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|| Home & Family: Abortion's 3rd Victim: Dad|
Anonymous writes "Abortion's 3rd Victim: Dad|
U.S. Conference Focuses on "Reclaiming Fatherhood"
By Carrie Gress
SAN FRANCISCO, California, NOV. 29, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Men also suffer from abortions because they grieve the loss of their fatherhood, said the founder of Project Rachel.
Project Rachel, along with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing (NOPARH), sponsored the first U.S. conference to focus on the effects of abortion on men. The event concluded today at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco.
Vickie Thorn, the executive director of NOPARH and founder of Project Rachel for post-abortive women, told ZENIT on a trip to Rome that grieving men can't be forgotten, "After all, it takes two parents."
"The model to help men with post-abortion healing has to be different than for women," Thorn explained. "Men have a different way of dealing with these issues. While with women, the emphasis is on talking and crying, men have different ways to deal with their grief.
"A man's grief often is for the lost fatherhood. There is grief for the child, but many times it focuses more on the loss within himself, that he didn't make the transition into fatherhood."
Beginning a ministry
The two-day conference, "Reclaiming Fatherhood," featured experts, including therapists, from a variety of backgrounds and countries, speaking about men's healing process after abortion; abortion's effects on men's spirituality; fatherhood and abortion; and why men who have been involved in abortion come for help.
Speakers included Tom Golden, author of "Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing"; Warren Williams, author of "Fatherhood Lost," "Missing Arrows" and "Fatherhood Aborted"; and Capuchin Father Martin Pable, author of "The Quest for the Male Soul."
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, of the Knights of Columbus, said: "As an organization of laymen that has a strong history and commitment to life, we think it is very important to highlight the issues faced by those fathers whose children are aborted.
"There are three victims of every abortion, the child and both of his or her parents, and it is our hope that this conference will be the beginning of a ministry within the Church to these fathers, who grieve the death of their unborn child in isolation and silence."
Anderson and Thorn believe the "Reclaiming Fatherhood" conference will help men deal with the psychological trauma of post-abortion reality the way Project Rachel has helped women who have undergone abortions deal with their emotional and spiritual scars.
Posted by me on Friday, November 30 @ 11:52:18 CST (2350 reads)|
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|| Home & Family: Love, Marriage and Happy Kids|
Anonymous writes "Love, Marriage and Happy Kids|
Reports Show that Family Life Is Highly Beneficial
By Father John Flynn, LC
ROME, NOV. 25, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The increasing trend toward cohabitation as an alternative to marriage brings with it severe disadvantages for children. The latest confirmation of how children suffer when brought up outside a stable marriage between a man and a woman came in a lengthy article published Nov. 18 by the Associated Press.
The article reviewed evidence from a variety of sources, and commented that many scholars and social workers "say the risk of child abuse is markedly higher in the nontraditional family structures."
Among the studies cited by the Associated Press was that published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2005. The journal reported that children living in households with unrelated adults are nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as children living with two biological parents.
Children living in stepfamilies or with single parents are at higher risk of physical or sexual assault, according to several studies co-authored by David Finkelhor, director of the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center, the article continued.
"The risk (of abuse) to children outside a two-parent household is greater,'' Susan Orr, a child-welfare specialist in the Department of Health and Human Services, told the Associated Press.
The problem exists outside the United States also. On April 15 a British newspaper, the Sunday Telegraph, reported that seven children under age 16 had been murdered in London alone in the previous two months. Many crimes such as these are being committed by juveniles, the paper noted.
The news prompted politicians to promise more funding for disadvantaged communities, but the article commented that one of the main problems is that adolescents brought up in a single-parent family are more likely to end up in criminal activities. No fewer than 70% of young offenders are from single-parent families.
In England there are now three times the number of children being brought up just by their mothers than there were 30 years ago, the Telegraph added, resulting in one in every four children being raised without a father.
Divorce's bottom line
Divorce creates other difficulties, among them economic. A July 7 article from the British Telegraph newspaper reported that a study of more than 4,000 people found that on average, a man's income increases by 11% after divorce. By contrast, a woman suffers a drop of 17%.
Particularly at risk are the mothers of young children, who find it difficult to reconcile the demands of work and family responsibilities.
"We found that many women don't work at all after their marriage breaks down or have to work only part-time because they can't afford the cost of child care," commented Mieke Jansen, one of the authors of the study carried out by academics from the University of Antwerp in Belgium.
Similar problems were revealed in research carried out by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. According to a July 10 article from the newspaper The Australian, not only does divorce bring with it economic penalties but it also leads to unhappiness and harms both physical and mental health.
The study, titled "Divorce and the Well-being of Older Australians," compared divorced women who remain single to those who are widowed and stay single. Both men and women report problems of unhappiness and health, but women are particularly affected.
Another Australian newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, reported Aug. 14 that marriage does indeed make people happier. During a visit to the country, Swiss economist Bruno Frey reported on the findings of a survey of 15,000 people over 17 years, examining the relationship between happiness and marriage. Frey said that one of the reasons people are happier in marriage is due to the greater level of commitment between the couple.
From England, a recent report by the Office for National Statistics found that married couples live longer and enjoy better health, reported the Times on Oct. 5. As well, children who live with their married parents are also healthier, and will remain in full-time education for longer.
