Technology is taking over young people’s lives and contributing to the disintegration of the family unit, a respected Capuchin Brother from Cork has warned.
Cork native Brother Kevin Crowley works with the Capuchin Brothers Day Centre in Dublin, which provides a lifeline service for those without shelter and in need of food and infant supplies.
Pope Francis travelled to the centre where he paid tribute to the dignity of the homeless and to its staff.
“The Pope brought a message of peace, tranquillity and prayerfulness,” said Brother Kevin.
“He also spoke of the importance of prayer in the home from a young age, and like him, I would be a big believer in that.
“That is what is wrong with young people today in some ways: prayer has gone out of the home,” he added.
“If parents in the home cannot provide an atmosphere of prayer, their children will not embrace it. The rosary, going to Mass, they all seem to be gone now in many families.”
Modern technology has taken over, according to Brother Kevin, who spoke of the negative impact this can have.
“Children now receive computers and phones from a very young age and it’s destroying their lives,” he said.
“The Pope emphasised the importance of spirit from an early age and many seem to be losing that,” he added.
Brother Kevin said meeting the Pope was an extraordinary moment, for both the Brothers at the centre and its users.
“To witness the Pope arrive and visit the people at the centre was just fantastic.
“Meeting him was unbelievable,” he added.
“It was like Christ himself had appeared in the centre, such is his presence.
“He spoke about how God had a great love for all of the people in the centre, and he said he would be praying for them.”
The Capuchin centre provides an important service in Dublin where homelessness is a major issue. The centre currently feeds scores of hungry people every day, while up to 1,600 people queue for food parcels there weekly.
Brother Kevin, a co-director of the centre, said: “It is very sad to think that little children have to go back to hostels in the evening time when they leave our centre.”
Br Kevin, who is originally from Cork, founded the Capuchin Day Centre in 1969 and has worked tirelessly since to feed and clothe some of Ireland’s most disadvantaged people.
This story originally appeared in the Evening Echo