raising children

Social Conservatism and the New Nationalism

Jack Fowler, a longtime publishing executive at National Review, sat alone and lonely at the way back during the conference. A National Review writer sat among the press and wrote a first-day story. She reported it as straight news, no comment. To be sure, National Review editor Rich Lowry spoke to the crowd and did [...]

Reclaiming the Forgotten Wisdom of a Bygone Era

These last few years, my wife and I have been restoring an old Victorian house that once was a rectory on our island in Nova Scotia, where we live in the summer. I would like to draw an analogy between what we have done so far and what should be done in the Church. We [...]

Is the Popular Video Game Fortnite Sinful?

The video game, Fortnite Battle Royale, is disrupting many a household: Parents tell horror stories of young sons who play it non-stop and suddenly turn violent toward those who oppose their playing. For those unfamiliar with Fortnite, it is an immensely popular fast-paced video game which was released in the summer of 2017. It has [...]

It’s Not Enough to Listen to the Young

In his new exhortation on youth, Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive), Pope Francis returns again and again to the theme that the Church must listen to the young. Although Christus Vivit contains much that is inspiring and even moving, the good parts are often undercut by its insistence on the wisdom of youth. On the [...]

Rethinking Baptismal Preparation

Baptism is often relegated to the back of our thoughts. For most Catholics, it occurred in infancy and is, therefore, not a personal memory. For still too many parishes, baptism remains a quasi-private event sequestered someplace after Mass on the occasional Sunday, rather than an integral part of the regular Sunday Mass. The truth is [...]

The Young Are Better Prepared with Earlier Confirmation

Later this month, the Vatican is hosting an international summit of bishops to address the clerical sex-abuse crisis. Based on comments Pope Francis has made to the press, the gathering will focus its attention on prayer and penance, but also educating the Church’s shepherds on what the issue is all about. As if the US [...]

The Church Needs Children

“Let the children be, do not keep them back from me; the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt. 19-14) Recently in these pages, I wrote about a local traditional Latin Mass parish and a modern parish renewal program called “Rebuilt,” which was developed by a suburban parish outside of Baltimore. I noted [...]

Why Catholic Millennials Need These Four Urgent Life Skills

Many complain that young people are not getting the basic life skills so needed to survive in the world. Parents and schools no longer teach skills like cooking, laundry, budgeting, or car repair as in times past. At the same time, our culture encourages young people to extend their adolescence well into their twenties. They [...]

The Home, the Cradle of Order and Wonder

Advent is the perfect time for beginning, or beginning again. We need a new beginning. It’s natural for parents to worry about their children’s development, but today the situation seems both hopeless and especially acute. I won’t go into the particulars—you know them very well, as we are recounting them to each other at an [...]

Why Seminary Formation Must Be Scrutinized

“Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”   ∼ Matthew 18:3 Ever since I seriously embraced my Catholic faith, I’ve lived with the sensation of biting into an orange right after brushing my teeth. Toothpaste has a chemical in it that [...]

These Wicked Men Have Made My Daughters Victims, Too

When Theodore McCarrick was spooning and fondling seminarians, quite obviously he did not consider how far his enormities would reverberate. At the General Judgement, he will be shown how far his despicable actions have reverberated through society and how they harmed the lives of people he has never met. At the General Judgement, he will [...]

What is True About “Kids”?

The back page of The New York Times Sunday Section for July 29, 2018, in the section devoted to children, listed, in large bold print, 19 statements about “kids.” Each statement began with the phrase “The truth is kids….” Nothing else appeared on the page except the words The New York Times. No one was [...]

Jane Austen’s Common Sense Wisdom on Marriage and Family

When one is looking for a good dose of reality and common sense, there are few better places than a Jane Austen novel. Entertaining they are, but also scattered with drops of wisdom that run counter to our modern notions. For example, take the idea of “change” (often coupled with “hope”); today this idea is [...]

The Internet: Blessing or Curse?

Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles Robert Barron recently gave a pair of quite interesting talks at Google and Facebook. Now approaching 30 million views, Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire is the most influential Catholic evangelization ministry online. Bishop Barron is the ideal teacher, and this for two reasons: mastery of his subject and a genuine [...]

Of Mice and Men Without Chests

At first glance one might surmise that the title of this article alludes to the characters in John Steinbeck’s classic. Truthfully, while reading Of Mice and Men I grew to like the characters and found myself empathizing with some of their hardships. A good author is able to pull his readers into the world of [...]

Motherhood and Civilization

Crowns fall fittingly upon the head of the Virgin during this month of May, but it is also fitting that they fall upon the head of every mother. Mothers possess hearts that act like God’s megaphone. It is of the very nature of mothers to be God’s proxy in a world weary of God. Even [...]

Same-Sex Parenting: The Child Maltreatment No One Mentions

Recently, Utah found it necessary to put a law into effect that allows “free-range parenting.” That is, parents are free to make the judgment that their children are, say, free to walk to the local park by themselves or to bike a couple of blocks away from home without child protective services showing up at [...]

A World Without Hope

I've written recently that our schools introduce young people not to that guide of intelligence and beauty, Lady Faith, but to her current impostor, the bitch, Politics. Our “sins” are political, and we are to be “saved” by giving our assent to the Right Things about sex and marriage, climatic changes, organic food, the evil [...]

Shootings and Fatherlessness: A Clarification on the Data

Earlier this week I published a piece at Crisis for which I owe readers an apology and explanation. In 30 years of commentary writing, I’ve never had to do this, which surely has been God’s grace, given my many bouts of arrogant stupidity, but maybe the good Lord gave me this one for some badly [...]

Fatherless Shooters … as Liberals Push for Fatherless Families

Editor’s note: The following column reports figures on the fatherlessness of mass shooters that turned out to be inaccurate. Immediately upon discovering the error, Dr. Kengor took it upon himself to do his own research to find out what the actual numbers are and recorded his discovery in a new column published in Crisis several [...]

The Faithlessness of Public Education

In the wake of the dreadful massacre at the high school in Florida, I asked, via social media, what I thought was a question so obvious that everyone was bound to miss it, just as you do not notice the air you breathe. It was simply this. Why is no one surprised that a deranged [...]

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