Obligated and Well-Adjusted

Duty-bound children become depression-free teens.

A new study indicates that children taught a strong sense of family obligation by their fathers do better as teenagers than their less-obligated peers. Released in the Journal of Family Psychology, the research showed that 14-year-olds who reported a greater sense of familial duty presented fewer symptoms of depression two years later. Study authors Linda Juang and Jeffrey Cookston, both associate professors of psychology at San Francisco State University, described obligation with examples such as caring for younger siblings and helping older relatives. Which brings to mind some recent words of Pope Benedict to young Catholics: “There is a need for young people who will allow God’s love to burn within them and who will respond generously to his urgent call, just as many young blesseds and saints did in the past and also in more recent times.”

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.