Failure on the rise
In spite of ample evidence of the harm stemming from facilitating divorce, some countries continue to make it easier. The Spanish newspaper El País reported Nov. 16 that in 2006 the number of divorces increased by a stunning 74%. The rise occurred after the socialist government changed the divorce law in July 2005, allowing divorce proceedings to start without a period of one year's separation previously required.
Overall in Spain in 2006 there were 210,132 marriages, and 145, 919 marriages that failed -- between divorce, separations and marriages declared null.
According to a recent study by the Spain-based Institute for Family Policies, Europe is seeing a decline in marriages and an increase in divorce. The report, titled the "Evolution of the Family in Europe in 2007," said that the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 22.3% from 1980 to 2005, while divorces increased by 55% in the same period.
The latest figures do show a decrease in divorce in England and Wales, but it could well be partially caused by lower marriage levels. According to an Aug. 30 article published by the Guardian newspaper, in 2006 some 132,562 couples divorced. This is the lowest since 1977. The data came from figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
The fall in divorce, however, comes when in 2005 the marriage rate in England and Wales fell to its lowest level since records began in 1862.
One in three
Moreover, on Sept. 12 the Guardian published an article noting that the cumulative total of divorces in past decades means that now more than 20 million people in the United Kingdom -- a third of the population -- are affected by divorce and separation, either through their own relationships or that of their parents.
The figures come from a study published by the Center for Separated Families, a group that provides support for family members after separation.
Families are also under pressure in Canada, reported the Globe and Mail newspaper, Sept. 12. According to the latest figures, taken from the 2006 national census, married-couple families are still the majority, accounting for 68.8% of all census families.
Nevertheless, the number of cohabiting couples has more than doubled from the 7.2% of two decades ago to the current level of 15.5% of all census families. The number of lone-parent families has also increased, by 7.8% in the period 2001-2006.
Single-parent families are more important than the relatively low percentage would suggest.
Lone-parent families account for 26% in the category of families with children. More than 2.1 million children are now living in a lone-parent family. And, as in other countries, they are poorer. In 2005, the median household income for two-parent families in Canada was 67,600 Canadian dollars (US $68,861), according to the Globe and Mail. For lone-parent families it was only 30,000 Canadian dollars (US $30,559).
"Marriage is still the best framework in which to raise healthy, happy children," commented an editorial in the Globe and Mail newspaper the following day. The clock can't be turned back, the newspaper added. Even so, "Canadian families are unable to give their children the solidity that serves them best," the editorial concluded.
Conclusions that are very similar to those expressed on repeated occasions by Benedict XVI. "The devoted love of Christian married couples is a blessing for your country," the Pontiff said on Nov. 19 to a group of Kenyan bishops in Rome for their five-yearly visit.
"This precious treasure must be guarded at all costs," he recommended. Advice that governments in all countries would do well to heed.
Posted by me on Friday, November 30 @ 11:51:54 CST (2607 reads)|
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|| Home & Family: Birth Control and NFP: What's the Difference?|
Anonymous writes "Tom and Jane have three children, and have determined that they cannot adequately provide for any more at the present time. They know that artificial means of birth control are morally wrong, and their priest recommended that they use NFP ( Natural Family Planning ). Yet they do not understand why NFP is OK if birth control is wrong. Don't they amount to the same thing?|
Actually, they don't. NFP is very different form other methods of birth control. Here we will give some other reasons -- but first, a word about what NFP is not.
NFP does NOT refer to the so-called "calendar rhythm method", which was based on calendar calculations of a "normal" cycle. NFP, instead, based on direct observations of various signs that occur in a woman's body (changes in the cervix, cervical mucus, and temperature) which tell her when ovulation occurs. These observations are relatively easy to make, take only a few minutes, and work even for irregular cycles. NFP is internationally known and practical and is extremely effective. The medical principles on which NFP rests are being used by more and more doctors for a wide range of purposes.
Morally speaking, then, what is it that makes NFP acceptable while artificial birth control is wrong?
1 ) NFP does not separate sex from responsibility. The act of intercourse has a twofold meaning: sharing of love and giving of life. Married persons who perform this act must accept both sides of the coin. While not every marital act will result in a child, it must nevertheless be open to the possibility of life. The act will be "open" to life as long as the spouses do nothing to "close" it. Here's the difference between artificial birth control and NFP. In the first case, one does something (takes a pill, uses a condom, etc.) to deliberately "close" the life-giving power of sexual intercourse. In NFP, however, no such step is taken. The spouses do not act against their fertility. They do not reject the link between the two meanings of sex (love and life). They simply follow the natural patterns of the body's fertility and infertility -- patterns placed there by God Himself. In the fertile days of a woman's cycle, if there are serious reasons to avoid pregnancy, the couple respectfully steps back from the act of intercourse. In using birth control devices, however, they attack the meaning of the act -- they do the action of intercourse and then undo part of it. In NFP, instead, they simply choose at times not to do the action in the first place.
