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The Keeping It Catholic Chronicles
NEW! Keeping It Catholic - the Blog!
SAMPLES: The Age of Mary
+++Catholic Study Guide for Homeschoolers!
+++Home Education Guides: What Catholic Hsing Moms Asked For!
+++Keepsake Collection of Recipes
+++Another Reason to Homeschool: #1,001
+++Aragorn: The Catholic Monarch?
+++Are We Good Thieves or Bad Thieves?
+++(A) Baby & Her Parents Need Your Help
+++(The) Catholic-But Syndrome
+++Charlotte Church - The New Material Girl?
+++Charlotte Mason: For Whose Sake?
+++Courageous Expose - EWTN: A Network Gone Wrong (Review) - Nice People & Beautiful Things in the World
+++Deadline Date for Terri: Done on Purpose?
+++England's New Grading System: Politically Correct to the
+++FATIMA: Still in Eclipse
+++FATIMA: The Most Important Part is Still Missing
+++FATIMA: One Secret, Three Parts
+++FATIMA and the King of France: Do We Have Less than 10 Years Left?
+++FATIMA: The Question of Consecration
+++(The) Feast of St. Joseph - with Prayers
+++Flight to Narnia - Delayed
+++Flower of the Catholic City
+++For the Italians!
+++Guidelines: Ohio
+++His Holy Father or My Highness?
+++Home & Family Life: The (Almighty) Schedule
+++Homeschooling = Child Abuse?
+++How Long, O Lord?
+++In the Name of Christ the King!
+++Is There Life after Homeschooling?
+++Jesus' Charitable Warning
+++Keeping It Catholic on the Net!
+++(The) Last Catholic Emperor
+++Little Lessons & Christmas Memories
+++MEN!!!! Pt 1, Missing in [Catholic] Action - Chivalry
+++MEN!!! Pt. 2, I Bid You Stand, Men of the West!
+++Michael Schiavo's Slip-Up
+++Moving Meditation on the Messiah: The Passion of the Christ
+++Not a Blitz, But a Blackout (Terri and the Catholic Media)
+++Open Letter to Homeschool Resisters
+++Pope's Death: What God in His Mercy is Telling Us
+++Part 1 - Is Homeschooling Disobedient to the Church?
+++Part 2 - Lynn's Letter on Homeschooling
+++Part 3 - Fr.Stravinskas’ Problems with Homeschooling
+++Part 4 - A
+++Pope's Death: President Orders Flags at Half-Mast
+++RED FLAG: Blessed are We
+++RED FLAG: Catholic Insights into Montessori Education
+++RETREAT 1: Importance of Meditation on the Passion
+++RETREAT 2: Saints' Love of Christ's Passion
+++RETREAT 3: Devotion to the Passion
+++RETREAT 4: The Charity of God
+++RETREAT 5: The Judas Factor
+++RETREAT 6 : The Lamb of God
+++RETREAT 7: The Paschal Supper
+++RETREAT 8: Jesus' Farewell
+++RETREAT 9: In the Garden of Gethsemane
+++RETREAT 10: Ecce Homo!
+++RETREAT 11: After the Crucifixion
+++RETREAT 12: Christ and His Mystical Body
+++Rosary Novena
+++(The) Secrets of Catholic Homeschooling
+++September: A Holy Month to Start Homeschooling
+++Terri Schindler Schiavo: American Martyr
+++Terri Schindler Schiavo - With God, All Things are Possible
+++Today is the 1st Day (of the Rest of this Blog!)
Books by Marianna Bartold
Catholic Home Education Guides
Keeping It Catholic - with Marianna Bartold
December 9, 2005
Flight to Narnia - Delayed
Christmas is right around the corner but, this year, we've successfully found a way to avoid the hustle and bustle of the season.

We got sick.

Now, seriously, folks, we really do "keep the Christ in Christmas," always remembering that "Jesus is the reason for the season." Advent began beautifully with the right intentions and a good Confession. Still, one has to admit forced inactivity really makes one meditate...or offer it up...or, barring that, stew. I don't think I'm stewing so much as meditating. Really.

I have to admit it's not too hard on me to stay at home because I don't enjoy flitting here and there...not anymore. I can't figure out if it's being over 30 (ok - 40!), approaching old age, fibromyalgia, or just plain exhaustion from motherhood. It's probably a combination of all those things. When I look back and think of what I used to do, even 10 years ago, compared to what I can handle now...I get tired all over again!

Living the life of "old-fashioned" mom (meaning "stay-at-home") but also being "eccentric" (because I homeschool) has lefts its effects not only on my children but on me, too.

For example, I don't watch television. I never really thought about it too much until my mother began to live with us. She has her favorite shows, and often tells me of something new coming up on the "telly," even though she knows I'm rarely interested and, even if I was, I wouldn't get a real chance to watch the old boob tube.

Although I eventually came to the conclusion that the family would be better off without a television (although nobody seems to agree with me), the simple fact of the matter is that moms can't watch television even when they want to. Even my mother agrees on that. She often says that she doesn't remember any shows from the 1960's because she was too busy raising us...or bathing us, or batting us away from the front of the television screen she was trying to watch. She eventually gave up, too.

Poor mothers. They really can't watch television. Nobody let's them - not hubby, not the kids, not the family pet. There is always something that needs Mom's attention, even if it is during the only hour per week she would really like to watch a particular show. She may make the attempt, anyway, but she ends up frustrated. She misses important lines due to someone asking a silly question at just the right (or would that be wrong?) moment. Or the phone rings. Or the hubby wants something. Or unexpected company comes.

