All posts filed under: Parenting

Physical, spiritual and emotional care of children from birth to adult

A Cry from Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, on 31 August of every year, all of the children who have turned 16 in the past year are turned loose from orphanages and foster homes without an adequate education, a job, or a family to support them.  We estimate that approximately 1500-200 children are made homeless every year in Bulgaria alone.  Most girls will be trafficked as far away as America, but mostly throughout Europe and the Middle East.  70% of boys are used in the drug trade or petty crime rings.  Almost three quarters of these boys and girls will be dead of suicide before reaching their 18th birthdays. There are thousands of listings of kids between the ages of 12 and 16 available right now in Bulgaria. Many thousands more from baby to 11 years. All together, it is estimated that there are 25,000 children living in orphanages or foster care in Bulgaria – a country of about 7 million people. 98% of those children are Roma, what most of the Western world calls “Gypsy”. They are an ethnic minority …

Creating a Joyful Family

    Joyful family life comes from a family culture of gratitude. And joy begets joy. It is a fact of human nature that we move toward what we focus on. That knowledge alone is a significant tool in making important changes in your family life. “Joy springs from a grateful heart.” — Pope Francis, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City Too often, we look for occasions to be offended. And we generally find them. We often expect bad things to happen, sometimes as a means of protecting ourselves from disappointment. But what winds up happening is that we become pessimistic, baffled, disheartened, angry… empty. And that feeling can spread through a family and invade every aspect of life. It is often subtle, leaving us with a vague sense of need. Gratitude changes everything. It changes your point of view entirely. It is like seeing through new eyes. It makes loving – the act of caring for oneself and others – easier, richer, complete. Gratitude allows us to not only love our families more fully, …