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Father Flanagan Quotes

Father Edward Flanagan for many years carried on a public dialogue dealing with his revolutionary views on child-care issues through speaking engagements, radio broadcasts, newspaper editorials, magazine articles and personal correspondence. The following “Famous Sayings” are but a small portion of Father Flanagan’s writings:

“There are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking.”

“When parents fail to do their job, when they allow their children to run the streets and keep bad company, when they fail to provide them with good examples in the home, then the parents and not the children are delinquent.”

“The poor, innocent, unfortunate little children belong to us, and it is our problem to give them every chance to develop into good men and good women.”

“Without God at the beginning, there can be only confusion at the end.”

“A true religious training for children is most essential if we are to expect to develop them into good men and good women – worthy citizens of our great country.”

“No race that does not take care of its young can hope to survive – or deserves to survive.”

“Our country needs good men and good women who have learned to love God above all things, and their fellow man for the love of God.”

“There is nothing the matter with our growing boys that love, proper training, and guidance will not remedy.”

“I do not believe that a child can be reformed by lock and key and bars, or that fear can ever develop a child’s character.”

“It costs so little to teach a child to love, and so much to teach him to hate.”

“I have yet to find a single boy who wants to be bad.”

“A boy given the proper guidance and direction – kept busy and constructively occupied during their leisure or free time – will prove my statement that there is no such thing as a bad boy.”

“I feel that school buildings throughout the nation which stand idle after school hours are a waste of available space and the taxpayer’s money when constructive programs could be offered through their intelligent utilization.”

“Rehabilitation needs greater emphasis, punishment less.”

“I know when the idea of a boys’ home grew in my mind, I never thought of anything remarkable about taking in all of the races and all of the creeds. To me, they are all God’s children. They are my brothers. They are children of God. I must protect them to the best of my ability.”

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