to pray this prayer whenever they are scared or worried, so they know that the faithful are never alone.
    Prayer:  Jesus Take My Hand
    Jesus, take my hand
    Jesus, lead the way
    Jesus, keep me safe from fear and worry today

Welcome to Oblate Academy!

Exposing our children to stories of the Saints is important for their faith development. The Saints are heroes of the faith! We are called to be like them and to live for Jesus.

I hope you will enjoy the story of St. Bernadette and be inspired by God’s loving presence as she was!

Much like St. Bernadette, my brother Missionary Oblates spend their lives in faithful service to our Lord Jesus Christ, ministering to the poorest and most abandoned throughout the world.

Saint of the Month for January:
St. Bernadette of Lourdes

“He has thrown down the rulers from their thrown but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; he has sent away empty.” (Luke1:52-53)

St. Bernadette was born January 7, 1844, the child of a miller and a laundress. She was the eldest of nine children. She was born into poverty and was a sickly child, contracting cholera as a toddler and suffering from severe asthma for the rest of her life. She learned very little French as a child, only studying it in school at age 13. She spoke the language of Occitan, which was spoken by the local population where she lived.

As a result of living in extreme poverty, she herded sheep for a family friend in nearby Barters. She also waited tables in her aunt’s tavern. In 1858, she returned to Lourdes to attend free school run by the Sisters of Charity and Christian instruction to finish learning the Catechism and receive her first Holy Communion. While gathering firewood in February 1858, fourteen-year-old Bernadette, her younger sister, and friend while gathering firewood saw a beautiful lady above a rose bush in a grotto called Massabielle.

Her sister and friend could not see the lady, but Bernadette described her as a small lady wearing blue and white with a rosary of ivory and gold. Bernadette fell to her knees and began to pray while holding her own rosary. Three days later while at the grotto Bernadette immediately knelt, saying she could see the lady again. She fell into a trance, and one of the girls threw holy water at the niche and another threw a rock. The apparition disappeared.

Bernadette said the lady told her to return to the grotto each day for a fortnight. As she visited, Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary and the period of daily visions became known as “Holy Fortnight.” Bernadette’s parents were embarrassed and attempted to stop her from visiting. However, they were unable to and on February 25, Bernadette experienced a life-changing vision. The vision told her to drink the water of the spring, to wash in it, and eat the herbs that grew there as an act of penance. The next day, the grotto’s muddy water had been cleared and fresh water flowed.

On March 2, on the 13th of the sightings, Bernadette told her family that the lady said a chapel should be built and so a procession formed. On the 16th vision, Bernadette asked the lady’s name, the lady only smiled. Bernadette asked three more times, and the lady answered, “I am the Immaculate Conception”. The visions created a division in town, as some believed she saw the Holy Virgin, and others believed she had mental illness.

Church authorities and French government rigorously interviewed Bernadette, and by 1862, they confirmed she spoke the truth. After Bernadette first caused the spring to have clean water, 69 people were cured — and Lourdes Medical Bureau and the Church could find no earthly explanation for the cures, even after conducting extremely rigorous scientific and medical examinations. Bernadette asked the priest to build a chapel at the site of her visions — and today, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is now one of the major Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world.

Bernadette spent the rest of her life working in the infirmary. People admired her humility and spirit of sacrifice. She died in the Holy Cross Infirmary of the Convent of Saint Gildard at the age of 35 on April 16, 1879, while praying the rosary. Bernadette was beatified in 1925 and canonized by Pope Pius XI in December 1933. St. Bernadette is the patron of illness, people ridiculed for their piety, poverty, shepherds, shepherdesses, and Lourdes, France. Her Feast day is April 16.

St. Bernadette, Prayer for Students

St. Bernadette, please be my friend.
Help me to be like you and practice charity with others
and share the gifts God has given me every day.
Pray for me so I might serve the poor
and others in their time of need. St. Bernadette, pray for us!

Download the activity sheet and please send me your prayer requests and petitions in the form below!