From Questions People Ask About Their Children, Fr. Daniel A. Lord, 1950’s

If the home is such a powerful factor in the future of the children of a nation, why are such powerful groups in the nation arrayed against the home?  

Precisely because the home is powerful. If it were not an important institution, the enemies of God and of man would leave it alone.

Because the people who control the home control the future, because parents are the first representatives of God on earth, because within the home is the hope of morality . . . . for these reasons the men who wish to control the future, who hate God, and who would for their own selfish purposes wipe out morality attack the home openly or subtly.

I am thinking of adopting a child. What about the risks of heredity?  

Nowadays,  if you are considering the adoption of a child from any reputable orphanage, you won’t find it too difficult to make some check on the ancestry of the child. You can learn a good deal without ever discovering the name of the parents.

You run a risk with any child. You would run risks with children of your own. There are strange things that crop up in the best-bred boys and girls. Science is a long way from having mastered all the details and facts involved in heredity.

But environment is the more powerful factor in the shaping of a human being.   If you will give this adopted baby love and affection and a good home and careful training and wholesome food . . . . if you will lead it into the faith and see that it comes to know God and distinguish right from wrong . . . . if you will be a careful and devoted parent, neither spoiling it with kindness nor warping it with neglect . . . . you will have a first-class chance of seeing the baby grow into an adult of whom you will be proud and who will give you real happiness.

Did not the poverty-stricken environment of Abraham Lincoln help make him a success?

Both the environment and the heredity of Lincoln seem to have been somewhat in the nature of mixed blessings (to put it gently).   No rules, I’ll admit, normally cover the development of genius, at least none that are yet adequately understood.

Extreme poverty and extreme wealth are normally notable handicaps to a child. The best environment is the one that offers enough, but not too much, with the need to struggle — without starvation.

The genius is not always however a happy man. He may do a wonderful job along one line or another. He may become a great musician. He may leave immortal poetry when he dies — in his garret. He may prove to be a one-sided wizard who knows all about electricity and nothing much about anything else.

I do not recall that heredity and environment collaborated to make Abraham Lincoln personally a happy man. It seems to me that he was our American Hamlet — except that, unlike Hamlet, he did great things for all of us.

He was troubled, confused, often terrifyingly tragic, usually lonesome, and apparently always a little sad as he questioned his own soul.

Do you approve of children’s attending a convent school from nine to five o’clock? Very little time remains for parental supervision of the children.

Correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t think the convent schools started this system. As I recall, some of the secular fashionable schools of our cities initiated the system.

They took the children off the parents’ hands from rosy dawn to dewy eventide.

Several factors may have inspired this:

  1. A desire to relieve the parents of as much responsibility for their children as possible and to give the parents more time to do the really important work of the world — make money, attend clubs, become bridge experts, and maintain adult life and contacts.
  2. A sneaking conviction on the part of many an educator that children should be separated from their parents’ pernicious and untutored influence — to the children’s ultimate and probably immediate good.

There are many educators who think the child vastly better if he is taken from his parents early and kept late. Socialism and communism had some such ideas.   So the situation of an all-day school arose.

What to do? Catholic children were being taken into these secular schools. The convent authorities saw the trend, knew that some children would be so parked or checked for the day, and, preferring the lesser of two evils, offered to take the children into a Catholic educational atmosphere — on the same time basis that the secular schools offered.

I suppose all schools are an admission that parents cannot properly educate.   The all-day-long school seems to proclaim that parents cannot educate at all.

But since the trend existed, I’m glad that the sisters stepped in to give the youngsters Catholic education and training . . . . and a Catholic atmosphere throughout their day’s absence from home and parents.

In this time of turmoil in our Holy Mother Church, we remain firm and hold fast to our Faith. We cling to the Ark, the Church, as it gets tossed about in the waves, bruised and battle-weary. We pray for a return to the days of former glory, when the Church was a beacon of light, a comfort to us sinners, who could find refuge in its steadfastness. St. Joseph, pray for us! www.finerfem.com

A package deal for you! Volumes 1 & 2 of Catholic Mother Goose!

When my children were young I loved to read to them stories, poems and nursery rhymes! They knew those rhymes inside and out and it was such a happy pastime! I did yearn, at times, for little ditties that had more meaning…….So I decided to write a book myself for the generation after me….especially thinking of my grandchildren, but for all Catholic children everywhere!

Who can resist those little ditties, those lovely little sing-song verses called Nursery Rhymes!? Songs and rhymes for young children have been passed down from generation to generation. They are fun, children love them, and they provide a warm, nurturing experience for the whole family.

Nursery Rhymes can be very valuable in a child’s reading development. They are short and easy to repeat and they become some of the child’s first sentences. They also help the child practice the rhythm of language….pitch, volume and voice inflection.

Our own children grew up learning and repeating Nursery Rhymes. It was very enjoyable and it was an easy way to teach the children the use of rhythm and rhyme. How much more meaningful those little poems would have been if there had been more depth in the considerations behind each little verse!

That is where this book comes in. It gives us some lovely rhymes that can, and should, be committed to heart by your children. Not only will it provide all the benefits of reading and memorizing, but it will supply some simple reflections that will turn those little minds to what is most important in their life….their Catholic Faith.

Research shows children learn more in their first eight years than they do in the rest of their lives. This is a powerful time to teach them.

Most important, it is a crucial time for us, as those devout Catholic parents of old, to teach our children their Faith as they sit at our feet and learn from us.

So, parents, here is a teaching tool that can help! These are meaningful little rhymes that will provide an enjoyable way to teach your children and will enrich your home with Catholic culture!

Encourage your children to learn the poems in this book. Let them peruse the pages and look at the pictures. You will find that it will be a meaningful experience for all!

Available here.

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