But all those things happen (sometimes at once!) only during that one hour per week when Mom's favorite television show comes on. When Dad's sports are on, nobody would dare breathe, must less talk. The neighbors don't call. Nobody shows up at the door.

After awhile, I just gave up on television. Truth to tell, televison has a narcotic effect one me - it puts me to sleep, which is really annoying because eventually, one has to raise one's self off the couch and hie herself to her proper sleeping quarters. And all the kids (who, when they were little, were sleeping on or around me) instantly perceived that Mom was moving...and they'd better move with her...right to her bed.

So I found something else to do to entertain myself...I went back to my first love...books. (And, of course, there's always the Net, which is fantastic when you just feel like browsing through web pages...rather like browsing through the library, which was a favorite childhood past-time.)

Still, there are times I really do want to see something special on screen. It happened when "The Lord of the Rings" came out. Once a year, for three years, there was something I really wanted to see at the theatre. (It also gave me the perfect excuse...I mean, re-read the trilogy...and then write a Catholic Study Guide for "The Return of the King.") I really did look forward to getting to the theatre.

It was like that today...after months of waiting, we were at count-down status and Hey-ho for Narnia! But now we must wait a little longer.

It's times like this one wishes Lucy would come to visit and bring her cordial...


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 16:10 EST
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May 1, 2005
A Baby and Her Parents Need Your Help

I've already shared with our KIC List and now wish to share with our "blog" visitors an email post I received this evening. It's about a little baby girl named Charlotte, who was born prematurely and suffered many complications. She is now almost 2 years old, still on oxygen but beginning to thrive, but the courts have decided to rule against her PARENTS - her legal guardians - who want to give her every chance at life.

The doctors were wrong before, not believing the baby would survive this long.They said she was blind and deaf and would always be "unresponsive," but it seems they were wrong about that, too.

Despite these two erroneous medical opinions, the courts have taken away the parents' RIGHTS to make medical decisions for their baby daughter. As it stands now, the hospital has Charlotte on a "Do Not Resuscitate" order, thanks to its intervention with the court! Now Charlotte's parents want to take her home so that they might care for her themselves - and so they face another legal battle. I've been asked to help and I promised I would do everything I could.

Friends, let's open our eyes beyond our own homes and our own country and recognize what is happening around the world.

We all know what happened to Terri Schindler, may God grant eternal rest to her soul. We've heard terrible stories about our elderly who are forced to die, in hospitals, hospices, and nursing care homes. We've heard about elderly couples, wherein one spouse wants his or her ill spouse to live, but family members or hospital personnel unjustly intervene for death - and are succeeding.

For years, we've heard of horrible stories wherein ill or disabled babies are born and left to die in hospitals when their parents didn't want them. Now we have reached a new level, when parents want their ill or disabled child and the hospitals decide otherwise.

We used to think shocking events like these only happened in countries like China. Then, when we first heard about them occuring in our own country, we wanted to believe they were isolated incidents. We couldn't believe it was happening here in the U.S., land of the free and home of the brave. But it has happened and it continues to happen, not just here but around the world.

At this juncture, those targeted are the disabled or the very ill, regardless of age, and the elderly, just because they are elderly. But the truth has made itself manifest, if only we have the eyes to see.

These issues are not, and have not been, circling around "who" is the "legal guardian" of babies, spouses, or other family members. It has become as simple and as heinous as this: Whoever wants the person dead, for whatever reason, is the one who is heeded by the courts.

Do we recall, every day, what Our Lady of Fatima warned would happen if her requests were ignored? "Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, spreading wars and persecutions of the Church...good people will be martyred...various nations will be annihiliated."

I can't forget those words of gentle yet insistent pleading from Our Lady, our very own Mother in heaven. I can't forget that She, in accordance with God's will, gave us the solution FOR OUR TIMES. "I will come to ask that Russia be consecrated to My Immaculate Heart."

Why Russia? Because God knew it is that "poor nation" which would spread atheistic communism throughout the world. For all intents and purposes, what the world is reaping today are the fruits of that false religion. Yes, in case we weren't aware, communism is a "religion" - a "close encounter" of the darkest kind.

Please read about Baby Charlotte. Do whatever you can. If you have your own website, please link to both the KIC blog and to Charlotte's Blog. Send this message on and get the word out!

And pray - pray without ceasing, pray and offer your sacrifices for ALL sinners, and pray for the Pope to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The errors of Russia have, indeed, spread throughout the world. There will be no turn-around for what is just and good and RIGHT until ALL that was asked by Our Lady of Fatima is obeyed. - MCB

Dear Marianna,

Charlotte's parents have almost lost the battle for their daughter's right to life in the courts, and they are now beginning a new fight, to take her from the hospital and bring her home.

We're working to generate awareness for her, as well as to raise money for independent assessment and the medical equipment needed so that she can come home. Would you consider posting about this on your blog, and perhaps linking to Charlotte's site at

thank you so much,

Hannah Maxson

Relevant posts:

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 01:06 EDT
Updated: May 1, 2005 01:10 EDT
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April 30, 2005
For the Italians
Because I'm half Italian (as well as Sicilian and a bit o'Irish), a KIC member, Marian L., sent the following list of characteristics about "doze Italians" and asked:

"Is this true, Marianna?"

My reply: "Absolutimento!"


The true Italians will love this, those of you who are married to Italians will understand this, and those of you who are friends with Italians will remember and will forward it to their Italian friends.


