Katalikas -- January 12, 1899Editorial
If we look upon the lives of the Lithuanians living in Lithuania and also American Lithuanians, we will see a great difference between these Lithuanians. In Lithuania, the Russian government forbade the people to teach the Lithuanian language, publish books, newspapers and reading. Russian government used every means possible to spread Russian faith and abolish Catholic faith, and Lithuanian language. However, the people of Lithuania decided to suffer Russian cruel persecution than to denounce their native language and Catholic faith. Lithuanian people determined to bring up their children under Catholic faith and teach them at least the catechism in their native language; notwithstanding the consequences of Russian cruel persecution. Parents had to teach their children prayers and reading secretly and under the most difficult conditions. It was a most pathetic situation for the people, who wanted to teach their children and they were not permitted even elementary education in their native language.
In American every one has a equal opportunity to educate themselves and read all the good books they want to.2
However it is heart breaking to see Lithuanian parents neglecting their children's education, especially here in America, where there is a golden opportunity for every child to attain the highest education. It is very pathetic to see Lithuanian children on the streets; doing absolutely nothing, wasting their valuable time, not accomplishing anything worth while, when their time could be used for educational purposes, for example, in learning the Lithuanian language. Lithuanian parents come to this country to earn a few cents and improve their life and conditions in general. However they should remember also to bring their children up according to the Catholic faith; teach them catechism, prayers and other things, so that the children may lead clean lives. Teach your children according to the laws of the Catholic Church if you want to receive grace of our Lord, then you can expect something worthwhile from your children. Do it same as this picture shows; teach your children to read the Lithuanian language and teach them the Holy Catholic faith; for this will show them in whom to believe and how to live clean lives. Teach your children not only theory but also behavior and parents conduct has an influence upon 3their children. Very often children remember things in later years, they recall good deeds as well as bad deeds of their parents and some things they remember the rest of their lives. But, if you teach your children to bring beer from the saloon and let them spend their time on the streets in bad company, you can't expect much from your children, only sorrow and tears in your old age. Your child will not love you and he will not help when you become old and helpless if he does not fear God and revered the Catholic church. Therefore, we must teach our children not only general education but also teach them how to conduct themselves as good citizens. Teaching your children general education is not enough; we must also consider their environment.
Parents must caution their children not to associate with bad company. They must use every means to create a good environment for their children; because the environment has a great influence upon the child's mind. Only through a good environment parents can mold the character of their 4child. Discourage your children to associate with those who don't believe in the doctrines of our holy church. If you know a neighbor who is sick with some contagious disease, would you allow your children to visit them? Wouldn't you caution your children not to visit the sick neighbors? Yes, you caution your children.
Disease destroys the child's body, but bad friends kill your child spiritually. This is warning to parents not to allow their children to read books and newspapers which are against the faith of Catholic church. For example, if you had a bottle filled with poison, you would warn your child not to touch it. It is a well known fact that if you had a healthy mind, you will never give a drink from this bottle to your child. Bed books and newspapers have about the same effect as poison, kills the faith of the Catholic church and morality.
To guard yourselves and your children against all evils and immorality, you must not read those books and newspapers which are against the faith 5of the Catholic Church. You, Lithuanian mothers, don't wish to make your children ungodly, immoral and criminals, do you? I do not believe you wish that. Therefore, make every effort, even though you have a lot of work to do, you must find time to teach your children; because, at the end you will have a satisfaction, happiness and reward for your efforts. You should not be afraid to sacrifice a little of your effort and a few cents for the enlightening of your children and your efforts will not be in vain.
I B 3 b, I A 1 a, I A 2 a, I B 1, III C
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