Phoenix Catholic Diocese Offers Blessing of the Car Seats, Education to Parents
Peace Be With You, and Also With Your Car Seat
The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, has become worried of late. Specifically, they are worried about child safety—as Cristofer Pereyra, director of the Hispanic Mission Office, said to The Arizona Republic, you often see families driving with small children not in car seats.
“Many of us who are immigrants come from countries where, [car safety] is just not there in terms of buckling up, and the laws, if they are there, aren’t being obeyed,” he said. “Hardly ever are families using car seats or boosters.”
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So, in order to solve this problem, the Diocese of Phoenix decided to create the Seat Them Safely/ Siéntelos Seguros campaign. In four separate ceremonies on February 20th, priests performed a “blessing-of-the-car-seats” ceremony, as a way to ask God to look over the life of the child in the car seat.
Of course, the Diocese realize that parents also need to be shown proper usage in addition to receiving a blessing, so in conjunction with the campaign, a coalition of child-safety organizations called Safe Kids Maricopa joined the priests to educate the parents on how to properly install and use the car seats. The Diocese also gave free car seats to families that needed them (provided that they then went through installation education).
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Upon hearing of the event, several organizations offered donations, including $50,000 from the BHHS Legacy Foundation (they raised and matched a $25,000 donation account), enough to purchase 1,000 car seats for parents in need.
With the combination of these and other charitable responses, hopefully the Diocese will plan to hold such events again (or perhaps other organizations will pick up the idea).
News Source: The Arizona Republic