2) NFP is not just a "method" based on physiology. Rather, NFP is based on VIRTUE. It is based on sexual self-control, which is necessary for a healthy marriage. There are times in any marriage when spouses have to put aside their desire for sex because of sickness, fatigue, travel, or other reasons. In a healthy marriage, love is shown in many ways, and not all these ways of showing love are physical. In fact, to refrain from sex when necessary is itself an act of love. Why? Because in effect the spouses then say to each other, "I did not marry you just for sexual pleasure. I married you because I love you. You are a person, not an object. When I have sex with you, it is because I freely choose to show you my love, not because I need to satisfy an urge." Using NFP requires abstinence from intercourse during the fertile days if a pregnancy has to be avoided. This actually can strengthen the couple's sexual life. When the spouses know that they can abstain for good reasons, they also come to trust each other more, and avoid the risk of treating each other primarily as objects of sexual pleasure rather than persons. Artificial birth control, on the other hand, gives free reign to the temptation to make pleasure the dominant element, rather than virtue. It encourages couples to think that sexual self-control is not necessary. It can encourage them to become slaves to pleasure.
3) NFP puts the responsibility for family planning squarely on the shoulders of both partners, because it requires communication and cooperation. Both spouses need to know when the fertile days of the woman's cycle have arrived, and then decide together what to do (depending on whether they are trying to avoid or achieve pregnancy). To think that such communication and cooperation make the sexual act less pleasurable (because less spontaneous) is simply not true. To know with certainty what stage of the cycle one is in can increase the pleasure and spontaneity of the act, since the spouses can ignore worries about contraceptive failure or side-effects of the pill. Artificial birth control, besides introducing these worries, also puts the "contraceptive burden" on the shoulders of ONE, not both, spouses. It makes it possible for a spouse to cut off the fertility of the act, even without the consent of the other spouse. It can introduce division into the marriage.
4) NFP is not just a means of avoiding pregnancy, as artificial contraception is. Rather, it can also be used to ACHIEVE pregnancy since it pinpoints ovulation. It is a wholly positive approach to the sexual life of the spouses. It is clean, inexpensive, morally acceptable, and reliable.
As with anything good, NFP can be misused, if a couple has the wrong motives. Married couples are called by God to cooperate generously in bringing forth and educating new life. For a couple to decide that "we don't want children at this time", there need to be serious, objective reasons (health, finances, etc.). If the reasons are not objective but selfish, then the couple cannot justify the avoidance of pregnancy just because they are using NFP to do it. In this case they are not practicing "family planning", but "family avoidance"!
There are differences between NFP and artificial birth control, but let these suffice for now. As Pope John Paul II has explained, the difference really rests on a person's answers to some very basic questions like, "What is marriage?" What is sex? What is the human body? What is love?" Artificial contraception distorts the meaning of all these things. It sees the body and its sexual faculties as something to be "used", and it fails to acknowledge God's place in love and marriage. NFP, instead, is a practice of virtue, resting upon self-control, inner freedom, respect, trust, communication, and reverence to God's plan for love and marriage. It enriches both love and marriage. Every couple owes it to themselves to learn more about it!
--Fr. Frank Pavone
To obtain written material about NFP, write to: The Couple-to-Couple League, P.O. Box 111184, Cincinnati, OH 45211, ( 513 ) - 661 - 7612.
Educational Materials on Abortion
Priests for Life
PO Box 141172
Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-PFL-3448, (718) 980-4400
Posted by me on Saturday, August 11 @ 11:13:39 CDT (4427 reads)|
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|| Home & Family: The More Children, The More Love|
Anonymous writes "…An Interview with a mother of 20.|
Mrs. Lucille Dippolito is a nurse and the mother of 20 children. The youngest is 22 and the oldest is 43. One child died a few months after birth. She has about 30 grandchildren, though she said she has to update the count. Three more are currently in the womb. Her husband died in1993. She currently lives in St. Marys, Kansas.
Of her children, Mrs. Dippolito says, "They have things that money can’t buy." And of parents, she remarks, "Your children you take with you into eternity"
The following interview was conducted on February 20, 2002 by Scott Johnston, Research department, Priests for Life:
Q. Did you always want to have a large family?
"Yes I did. I wanted to have six boys. God gave me the baker’s dozen—13 boys! After the first little girl came, I wanted more girls."
"Eight children were born at home. I knew what I could do and what I couldn’t do."
"I come from a family of four. I lived next door to a family of 10 children, and those children were always happy! They were happy within themselves. My mother comes from a family of twelve. [Children in large families] seem to have things that money can’t buy."
Q. What do you say to people who say they can’t afford to have more kids?
"For every little mouth that God sends, He sends the little bit that is needed. I had faith in God that if He sent me a child, He was going to feed that child. I lived better than some families with two or three kids. My kids started doing things! It’s not how many kids you have; it’s your faith in God."
Q. How were you able to manage with so many children?
"I said to people [after having a certain number], ‘I’m retired.’ I got one to do the laundry, one the baking; they rotate their duties."
"We had chickens, pigs. . . . Each child had a responsibility. We butchered our meat; we had a dairy cow. It was a mini-farm on ten acres. A priest friend used to ask us: ‘Is there anything in this house that is not homemade?’ [Some things they made included their own butter, and altar candles.] Some of the talents they have they learned from their grandparents. I sew, but now my kids make my clothes for me. I gave to them, but look what I got back!"
Q. Today’s cultural attitudes about parenting seem to suggest that good parenting means providing many material things for your children. Do kids need a lot of material things in order to be happy in their family and to grow up as well-adjusted adults?
