“Children need a Family” was the title of the Family Day celebration at St Mary’s primary school.  Mrs Johnson knew that the majority of children in Southern Africa are not living with both their biological parents throughout their childhood years.  She knew too, through recent sociological research, that a family based on marriage between a man and a woman with two or more children is ideally the most successful type of family. She thought, “that is what the church believes and I agree, except I am not sure about the two children.” She got all the children to draw a picture of the particular kind of family they would like to have and wasn’t at all surprised at the variety and kind of pictures she got, and she realised there was a lot of healing work to do.

In giving origin to a new life, parents recognize that the child, as the fruit of their mutual gift of love, is, in turn, a gift for both of them, a gift which flows from them. (Evangelium Vitae 92).  Pope Francis: Every child has a right to receive love from a mother and a father: both are necessary for a child’s integral and harmonious development. They show their children the maternal and paternal face of the Lord. Together they teach the value of reciprocity, respect for differences and of being able to give and take.  If for some inevitable reason one parent should be lacking, it is important to compensate for this loss.   AL172.