-Italians have a $40,000 kitchen, but use the $259 stove from Sears in the basement to cook.

(Marianna's Comment: I don't know if this still holds true for my generation - the 1960 kids - but it held true for some of the older generation!)

-There is some sort of religious statue in the hallway, living room, bedroom, front porch and backyard.

(Marianna's Comment: Well, maybe not always a statue, but certainly there were religious pictures!)

-The living room is filled with old wedding favors with poofy net bows and stale almonds (they are too pretty to open).

(Marianna's Comment: This is also true. We call them "bombanierre" and we use them not only for wedding favors, but for baptisms, First Holy Communion AND Confirmation celebrations, and wedding showers. And if you've never eaten a fresh candied almond, you DON'T know what you are missing!)

-A portrait of the Pope and Frank Sinatra in the dining room.

(Marianna's Comment: Ok, now that's an exaggeration. We don't have Frank Sinatra's picture in the living room. We might have Dean Martin instead.)

-God forbid if anyone EVER attempted to eat Chef Boy-are-dee, Franco American, Ragu, Prego or anything else in a jar or can (tomato paste is the exception).

(Marianna's Comment: You'd better believe it!)

-Meatballs are made with Pork, Veal and Beef. We are Italians, we don't care about cholesterol.

(Marianna's Comment: And with today's low-carb life-style, you don't need to! Try a meatball made from the double-ground meats above and you will never eat any other kind again!)

-Turkey is served on Thanksgiving, AFTER the manicotti, gnocchi, lasagna and soup.

(Marianna's Comment: Some of us have made minor American adaptions and now we have the turkey WITH our lasagna.)

-If anyone EVER says ES-CAROLE, slap 'em in the face -- it's SHCAROLE.

-If they ever say ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP, let the idiot know that there is no wedding, nor is there an Italian in the soup. Also, the tiny meatballs must be made by hand.

(Marianna's Comment: Oh! That straciatelli! Now THAT's soup!)

-No matter how hard you know you were going to get smacked, you still came home from church after communion, you stuck half a loaf of bread in the sauce pot, snuck out a fried meatball and chowed down you'll make up for it next week at confession.

(Marianna's Comment: None applicable - except for the meatball part. But it was never a matter of sin, because we had already fasted and already received Holy Communion! The problem was not that you would get in trouble with Mom for messing with her dinner. The real trouble was that you wouldn't eat your dinner when it was served, but you'd want those meatballs again when it was bedtime!)

-Sunday dinner was at 1:00. The meal went like this...

-Table is set with everyday dishes...doesn't matter if they don't match... they're clean. What more do you want?

(Marianna's Comment: At my nonna's house, two linen tablecloths were placed on the table. The better one went on the bottom, the every day one on top because somebody was going to splotch the tomato sauce eventually.)

-All the utensils go on the right side of the plate and the napkin goes on the left. Put a clean kitchen towel at Nonno & Papa's plate because they won't use napkins.

(Marianna's Comment: But they would if they are really huge cloth napkins and not the paper variety.)

-Homemade wine and bottles of 7up are on the table.

(Marianna's Comment: Absolutely! And Grandpa and Daddy and the uncles would pick up the bottle of homemade wine and place it against the light so as to comment on its color. Oh, and as for the 7-Up? Think "wine spritzer." Where do you think Riunite got the idea???)

-First course, Antipasto...change plates.

-Next, Macaroni (Nonna called all spaghetti "Macaroni")...change

(Marianna's Comment: My mother informs me that when she and my father were first married, he actually expected her to give him a brand new, clean plate for every course she served. And he expected about 7 courses. She also informs me that she put up with that for about a week. The 7 courses she didn't mind cooking; the 2 stacks of 7 dishes, plus pots and pans, for just the 2 of them, she did.)

-After that, Roasted Meats, Roasted Potatoes, Over-cooked Vegetables...change plates.

-THEN and only then (NEVER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MEAL) would you eat the salad (HOMEMADE OIL & VINEGAR DRESSING ONLY)...change plates.

(Marianna's Comment: I don't know about this…I recall that our family served the salad first, then soup with bread, then the entrees. But even that practice has changed of late at our family get-togethers!)

-Next, Fruit & Nuts - in the shell (on paper plates because you ran out of the other ones).

(Marianna's Comment: To clarify, nuts in the shell were usually almonds and hazelnuts. And if there were oranges on the table, watch out! Some of the men thought it very funny to make use of the orange peels and squirt some unsuspecting child, until one of the mama's protested in righteous indignation. Don't do that to anybody, please – it really hurts!)

-Coffee with Anisette (Espresso for Nonno, "Merican" coffee for the rest)with hard Cookies to dip in the coffee.

(Marianna's Comment: Those "hard cookies" are called biscotti. Say it after me: Biss-coh-tee. Very good! As for the espresso, it was served in wee little cups which we little girls adored. The boy cousins - who outnumbered us - could care less. The espresso also needed about 16 teaspoons of sugar just to be palatable. And one NEVER adds cream to espresso. It just isn't done.)

-The kids go play...the men go to lay down. They slept so soundly you could perform brain surgery on them without anesthesia. The women clean the kitchen.

(Marianna's Comment: And watch the kids who are getting in trouble BECAUSE the men were resting, usually by sitting and talking at the table, or outside in Grandpa's garden and discussing their gardens. It's the watching of the kids, who were all hyped up on shots of espresso and 16 teaspoons of sugar which led to the next 2 Italian characteristics!)

-Getting screamed at by Mom or Nonna - half the sentence was English, the other half Italian.

