The following post really got me thinking, I mean really when you look around at Mass, even in our rural parishes up here it is shocking how many have the perfect pair or one of each and a spare, are we headed down the same path as Europe?   Hell when we were kids I thought of us as a small family, all six of us, we lived in an old farm house with one bath and a shower in the corner of the basement. Mom and Dad, Grandma, all six of us kids, and a bachelor uncle to boot,  and we didn’t just survive, we THRIVED.  The neighbor around the block had 13 and 6 to 8 were common. We wonder why we have a shortage of religious vocations, try lack of kids.  Our own selfishness, yet not one word from the pulpit about contraception, just feel good happy clappy crap

The German Egyptian

this from


In Europe, Children Growing Hard to Find

A little over a year ago, my friend Amy Owen and her family – including 5 kids then – moved to Germany because of her husband’s work (this happens a lot when you live in the DC area). She just sent me some beautiful images of her new baby, explaining that in Germany because the birth rate is so low and children are so scarce, that hospital photos are done by very artistic photographers. Here are the ones from her baby:

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Beautiful, aren’t they?

Intrigued by what she said about the scarcity of children, I asked Amy to write a guest blog:

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In Europe, Children Growing Hard to Find
by Amy OwenI’ve lived in Europe for just over a year now with my husband and family. When my husband first told me about this opportunity, I had mixed emotions about raising our children overseas. Lots of positive experiences to explore, mixed with the challenge of traveling abroad with six children under the age of 12. Plus I was keenly aware that in Europe families are very small, and non-existent in most cases.

Recently, I had the rare treat of walking through some shops without my usual entourage – which gave me a chance to really take my time and speak freely with the vendors who visit our area during the Advent season and throughout most of the year. I ran into an old, Italian couple selling Christmas linens. As I was leaving, she recommended that I visit northern Italy – her home – saying how beautiful it was. Knowing of the negative population and poor economy in Italy, I couldn’t help but comment that it would be even more beautiful to see more children and asked if she was concerned about her country’s future and the fact that there are not enough children being born to sustain and support them as a country socially and financially. I was quite stunned when replied emphatically, “I’ve had four children and they wish and deserve a better life, a great life, the best life!”

In the past I’d always felt compassion about the economic problems some countries face, but since this exchange my focus has completely shifted and become more clear. Economic problems, particularly in this case, stem from the decisions made consciously by a society. The decision of one or more generations to not have children and walk away from their faith has ultimately affected the whole economy of a country. For this reason our compassion needs to be properly placed. Since this experience, I have chosen to focus compassion towards a society who has lost faith in God and who have only placed faith in themselves, causing a failure and collapse which extends to all of us financially and socially. I pray for an increase of faith in society. Only then will there be economic prosperity.

amy owen 2.jpegHere in Germany it is common to see a mother and grandmother out and about with one very fortunate infant dressed to the nines in some of the most extravagant strollers you have ever seen – their little lives so protected. Any worldly need is met before they are even born – sometimes years in advance – by the parents, grandparents and even great- grandparents. These infants are very special and considered very valuable to society. So, when Germans see larger families, they are thrown for a loop. Some are surprised, especially when you tell them you are American (it doesn’t fit the image portrayed in their media) and some show grave concern about our irresponsibility for not having practiced more control.

When citizens are taking pictures of couples with children because it is so rare to see such a sight you know the country has failed. In Europe, if you have three or more children, it is common to be stopped and asked to pose for a picture. Strangers will sometimes even swoop the youngest out of a stroller, holding the baby to pose for the camera as if they might never see such perfection again.

The “better life, a great life, the best life” the Italian vendor thought her children deserved is not to be found by turning your eyes from God, but in fulfilling the perfect plan He has for our lives. That requires faith and obedience and a belief that children are treasures no matter how many He gives us.