Today we share this beautiful homily from Fr. Patrick Rooney, MODG Class of 2011 and former teacher!
Father Rooney was ordained on May 26th, 2023 & offered a beautiful Mass of Thanksgiving at the MODG office on June 19th for us all.
Fr. Patrick Rooney's Mass of Thanksgiving Homily:
Catholic Homeschooling can perhaps be classified as a way in which parents bring their own children to God. Now, when it comes to bringing our children to God, our role model is Mary, the Mother of Divine Grace.
Because what did she do? She brought her own child to God in the temple.
And so today, I’m celebrating a votive mass of Our Lady with this particular Gospel in which Mary and Joseph bring their own child to God in the temple. This is a wonderful mystery for us homeschoolers to ponder.
Mary and Joseph didn’t just rely on a parish religious ed teacher to being their child to God; rather, they themselves brought their child to God. And those parents today who choose to homeschool their children, they are bringing their own children to God, and so they are walking in the footsteps of Mary and Joseph.
Now, when Mary brought her child to God, what was she told? She was told by Simeon, “Mary, a sword of sorrow is going to pierce your heart.” And likewise, those homeschool parents who bring their children to God, they do so, knowing that their own hearts will be pierced with swords of sorrow. They know that homeschooling will be a cross, and yet, that cross will be so meaningful, perhaps the most meaningful cross they will ever carry. It is both a cross and a profound joy. So often, the Lord blesses these families with what we might call “homeschool joy.”
Now what about you, in this office? What are you doing? What do you do, anyway? Well, you are the ones who provide the pair of turtledoves and two young pigeons. Because Mary and Joseph couldn’t bring their child to God unless they had resources, namely, the offering of turtledoves or pigeons. And likewise,
homeschool parents today cannot bring their children to God unless they have resources. And that’s where you come in. Your job is to provide the turtledoves and the pigeons. Isn’t that wonderful?
And how meaningful it is that what you are doing in this office will make a difference, not just within our lifetimes, but even after our lifetimes. So let’s try to imagine what the world will be like 200 years from now. We will all be dead, and our bodies will be deep underground. And you know who’s going to be really happy? The bacteria in our coffins are going to be really happy. Our bodies will be a feast for bacteria. And as Maggie prophesied, those of us who possess incredible amounts of potency may even become “dog food.” And at that point, where will be all those silly things that we said on social media? Will it matter that so-and-so cut me off in traffic back in the year 2015? No. None of these things will matter. And where will be those German bishops on their synodal pathway with all their big impious ideas? Well, just like us, they will be making the bacteria really happy.
So a lot of things today are just not going to matter 200 years from now. But how we teach our children today, that will matter 200 years from now, especially if we teach them that it’s okay to live in tension with society. In fact, sometimes it is even a joy to live in tension with society. We are the rebels fighting under the protection of Our Lady. How exciting it is to be a rebel.
And so, to my fellow rebels here in this room, allow me conclude with this one last thought. When Mary and Joseph brought their child to God in the temple, what did Simeon prophecy? He said: “Behold, this child is destined for the rise and fall of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted.” This child is destined
to be a sign that will be contradicted. Likewise, when homeschool parents bring their children to the Lord, they know that they are raising their children to be a sign that will be contradicted. Their children are going live in tension with society. And yet, their children are also destined for happiness beyond anything this world has to offer. Happiness in this life, because sometimes the Lord blesses us with homeschool joy, and happiness in the next life which is our true home, happiness under the mantle or Our Lady, the Mother of Divine Grace. Let us thank the Lord for giving us Mary as our heavenly homeschool mom.