2012-06-14 L’Osservatore Romano
Sport is in need of a catharsis against degeneration so that it may return to
being a culturally significant phenomenon. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President
of the Pontifical Council for Culture, did not mince words in expressing his
thoughts on sport at the presentation of the new department, “Culture and
Sport”, on Thursday morning, 14 June. This initiative is
to a section entitled “Church and Sport” in the Pontifical Council for the
Laity, which was established in 2004. The stated objective is to create new
cultural approaches to the phenomenon of sport, aimed at identifying the
privileged “place” of dialogue in the Church, culture and the world of youth and
identifying a new Areopagus for believers and non-believers in the spirit of the
“Court of Gentiles” in sport.
It was also noted, from the Church’s viewpoint, that the world of sport
requires an attentive look that seeks to understand its dynamics and values,
before condemning sport as a declining phenomenon. This is moreover the meaning
of the cultural analysis which is the Pontifical Council’s mission with a view
to discerning, namely, understanding in order to be able to evangelize. Culture
does not evangelize externally but from its heart, from the interior part of
every cultural phenomenon. In other words, before speaking about the world of
sport, it is necessary to listen to it and to try and understand it. Thus the
department will not seek to speak only about the world of sport but also to
bring the echo of great cultural aspirations in the world to the Church,
deepening its contemporary expectations and exploring new ways of cultural
dialogue with its protagonists. The new branch, Cardinal Ravasi explained,
follows in the wake of other Holy See bodies which strive to connect the Church
with sport but with the Pontifical Council for Culture’s own style.
Vatican City, 14 June 2012 (VIS) – “On the afternoon of Wednesday 13 June, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’, met with Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X who was accompanied by an assistant. Also present at the encounter were Archbishop Luis Ladaria S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Msgr. Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’”, according to a communique released today by the Holy See Press Office.
“The purpose of the meeting was to present the Holy See’s evaluation of the text submitted in April by the Society of St. Pius X in response to the Doctrinal Preamble which the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith had presented to the Society on 14 September 2011. The subsequent discussion offered an opportunity the provide the appropriate explanations and clarifications. For his part, Bishop Fellay illustrated the current situation of the Society of St. Pius X and promised to make his response known within a reasonable lapse of time.
“Also during the meeting, a draft document was submitted proposing a Personal Prelature as the most appropriate instrument for any future canonical recognition of the Society.
“As was stated in the communique released on 16 May 2012, the situation of the other three bishops of the Society of St. Pius X will be dealt with separately and singularly.
“At the end of the meeting the hope was expressed that this additional opportunity for reflection would also contribute to reaching full communion between the Society of St. Pius X and the Apostolic See”.
Link to article:
Vatican City, 14 June 2012 (VIS) – “This morning 14 June the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Jose Graziano da Silva, director general of the Rome-based United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). The director general subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
“During the cordial discussions great appreciation was expressed for the commitment shown by the Holy See and the Catholic Church to combating hunger and poverty, especially in Africa, and to remedying the worrying situation of world food security”, according to a Holy See Press Office communique released today.
“It was then noted that, despite the fact that there are sufficient resources to satisfy the food requirements of the entire planet, persistent economic, social and political obstacles hinder the possibility of meeting those requirements. Finally, the hope was expressed that the rural sector may once again take a leading role in development strategies, that sustainable models of agricultural production and food consumption be promoted, and that greater equity and efficiency be guaranteed in the administration of the food system”.
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2012-06-14 Vatican Radio
Representatives from the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for the Laity held a press conference at the Vatican on Thursday, during which they presented the new lines of cultural approach to sport. The new approach is aimed at coming to an understanding of sport as a privileged place for dialogue among Church, culture and youth. The conference also provided an opportunity to present the Pontifical Council for Culture’s new Department dedicated to Culture and Sport, which will work closely with the Church and Sport Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and the John Paul II Foundation for Sport. One of those who participated in the press briefing was Fr. Kevin Lixey, who is Responsible for the Church and Sport Section at the Council for the Laity. He told Vatican Radio recent, highly publicized scandals in major league sports – including betting scandals in Italy – make the announcement extremely timely. “On the one hand,” said Lixey, “we wanted to announce something we’ve been doing for the past year and a half,” adding, “it’s a moment for the Church to show that it is concerned.” Fr. Lixey went on to say, “[The Church] is actively working and interested in trying to stimulate a little bit more the pastoral work with sport,” on all levels, from youth leagues to international and professional compretition. “There is,” said Fr. Lixey, “still a lot of good in sport.”
