Archive for December 30th, 2007

Center for disease control

had some interesting facts.

The total fertility rate in 2006 was 2,101.0 births per 1,000 women, the highest rate since 1971.

Childbearing by unmarried women rose substantially in 2006, reaching record high levels. The birth rate rose 7 percent in 2006 to 50.6 per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15–44 years; the number of births to unmarried women increased by nearly 8 percent in 2006 to 1,641,700.

At Christmas we recognize the birth of Christ our Savior. I guess this country is in very short supply of St. Joseph’s who took on a responsibility of raising the Christ child. I’d like to see the numbers on man who fail to support the woman and child whom they abandoned. 1.6 million unmarried births is going to place a large burden on the state to support. However, historically it’s not the state but the church who is called to stand and support these women. After all it is we the church who are explicitly called to look after the widow and orphan.

While they may mostly be simply children of fornication that’s no reason not to step up to the plate.


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I was reading an article in the NY times about the


Photo by Damon Winter/The New York Times

Church of the Transfiguration in Chinatown

which has changed hands as it were from Irish to Italians and now Chinese. After the immigrant assimilates into the secular culture, they seem to fail to pass on their faith or at least the way they express their faith to the next generation. It becomes more of a trip down memory lane, something their parents or grandparents did, but is no longer desirable or needed.

For the midnight Mass, Father Lin recruited two extra priests to hear the confessions of long lines of Fujianese Catholics, whose worship includes making the sacrament regularly.

“Now we like to teach them not to do it so often, because it is a burden for us,” Father Lin said.

I found that quote from the article striking. Chinese immigrants had a strong desire to make regular confessions, likely because they can finally do so without going to prison and second because they recognize that it was their faith that sustained them through those times. You can’t teach that you have to live it. As the church struggles to get Catholic to make confession more frequent it’s the immigrants that point the way.

Back to the assimilation question, as our society continues to crumble and/or spend away it’s moral fiber will assimilation decrease or will the contrast between what the world is offering be great enough that the younger generation will be drawn into the faith because of it’s counter culture stand? I have no doubt that the more the church makes a contrast between itself and the society at large the stronger and more adherents it will have, just as those churches which attempt to attract more followers attempt to adapt itself to secular trends or make itself more “relevant” it will continue to lose more.

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