(Marianna's Comment: We girls didn't get screamed at. Some of the boys did but only by their own mothers. Grandma's just nodded their heads wistfully and smiled knowingly.)

-Italian mothers never threw a baseball in their life, but can nail you in the head with a shoe thrown from the kitchen while you're in the living room.

(Marianna's Comment: Thatsa true. I saw one of my aunts do that once. She missed. Then she laughed.)

-Prom Dress that Zia Ceserina made you...$20.00 for material. Prom hair-do from Cousin Angela...Free. Turning around at prom to see your entire family (including Godparents) standing in the back of the gym...PRICELESS!

(Marianna's Comment: E vero (It's true). Think "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and you'll have a good idea what Italian families are like. As everybody knows, there are two kinds of people in this world: "Doze" who are Italian and "doze" who wanna be...But don't let those Greeks fool you! They stole that line from US! :>

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 10:52 EDT
Updated: April 30, 2005 11:08 EDT
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April 3, 2005
The Pope's Death: What God in His Mercy is Telling Us

I've sent the following message to the list this evening, but it is an introduction to a message of such importance that I also think it's something to share with our blog visitors.

With the passing of Pope John Paul II, Keeping It Catholic sends a message of hope and consolation to each and every one of you. The message comes from Our Lord in His Divine Mercy and His Most Holy Mother, Our Lady of Fatima.

Before sharing the heavenly messages of portent, intended for the entire world, and the most important thing I could share with you, first let us pray for the Holy Father.

Let us not cease praying for him.

Let us pray for his immortal soul, asking God to have mercy on him and to let the perpetual light shine upon him.

I say this because, unfortunately, even the Catholic media - while asking us to join them in prayer for the pope - don't state any specific intentions. They are acting as though the Holy Father went straight to heaven. He very well might have, considering he died on both a First Saturday (dedicated especially to the making reparation for the blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary) and the eve (the vigil) of the Divine Mercy.

But what if he did not and we do not pray for him? What a lack of charity on our parts not to pray for the Vicar of Christ!

We must not forget that God, who is all merciful, is also just. Even as "we hope in His Mercy, we must fear His justice." We must not forget the reality of the afterlife, which consists of heaven, hell and purgatory.

Let us also not forget that each successive Vicar of Christ carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Accepting the responsibility of the office of pope means that each pope has much for which he must answer at his personal judgment. That is one reason why it has long been a practice of the Church to "pray for the intentions of the Holy Father." It means we pray for the pope to teach, govern and sanctify all men through the Catholic Church, according to God's will.

Beginning with my next post, I will further share the "repeated" message which God has sent the world by calling Pope John Paul II from his earthly pilgrimage on a First Saturday and on the eve of the Divine Mercy.

In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother,

Marianna Bartold
We're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at http://www.keepingitcatholic.org
"A dead thing can go with the stream...but only a living thing can go against it."
---G. K. Chesterton

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 22:38 EDT
Updated: April 3, 2005 22:50 EDT
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The Pope's Death: Flags Ordered at Half-Mast

As the whole world knows, the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, died yesterday.

In the United States, it was announced that President Bush will attend the pope's funeral Mass. The president also made the following announcement regarding the U.S. flag lowered to half-mast, so ordered by him in respect for the Holy Father's death:

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

As a mark of respect for His Holiness Pope John Paul II, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on the day of his interment. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty ninth.


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 11:04 EST
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March 31, 2005
Terri Schindler Schiavo: American Martyr

Terri Schindler Schiavo passed away this morning, shortly before 10 a.m. Her mother, father, sister and brother were denied their pleas to be with her as she died. By whom? By Michael Schiavo, Terri's adulterous husband, who lives with his concubine (not his "common law wife," since he never divorced Terri) and by whom he has fathered two children. Michael may think he has triumphed. But Terri's passion makes her a martyr in the right-to-life movement.

We grieve with the Schindlers over Terri's death. We also wish to offer them our loving consolation that her passion was not in vain, and that we will continue to pray for Terri, even as we hope that Our Lord has already received her into the heavenly paradise.

At this sorrowful time, I would like to share a homily, given just 7 days ago on Good Friday, March 25, a day upon which "Our Lord rested on Our Lady's Lap" (The Feast of the Annunciation).

On the Passion of Teresa Marie Schiavo
Good Friday Homily by Rev Francis de Rosa of the Diocese of Arlington VA, USA

Today as we remember the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, I feel compelled to place our meditation within the context of the heart-wrenching drama that has unfolded in our nation since last Friday. In fact it has saturated my spirit and has made this Holy Week for me personally the most painful one in my entire life. I know that I am not the only one with these sentiments, as many have asked the question why in the mystery of God's plan this tragedy has happened this of all weeks.

If it is true that in Christ we live and move and have our being, and if it is true that by baptism we are made members of His Mystical Body; and if it is true that this new status enables us to make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ; if we are to see Christ in other people, especially those who are helpless, then it is absolutely impossible to fail to contemplate what can justly be called the passion of Theresa Marie Schiavo.

The parallels with the Passion of Our Beloved Lord are striking to consider. It is as if Jesus, present in this poor sister of ours, bore again the opprobrium of the world. It is as if, in the mystery of Divine Providence, our nation has acted out during this Holy Week its own passion play. It is as if our nation, through its destruction of this innocent life, were crying out for her blood to be upon us and upon our children.