Listen to Chris Altieri’s extended interview with Fr. Kevin Lixey of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
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2012-06-14 Vatican Radio
There’s just less than a week to go until the beginning of Rio + 20 the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Brazil. Among the NGO’s taking part in the conference is the UK based oveaseas Catholic Development Agency Progressio.
It ran a campaign in Catholic parishes across the UK asking people to write on a postcard what hopes they have for the future.
Over 400 postcards were delivered on Wednesday evening to British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
The campaign found that UK Catholics were concerned about issues such as economic justice, water and food security, climate change and leaving a better world for their children and future generations.
Tim Aldred, Progressio’s Head of Policy and Communications met in person with Nick Clegg and told Lydia O’Kane that people want a better future.
“I think there is a sense of frustration that once you give people the opportunity to say, “tell us what you want”, you know here is an opportunity to tell your leaders the kind of world that you want to see, then they say, well we want a greener and fairer economy, we want food security for all, we want water resources to be taken care of, we want poverty to be eliminated, we want action on climate change.”
He adds that leaders have an opportunity to put some plans in place for a better world.
The single best talk I have heard on Chesterton was given in 2010 by David Fagerberg at a Notre Dame conference devoted to the themes of humility, wonder, and joy. Chesterton was a man richly endowed with all three virtues, and it was fitting that a talk was devoted to him.
Our Chesterton mini-festival (which ends tomorrow!) was launched by disappointment with Christopher Hitchens’ essay on Chesterton. Hitchens, in my view, simply didn’t get what Chesterton was about; Fagerberg gets it, and this talk makes a nice counterweight.
The talk lasts about 50 minutes, and is followed by a Q&A session.
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What makes you pick up a book and read it? The cover picture? The title? The author’s name? A friend’s recommendation? A good review? I’ve picked up books for all of those reasons. What grabbed me about
The Algebra of Snow: A Bedtime Story for My Mother
was the title. I love snow, I hate algebra, but putting the two together… that sounded intriguing.
Amelia doesn’t intend to spend the winter in the summer cabin she’d rented in the Adirondacks. She told her neighbour she was just staying until the end of October to get some articles written. But October turns into November and the articles aren’t written yet and Amelia is still there, wrestling with her memories of her marriage, her mother, her career.
When Amelia’s ex-husband comes up for Thanksgiving, reconciliation seems possible. Then a phone call turns Amelia back into the Ice Queen her husband accuses her of being. After he leaves, her world shrinks to her living room—to keeping the fire, huddling in the blankets on the couch, and chasing memories. Amelia writes letters to her mothers, imagines a handsome stranger’s visits, goes to the edge of madness and back again.
Written in first-person from Amelia’s point of view, The Algebra of Snow is a compelling, haunting novel. Amelia’s voice pulled me into the story from the first pages. Her struggles to form meaningful relationships with those around her are understandable as she grapples with her mother’s death when she was six, her father’s cold distance. Amelia is one of those complicated characters who, like Scarlett in Gone with the Wind, is both dislikeable and yet too similar to myself.
The Algebra of Snow follows Amelia’s winter in the Adirondacks—from the time the rest of the tourists leave their cozy summer cabins on the September long weekend until the snows begin to melt. The ending was ambiguous… Amelia has found a new friend, yet she hasn’t returned to her mathematics career or left her lonely cabin. She has survived the isolation, freezing cold, and near starvation of the winter, yet I wanted more of a hint of change as a result of those circumstances.
