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Fr. Tony



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Dear brothers and sisters, and the viewers of this web site, I am Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade better  known as Fr. Tony Andrade. I was born and brought up in Barkur. My primary education was in Barkur. In 1980 I joined the seminary to become priest and was ordained to the Holy Order of priesthood on the 19th of December, 1992. I served a short period of time in Bangalore (India) and then went to the USA to serve in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota. Presently I am the parish priest of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church located in St. Paul, Minnesota (visit our web site:-

I Hope and pray this column "Spiritual Corner" will inspire many viewers of our web site. As all of us know the need of spirituality in our daily life. We walk our faith journey trusting in God our creator and we are certain one day we will meet our creator God in Heaven. Meanwhile here on earth we need good insights to enlighten our minds and hearts in our spiritual life. in this column I will write articles which will be short and precise that may help our interested viewers to reflect on their own spirituality. I welcome others also to share their articles and reflections. This column is open to all the faith denominations. What is important is that we inspire each other on our own spiritual journey.

My sincere thanks to Kishoo de Barkur, the designer of this beautiful web site, and for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and reflection on our web site.

Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade

Television in the Family

Television is an inescapable part of family life and children’s lives in particular. The impact of television viewing on children depends on the individual family structure. For example:

a) The Laissez - Faire family, where there is very little parent-parent or parent-child relationship or dialogue. In these families children could be more influenced by media, friends and peer groups outside the house.

b) Protective families, where children are carefully protected from all external influence, with very strict rules and regulations.

c) Open-loving families where genuine love (which is also expressed) combined with reason, faith and an openness to life, creates an environment of friendship, trust and dialogue.

There are also other factors like social class, peer pressure, school, local neighborhood, and other individual differences which will make an impression on how the child will develop.

Parents, teachers and other adults interested in the growth and welfare of children can influence their television viewing behavior and its impact on them. Often children and youngsters learn patterns of television viewing from their parents. If parents adopt responsible attitudes towards their own viewing, they act as role models for their children. But if a parent spends long hours in front of the television, he or she cannot but negatively influence the child. Parents should also work to discourage children from viewing television alone for long hours, set bedtime limits, and also restrict the viewing of “adult” or “offensive” and other late night shows. Children should be encouraged to watch programs considered educational, good entertainment or programs suited to their age. This type of guidance will increase their interest in better programs. One universal impact of the TV media is the loss of childhood. Many of our children today, think, act and even speak like adults.

Children of St. Thomas the Apostle Church watch TV with their teachers

Watching television with children can be very effective in influencing what and how they view a program. Parents need to talk to children about individual programs. By encouraging discussions about televised material, parents can help their offspring to clarify and interpret character behavior, types of programs, biased information, and stereotyping (gender, religion, etc); thus helping them to distinguish between fantasy and reality or how close to truth the program or statements are. Parents can explain the meaning of television advertisements, deconstruct media violence, and help them observe hidden negative values. They can explain how such programs are produced or comment about the morality of the characters and their suitability as role models and actively discourage the imitation of negative or harmful television portrayals. Parents can also show they value opinions their children might have about individual programs. Watching television with children could turn out to be a great fun-filled-activity.

Such discussions may also be useful to the family in developing a critical sense about culture. The family could analyze advertisements and the consumerism they propagate, discuss body or beauty obsession, or gender equality. This type of discussion may also help to diminish the generation gap. Parents have to cultivate the habit of discussing with children at a very early age. According to Pierre Babin, watching television actively together can provide young people with the opportunity to narrate their experiences to their parents. In return parents will also be able to tell their own story and affirm their values and beliefs without lecturing. Television can also act as a catalyst for action. Reacting to an evening news program, families could plan to do something or even write a letter to a newspaper editor. We should also learn to praise good programs and criticize negative programs by writing to the people concerned or by talking about them.

By offering guidance to children about how much to watch, when to watch television programs and by discussing these programs, parents can help their children to become critical consumers of media messages and products and hence resistant to any potential harmful effects. Parents should also help children cultivate good reading habits and encourage their interest in art forms such as; painting, music, dance or drama.

I shall conclude with the words of Pierre Babin: “It is family’s task to balance the television images, those venerable icons of our culture, with a strong and vibrant family life. The hypnotic power that television possesses is in inverse proportion to the loving contact provided by the family circle. It is for the family to choose what role television will play in family relationships, and how it will respond to that medium.”

Fr. Tony Andrade.


Barkur, located in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka, India. 576 210

Copyright Kishoo, Barkur 2002.