It is impossible in these events not to detect the spirit that drove Judas to betray Christ: Judas the thief into whose heart the Scriptures tell us Satan entered; Judas the traitor, in the person of Terri's husband, who handed her over to evil men to be killed. In a sense the greatest calamity in all this is the one which has befallen him, for sin resides in and possesses the sinner in a most horrible way. Jesus said: Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin (John 8:34). So it is a strange irony that Terri's husband's last name Schiavo means in Italian slave.

If we turn to the courts in Florida and even the US Supreme Court, they played the part of the evil judges of the Sanhedrin, Pilate and Herod quite capably. For the sake of the law, they confounded the very purpose of the law which is to serve and protect us and not kill us. They preserved their law; they argued about it and discussed it. They wrung their hands and pitied the tragedy. But in the end, they upheld the law of man and condemned an innocent child of God to death as the whole world watched.

They felt very satisfied that they had done the right thing. They talked about respecting her rights even as they ended her life. They followed procedure with great skill and knowledge. Professors from important universities - Harvard, Georgetown - concurred that the judges played by the rules. They murdered Terri Schiavo legally.

And just as our blessed Savior had armed guards sent out to apprehend Him so, too, our sister Terri had armed policemen standing guard outside her nursing home to guarantee the decision of the judges who condemned her to death at the request of her adulterous husband.

I cannot but think also of the parents of Terri and how they have stood at the foot of her cross just as Our Lady did watching her Son die. We know that the Passion of Christ is also called the Compassion of Mary. It is as if Mary were crucified with her Divine Son.

What a terrible sword of pain pierced the hearts of Terri's parents this week! The news reported yesterday that Terri's mother upon entering her dying daughter's room to visit her reeled in agony upon seeing her desiccated and tortured face and fell sick. Terri's siblings tell of how the she looks like a victim of Auschwitz.

Yet Terri's brother-in-law, Brian Schiavo, (who wants to see her dead), declared on national television that she, in fact, looks peaceful! Opinion polls show a sizable percentage of Americans calling this mercy and not murder. This is unspeakable malice. What morally sane person would say such an outrageous thing about a starving person?

These are momentous days for America. The demon of the culture of death has bloated and swelled exponentially as it slaked its thirst with this fresh blood. The Holy Father has said that we are in fact faced with what he calls "an objective conspiracy against life." Was not Terri the subject of a conspiracy involving elements in the legislature, the executive branch and the judiciary, not to mention her traitorous husband? They all conspired and worked together to block any help from coming to her.

The situation, my friends, is grave indeed. Pope John Paul II has written of this, and I quote:

The panorama described needs to be understood not only in terms of the phenomena of death which characterize it but also in the variety of causes which determine it. The Lord's question [to Cain after his murder of Abel]: "What have you done?"(Gen 4:10) seems almost like an invitation addressed to Cain to go beyond the material dimension of his murderous gesture, in order to recognize in it all the gravity of the motives which occasioned it and the consequences which result from it.

Decisions that go against life sometimes arise from difficult or even tragic situations - but today the problem goes far beyond the necessary recognition of these personal situations. It is a problem which exists at the cultural, social and political level, where it reveals its more sinister and disturbing aspect in the tendency, ever more widely shared, to interpret the above crimes against life as legitimate expressions of individual freedom, to be acknowledged and protected as actual rights.

In this way, and with tragic consequences, a long historical process is reaching a turning-point. The process which once led to discovering the idea of "human rights" - rights inherent in every person and prior to any Constitution and State legislation - is today marked by a surprising contradiction. Precisely in an age when the inviolable rights of the person are solemnly proclaimed and the value of life is publicly affirmed, the very right to life is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death.

In the movie The Passion of the Christ there is a well-done and emotional scene depicting Veronica slipping through the hostile crowd to wipe the face of Jesus. As she holds out a cup of cool water to assuage the burning thirst of Our Lord, a Roman soldier suddenly appears and slaps away the cup from her hands just as it reaches Our Lord s lips.

In a scene that will never be effaced from my imagination, I saw on television footage, from outside Terri's nursing home, showing police officers arresting people who tried to enter the nursing home with cups of cool water to moisten Terri's parched lips and mouth.

Three of those arrested were children. They had driven all the way from Texas with their father to stand heroically at the foot of Terri's cross. I saw children handcuffed and forced into police cars because they dared to see Christ thirsting in Terri Schiavo. These brave Christian children didn't need to ask the question posed by Our Lord's disciples, "Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give You to drink?"

Outside the nursing home where Terri is being slowly murdered, there has been kept a constant vigil of people praying. These to me represent the women of Jerusalem who wept for Our Lord. But of course Jesus' words to them apply very well to us: "Weep not for Me but for your children." These words are particularly applicable, because this murder was not done in secret but in broad daylight with the complicity of our judges and legislators. The evil is now deeply infused into our system. It will haunt us and our children.

Terri Schiavo is not simply being killed, she is being mocked. Just as Jesus was challenged to come down from the Cross if He were truly the Messiah, so too was Terri challenged - by talk show hosts, newscasters, neurologists, politicians, attorneys and judges - to prove herself to be a human if, indeed, she were human and not a vegetable.

On Wednesday night, I sat dumbstruck as a US Congressman (Jim Moran (D) Virginia), one claiming to be a Catholic, declared on national television that, when one loses one's cognitive ability, one is no longer a human person. Yet he said it not calmly but in almost in a fit of unprofessional rage that left me wondering why the network didn't clip him off. It was as if her innocence provoked him all the more, to the point of losing his own cognitive ability.