Ginger Moran’s novel reminded me of Betty Jane Hegerat, for both write with the same attention to the small details of everyday life. Both of Hegerat’s novels take place in the space of a few days, while Moran’s novel takes place in the space of a small cabin. These authors delve deeply into characters in situations we can all identify with and leave the reader thinking hard. (I do feel it necessary to mention that some scenes in The Algebra of Snow between Amelia and her husband or the dark stranger contained more details than I wanted.)
The Algebra of Snow is Ginger’s third novel and was nominated for a Pushcart Editor’s Choice Award. She has a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing and has been published in a variety of journals and literary magazines. Come back on Wednesday for my interview with Ginger about how she became a writer and what inspires her to write!
Leave a comment below for your chance to WIN a copy of The Algebra of Snow
by Ginger Moran (contest open to Canadians over age 18; I’ll draw a
winner using random.org next Saturday; winner will be announced on
Facebook and Twitter.)
The release of CBC’s sting coincides with the release of several undercover videos in the United States by the group Live Action also showing a willingness to facilitate sex selective abortions.
June 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A recent investigation by the CBC into privately owned ultrasound clinics in Canadian cities found that almost three quarters of the twenty-two so-called “entertainment ultrasound” businesses visited in the undercover operation said they were willing to do a scan solely to determine the sex of an unborn child, some as early as 14 weeks gestation.
The release of CBC’s sting coincides with the release of several undercover videos in the United States by the group Live Action showing employees at Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics offer to help women obtain sex-selective abortions.
The results of the CBC sting give more credibility to the warning given by Dr. Rajendra Kale, interim editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, who said earlier this year that Canada should prohibit disclosure of the sex of an unborn child until after 30 weeks of pregnancy to combat female feticide, a practice that is widespread in many Asian countries and is becoming common in some ethnic groups in North America.
“A pregnant woman being told the sex of the fetus at ultrasonography at a time when an unquestioned abortion is possible is the starting point of female feticide from a health care perspective,” Dr. Kale had written in his article, “‘It’s a girl!’— could be a death sentence,” published in January in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. “Therefore, doctors should be allowed to disclose this information only after about 30 weeks of pregnancy — in other words, when an unquestioned abortion is all but impossible.”
“You basically proved that it is happening here,” Dr. Verjinder Ubhi, who practices medicine in Brampton, Ontatrio, told CBC News after being shown the undercover footage. “We had suspicion but no evidence. This is happening here, right in Canada.”
Diagnostic ultrasounds are performed in Canada only by referral of a licensed health practitioner and are considered a routine procedure during most pregnancies to monitor the health and development of the child in the womb.
“Entertainment” ultrasounds are marketed to prospective parents with “keepsakes,” usually 3D photos and videos, that the operators of the private and unregulated businesses claim are a new way to bond with a baby before she is born.
Ray Foley, executive director for the Ontario Association of Radiologists, said the lack of oversight by Canadian health regulatory agencies of these businesses is of concern to health professionals. “There are probably more rules about nail salons than there are about these things,” Foley told the CBC. “I wouldn’t send my wife there, I wouldn’t send any woman I know there. Why would you want to go there if you think that even if there is an extremely small risk to your unborn child that you obviously want to have born happy and healthy?”
Although many of the businesses the CBC visited said they do not do ultrasounds to determine fetal sex until 20 weeks, at which point it is reportedly more difficult to obtain an abortion, the video footage reveals 15 clinics that agreed to test for gender earlier than 20 weeks, including 5 that agreed to test at as early as 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The video footage recorded at the UC Baby ultrasound business in Richmond, B.C., for example, captured an employee discussing gender testing at 17 weeks and sex-selective abortion with the undercover operative.
“You don’t want another girl, right? Yeah, that’s the problem,” the employee told the CBC undercover producer. “You come here between 17 to 18 weeks, we tell you if it is a boy or a girl, if it’s a boy, fine you keep, if it’s a baby girl then you need to talk to family doctor.”
