STAR Catholic: Celebrate family today and every day

“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” — Psalm 133:1

This month, Alberta is one of five provinces across Canada to observe Family Day. Our province was the first to establish the statutory holiday in 1990, and it wasn’t until 17 years later that another — Saskatchewan — followed suit.

Family Day was proclaimed by Lieutenant Governor Helen Hunley on the advice of then-Premier Don Getty, who insisted it was important for Albertans to spend time with their loved ones, and that the holiday would help emphasize family values.

Reactions were mixed, with many employers arguing the new holiday was a redundant financial burden. In response, Heritage Day was downgraded to a civic holiday, giving employers the option of observing it, and Family Day remained a statutory holiday.

Thus, Albertans enjoy a long weekend every February with an emphasis on celebrating family. This is a blessing, to be sure, but we should make a point of celebrating family every day.

Pope Benedict once likened the family unit to a “little church” where children first learn the meaning of life. Pope Francis has stressed the importance of dreaming and praying as a family, and the wisdom of devoting time to play with our children.

Our families are often who we turn to first for support, therefore good communication between members is crucial. Keeping connected to our families — as children and as adults — also has undisputed psychological benefits. It contributes to better self-esteem, lowers chances of depression, and generally makes a person feel better — emotionally and even physically.

These benefits aside, there’s another obvious perk to spending time with family — it’s just plain fun! Whether you explore our wonderful community, try a brand new activity, or spend a quiet night in, you are sure to be blessed with laughter and the creation of many wonderful new memories together.

From the STAR Catholic family to yours, on Family Day and every other day, we wish you peace and happiness. May the warmth and love of Christ fill the walls of your homes and the homes of those you love.

– Submitted by STAR Catholic

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