"No. That’s the worse thing that you could do! Just providing everything their heart desires -- that’s absolutely wrong. They need to develop their talents. Doing is learning. They have to be doers.. . . This was the law of the family: by doing they were learning. By working for something they respect it. The more you give, there’s your happiness; that’s what you have to teach your children. You receive your happiness by seeing how they are developing. When I stand before the judgement seat of God, I’m going to tell Him I did everything for them."
"We were never poor, but we didn’t have lots of things. My boy had a natural talent for fixing cars. If we had been able to buy things, that talent would not have been able to come out."
"We have an engineer, a nurse. . . . These are things they did because they realized they are not going to get things handed to them. Parents are not here forever."
Q. In considering the prospect of having many children, our society seems to dwell only on the difficulties and hardships involved. What would you say in response to this consistently negative attitude about having many children?
"They are much in the dark. This is utterly false. Everybody is going to have a dark side; we’re not here to have heaven on earth. What are people afraid of today? People that don’t have kids have worse crosses than those who do! People need to start reading books on the joys of children. They are going to miss out on a lifetime of happiness. A baby is joy! Young people are very much scandalized; they are being lied to. They are being deprived of a lot of happiness. Having children makes you healthy. After each child I got stronger; couldn’t wait for the next one to get here! God gives you these things."
"You never have a dull moment…always something that you can look forward to."
"If you are always around young children, you will always be young at heart."
Q. Today there is a big emphasis on the idea that responsible parents must plan for every child they have. Did you deliberately plan each child ahead of time?
"Wrong! I’d rather take it in God’s time. I would have had a lot more kids if I could have! They don’t all have to go to college. Some of my kids are not meant for college. I took these children just as God wanted me to have them. I’m glad they’re here. I’d do it all over again. These are your greatest treasures. You can’t take a car into eternity! You will not see your boat in eternity! If you love children, every moment is a moment of happiness. This ‘I’m going to have them when I want to,’ that’s very selfish. Faith in God is the prime ingredient in having a family. God gives you talent; you have to do the work. These people are not getting joy from the right things. The hand that rocks the cradle rocks the world."
Q. Another idea that society seems to suggest to parents today is that if they have many children, they will not be able to love all of them with the same depth that they could if they had a small family. What would you say to this?
"When number nineteen came, the family gives him love. He got so much love from the family. If he was an only child, he would never have gotten so much love! The mother can only give so much love. When you have a large family, the children are getting all kinds of love from all their brothers and sisters. There’s nothing more joyful than a baby."
Q. What for you are the greatest blessings of having a large family?
"Watching them grow, seeing their talents, the things that they give back. The love that they have for their father. They go to the gravesite and have masses said for him. Seeing them become good citizens. They are helping their country. These are great joys! My daughter who is a nurse and has helped bring people back to life. Look at the great joys! You watch them take their first step, say their first word—these are things that money can’t buy! The blessings far outweigh the hardships. The world dwells on the hardships. Everything has pain and joy with it. You have to take the bitter with the sweet. We aren’t in heaven yet!"
End of interview
* * *
Mrs. Dippolito is a very inspiring woman! She does not sound her age at all, but much younger and full of life. If you were talking for the first time with her, you would be amazed to learn she is a mother of 20 and grandmother of more than that.
She is a Catholic of very deep faith and tremendous trust in God. She is full of gratitude for all of the children God has given her. She has total trust in God for all things, and understands that in this life crosses always occur along with happiness. This is integral to her attitude toward family life. She has the realistic and hope-filled approach that since everyone will have crosses, why not multiply the joy as much as possible? To her, the more children, the more joy!
Mrs. Dippolito is also very disturbed by the lies that society tells young people today, especially the idea that fulfillment can be found in self-absorption.
Talking with Mrs. Dippolito reveals several key themes.
1. The large family is a great source of happiness. Mrs. Dippolito’s initial reason for wanting many kids was her experience that the most joy-filled homes were the homes with many kids. She wanted a home with much joy, and that to her meant a home with many children. She learned this in her own family. Each child is another unique face of love that is brought into the family and multiplies the joy by adding a new love. The blessings far outweigh the pains. Parents receive back many times over what they give.
2. A large family does not mean that the parents have twenty times more work if they have twenty kids. It is a community of mutual love and sacrifice—a learning place of care for one’s neighbor. The kids all pitch in and so as the family grows, many of the daily burdens are taken care of by the children themselves, as they are able, including much of the care for the youngest. They learn to do this work joyfully, especially by helping to care for their sibling babies. Mrs. Dippolito said her youngest child never cried because he was always being held by one of his brothers and sisters; they all eagerly give love to the younger ones. This youngest one can’t wait to have his first baby so he can have someone to toss in the air since he didn’t get to do this as his siblings did with him. This is a tremendous blessing both for the younger children who receive this abundance of love, and for the older ones who give it.
3. The large family is a natural school wherein the talents of each child can flower. Because of the sacrifices and cooperation required in a large family, the children by a kind of necessity have opportunities to discover and nurture talents and abilities that would not be discovered or practiced in a small family. Because the family could not afford to buy everything, the kids know how to garden, care for farm animals, cook, sew, can vegetables, do basic home repair work, etc. They develop from this a strong "can-do" attitude. They are versatile and flexible, because they learned it by doing things in the daily care of their family. Also, they learn to love with more effectiveness in serving others. This is because the more children there are, the more likely each child is to have counterpart siblings whose strengths complement their particular weaknesses. The sibling better at schoolwork helps the one who is less so. The mechanically gifted one fixes another’s bike (and the family car, and tractor, etc.). They learn to help and give personally to each other according to their individual weaknesses and gifts. In a large family, there is abundant opportunity for practicing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and for the discovery and growth of natural gifts which can all work together harmoniously.