An Angus Reid Public Opinion poll taken in January, following the publication of Dr. Kale’s article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that 60% of Canadians (66% of women and 54% of men) believe Ottawa should enact a law outlining whether a woman can abort her child based solely on his or her gender. A majority (51%) also said the government should regulate abortion in Canada. Currently the country has no law governing the deadly procedure whatsoever.
See the CBC’s full investigation here.
Wednesday evening June 13. Back at the hotel after another
great day at the Eucharistic Congress here in Dublin. The forecast of 25000 per
day looks like it is happening. Never saw so many religious habits (they wear
them in the streets here) or Bishops and Cardinals in my life. If you remember
World Youth Day and catechesis sessions, they are being done here as well, and
always by a Bishop or Cardinal. Impressive for the most part. Great workshop
session by the Archbishop of Manilla in the Philippines on child sexual abuse
by clergy. Really excellent. And the Archbishop of Dublin opened the whole
thing on the first day by wading right into it. People have welcomed the
In all, a very uplifting experience of the universal church.
Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Kenya, Philippines, USA, Canada, and on and
on and on. Tremendous shot in the arm to have that kind of solidarity. The
Irish people are solid, if a little conservative. I have had the privilege of
being deacon at four Masses over here, in different churches on our tour
(Killarney Cathedral was unbelievable). I have registered as clergy and so
obtained the beautiful deacon stole they are giving out at the Congress. But
having had the opportunity to be deacon on our tour, I have decided to
emphasize the sacrament of marriage at this point, and am attending daily Mass
at the side of my missus.
The walk from the hotel is 3 km each way and we have been
grateful to do that twice a day. The food we have consumed here is incredible.
Couple of days ago we got away at 240 in the afternoon. Zipped over to Trinity
College and saw the Book of Kells. Then we walked up to Temple Bar and hit a
couple of pubs including the Temple Bar pub. The music on the street and in the
pubs in Temple Bar is tremendous. May make a return trip on Monday and make
that my birthday venue.
Had dinner last night
with the whole group, and Archbishop O’Brien. Great evening and the Archbishop
bought wine all round. First steak of the trip for me because I could not eat
steak and have three whole meals a day. Just try it sometime. You could put on
weight with the Irish breakfast alone we are having every day.
Posted Monday, April 26th, 2010 at 4:00 am under
A: You are already on the right track. A program of life is worthless (well, almost worthless, at least) without having identified our root sin. Unless we understand the dynamism underlying our frequent faults and failings, we will never be able to work intelligently to overcome them. It’s like gardening. If you want to get rid of the weeds, you can just pull out the stems; you have to get at the roots. Otherwise, progress is short-lived and unsubstantial, and sooner or later discouragement and frustration set in.
In trying to identify our root sin, the wisdom of the Church comes in handy. Spiritual writers through the ages have identified three possible candidates. Before I describe them, however, it behooves us to make one clarification. All of us, simply because of our fallen human nature, have sinful tendencies linked to all three of the candidates. Saying that we have a “root sin” simply means that for each of us, one of the three is dominant. It’s bigger than the others and exerts greater influence on our day-to-day behavior.
That said, here are the three possible root sins: pride, vanity, and sensuality. Pride, in this sense, refers to a disordered attachment to our own excellence. The proud person tends to seek meaning and fulfillment in their own achievements and conquests. Vanity is a disordered attachment to the approval of other people. The vain person tends to seek meaning and fulfillment in being appreciated or liked by other people. Sensuality is a disordered attachment to comfort, ease, and pleasure. The sensual person tends to seek meaning and fulfillment in taking it easy and simply enjoying life. Notice that each of these root sins is a disordered attachment to something. The things in themselves – achievements, relationships, pleasures – are not evil. The problem comes when we seek meaning and fulfillment in those temporal, created realities. In fact, we are created and called to seek our meaning and fulfillment in God alone, in our ever-deepening relationship with him. Achievements, relationships, and pleasures are meant to be ordered around and towards that principle and foundation of our life. As the Catechism puts it in #27:
The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.
