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District Superior's
Letter to Friends & Benefactors

March 2008

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

As the system of Christian dogma is ever more abandoned by the “civilized” world, it should not surprise us that morals have also rapidly disintegrated. Truth is the life of the mind and when it is abandoned the mind becomes diseased and decays. The modern mind, by throwing aside Christian principles, has opened itself to the disease of false principles and therefore is unable to think clearly or coherently in the metaphysical or spiritual spheres. With the decay of thought values there soon follows the decay of moral values.

It is, however, surprising to see that many, who strive to cling to the Christian faith and its practice, are also affected by this dissolution of faith and morals. Christian principles, which alone can give stability to all elements of society, are put aside or at least watered down to avoid the conflict caused by going against the modern trend of “political correctness”. This causes a dulling of minds with the result that things which ought to shock peoples’ tastes and feelings no longer do so.

The change produced in society would be bad enough if man alone was affected, but the effect is much more disastrous when woman comes under the influence of false principles, for she remains the fountain of life, not only in a physical, but more importantly in a moral and spiritual sense. Because of her sensibility and adaptability, the danger of being swayed by fashions of thought or thoughtlessness is greater for her.

When fundamental principles are not clearly defined and those disputing have unsound or incorrect views regarding the ultimate values of life, such controversies are difficult to settle mainly because there are some elements of truth on both sides. In order to define these fundamental principles we must first clearly understand the end to be aimed at in this life. Any discussion would be fruitless unless we understand rightly the function that woman, by her nature, with all its physical, moral and mental gifts, is called on to fulfill in the world and what contribution to the good of the human race she has been aptly fit for.

To understand the true role woman has to play in the world we must go back to the origin of things to see what Almighty God, the Author of Nature, has destined her for. The book of Genesis tells us that God made woman to be a helpmate for man. This being so, it is unnatural and therefore bad for her to be a rival of or an echo of man. As a helpmate, she should be able to have an intelligent and sympathetic interest in his work and the difficulties to which it gives rise, without usurping his place. For this reason she may and ought to have knowledge of all the subjects that ordinarily enter into the intellectual formation of men. But, while studying the same subjects, her study should be in a different way and for another purpose. It must be more cultural than competitive, with a bias towards the practical arts and accomplishments needed for the management of the home.

We also read in Genesis that Almighty God has said that women shall be saved by childbearing. Here we see an indication of the maternal instinct that is present in all women. Not all women will be married, but even in the virgin this maternal instinct exists and therefore must be fostered, not stifled, in her education, and directed toward the care of the weak, the suffering, the wayward and all who are in need of sympathy, insight and understanding. The maternal instinct is not just for the care of children, it also moves a woman to stimulate the fading energies in the man whose courage in life’s struggles is failing, or to encourage to high endeavors one whose lack of confidence in his own powers threatens to make him a traitor to himself and to his destiny. The motherly instinct will cause a woman to cherish greatness of an intellectual, moral or artistic kind in those entrusted to her, and move her to stir in them the efforts that are needed for success. Thus she must possess dignity, sweetness, self-restraint, objectivity and the power of giving.

Man’s greatness is always of a conquering nature —it lies in acquisition. Woman’s greatness lies in giving and securing around her life and its expansion. She grows by inspiring vitality. In contact with her, things take life, for she is, in the design of Providence, the source of life. From this the virgin finds her motherhood. The true woman must have the grace, modesty and restraint of the virgin combined with the dignity, tenderness and devotedness of the mother. Here lies her perfection and her true beauty. How significant it is that the Blessed Virgin Mary, the ideal woman, was both Virgin and Mother.

But today this beauty is no longer coveted by modern woman. Spurred on by false economic principles and fostered by the modern educational system, she has become selfish. Selfishness ruins her nature, because it conflicts with her natural disposition of self-sacrifice. Her role in life calls upon her to be a universalist. Because every woman has the nature of mother in her, she must be an educationist, an economist, a doctor, a nurse and a hundred other things to be truly successful. Specialized study does not equip her for her task. She must study to be wise. She must be ready to concretely handle all the different problems of life, whether physical, mental, moral or religious, through the exercise of practical and rapid intuitions. Man studies to be learned and dominates by force and intelligence, a woman by tenderness and devotedness. Initiative suits the man: adaptability is called for in the woman. Her universality, her concrete logic, her practical common-sense and dislike for abstraction, are required to maintain the equilibrium which could easily be lost by the specialization, and therefore narrowness, in any given department of life.

The modern educational system has been consciously set up to educate girls the same way as boys. The intent is to eliminate as much as possible the psychological and physiological differences between the two sexes. Their studies are given the same objective; their games take on the same selfish and violent spirit, with the passions they engender. Such keen competition helps boys to gain the qualities they will need to succeed in the battle of life, but is unsuited for girls as it tends to rob them of that modesty, reserve, dignity, grace, tenderness, sensibility and devotedness which is proper to their formation as women. A girl should aim at the acquisition of that strength and grace which becomes the woman. Games for her should be for the proper and harmonious development of her physique as a woman and not for the fierce joy of overcoming a rival. It is good to develop in boys the spirit that makes for conquest, but for girls, it should be the spirit of helpfulness. Education is training for life, which in nature’s scheme is different for men and women. The harmony of the world is lost when it is composed of men and would-be men.

Behind this false trend in education is also the false notion asserting equality between men and women. There is only one sense in which they are equal and that is found in their calling to the same destiny —the Beatific Vision. Here there is a common standard —sanctifying grace. Woman is greater, less than or equal to man according to the measure of grace in the soul. Men and women are not meant to be equal in any other sense of the word. It would be a pity if they were. For the good of the human race, it is quite necessary that they should be different and equipped with complimentary qualities. There is no common standard of measurement as reference. Apples are not equal to oranges or to plums.

Intellectually, women are endowed otherwise than men. Generally, as a rule, man’s intellect works to conclusions by a process of reasoning, whereas woman’s works more by intuition. Man excels at seizing principles and making abstract conclusions, while woman excels more in attention to detail and concrete conclusions. Man as a rule excels in invention, woman in arrangement and adaptation. Man looks to the building of the city, while woman looks to the building of the home. Which is the more important work? The feminist will say: “the work that man claims for himself the building of the city.” Yet the city is there for the interests of the home and not vice-a-versa. How dull the world would be if there were a simple, clear cut, mathematical equality in the physical and mental endowments of men and women. From the dissimilarity of the sexes there is derived the richness, variety and mystery of human life.

The truly great woman is the one who diffuses light in the home, who calls forth worth and goodness in those around her, who is the inspiration of brave undertakings, who fosters idealism, who sustains the weakening arms, who takes away tears or dries them, who creates high moral tradition, who civilizes society and increases the sum of happiness in the world; who, in a word, dominates by wisdom, goodness and sound vision, not by force and by rivaling men in the domains where they are expected to excel. The true woman strives for the ideal of womanhood, not that of manhood.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, stands as the perfect model of womanly achievement, of gracious motherhood, and of fruitful virginity. Girls should be trained and educated so as to help them mirror in themselves the excellence of her womanly character. It is only to the degree that they do so that they can truly become the great women that today’s world needs.

Sincerely in Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother Mary,

Fr. John D. Fullerton

 
 

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