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The RoundTable


Winter 1992

Major Articles

  • The Child’s Name is “Today” – Project Respond
  • Wishes, Hopes and Dreams – Peaceful Cave People
  • Jesus in the Rye – Ellen Rehg
  • Coco: Portrait of a Young Man – Mary Dutcher
  • Secret Pockets of Terror – Sharon McMullen

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Regular Features

  • Cover –Photo by Mev Puleo
  • Why This Issue – Virginia Druhe
  • Centerfold – Fourth Grade Reflections, Photos by Mev Puleo
  • From Latin America – Dave Schenk
  • From Little House - Mary Ann McGivern, SL
  • From Karen House – Katrina Plato
  • RoundTable Talk – Jim Plato

Why This Issue:

There are feminists who claim that sexism is the root human oppression; that slavery and all class and race oppressions are replications in society of this first, homebound hierarchy. I have found this idea interesting and revealing -but not entirely convincing. Instead, I have come to believe that childhood is the root oppression; that it is this necessary and universal experience of powerlessness under apparently absolute and arbitrary adult power that often shapes our lifelong relationship to the use or abuse of power.


Ellen Rehg says childhood is important for humanity because it is one of the few things we have in common. Ellen has also said that the infant is like God because the only power it has is to provoke love. Any parent knows the unimaginable strength of this love. Statistics on child abuse reveal its volatility.


Jesus says children are important because they reveal the reign of God. We do well, then, to strain to know the child as our equal and to know the world as the child knows it. What would our world be like, I wonder, if it were shaped by children's values and perceptions? I expect it would be a funnier and safer place for US all. At any rate, Jesus suggests both that we are called to a radical conversion in our relationship to the child, and that the child prefigures our restored relationship with God.


These are the questions and realities we try to explore in this issue. We are fortunate that children were willing to collaborate with us in this process. Their poetry, reflections and drawings are throughout these pages. The staff of Project RESPOND provide a sociological review of children's realities in St. Louis and globally. Ellen Rehg reflects richly on the role of the child in the Gospel. Sharon McMullen-Orlet helps us explore the psychological impact of domestic violence on children's minds and hearts.


The decision to focus this issue of The Round Table on the child in our world was made before our friend Coco Terry was murdered this fall. Mary Dutcher rejoins us in these pages to remember this gentle young man, and_ to serve as a very singular and personal reminder of the vital importance of the crisis facing children today.

-Virginia Druhe



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