Again, it is important to realize that we each have tendencies that spring from pride, vanity, and sensuality. None of us is exempt from any of them, because we all have inherited a fallen human nature. But in each of us, one of the three is usually dominant. If we can identify which one, we can better aim our efforts to grow spiritually; we can strive to develop the virtues that counteract the cause, the root, of our falls and faults. We can identify this root sin, also called “dominant defect” by some spiritual writers, by looking at the common manifestations of each. The manifestations which are strongest in your life can clue you in to your root sin.
Below you will find a list of these common manifestations. Read through them once quickly and make a note of the ones that characterize you most. You will find that sometimes you fall into all of them, but some of them will jump out at you as particularly common or strong in your life. Whichever of the three has more of those is, most likely, your root sin. As you go through this exercise, you may find it more difficult than you would like. That’s because self-knowledge is slippery. And that’s one of the most compelling reasons for finding a spiritual director to help us be objective in our spiritual work. I hope you keep looking, and pray that God will lead you to one.
COMMON MANIFESTATIONS OF PRIDE:
COMMON MANIFESTATIONS OF VANITY:
COMMON MANIFESTATIONS OF SENSUALITY
Yours in Christ, Fr. John Bartunek, LC, STL
In the Third Millennium Religious Education Programs are facing many challenges. One of the main challenges is that kids have very busy schedules and cannot always make it to weekly classes as a result. There are many reasons for why parents decided to support their child(ren) going to a sporting or extracurricular event over coming to class (I’ll leave that for another time), but suffice it to say, I believe that parents want the best for the kids! I don’t always believe they have their priorities in the right place but it’s not always clear cut either. Kids seem too over-scheduled today and too many things tend to to “become” more important than faith formation (I sometimes here – it’s just religious education they are missing).
Over the last 8 years our parish has provided an alternative to once a week classes: A two week Summer intensive Religious Education Program. This meets a great need that we have with our parishioners. We provide it for 1st, 3rd-6th grade. We feel that the sacramental years are too important to do in a two week period. We continue to have a traditional weekly program and a program called Family Formation that happens during the year.
Anyone can imagine that there are tradeoffs for everything one does or does not do. The benefits to our program are:
~ Students have not been at school all day when they come to class (for many this is the only schooling they have all summer) and are more focused as a result.
~ The formation of students builds from day to day in a more cohesive and organic manner than it does once a week during the year (for the most part). Students seem to learn and retain what they are learning about more because they have it day after day for two weeks instead of only once a week. Many parents share how they believe their child gets more out of the summer because they are finding it easier for their child to connect the dots about their faith.
~ Parents are able to enroll their child(ren) in this program and assure their child(ren) receive religious formation (if a traditional program is the only one offered there are often many students who miss whole years of formation or miss a good chunk of it due to scheduling conflicts).
~ The programming in a 3.5 hour day allows for things that are more challenge to coordinate during an hour and 15 minutes during the year (e.g., field trips). There is more of a VBS feel to it (although not totally) than during the year. In addition, the classrooms that are used are the catechists for two weeks versus during the year there are more restrictions because the Catholic School is in session.
~ Students do not get to experience the Liturgical Cycle like they do during the year. Linking ones lessons to the liturgical year and the Sunday Liturgy is so important and two weeks in the summer often limits students experience of the liturgical year.
~ Reinforcement is more challenging because students are not receiving a regular catechesis from week to week. The students who attend during the year at least get reinforcement from September to May.
~ Since parents are the primary educators and what we do in our religious education program is in conjunction and in partnership with what should be done within the family it can be challenging to engage these families throughout the year. We do ask them to attend 4 Enrichment sessions throughout the year, but it’s more difficult to keep the parents involved in the faith formation of their child when they are not bringing them on a weekly basis.
~ Another challenge is that the topics children learn during the two weeks are not spoken or thought of 2, 4 or 6 months later. For example, the lesson on the Works of Mercy is forgotten about and kids forget to apply the collection they are participating in at their schools or the things they are doing during the year with the Works of Mercy that they learned about in the summer.
