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The Beacon The Beacon November 26, 2015 : Page 1

SUSSEX 2 C HRI S TM AS S H A RING FUND I S UNDER W A Y PASSAIC THE A W A RDWINNING NEW S P A PER OF THE R. C . DIO C E S E OF P A TER S ON, N.J. MORRIS NOVEMBER 26, 2015 12 The Catholic Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard Thanksgiving Day: The Meal that Unites Family and Nation quickly becoming a ack in the 1950s, faded memory for Americans would most households. The occasionally majority of Ameri can stumble upon a hot families report eating a dog or hamburger single meal together stand along their way. less than five days a However, today’s fast week. This disappear-food outlets are every-B ISHOP where. We cannot hide A RTHUR J. ance of the family from the constant beck-S ERRATELLI meal coincides with the tragic loss of the oning to taste their de-importance of family in our lights. McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway, Taco society. Percentage-wise, America has more one-person Bell and many others pop up households than any other na-in malls, amusement parks, tion. Our divorce rate is a train stations, airports, on staggering 42 percent of all highways and in city centers. We are a nation committed married couples. Nonetheless, the disintegra-to fast foods. Every day, 25 tion of the family can be halt-percent of adults and 20 per-ed by the family meal. Time cent of young people in together at the table provides America dine on fast foods. the needed space for family Just 25 years ago, families members to connect and spent three-fourths of their share their lives in a secure food budget for meals at setting. The family meal nour-home. Today, they use half ishes the body and the soul. It their food budget to eat out, strengthens values, promotes most often at fast food estab-self-esteem and establishes lishments (cf. Eric Schlosser, personal identity. Fast Food Nation, 2001). Thanksgiving Day is our In the last 30 years, the fast food industry has changed family meal as a nation. We our diet. But, more than that, break our everyday hectic rou-tines and sit at table not only fast food chains have had as individual families but also their impact on our way of as a country. As Americans, life. They have facilitated the all of us, regardless of race, culture of a people on the move. Sports events, work, ex-creed and social status, cele-brate this unique national hol-ercise classes and social en-gagements draw us away from iday. We honor no great hero time with our families. We eat of our national history. We commemorate no battle on the run because we are fought or victory won over busy about many things. our enemies. Rather, we The Norman Rockwell por-thank God for the blessings trait of the family gathered which he gives us as a nation around the dinner table is 10-1 1 20 N C Y C I S ‘LIFE C H A NGING EVENT’ FOR DIO C E SA N TEEN S B MORRI S TOWN P A RI S H TO OFFER ‘MER C Y A FTER DIVOR C E’ PROGR A M 10-1 1 12 13-14 15-20 DO NOT DELAY — TIME SENSITIVE NEWS Y OUTH W HAT T O D O V IEWPOINT C LASSIFIEDS and the gifts which he gener-ously bestows on us as indi-viduals. Gathered around the table, we remember our family her-itage. We recount the familiar stories that tie our lives to-gether. We reconnect with those loved ones at the table and those far away. We remi-nisce of parents and relatives already called by God to sit at his table in heaven. Furthermore, our Thanks -giving meal grounds us in our identity as a nation. It joins us to the countless individuals who have been celebrating Thanksgiving ever since the first time that the Plymouth Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians held their celebration in 1621. Our Thanksgiving table laden with food reminds us of the abundant material and spiritual blessings we en-joy and of our personal re-sponsibility to share our gifts with the less fortunate at our very doorstep. On Thanksgiving Day, we leave aside our fast-food rou-tines. We find the time to dine together and to enjoy each other’s company. What a blessing! A family that dines together stays together. A na-tion that sits at table together, blessing and thanking God, remains united and strong.

Thanksgiving Day: The Meal That Unites Family And Nation

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli

Back in the 1950s, Americans would occasionally stumble upon a hot dog or hamburger stand along their way. However, today’s fast food outlets are everywhere. We cannot hide from the constant beckoning to taste their delights. McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway, Taco Bell and many others pop up in malls, amusement parks, train stations, airports, on highways and in city centers.

We are a nation committed to fast foods. Every day, 25 percent of adults and 20 percent of young people in America dine on fast foods. Just 25 years ago, families spent three-fourths of their food budget for meals at home. Today, they use half their food budget to eat out, most often at fast food establishments (cf. Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, 2001).

In the last 30 years, the fast food industry has changed our diet. But, more than that, fast food chains have had their impact on our way of life. They have facilitated the culture of a people on the move. Sports events, work, exercise classes and social engagements draw us away from time with our families. We eat on the run because we are busy about many things.

The Norman Rockwell portrait of the family gathered around the dinner table is quickly becoming a faded memory for most households. The majority of American families report eating a single meal together less than five days a week. This disappearance of the family meal coincides with the tragic loss of the importance of family in our society. Percentage-wise, America has more one-person households than any other nation. Our divorce rate is a staggering 42 percent of all married couples.

Nonetheless, the disintegration of the family can be halted by the family meal. Time together at the table provides the needed space for family members to connect and share their lives in a secure setting. The family meal nourishes the body and the soul. It strengthens values, promotes self-esteem and establishes personal identity.

Thanksgiving Day is our family meal as a nation. We break our everyday hectic routines and sit at table not only as individual families but also as a country. As Americans, all of us, regardless of race, creed and social status, celebrate this unique national holiday. We honor no great hero of our national history. We commemorate no battle fought or victory won over our enemies. Rather, we thank God for the blessings which he gives us as a nation and the gifts which he generously bestows on us as individuals.

Gathered around the table, we remember our family heritage. We recount the familiar stories that tie our lives together. We reconnect with those loved ones at the table and those far away. We reminisce of parents and relatives already called by God to sit at his table in heaven.

Furthermore, our Thanks - giving meal grounds us in our identity as a nation. It joins us to the countless individuals who have been celebrating Thanksgiving ever since the first time that the Plymouth Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians held their celebration in 1621. Our Thanksgiving table laden with food reminds us of the abundant material and spiritual blessings we enjoy and of our personal responsibility to share our gifts with the less fortunate at our very doorstep.

On Thanksgiving Day, we leave aside our fast-food routines. We find the time to dine together and to enjoy each other’s company. What a blessing! A family that dines together stays together. A nation that sits at table together, blessing and thanking God, remains united and strong.

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/Thanksgiving+Day%3A+The+Meal+That+Unites+Family+And+Nation/2334267/283035/article.html.

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