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• Holy Cross Father Dennis Strach II has been appointed administrator of St. Ignatius Martyr Par-
ish in Austin, effective Aug. 1.
• Holy Cross Father Thomas J. Jones has been appointed associate pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr
Parish in Austin, effective Aug. 15.
• Very Rev. Basil Aguzie, MSP, has been appointed Dean of the Austin Central Deanery, effec-
tive Aug. 7.
• Very Rev. Edward Karasek has been appointed Dean of the Bastrop/Lockhart Deanery, effec-
tive Sept. 1.
• Very Rev. Albert Laforet Jr. has been appointed Dean of the Bryan/College Station Deanery,
effective Aug. 1.
• Very Rev. Will Straten has been appointed Dean of the Georgetown/Round Rock Deanery, ef-
fective Sept. 1.
• Very Rev. David Leibham, pastor of Santa Cruz Parish in Buda, has been appointed to a three-
year term as associate member of the diocesan Vocation Team, effective Aug. 1.
• Deacon Eugene Wohlfarth has been assigned to St. Theresa Parish in Austin, effective Aug. 4.
Gone are the days at the pool, mornings
filled with singing Vacation Bible School songs
and evenings eating ice cream and chilling with
Summer is over and no one is sadder about
that than me. It’s like a vacation from my real
life. It’s time to buckle down, though. School
is in full swing and my planner tells me I’ve got
lots of places to be.
It’s so easy to get lost in the never-ending
to-do lists I make for myself. Please tell me I’m
not alone? As our children are learning new
mathematic equations, diving into literature and
testing the limits of the periodic table, it’s time
for us to go back to school, too.
God and the Internet are calling and it’s
time to dive in with both feet. I believe we can
raise kids who manage their online presence
when parents learn and walk the path with
them. So, for us parents, it’s time to turn on
our monitors, pull out our earbuds, charge our
phones and get down to the business of learn-
ing social media. Every family’s approach looks
a little different, reminding us the “right way”
looks different to all of us.
As the mom of six, teen to toddler, and an
active user of social media, I believe we owe
it to our kids to learn more, guide more, pray
more and evangelize more, for the sake of their
souls. We can’t simply shut down the Internet
from our homes, stick our heads in the sand
and declare, “Not our kids.” Social media is
here to stay; let’s learn, guide, pray and evange-
lize, shall we?
What is a SnapChat streak? How
about an Instagram DM? Are the Calculator
and Whisper apps on our high-alert radar? We
need to Google these things and learn as much
as we can because our kids are using them. As
parents, we worry when our kids don’t hit de-
velopmental milestones, like reading, talking or
walking. We spend countless hours poring over
our kids’ course schedules and making sure
they’re taking the just-right classes for college
admission. How serious are we about research-
ing the Internet, social media and how it affects
our children? I’d say, not enough.
My mom has always said, “Ski with
people better than you, it’s how you grow.”
That advice rings true for guiding our children
to learning the ins and outs of social media.
Finding moms who are just a few years ahead
of me in the motherhood game has allowed me
to make fewer mistakes with my own children.
We’re teaching our children how to write safe
profiles, what to do when something morally
questionable pops up in their feed and how
to identify and address cyberbullying. That
approach has also allowed me to form a tribe
of moms who I can turn to when I don’t have
the answer. It’s likely one of them has been
through it and can provide faith-filled counsel.
St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Pio of
Pietralcina and St. Gianna Molla are recent
examples of the importance of a robust prayer
life. A praying parent is a powerful one. I have
no false expectations. Every day I fail my kids
in some way. I’m human and imperfect. But,
God? He fills in the cracks. I pray each morn-
ing he gives me the wisdom to navigate the
hardest parts of parenthood with grace and for
a heart filled with forgiveness where I’m lack-
ing. Most importantly, I ask him to open my
kids’ hearts to his will.
Some of my most powerful
and life-changing friendships were discovered
via social media. I connected with these women
because of a shared love of our Catholic faith
and I am better for it. They have encour-
aged me to share my faith, boldly and without
abandon. I praise God for their entrance in
my life for they span the world — Australia to
England — and the U.S. — Virginia to Califor-
nia. Our lives intersected because we desired to
connect, and God saw fit to use social media to
do it. Fear not parents, the opportunity for our
children to reach, and be reached, by those who
are authentically Catholic is possible.
As we surf these new parenting waters, we
are not alone. For those who need a buddy, I’m
one social media click away.
Here are some helpful resources for social
media that we have used in our home: “Integ-
rity Restored” podcast by Matt Fradd, “Do
Something Beautiful” podcast by Leah Dar-
row and Covenant Eyes software for computer
mother of six, and shares life
as it happens on her blog atwww.TeamWhitaker.org.
can be found on Instagram,
Twi t t er and Pi n t eres t a t
@kwhitaker96 and on Facebook
as TeamWhitaker. She and her husband, Scott,
are parishioners at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in
Helping our kids navigate social media