Since I’ve become the Director I’ve required students and parents to attend 4 enrichment sessions (two in the Fall and two in the Spring). These session are designed to build community and continue to help kids and their parents grow in their faith throughout the year.
Although I was unsure when I first began working at the parish about a summer program, I now am an advocate of the Summer Program. I am always aware of the challenges we face at helping live the faith throughout the year. There are many great things about this program and I am blessed to be able to be at a parish that offers alternatives and various options for parishioners. One size (i.e., program) does not fit all. This is a way I believe our parish participates in the New Evangelization where we present the faith with new methods in order to meet the needs of the people we serve while at the same time continue to authentically pass on our rich deposit of faith.
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“We do not need to add another pro-defendant activist judge to the 9th Circuit or to any other court,” Sen. Chuck Grassley said.
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 13, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, already one of the nation’s most liberal courts, will add a new judge with ties to Roe v. Wade after the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Andrew David Hurwitz to the federal bench on Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insisted on a voice vote. Several pro-life organizations had noted they would be scoring the vote. His move made that impossible.
In a statement after the vote, Hurwitz thanked Arizona senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, who helped push his nomination forward, as well as Democratic Congressman Ed Pastor.
Vermont Democrat Pat Leahy also supported Hurwitz, saying from the well of the Senate, “An unfair campaign is being mounted by the extreme right against this outstanding nominee.”
The New York-born Hurwitz graduated from Yale Law School. He has boasted that as a judicial clerk for Judge Jon O. Newman in 1972 he had a hand in authoring the opinions Abele v. Markle I and Abele v. Markle II, which struck down two Connecticut laws banning abortion except to save the life of the mother. The cases exercised crucial influence in the Roe v. Wade case, which legalized abortion nationwide.
In the 1980s, he served as chief of staff for former Arizona governors Bruce Babbit and Rose Mofford, both Democrats. In 2003, then-Governor Janet Napolitano named Hurwitz to the Arizona Supreme Court.
Click “like” if you want to end abortion!
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, said he was “shocked and disappointed” by the voice vote. Grassley had expressed reservations about Hurwitz’s pro-abortion history, saying that it is impossible not to conclude “that he wholeheartedly embraces Roe, and importantly, the constitutional arguments supporting it.”
A motion to end debate passed the Senate Monday after eight Republicans crossed the aisle to vote with Senate Democrats. They were Lamar Alexander, R-TN; Scott Brown, R-MA; Susan Collins, R-ME; Jon Kyl, R-AZ; Richard Lugar, R-IN; John McCain, R-AZ; Lisa Murkowski, R-AK; and Olympia Snowe, R-ME.
At the same time, Hurwitz’s promotion is good news for the pro-life cause in Arizona, where the new federal judge will have to resign his seat on the state supreme court. Governor Jan Brewer will name his replacement, leaving only one Democratic appointee, Scott Bales, on the high court.
Originally posted here -
Some sources say a baby will cost $10,000 or mor – in the first year alone! But is this even remotely true? Not in my experience.
SASKATCHEWAN, June 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – I was pregnant for the first time, and feeling a bit anxious, so I asked my brother, whose wife had a baby the previous year, “How much does it cost to have a baby on a monthly basis?” David said, “If you can afford a coffee a day, you can afford to have a baby.”
Well my baby girl is a year old yesterday, and I have kept track of all the money we spent on her and guess what? David was right. All told, we spent $641.00. That is $52.41 a month and $1.75 a day! (Isn’t that the price of a coffee these days?)
Now what does $1.75 a day include? Well everything: diapers, baby food, clothes, presents, toiletries, official documents, medicine, and even her birthday party expenses.
So why did I bother to do this? Well I wanted to prove something. Many people say they can’t afford children, unless they have all the education they want, a good career and a double income in their family.
Many modern sources you look to will not give you the impression that having a baby is affordable. For example, Deborah Pike Olsen writes from the website, babycenter.com, “You’ll spend almost $10,000 on your baby’s first year, according to the thousands of moms who took BabyCenter’s exclusive survey.” On the CanadianFinanceBlog.com Tom Drake provides a “reasonable expectation” of the costs the first year as $11,025. His breakdown is Food: $1646, Clothing: $1879, Health Care: $154, Child Care: $4,990, Shelter, Furnishings, Household Operations: 2,356.