Terri Schiavo has undergone a humiliation before the whole world and with her our entire nation has been degraded and disgraced. Her human dignity has been scourged and mocked and spat upon - not by rough and uncouth Roman soldiers but by modern civilized people with college degrees and high paying jobs; educated people, intelligent people, but evil people.

Our Blessed Savior told His disciples that as He was despised, so they would be despised. Yet still we are Christians, and ultimately nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. We know what really happened on that Hill of Golgotha 2000 years ago. We know that this was not a true victory for the devil. We know that the crucifixion of Our Lord brought about the great outpouring of grace into the sinful world. We know, as only Christians can know, that the gibbet of the Cross is in fact the throne of the King of Kings.

And we know also that in order to be His true disciples we must take up that Cross and follow Him. Placed in this context we understand in a way how the passion of our sister Terri Schiavo was a participation in that of Jesus' own passion and death.

We must not take these events lightly. The powers of darkness are mighty, as was proved by our helplessness before the frightening onslaught of evil this past week. All of our imperial might was confounded and shown impotent to save this one innocent woman who was condemned to death by corrupt judges and lawmakers.

As Americans (and Canadians, I might add) we must not be indifferent to what has happened, for a kingdom cannot last under such terms.

But as Christians, and especially as Catholics, we know that our true citizenship is in another Kingdom, a Kingdom that will never crumble; a Kingdom against which the gates of Hell will not prevail: the Kingdom of God established by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who reigns victorious from the throne of the Cross whose blessed wood we will kiss today.

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 12:27 EST
Updated: March 31, 2005 12:54 EST
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March 30, 2005
Terri Schiavo & the "Catholic But" Syndrome

Have you ever heard of the "Catholic - but" syndrome? It has afflicted individual members of the Catholic Church since time began, and it still afflicts mankind. Last year during Lent, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona reminded his sheep that it was high time to "expunge rationalization from our minds and to root out compromise from our hearts."

For those who might be confused by such an admonition, the "rationalism" of which the bishop spoke against is the belief in the sufficiency of reason without faith.

Rationalism, it could be said, was what caused the fall of Adam and Eve. Our first parents "reasoned" that God could not have meant what He said when He told them that they would surely die if they ate the fruit of one particular tree. They "reasoned" that He had not forbidden them other fruits. Surely, He would understand if they disobeyed. That kind of "rationalism" is a heresy and, therefore, a sin.

Need examples of the "Catholic But" Syndrome? To quote from the bishop's article dated March 24, 2004:

"I am a Catholic businessman but I don?t let the Church influence what I do at the office or in the boardroom;? but Jesus says (Mt 7:21), ?Not everyone who says to me, ?Lord, Lord,? will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.?

?I am a Catholic politician but I don?t let my Catholicism impact on how I vote or what legislation I promote;? but Jesus says (Mt 7:26-27), ?Everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.?

?I am a Catholic physician but I don?t let my faith mold my decisions regarding abortion, contraception, or other medical practices;? but Jesus says (Mt 5:37), ?Let your ?Yes? mean ?Yes,? and your ?No? mean ?No.? Anything more is from the evil one.?

?I am a Catholic talk show host but I don?t let the Church inhibit my right to say whatever I want on the air;? but in the Letter of James, God says (2:17) ?Faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.?

?I am a Catholic priest but I don?t let Magisterial teaching keep me from dissenting from moral or doctrinal points nor let it limit my own ?pastoral solutions?;? but at ordination each priest professes a solemn oath, ?I believe everything contained in God?s Word, written or handed down in tradition and proposed by the Church? I also firmly accept and hold each and every thing that is proposed by the Church definitively regarding teaching on faith and morals.?

The bishop wrote that Lent (and, if I might add, every day of the year) is the time "to kick the 'Catholic but...' out of our own daily lives. It is the time to expunge rationalization from our minds and to root out compromise from our hearts. Lent is the time to say a determined 'No' to the temptation to water down our faith for personal gain. It is the time to say a much larger 'Yes' to Jesus and His Gospel of Life. Lent is the time for Totus Tuus, the the time to renew our commitment to love God with all our mind and heart and strength."

"The 'Catholic but?' syndrome," the bishop wrote, "stands in direct contradiction to Jesus? clear and unequivocal demand (Mk 8:34-36), 'Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?'"

The bishop continued, "The 'Catholic but?' syndrome is not without precedent in history. The fact that Jesus Himself directly and frequently opposed such rationalization shows its prevalence 2000 years ago. How often we are tempted to separate what we do in Church from what we do at home, to isolate what we believe from how we vote or what we do at work or at leisure. How easily we can compartmentalize our lives, thus keeping our adherence to Christ from shaping all that we say and do. This is why the formation of conscience holds such a pivotal role in our effort to grow to full maturity in Christ."

May the bishop's words of truth be a reminder to Catholic Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, the Catholics who sit on the Supreme Court, and any Catholic lawyers, doctors, nurses or other medical personnel who are either key or behind-the-scene players regarding Terri Schindler Schiavo.

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 12:51 EST
Updated: March 30, 2005 14:51 EST
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March 28, 2005
Jesus' Charitable Warning to Government Officials

Ever since Terri Schindler Schiavo?s death passion began, I cannot help but think of her every time I take a glass of water or eat a bit of food. How can anyone who has heard of this tragedy not do so?