4. A lack of material riches is not to be feared in raising a family. Everyone must work hard and sacrifice for each other—parents and children. But, if this is done, and most of all, if the family has complete trust in God as the ultimate provider and asks Him for all they need, they will be able to live a very happy life together. Many of the material luxuries so common today cannot bring anything approaching the joy that can be experienced in a close, large, family.
5. Faith. Great faith in God is absolutely vital to a full family life. A family simply cannot live the life meant by God without loving Him, trusting Him, and praying to Him. If these things are done, there is nothing to be afraid of.
6. Expect the cross. It is folly to try always to run from it. No one can avoid it, and society is harmed terribly by the increasing number of people who pattern their life after attempts to maximize their own comfort and self-interest. They are turning from the very thing that will help them to have the deepest joy in this life. Shunning the possibility of a large family because of potential crosses is a tragic delusion. Hardship is always a part of this life. A large family helps each member to bear each other’s burdens in mutual love—a school of embracing the cross together with others.
7. Family life ought to be lived with eternity always in mind. This means, among other things, knowing that children are gifts from God, that He wants them all to come to heaven, and He intends for parents to help them embrace the gifts He has for them to get there. God’s grace is available every step of the way. It is essential for parents to have the perspective that they are called to be with their children not just here in this world, but forever in the eternal life of heaven.
-- Scott Johnston
Priests for Life
PO Box 141172
Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-PFL-3448, (718) 980-4400
Posted by me on Saturday, August 11 @ 11:11:46 CDT (2260 reads)|
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|| Home & Family: Bishop Yanta: Large Families are a Sign of God's Blessing|
By Gudrun Schultz
AMARILLO, Texas, January 30, 2007
(LifeSiteNews.com) - Texas Bishop John W. Yanta, of the diocese of Amarillo, called for special attention to the importance of family life during the year 2007, in a pastoral letter issued early in January.
"Every child is a gift," Bishop Yanta wrote, pointing out the blessing of a large family while at the same time acknowledging the challenges faced by parents of big families. He encouraged his parishioners not to be afraid of having many children, saying "it takes strong faith to have a large family."
Bishop Yanta emphasized the necessity of family prayer. Her also stated that family life is essential in teaching children moral values and training them to recognize their social responsibilities and the need to care for the weak and vulnerable members of society, Bishop Yanta said, quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
'The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society."
"The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor."'
As well, the life of the family is the model for all relationships, Bishop Yanta said, providing the context in which to understand the Christian teaching that all human beings are members of one family in Christ
"In our brothers and sisters we see the children of our parents; in our cousins, the descendants of our ancestors; in our fellow citizens, the children of our country; in the baptized, the children of our mother the Church; in every human person, a son or daughter of the One who wants to be called "our Father."
"In this way our relationships with our neighbors are recognized as personal in character. The neighbor is not a "unit" in the human collective; he is "someone" who by his known origins deserves particular attention and respect" (CCC #2212).
See full text of Bishop Yanta's message:
See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
Amarillo Bishop Calls for Modesty in Dress - Fight the "Battle for Purity"
Amarillo Bishop Stresses Necessity of Denying Communion to Pro-Abortion Politicians
Pro-Life Priest's Society Finally Approved
Posted by me on Thursday, February 08 @ 11:51:33 CST (4010 reads)|
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|| Home & Family: How Your Baby Learns to Love|
catholicmoms writes "By Sheryl Berk|
Many parents are surprised when their little ones demonstrate strong feelings of affection -- does a baby or toddler actually have the emotional skills to show such feelings? The answer is a resounding yes. Most children form deep, loving bonds with their parents and friends from a very early age. It starts before a child can verbally express his likes or dislikes, according to Lawrence Cohen, PhD, author of Playful Parenting (Ballantine, 2001). Even newborns feel attachment from the moment they're born!
During their time in the womb, babies hear, feel, and even smell their mothers, so it's not hard to believe that they're attached right from birth. But as any adoptive parent will tell you, biology is only part of the love story. Young babies bond emotionally with people who give them regular care and affection. In fact, the first step in ensuring that your baby will bond with others is to attend to his needs in a timely fashion and let him know that he's loved. A baby is dependent on caregivers for everything from nourishment to safety, so her initial bond is very strong, explains D'Arcy Lyness, PhD, a child psychologist and psychology editor for KidsHealth.org. It also sets the standard for what a baby expects in later relationships in terms of emotional security, trust, and predictability. All of your loving care comes back when your baby reaches or babbles to you.
We've all heard that imitation is a form of flattery. This is true for babies too. In fact, imitation is a way in which babies show their preference for certain people over others. You'll see that between 3 and 6 months of age, your baby will try to mimic your actions.
Showing Their Love
Before 8 months of age, a baby's signs of affection are rather subtle. That is, until stranger anxiety and separation anxiety kick in. Hand your baby to a relative or babysitter -- even someone he's met before -- and he'll cry for you. As flattering as this may seem at first, it'll get old if hysteria sets in every time you leave the room. Fortunately, separation anxiety will lessen over time, and the same tactics you've always employed to make sure your baby feels save and secure -- meeting his needs and showing him love -- will give him the security to explore relationships with others.
