For Immediate Release

Third annual Candlelight Vigil at Church of the Presidents in Quincy

BOSTON, December 18, 1998 Local father's rights advocates from CPF-The Fatherhood Coalition will be joined by advocates from across the state, New Hampshire and Maine, in the third annual Candlelight Vigil for children separated from their parents due to the destructive practices of family courts and other government agencies.

The vigil will commence Saturday, Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. at Quincy District Court. The advocates will walk in candlelight procession to the historic Church of the Presidents, where several speakers will address the crowd. A reception will be held at the Community Room, 95 Martensen Street following the vigil at 6 p.m. This year the Fatherhood Coalition is joined by Fathers and Families, another Massachusetts's father's rights organization, Maine Dads, and Parent Support Group from Cape Cod. Parent Support Group was formed last year by Barnstable Village mom Nev Moore, to address the family-invasive practices of the state's Department of Social Services.


Reverend Harry Stewart, director of the Fatherhood Coalition's South Shore chapter, is organizing the vigil. Stewart, a father of two boys, has been the focus of numerous court protests at Quincy District Court over the past two years. He lost custody of his children, and like thousands of other fathers in divorce/custody litigation, had contact with his children criminalized by allegations of "domestic abuse" used to secure fraudulent chapter 209A abuse protection (restraining) orders. No allegations of violence have ever been made against Stewart. Fatherhood Coalition spokesman Mark Charalambous claims "the Stewart case is a textbook example of restraining order abuse, and highlights the urgent need for reform of the state’s domestic abuse prevention law and policies."


Public awareness of the link between the rise in fatherless children and anti-social behavior of teenagers and young adults is beginning to emerge. A recent study reported in the Wall Street Journal examined the relation between family structure and serious crime using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth as a database. Cynthia Harper from UC San Francisco and Princeton's Sara McLanahann, one of the nation's top family scholars, studied records of 6,403 boys who were between 14 and 22 in 1979. Controlling for variables such as mother's education, race, family income and number of siblings, and unemployment rates and income in the communities, the researches found:

According to a 1993 report of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, fatherless children are five times more likely to live in poverty, and three times more likely to fail school or drop out, compared to children who live with both parents. # # #


For further information, contact:


Mark Charalambous

(978) 840-0268

Harry Stewart

(617) 376-9987

CPF / The Fatherhood Coalition
14 Beacon Street, Suite 421 Boston, MA 02108 617-723-3237

A non-profit, all volunteer organization of men and women advocating for fatherhood since 1994