Parents raising hell?
Raising Hell: What Stops Parents from Handing on the Faith to their Children by St. Clair McEvenue (Interim Publishing, $15, 251 pages)
Raising Hell. What a catchy title for a book that blames the latest generation for society’s problems.
St. Clair McEvenue is a graduate from St. Michael’s College and worked as an accountant until 1987, at which time he became a permanent deacon in Toronto. He and his wife, Marjorie, have 10 children and 25 grandchildren. Raising Hell: What Stops Parents from Handing on the Faith to their Children, is his first book.
Using his vast knowledge and experience as a father and deacon (Raising Hell is most definitely written for a Catholic audience), McEvenue catalogues society’s ills in great detail. His book progresses through decades of time and points to how society has moved away from faith, causing morality to be propelled to, what would appear to be, unrecoverable levels.
The book points to the generation of the “baby-boomers,” a term he uses frequently throughout, as the cause of many social and moral problems – on a parental level, a leadership level, business level.
McEvenue makes an excellent point though, when he states that Jesus did not come to change the hierarchy of His days. Jesus started a groundswell. This would have been the perfect time for McEvenue to point out how easily faith can be passed on in families. For instance, the teaching of small prayers to toddlers, or blessing your children at bedtime, and having sacred statues and pictures in the home for them to relate to is an easy way for them to learn early. As they get older, take the time to explain the significance of the Holy Mass and the importance of its individual parts to your children. Attend Mass more frequently with your children, if possible, so that the understanding and respect of the Mass is fostered. Dressing nicely when going to church is essential in showing respect for Jesus, who is there. Connecting kindness and honesty with Jesus and Mary will encourage virtue in children. The reading of saints’ books to children and making them a part of family devotions (like saying the Rosary), is essential to the spiritual well-being of children. Having moral and religious discussions at mealtimes, based on the happenings of the day, is a simple way to support and promote church teaching. Also, the foundation of a personal and healthy faith will be set for children to return to throughout their lives, when and if turbulence is experienced.
Obviously, McEvenue is greatly troubled by the general loss of faith and morals in our current society, and has made an effort to contribute to its remedy.