CLICK ‘LIKE’ IF YOU ARE PRO-LIFE!
So how did I manage to spend so little on her first year? First, I was committed to being as economical as possible because I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Today, this is rare because many mothers feel they cannot manage the family finances without going back to work. There is also societal pressure to feel inadequate if you are not contributing a check each month. I call it the “just a mom” syndrome.
One thing many new moms don’t account for (and how can you?) is the utter generosity of everyone around you when you’re going to have a baby! It’s amazing. People will ask what you need, will drop off baby clothes and equipment, will hold surprise baby showers and elderly neighbours you’ve never even talked to will knit blankets and booties for your little one. Babies in the womb and out seem to emit some sort of compulsion field that causes everyone around them to want to give something. Now this compulsion also affects the mother, but she should try to restrain herself a little bit from buying, because the deluge of gifts will come from all sides and she most likely will have more than she needs. I cried at my baby shower because I was so overwhelmed and I prayed that every baby would be so welcomed. If you are in a community where you share your life with others, whether it is a church, a quilting guild, your workplace, your family, or circle of friends, they will want to share with you when baby comes.
Another big money saver is cloth diapers. I researched a good kind by talking to other moms who used them, and when asked at my baby shower what I needed, I said “cloth diapers!” Many women bought them, so I had a whole collection! I use them when we are at home and use disposable ones when we are out and for overnight.
I didn’t buy a bunch of baby equipment. The only thing I bought was a car seat for $50. I was given a high chair, a stroller and a play pen which she uses as a bed. It travels well. That’s all. I didn’t want a change table, (the floor is safer) or an exersaucer, but I was given a jolly jumper.
I didn’t buy any toys. Your friends and family will take care of that. And the funny thing is, toys are nice, but what they really want to play with is real stuff, likeTupperware, car keys, books, and the baby wipe container. Why buy toys that will just add clutter? Plus if you are home with your baby, you don’t need so many toys to entertain them because YOU get to play with them!
I’m not sure who spends $1879 on baby clothing! Thrift stores are great and second hand baby things often look brand new because the little tykes grow so quickly out of them. A person can also sew clothing to save money. It takes some time and energy during baby’s nap but if you can sew, go for it!
Okay, breastfeeding is key! Not only is it the best food for baby, but it’s a lot cheaper than formula. Not that it is easy, especially at the beginning when you are getting the hang of it, but don’t give up and get some good advice from nurses or experienced mothers. As you go on, it is comfortable and convenient, and your milk is ready to go whenever and wherever your baby needs it.
Also, after 6 months, as much as you can, have baby eat what you eat. Those jars of baby food add up. Get a manual baby food grinder and when you sit down for supper, and grind whatever they can eat. Gradually, baby will transition to eating everything with the family.
I would budget $100 per month for baby and at the end of the month put what is left in a savings account for her. It’s been adding up. And guess what? The government (in Canada) gives you $100 a month for Universal Child Care benefit plus there is family allowance. So how can we not afford a baby?
Every baby and situation is unique. One friend was not able to nurse and her baby required special expensive formula. But this mother is excellent at making the most of coupons so when she buys groceries, she can save up to $45 at a time. Each family finds their own money saving skills.
A simple life, without too much stuff, can be very enjoyable. My daughter certainly isn’t deprived. She’s very happy, always looks cute, enjoys her food, her library books, going outside and playing with Mommy and Daddy. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much we enjoy her. Everyday she does something new and her smiles and laughter lift us up like nothing else. I look forward to spending these years with her discovering the whole world and the One who made it, for about the price of a coffee a day.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the May 2012 issue of NFP Saskatchewan and is used here by permission of the author.
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The Archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Catholic Youth has announced they won’t be organizing a delegation to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day 2013.
Does this impact your decision to go? Will you be travelling with your parish? Let us know!