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Cardus Family

"To corrupt family relations is to poison fountains; for the sources of the Common wealth are within the households, and errors there are irretrievable."—Edmund Burke

Family is the first institution we meet. We're born into it. In a transactional world, family is, at its best, where we know others and are known; it is where we are accepted without payment or contract. Family predates the state and the market, and acts as a counterweight to both.

In many ways, family is a lofty and illustrious institution, transmitting values, educating, and loving. Yet it is so mundane and monotonous as to be banal: Few sleep-deprived parents consider between nighttime feedings that their actions are laying the groundwork for a flourishing civil society.

Families are to civil society what water is to fish. Functional families are the medium through which hardworking, stable, and empathetic citizens are made and sustained.

Yet because the family is in such disrepair today, we need to gently remind people through science, faith, and reason that families matter.

Mothers and fathers matter, not just to their children, but to the public spaces we all share.

It is through family that children gain a confident and natural sense of self, and the work of developmental psychologists and sociologists affirms the importance of married, biological parents to children.

Mothers and fathers matter as educators. Even libertarians—who concern themselves far more with individual rights than with family—believe family is the best place for transmitting values and morals.

Economists today are tuning in to the fact that family matters for creating work and having a good work ethic. Studies show, furthermore, that family breakdown costs the economy and the government.

Family transmits faith too. In her book How the West Really Lost God, cultural commentator Mary Eberstadt remarks that the loss of family may precede the loss of faith in the Western world.

Today, for much of the population, the idea of family as warm, accepting, and stable institution rings hollow. We don't marry as much anymore. We have dwindling fertility rates. We are insecure, anxious, and socially isolated.

And yet home has long been tied to where the heart is. Home is something we yearn to recover and re-create. Theologically, as Augustine wrote, our restless yearning is analogous to our desire for God. But on this earth, the place where we cease wandering as foreigners and are welcomed in recognition and love is with our family.

A thriving social architecture, less social isolation, the pursuit of vocations all begin in healthy homes that put us in good stead to face an often cruel, always fallen world.

Press Inquiries

Reporters and newsdesks seeking photos, videos, and other promotional material should contact:
Daniel Proussalidis, Director of Communications
613.241.4500 x 508

Meet the Program Director

Andrea Mrozek is Program Director of Cardus Family.

Prior to joining Cardus, she was the Executive Director at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada where she wrote and spoke about marriage, child care, women's issues and how family life affects the economy, and vice versa. She is the author of a number of influential pieces including Private Choices, Public Costs: How Failing Families Cost Us All about the national public costs of family breakdown, and The Cost of a Free Lunch: The Real Costs of the Pascal Early Learning Plan for Ontario.

Her opinion pieces have appeared in the National Post, Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Montreal Gazette, Toronto Sun and the Ottawa Citizen, among others, and she's frequently a guest on TV and radio shows across Canada.

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