Cardijn Community Australia (CCA) founder Kevin Vaughan is raising awareness of the importance of fatherhood and supporting men separated from their children.

Kevin says that so many children in our community are raised without their dads, a tragedy for the children and their fathers since “there is a natural love between a father and his children”, Kairos magazine reports.

Kevin started a Cardijn group in his parish at St Anne’s, Seaford, three years ago in Melbourne’s south. The group became interested in tackling the issue of fatherless families when parish priest Fr John Madden alerted members that 42 children from single-parent families within the parish were getting breakfast only three times a week.

The group attempted several initiatives, including setting up a scheme whereby men could become male role models for fatherless children in the parish.

Kevin says, “We concluded that the child’s father is the best male role model for a child.” The group then began to focus on why separation happens and ways to support those who want to remain part of their children’s lives or reconnect with estranged children.

Kevin also started working with Fr Peter Carrucan at St Augustine’s Church in the city centre of Melbourne, where he has begun a drop-in centre for separated dads.

“One guy told me he hadn’t seen his children for 11 years,” Fr Peter said. “Then, out of nowhere comes a letter from his daughter, who was 10 when he last saw her, inviting him to her 21st birthday, so he is delighted. I think some men listen to the wrong voices. They put off contacting their children.

“Maybe it is fear that they might be rejected.”

Supporting separated dads (Kairos, August 2011)

Fr Carrucan (left) and Kevin Vaughan with a picture of Cardinal Cardijn.

Kevin belongs to a Cardijn group in his St Anne’s, Seaford parish.

By Editor

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