Ask any parent, and they will likely tell you that raising their children is their most challenging job. As the saying goes, it truly takes a village to raise a child. That’s why the Raising Our Children Initiative, or ROCI, was formed here at the Cathedral.
“We exist to enrich family life, spark meaningful conversations, and draw our parish together in the common work of raising our children,” says Lesley Iwinski, ministry member. “With Christ at the center, parents, teachers, and other adult caregivers are invited to co-create a community rich in information, inspiration, and support.”
Lesley, a retired physician, served as a parenting coach and educator for nearly 20 years. When we consider this ministry’s mission, we can look to a quote from Charles Raison — “One generation full of deeply loving parents would change the brain of the next generation and, with that, the world.”
For several months Lesley spoke with Christine Gibson, Christ the King School Counselor, about parenting challenges before this group was formed. The members are Christine, Lesley, Lauren Broadbent, Stephanie Judge, Madonna Minion, Casey Philips, and Damon Sexton. This group meets monthly and breaks into smaller groups as needed for special projects.
“ROCI was started as a response to a need,” Lesley says. “Children are the most vulnerable members of society and depend on the presence and stability of caring adults who nurture and provide safety. Parents need to be seen, heard, appreciated, understood, and supported.”
The ROCI team knows that parenting can be challenging. Many parents don’t have the information they need to be the best parents they can be.
“Where can we learn about the importance of ‘connection before correction’ when we discipline?” Lesley says. “How do we know what is helpful and unhelpful? Most importantly, how can we serve and imitate Christ in our vocation? We parents must be the first ones to calm down, to regulate ourselves, and then to respond from a place of knowledge and confidence.”
The core team serves more as a place to collaborate — not necessarily a ministry on its own. In 2022, they worked with the Knights of Columbus to allow families to make their Advent wreaths.
Lesley and the rest of the team aim to create peace — in families, the community, and the world. Helping parents with the resources they need to be better parents will pave the way for this goal.
Anyone in a parenting or teaching role is welcome to join this ministry. ROCI especially welcomes those with early childhood development and parent enrichment backgrounds and those who are trauma-informed because of their unique qualifications.
The group also hopes to add more social events in the coming year.
To get involved, contact Lesley Iwinski at 859-269-1320 or CTKRaising@gmail.com.