Duties of Parents

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Duties of Parents
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DUTIES OF PARENTS. From the tone of recent letters received by THE FREEMAN, it would appear that many parents in different parts of our city are neglecting the welfare of their children. The tune of the letters, as a rule, speak of the nasty and disagreeable habits of many of the younger generation: complaints are made about the late hours kept by the sons of many respectable parents. There is something radically wrong about all this. Parents ought to teach their children to respect their teachings and that of their church; they should be taught to respect the sacred character of Sunday and obey the laws made to enforce that respect. The authorities in enforcing these laws ought to use ordinary discretion. Boys arrested for some minor offence against a local ordinance sometimes receive the same treatment as hardened criminals. They are made to endure the disgrace of being hustled to the police station through the crowded streets just as desperate law-breakers are. Such actions tend to make criminals rather than to decrease misdemeanors. Parents should awake to a sense of their duties and endeavor to reclaim their erring ones ere it is too late. SCHOOL AND HOLIDAYS. An evening paper recently mentioned the fact that the Board of Education had decided not to grant holidays to the school children during Easter, and stated that considerable opposition was expressed against such a decision, and that most likely the holidays would be granted. This is a step in the right direction, as the school children of this city have far too many holidays, especially at this unpropitious season. Some two years ago the Board decided to hold sessions on Labor day, but not a word was uttered against such an arbitrary order. Easter Mon- day is generally observed as a holiday by the banking institutions, but all other branches of business is conducted the same as on ordinary week days. It is not a statutory holiday, while Labor day is, and it was a high handed piece of business for the Board of Education to hold sessions of the public schools on a day set apart by the Dominion parliament to be observed as a public holiday. Perhaps the members of the Board of Education wore not aware that Labor day is a statutory holiday, and one that should be observed by every workingman in the dominion. If the Board of Education thinks that the school children have too many holidays, why not shorten the summer vacation? Eight or nine weeks is too long a vacation, and should be curtailed, so that school children would not be running the streets in the very warmest part of the summer, while they could be studiously employed in nice cool rooms in our various schools throughout the city. If the Board of Education does not nullify this injudicious order the workingmen of St. John should enter a protest against such a proceeding by keeping their children at home on Labor day, and also petition the Dominion parliament to take steps to have that day observed as a statutory holiday should be. EDUCATION’S TRUEST FRIEND. A charge that dies hard, says a writer in the Catholic Record, is that Catholicism is a barrier to education. A thousand facts prove its groundlessness, but the sectarian journals, and publications even that profess to be impartial, accept it as an undeniable truth. It. is an old story that narrates the friendship shown by the Church to the development of the human mind. How she preserved the languages of Greece and Rome and gave unto the monasteries that dotted the vales and plains of Europe the work of handing down their literature to posterity need no comment. Even Gibbon is not loth to confess that one Benedictine monastery has probably rendered more service to literature than the two universities of Oxford and Cambridge. When the influence of the Church was paramount it would have been regarded intellectual development if she saw in it anything inimical to her interests and advancement. History, however, records that during that period the great universities had their origin and owed in many instances to the ecclesiastical authorities. It will be remembered that thousands of student-folk who sat at the feet of the great masters—not learning facts but principles and taught in season and out of season that true scholarship was not based on versatility or brilliancy but in thoroughness and the ability to look into the very soul of a question. We might go and recount the triumphs of her children in every department of knowledge; the grand old cathedrals instinct with life and immortality: the pictures and statues the thousand facts, in a word, proving that she has been ever the truest friend of all that could ennoble the human mind. The system of education that she is opposed to is the one that does not recognize God—that trains the intellect and leaves the heart and its affections uncultivated. The advocates of the Godless school are beginning to discover the reason of her hostility and to realize that the statements of some organs of public opinion are based on sad reality. NOT A DECADENT RACE. A writer in the Ave Maria, in speaking of the depopulation of Ontario, expresses himself as follows: “The press of Ontario is alarmed over the prospect of depopulation which faces that ancient and honorable province. The birth rate in Ontario is now distressingly low in those counties which have not a large French-Canadian population, just as it is in those States of our Union—Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, etc., which have a small Catholic population. The French-Canadians are confident that in less than a century and a half their blood will run in the veins of seventy millions of people in North America; and when one remembers how they have grown in numbers, the statistics which point to them as the dominant race of the future in Canada and perhaps in a few of our States seems not so improbable. They at least are ‘decadent Latins.’”