Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 9, 2002
Hero's priesthood nurtured in family
By WCR Staff
The Hero family's living a life steeped in Catholic belief spawned a son dedicated to being a disciple of Christ.
Father Stephen Hero - archdiocesan vocations director - describes his family as "an ordinary Catholic family."
Ordinary perhaps, but extraordinary in the fact the Hero children never once heard the faith of the Church doubted.
Given that transference of belief, Hero said, "I wanted to believe what the Church believed."
The Montreal family also loved the saints of the Church and that interest and devotion spilled over onto their son Stephen as he makes a point of including their stories in his daily reading. This reading and its importance to spiritual life proved to be one of Hero's major points in his talk.
Books - lots of books, books about God - abounded in the Hero home and the children were allowed, indeed expected, to read and enjoy them. Young Stephen did and when he was 15, he opened his parents' copy of The Imitation of Christ.
"It changed my life and filled my heart" and prompted Hero "to give my life to God."
Drawing from his parents' example, the archdiocese's vocations director echoed fellow speakers when he told the assembled mothers and fathers the best thing they can do for their children is to take them to the Sunday Eucharist and Confession. He also advised parents to teach their children to pray, both with the family and by themselves.
As he underlined his urging not to settle for mediocrity in their spiritual life, Hero suggested parents consistently pray themselves and explore sacrifice, fasting, self-denial and abstinence.
Hero counselled the audience to adopt an ascetic attitude towards life's distractions, telling them to "take custody of their senses."
He also provided a personal example of faith building as he told of his own structured pattern of daily reading, which can include readings from a Gospel, the story of a saint, a selection from The Imitation of Christ.
"Reading leads so easily to prayer."