The Importance of the First Three Years

In 1994 Sister Maria Corazon Cruz Gonzales, E.m.m. wrote “Caring for and Educating a Child from Conception to Three Years Old in the Teachings of the Church.”  This is her doctoral dissertation at the John Paul II Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family.  I want to quote a few sentences from her paper.

“Each newborn infant carries within himself life’s greatest promise: a new hope for the world.  For each tiny baby has the potential to love and be loved, to value himself yet care for others, to develop his unique abilities and talents and one day become a human being who can help change the world—for the better!”

“Love prevails as the vehicle in the development of the child’s sense of trust in others and in himself, an essential in the growth process to produce emotionally stable individuals.”

“The power of love is so strong in the early years of a child’s life that it can make sick babies well, as its absence can make well babies sick.”

In 1991, the Bishops in the Philippines stated “the Christian family is the first school of discipleship and evangelization where the father and the mother are the first catechists of the children.”

And in 1981 when visiting the Philippines, Pope John Paul II taught that the family is the first seminary.  “The family is the ‘Premium Seminarium,’ the first seminary where the faith is nourished and priestly religious and missionary vocations have their origin.  The family has a special charism for transmitting the Faith…”

(Sheila: The power of love and the wellness described above is easily achieved naturally with the oneness of mother and baby with breastfeeding.)

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