The most fundamental reason to keep our kids Catholic is because it is God’s will for them, and the surest way to help them to gain the eternal salvation which is their destiny. But it is also true that there is a crucial role for them to play in society as Catholics.

One of the greatest evils and injustices in our society is abortion, and I believe it our kids generation that will be able to resolve this. To some extent the tide is already turning: the number of medics prepared to undertake abortions is in decline, and polls of medical students (in the UK at least) suggest that trend will continue.

The idealogues who are committed to abortion are largely of the 60’s and 70’s generations: many younger adults and teens have an appreciation that it is not the great solution to all women’s problems that the earlier feminists thought it was.

But we need to ensure that the generation that follows is as strongly pro-life as possible: and our kids are a great place to start.

People occasionally assume that I am pro-life because I am Catholic. In fact it would be as accurate to say that I remained a Catholic because I am pro-life. As a student, when it would have been easy to drift away from the Church it was the Church’s strong pro-life stance that kept me committed.

In my experience, kids – especially as they reach adolescence – need causes to believe in and to fight for, and the pro-life one is a great example of that. So bringing your kids up with an awareness of the pro-life cause, and the chance to engage with it serves several ends:

It addresses one of the greatest evils of our age – and at a time when there is a real chance for progress (I mean over the next decades, not this year, alas…)
It gives them a cause – tangible and value-driven – to which they can commit
It helps them see the importance and relevance of Catholic witness in today’s world
It may help them stick with the Church at a phase in their life when it would be easy to lapse

The pro-life cause also provides a great way into catechesis on so many levels: the Church’s teaching about morality, clearly; but also the commandment to offer practical help to those in distress; to speak the truth in charity, when you may be rejected and reviled; to bear courageous witness on behalf of the voiceless – and so on.

So there’s this week’s challenge: how can we, as Catholic Dads, raise pro-life kids with a truly Catholic perspective on this vital issue?

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3 Responses to Keeping Your Kids Catholic: Raising them as Pro-Lifers

  1. rbl says:

    Take your kids with you to peacefully pray in front of abortion mills!

  2. John Jansen says:

    Excellent post, Ben.

    I'd like to focus on one particular point you made:

    "It gives them a cause – tangible and value-driven – to which they can commit"

    I have the great good fortune of working for a pro-life organization, and as a part of my work, I get to help high school students start pro-life clubs. I've often found myself edified by the dedication of many of the kids I've had the privilege of working with.

    I think that helping students start their own student-run pro-life clubs is hugely beneficial because it gives them ownership and lets them know that they have a critically important role to play in the movement right now.

    Now, clearly, not every kid is going to be able to start (or even join) a pro-life club. But echoing and building on rbl's comment, there are lots of other ways kids can get active and do something for the pro-life cause: praying outside of an abortion clinic, volunteering at a pregnancy resource center, taking part in pro-life demonstrations, etc.

    And it's our duty as parents to help introduce these sorts of activities to our kids. The more we can get them involved doing something for the pro-life cause, the more likely they are to remain committed to it throughout their lives.

  3. Ben Trovato says:

    I couldn't agree more. And Ant has just started a pro-life prayer group at her University. So far it is her and a friend, but a minimus incipe…