Today marks the 11th day of Terri?s judicially-ordered murder by starvation and thirst. Through the grace of God and through strength of will - perhaps given to her by your prayers, fasting and sacrifices - Terri is still with us in this valley of tears. And yet, even among pro-lifers, some will say that it is now too late. Too late, some say, to make any further attempts to save her mortal life, that her bodily organs are probably too far damaged by the denial of food and drink. But this is not the Catholic way to think. Do we or do we not believe that with God all things are possible?

On Easter Sunday, after Michael Schiavo first denied the Schindler?s request that his wife be allowed to receive Holy Communion, Terri was given one drop of Our Lord?s Precious Blood. We can trust that Our Lord is sustaining her by that One Drop, for we Catholics know that Our Lord is wholly present in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity when one of the faithful receives Him under either Species.

On Holy Saturday, Terri?s birth family reported that she still smiles at her mother and that she attempts to speak, even though her voice comes out in a pitifully cracked whisper. Today, on the first Monday of Easter, we must continue to trust that Our Lord continues to strengthen Terri in body and soul since receiving His Precious Blood.

"She's doing remarkably well under the circumstances," said Terri Schiavo's father, Bob Schindler, after visiting his daughter on the afternoon of Holy Saturday. "She has put up a tremendous battle to live. She's not throwing in the towel." Again, if Terri was doing ?remarkably well? before being given Holy Communion, we must trust she is still doing remarkably well after receiving Our Lord.

Still, Terri will die if she is not taken into protective custody. Yet the leading government authorities in this case ? the Governor of Florida and the President of the United States - continue to protest that they cannot help Terri, claiming they have no authority to over-rule the judges.

Like Our Lord, who had no one in authority who could or would help Him, Terri suffers the same kind of injustice. Like Our Lord, there are those who scream for Terri?s death. And like Our Lord, there are those who plead for Terri?s life and who are forced into helplessness once the authorities make their decisions.

Unlike Our Lord's would-be defenders, however, we can still reach the powers-that-be by phone, by fax, by email, and by continuing to peacefully protest at the place of Terri?s passion.

A charitable word of warning to all government authorities in regard to the life of Terri Schiavo: ?You would have no authority over Me if it were not given to you from above.? Those are the very words of Our Lord to the pagan, Pontius Pilate, recorded in the Holy Scriptures for all time. As Catholics know the world over, Pontius Pilate, the Governor of Caesaria, possessed the authority to save Our Lord?s life, but he did not do so for reasons of political expediency. Our Lord also told Pontius Pilate, ?That is why he who handed me over to you is guilty of the greater sin.?

The same warning must be given to the authorities to whom the Schindlers have appealed. The highest authorities in Terri Schiavo's case are the Governor of Florida and the President of the United States. Although President Bush is not a Catholic, he claims to a Christian, one in favor of life. However, his brother, Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, is not only a pro-lifer - he is a Catholic.

As we pray and work to save Terri's life, the question must also be asked: In our charity, will we not also do all that is in our power to save the President and the Governor of Florida from committing the sin of Pontius Pilate on account of the contemporary Pharisees' wiles?

There are still people in this nation, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who believe that our government is a government ?of the people, by the people, and for the people.? That is why those trying to save Terri, as well as those who demand her death, remain outside the hospice where she is enduring a most dreadful agony. They are making their voices heard. So can we.

We, the people, who know that with God all things are possible, and we, the people of the United States, demand that Terri's mortal life is saved today by those who hold the authority to take her into protective custody.

Pray for Terri, study the documents involved, (including the document prepared by Alan Keyes, linked below) and act by contacting all government officials (also listed below) TODAY. If you've already done so, spread the word among those who thirst for justice. Do all that you can, spiritually and temporally, to save Terri's life!

Keeping It Catholic friends and visitors, lest we quail or tire or are tempted to despair in this fight against dark principalies and powers, let us recall Our Lord's words: "That which you do to the least of my brethren, that you do unto Me."

Keeping those words in our minds and hearts, please find below the most pertinent excerpts (which include important links) from a press release made today by Right March and the Society for Truth and Justice. ~MCB


From William Greene, President of RightMarch and Randall Terry, President of Society of Truth and Justice:

1) Governor Jeb Bush has made several statements the last few days, claiming that he doesn't have the constitutional or statutory authority to take Terri into protective custody.

But as we've mentioned before, we *personally* told his people FACE TO FACE that he DOES have that authority: we had a meeting on March 23 between folks from (William Greene and our attorney, Larry Klayman) and Governor Bush's chief counsel (his top lawyer on staff). Then we had a meeting on March 24 between our folks (this time, Larry Klayman AND Ambassador Alan Keyes) and Gov. Bush's Chief of Staff.

Both times, we presented information on why the Governor DOES have the authority RIGHT NOW under Florida Law and the Florida constitution to take Terri into protective custody NOW, and save her life.

But Gov. Bush failed to take action. Why? We believe that his staff -- the political cronies that he has surrounded himself with -- have NOT given him the documents we provided. They just smirked and gave us political platitudes, acting like they were doing US some big favor by granting us five minutes of their valuable time. Then they walked off, apparently tossing Dr. Keyes' well-researched documents into the trash when they got back to their spacious corner offices.

These people are more interested in protecting their political careers than saving Terri's life. So it's time for US to turn up the heat on them, and DEMAND that they deliver the documents that Gov. Bush NEEDS -- so he can save Terri Schiavo.

Ambassador Keyes and Larry Klayman are STILL willing to meet with the Governor, or to have a conference call to explain his authority, and his DUTY.