It's also around this time that babies start to demonstrate affection for their peers, provided they've spent lots of time with other babies. The signs may be subtle: Your 9-month-old lights up when a friend comes over and is sad when he leaves. You may also notice that as soon as your baby can crawl, he'll go to one special friend, adds Cohen.
Around the 1-year mark, babies learn affectionate behaviors such as kissing. It starts as an imitative behavior, says Lyness, but as a baby repeats these behaviors and sees that they bring happy responses from the people he's attached to, he becomes aware that he's pleasing the people he loves. As a result, your baby will start to use these behaviors more frequently.
For lots of kids, toddlerhood is a prime time for friendship. Toddlers have the memory to recall enjoyable experiences with others, can clearly demonstrate their affection for other kids verbally, and are beginning to understand empathy. Encourage your child to form friendships as a toddler: Studies show that the earlier kids learn to form positive relationships, the better they are at relating to others as teenagers and adults. Playing with peers also helps kids practice social behaviors, such as kindness, sharing, and cooperation, says Lyness.
Even so, how quickly your child develops into a social creature may also depend on his temperament. Some toddlers are very social, but others are shy. In addition, the way that toddlers demonstrate that they like other children is markedly different from what adults think of as expressions of friendship. Research at Ohio State University in Columbus found that a toddler's way of saying "I like you" during play is likely to come in the form of mimicking a friend's behavior.
This seemingly unusual way of demonstrating affection can result in unpleasant behavior. After all, toddlers are still toddlers. Regardless of how much they like a playmate, they may still grab his toys, throw tantrums, refuse to share, and get bossy. But experts say that this is a normal and necessary part of friendship for kids this age. Through play experiences, toddlers learn social rules, says Lyness. That's why it's so important to take an active roll in your toddler's social encounters by setting limits and offering frequent reminders of what they are. When you establish these guidelines, explain the reasons behind them. ("Hitting hurts. If you want a toy, ask for it nicely.")
Begin by helping your child learn compassion ("Ben is crying. What's making him so sad? Maybe he wants the ball and you have it now"), then suggest how he could resolve the problem ("Maybe he would feel better if you give him a turn"). When your child shares or shows empathy toward a friend, praise him. ("Ben stopped crying! You made him feel better.")
Another way to encourage healthy social interaction is by encouraging kids to use words -- not fists -- to express how they feel. It's also important to be mindful of how your child's personality affects playtime. Kids are cranky when they're sleepy or hungry, points out Lyness, so schedule playtime when they're refreshed.
Regardless of how your child makes chums, one thing is certain: Friendships enrich our lives. "
Posted by me on Tuesday, February 06 @ 13:27:33 CST (3361 reads)|
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|| Home & Family: Teenager advice (list of 10 items)|
Anonymous writes "1. Never be the one to drink, smoke, or “do” the most of anything. |
2. Look forward to working with the mother or father of your child for 20 years.
3. Get away from people who brag about the weapons they are carrying.
4. Get a job no matter who is footing your bills at the moment. Be on time for work.
5. Practice math and read about science, even if you’re not in school.
6. Get to the party last - you’ll be amazed at what you see.
7. Get home early, not much good happens after midnight anyways.
8. If your friends are telling you to do something you’re not sure is right, think about how you will explain it to a judge 2 months from now.
9. Go the speed limit and wear a seat belt.
10. Attend your church, synagogue, mosque or temple monthly if you don’t go regularly, but try to go every week.
No copyright. Reprint and distribute freely.
Original work by Robert Zalewski www.callrobert.com
Created sometime in March 2002
Posted by me on Thursday, April 20 @ 16:06:31 CDT (11416 reads)|
(Read More... | 261 comments | Score: 3.78)
|| Home & Family: HOMESCHOOLING SAVES YOUR CHILD FROM DESTRUCTION|
Anonymous writes "http://newswithviews.com/Turtel/joel7.htm|
By Joel Turtel
January 21, 2006
Home-schooling removes children from public school. That alone makes home-schooling worthwhile. Unlike public-school children, home-schooled kids are not prisoners of a system that can wreck their self-esteem, ability to read, and love of learning. Home-schooled kids don't have to read dumb-downed text-books, study subjects they hate, or endure meaningless classes six to eight hours a day.
Home-schooled kids won't be subject to drugs, bullies, violence, or peer pressure, as they are in public schools. Home-schooled children who are "different" in any way won't have to endure cruel jokes and taunts from other children in their classes.
Slow-learning or "special-needs" children won't be humiliated by their peers if they are put in regular classes, or further humiliated if the teacher puts them in so-called special-education classes. Faster-learning home-schooled kids won't have to sit through mind-numbing classes that are geared to the slowest-learning students in a class. They won't have to "learn" in cooperative groups where other kids in the group do nothing and are not cooperative.
Home-schooled children do not have to waste their time memorizing meaningless facts about subjects that bore them, just so they can pass the next dumbed-down test to obey and please school authorities. Home-schooled kids don't have to endure twelve years of a third-rate, public-school education that leaves many students barely able to read their own diplomas. The notion that tests tell teachers and parents what children have learned turns out to false. John Holt, teacher and author of How Children Fail, pointed out that most children soon forget what they memorized for a test as soon as the test is over, so the entire test-taking process is usually worthless. Facts or ideas that are not useful or relevant to children pass through them like a sieve and are soon forgotten.
