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    A Letter from Timothy Cardinal Dolan

    By Timothy Cardinal Dolan

    March 23, 2012

    Available languages: Español, 한국어, العربية

    • Susan

      I too have good memories of growing up in the midwest as Cardinal Dolan mentions. I grew up on The Hill and I know that Cardinal Dolan is very familiar with that section of St. Louis. My parents had their priorities and the main one was raising good mannered, God loving children where parents lead by example. Anytime you have a mom and a dad sharing these reponsibilities with one another, you find happy, well adjusted children who honor and respect their parents for who they are. THe wellbeing and education of children is a serious responsibility of all parents. Those who succeed become very proud parents. I will say that good communities including neighborhood schools, playgrounds, with watchful people make the safety of children a priority also help to keep children away from harm and trouble. Back in the days, my neighborhood centered around church, school and activities in the parish. This involved a parent-child participation which helped build a sense of family and comraderie. Seeing the same good people at these events built trust in those adults who valued time with their children.

    Since God's commandment to our first parents to be fruitful and multiply, and continuing with unbroken teaching over the course of thousands of years, marriage and procreation have been revealed as not merely an arbitrary precept of God, but as an imitation of his very nature – life-giving love.

    In an age where both the importance and definition of family seem to be under constant attack from all sides, my friend Johann Christoph Arnold provides a much-needed perspective on marriage and an approach to child rearing that is at once time-tested and completely up-to-date, and solidly grounded in faith.

    In this engaging work, Pastor Arnold explains with certainty that we can still raise children the right way and avoid caving in to the pressures of a confused culture. He doesn't mince words, but his teachings maintain the compassion of the gospel as he genuinely shows his concern for the plight of parents faced with a difficult teenager or a disabled child. As the fabric of family, and society, is challenged, he offers up concrete steps to bolster and encourage those parents who want to pass on to their children the values their parents gave them.

    I have often said that the greatest blessing I ever received was being the son of Robert and Shirley Dolan, and being raised within the loving family of my parents and four brothers and sisters. As I read Why Children Matter, I found myself nodding in agreement as the love and wisdom of my own parents was reflected in Arnold's sage advice.

    In the following pages I invite you to enjoy insights which reflect the experience and tradition of an entire generation of pastors and teachers who guided schools, parents, and children — over the last hundred years — in Europe, South America, and the United States. And I pray that Why Children Matter will help contribute to a better understanding of the amazing gift of marriage and family.

    Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
    New York City, March 2012

    From Why Children Matter by Johann Christoph Arnold.