Home-schooled kids don't have to study an arbitrary, meaningless curriculum of subjects imposed on them by programed public-school authorities. They don't have to be treated like little mindless, spiritless robots that have to learn the same subjects at the same time and in the same sequence as their classmates.
Home-schooled children don't have to sit quietly in a class of twenty-five other students and pretend they like being in this mini-prison called public school, just to avoid being punished by a teacher for "acting-out" or fidgeting in their seats. Any adult's mind would wander if they were forced to sit through a boring lecture for just one hour. Yet public schools expect children to sit still for boring lectures on subjects that are meaningless to them, for six to eight hours a day.
Home-schooled children do not have to be fearful of displeasing a teacher because they get the wrong answers on meaningless tests. They therefore do not have to be fearful of learning and have their natural joy in learning crippled as a result of this fear. Infants and very young children embrace life and learning with a passion, which is why they learn so fast. Yet, as John Holt found out, by the time these same children have progressed to the fifth grade in school, most are listless, bored, apathetic, and often fearful in class.
Home-schooled children won't be terrorized by test grades and comparisons to their classmates, and associate learning with this terror. They won't associate learning with always having to get the right answer that schools authorities insist on. They won't be made to feel that learning means passing an arbitrary test, and that failing a test is a shame or disgrace. Home-schooling also gives parents control over the values their kids learn. It prevents school authorities from indoctrinating their children with warped values, pagan religions, or politically-correct ideas.
Unlike public-school students, home-schooled children are not forced to sit through explicit or shocking sex-education classes. School authorities can't pressure home-schooling parents or children to take mind-altering drugs like Ritalin. So keeping a child out of public school is an enormous benefit in itself. Other positive benefits of home-schooling are:
1. Home-schooling lets parents give children a custom-made curriculum that makes learning a joy. Parents can expose their children to many different subjects and ultimately focus on subjects that their children enjoy and benefit from. Children can also learn about subjects that are not taught in any school, and have time for non-academic subjects like art and music. Parents can choose from a wide range of teaching materials that not only engage and delight their kids, but bring real results.
2. Home-schooled children can learn at their own pace. Slower-learning kids will benefit by their parent's love and attention. Bright children will progress as fast as they want to. Children will learn to read or learn any other subject when they are ready, not according to a prescribed timetable. Unlike public schools, home-schooling parents treat each child as a unique individual with his or her own special interests, talents, strengths and weaknesses. Parents can also tailor-make the instruction to each child's personality and learning style.
3. Home-schooling parents can give their kids a one-to-one teacher-student ratio. This insures that children get individualized attention from a loving, attentive parent-teacher.
4. Home-schooled kids get instant feedback. Children don't have to compete with twenty other children in a class for their teacher's attention. A parent-teacher can instantly answer her child's questions, or research the answer together with her child.
In "Public Schools, Public Menace," I explain a total of 15 unique benefits of homeschooling your children.
© 2006 Joel Turtel - All Rights Reserved
Joel Turtel, author of Public Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children, holds a degree in Psychology. For the last ten years he has served as an Education Policy Analyst, studying the climate of today's public schools and its effect on children and parents.
Mr. Turtel has written two books, published over fifty articles, and has been interviewed in both print and broadcast media on the subject. His latest book, Public Schools, Public Menace has garnered national media attention – recently, for example, Dr. Laura Schlessinger featured the boook on her nationally syndicated radio show.
Joel Turtel is available to discuss his book Public Schools, Public Menace in the media, at conferences, or with individual groups. Be warned though, you may be shocked by the revelations he has uncovered in America's public-school system.
Web site: mykidsdeservebetter.com
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org "
Posted by God on Saturday, January 21 @ 15:42:41 CST (4040 reads)|
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|| Home & Family: New Magazine for Catholic Teens|
Anonymous writes "For Immediate Release |
New Catholic Teen Magazine to Launch in February
La Porte, IN – October 20, 2005
A new magazine for Catholic teens is set to launch with its premiere issue for February/March 2006. True Girl is the exciting new twist on the typical teen magazine, the magazine you’ve reached for a hundred times but was never there. Not only does it offer fashion, advice, and entertainment, it does so with a decidedly Catholic flair.
Along with the fun, True Girl also addresses the issues that are close to the hearts of teenage girls. Dieting and body image, maintaining good relationships with family members, and finding the right college are just a few topics slated for coverage during the first year of publication.
True Girl is a magazine of faith, life, and fashion that will positively encourage teens in their love of God and the Church. Articles will provide practical advice on relationships and real world skills. Opportunities for service and positive Catholic role models will be featured. Fashion will focus on healthy bodies and attractive, rather than sexy personal style.
The countercultural Catholic teen magazine’s ongoing departments include: Entertainment, Vocations, Social Justice, Health, Teen Issues, Fashion, Religion, Life Planning, “My Say,” and Advice. Targeting an audience with a category of publication not currently not available, True Girl provides a wholesome, formative focus on real Catholic girls rather than celebrity teens.
Teens are invited to participate in the creation of True Girl by becoming a teen editor and submitting pieces for publication. Brandi Lee, Editor, is looking forward to working with Catholic teens around the country. “We want to involve these young women by offering them an opportunity to write about what’s going on in their parish. There are a lot of really great girls making a difference for God, and we want everyone to know it.”
Bishop Dale Melczek of the Diocese of Gary, when reflecting on the magazine, regards the publication of True Girl as “a powerful instrument in helping [young women] integrate Jesus’ values into their own life, and inspiring them to be a countercultural model for others in our society.”
When asked how she became involved in this project, Publisher Stephanie Murphy said, “I think every woman, young and old, loves a good magazine. I wanted to make sure my daughters had a truly good magazine to read.” Murphy echoes the feelings of all mothers who have been looking for a publication like True Girl. Gina Erne, mother of five girls, comments, “I learned all about hair and make-up from Cosmo when I was growing up. I’m so glad there’s going to be something better for my daughters.”
In the Diocese of Gary in Northwest Indiana alone, there are more than 1,200 Catholic teenage girls. These young women will be the next generation of leaders of the Catholic Church, whether through religious vocation or through lay service.
Initial distribution strategy for True Girl will include contacting diocesan schools, youth groups, order schools, and youth conventions across the nation. The inaugural edition of True Girl will total 24 pages, and publication schedule calls for bi-monthly editions to follow.
Advertisers will include Catholic schools and colleges, modest yet fashionable clothing, skin and hair care, jewelry and accessories, and music companies who are interested in providing alternatives to popular culture. True Girl also desires to provide a forum for small, home-based businesses to advertise.
The magazine is personally funded by the Publisher and Editor. Stephanie Murphy, Publisher, has five children of her own and has been an integral part of a Catholic boarding school community in Indiana for 7 years. Murphy, a graduate of Hillsdale College has home schooled her 5 children for the last 5 years and served as communication specialist for her home school network. Brandi Lee, Editor, is an English teacher by training. Before launching True Girl, Brandi taught in the Diocese of Memphis for 2 years and at a Catholic boarding school for three years, where she was responsible for all aspects of teen girls’ experience within the community. Lee is a graduate of the University of Memphis.
True Girl Contact: Stephanie Murphy, Publisher
P.O.Box 874 email@example.com
La Porte, IN 46352 219.851.3105
Posted by God on Wednesday, November 30 @ 14:20:38 CST (5459 reads)|
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|| Home & Family: Party tips from Rick Rodgers|
Anonymous writes "(CNN) -- Caterer and cookbook author Rick Rodgers, who wrote "Celebrations 101," spent years cooking for the French consulate in New York City. Below he shares his tips for keeping the stress out of the kitchen this holiday season.|
* ASSESS YOUR SKILLS: "I think that people don't assess their own personal cooking skills, which is one of the secrets of having a good party. Be honest about what level you are at as a cook and cook within that level. Look for easy recipes if you are a beginning cook. Look for challenging recipes if you are an experienced cook, or somewhere in between."
* CLEAN THE REFRIGERATOR: "Make room in your refrigerator. Now is time to go through and say 'I'm never going to use these anchovies, they're out of here!' Clean up the refrigerator as much as you can so you have room to store your food as it's cooked."
* READ YOUR RECIPES: "Read your recipes -- each recipe -- 4 or 5 times. Really read it. Understand what you're going to do."
* CHECK PANS: "Be sure you have the right size pans, pots, utensils. There's a difference between a 9 by 5 loaf pan and a 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 loaf pan. It's only 1/2 an inch but by volume it's a cup and a half!"
* PHOTOCOPY RECIPES: "Xerox the recipe and then paste it up on eye level on the cabinet. No one has enough counter space. God doesn't have enough counter space. Also, if you have a nice cookbook and you don't want to get gravy on the pictures, this saves it."
* STORE FOOD FOR SPACE: "Don't store your prepped food in bowls. It takes up way to much space. Put it in zippered plastic bags and you'll be able to store a lot of stuff flat. Same with freezing chicken stock. Freeze in plastic bags."
* MAKE LISTS: "Make a zillion lists. Nothing feels better than when you finish something and you can cross it off of the list."
* DIVIDE SHOPPING LISTS: "It helps to break your shopping list down into perishables and nonperishables. You can always pick up things your going to need for your big party two or three weeks ahead of time."
* KEEP LIQUOR SIMPLE: "I don't turn my house into the tiki wiki cabana hut anymore. I think it's cooler to decide what you are going to have as your house drink that party. For example, for Christmas I would serve a really cool spiced cider. If it's 12 people I'll make mixed drinks. If it's more than 12 people it's the house drink and the house wine."
* DON'T FORGET NONDRINKERS: "Make sure you have something really cool for the nondrinkers 'cause you know you are going to have designated drivers and you want to be a responsible host or hostess. So, what I'd do with the apple cider, I'll spike it with rum or brandy as the house *****tail but plain it's still really good. ... Also be sure that you have attractive glasses for the nonalcoholic drink. Again, not just club soda in a paper cup. I would serve sparkling cider in a champagne glass. [The guests] don't feel like they're missing out."
* KEEP IT COOL: "If you are cooking in the day and you don't have enough room you could put stuff in your summer cooler with lots of ice in it."
Posted by Administrator on Monday, December 20 @ 21:09:53 CST (2335 reads)|
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