We need EVERYONE READING THIS MESSAGE to call Governor Bush's lead counsel and chief of staff RIGHT AWAY, and tell them to do one simple thing:


Call, fax or e-mail now:

Raquel Rodriguez, General Counsel
Office: 850-488-3494
FAX: 850-488-9810

William Large, Deputy Chief of Staff
Office: 850-488-5603
FAX: 850-922-4292

Also contact Gov. Bush and ask him to read the documents:

Governor Jeb Bush
Office: 850-488-4441
FAX: 850-487-0801

(If you get busy signals, or full mailboxes, or unanswered fax machines, please know that these ARE the correct numbers and addresses. Just keep trying, if you can.)

You can click below to read -- AND USE -- Alan Keyes' documentation that explains to Gov. Jeb Bush that he has the legal authority to save Terri Schiavo...the SAME document that we delivered to Gov. Bush's staff:

2) On Monday, we'll be sending several representatives up to Washington, D.C., to confront House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Congressman Tom DeLay, asking them to explain why they have not enforced the subpoenas issued by Congress to Terri Schiavo.

Our people will also urge Congress to find Florida Probate Judge George Greer in contempt for deliberately IGNORING Terri Schiavo's subpoena.

Call, fax or e-mail Reps. Hastert and DeLay now, urging them to enforce the Congressional subpoenas and to hold Judge Greer in contempt -- and to therefore order the re-insertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube... and ask President Bush to order the Department of Justice to move in to save Terri:

Representative J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL)
Office: 202-225-2976
FAX: 202-225-0697

Representative Tom DeLay (R-TX)
Office: 202-225-5951
FAX: 202-225-5241

President George W. Bush
White House: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

As long as Terri has breath in her body, IT'S NOT TOO LATE to save her from starving to death. Her family hasn't given up hope... so NEITHER SHOULD WE.


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 12:46 EST
Updated: March 28, 2005 14:00 EST
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March 23, 2005
How Long, O Lord?

Easter will soon be here but, before Easter, there is always Good Friday. On this Good Friday of the Year of Our Lord 2005, Keeping It Catholic asks you to continue your efforts on behalf of Terri Schindler Schiavo.

Yesterday, ?big? news media were finally paying attention to the Schindler family?s questions regarding why Terri collapsed, which ultimately lead to the question of why Michael Schiavo must be investigated. Despite all that, the courts again ruled against the Schindlers, Terri's parents and siblings who are desperately trying to save her life and all those who are disabled. And they will again appeal.

As her family battles for her life, and as the courts continue to stall, Terri is fast approaching 100 hours of thirst and starvation. It is a well-known medical fact that people who suffer this kind of torturous death die within 7 days to 2 weeks. But before all that, they suffer in the most cruelly inhuman ways.

How long, O Lord? How much more must Terri suffer before President Bush intervenes and takes her into protective custody?

Let us pray for the special intercession of St. Maximilian Kolbe - who suffered 2 weeks of the same fate that Terri now suffers. While all the other prisoners condemned with him died, St. Maximilian somehow struggled on - and we Catholics know that he must have been kept alive only through God's Will. In the end, the Nazis could no longer endure the saint's endurance and put him to death, via an injection of carbolic acid, on the eve of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Let us pray that Terri is spared any more immoral interference in her life by those who wish to end her life. Let us pray that President Bush does the right thing TODAY.

To that end, again - pray, study and ACT. Please call or fax the president this very moment!

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 09:34 EST
Updated: April 3, 2005 11:16 EST
March 21, 2005
Finally, an Admission: Michael Schiavo's Slip-Up

Thanks to Keeping It Catholic Contact Mary Ann Kreitzer of Le Femmes for the following information:

On Larry King Live Friday night [March 18, 2005], Michael [Schiavo] made a Freudian slip. When asked if he knew how the Schindlers feel he answered:

M. SCHIAVO: Yes, I do. But this is not about them, it's about Terri. And I've also said that in court. We didn't know what Terri wanted, but this is what we want...


WAKE UP, AMERICA! It's still not too late to save Terri and begin the legal process to investigate Michael Schiavo as the one responsible for Terri Schindler-Schiavo's collapse, as well her current condition.

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 10:32 EST
Updated: March 21, 2005 10:35 EST
March 19, 2005

Today, Keeping It Catholic asks Catholics nationwide to join us as we pray to God, asking for St. Joseph's intercession to defend and preserve the life of Terri Schindler-Schiavo. Please pray these prayers throughout the day, remembering that it is only by prayer and fasting that demons flee and miracles occur. (Matthew 17: 19-21)

To that end, KIC offers the two following prayers that ask for St. Joseph?s special protection:


O glorious St. Joseph, chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus, the most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, and the head of the Holy Family, and recognized as the heavenly patron and protector of the Church founded by Jesus Christ; with the greatest confidence we implore at this time thy powerful aid. Protect in a special manner with thy truly paternal love, the spiritual and earthly life of Terri Schindler-Schiavo, and that of the entire Church Militant. Defend all those who labor in the midst of the afflictions and tribulations of this life, and obtain the willing submission of every nation throughout the world to the Church, the necessary means of salvation for all.

O dearest St. Joseph, be pleased to accept the consecration which I make to thee of myself. I dedicate myself entirely to thee that thou may ever be my father, my protector and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me great purity of heart and a fervent love of the interior life. Grant that after thy examples all my actions may be directed to the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and with thee. Finally, pray for me and mine, and for all those for whom I pray, that we may attain final perseverance. Amen.

THE ST. JOSEPH PRAYER (For a Special Intention)

In asking for the grace that Terri Schindler-Schiavo?s mortal life may be preserved and that she may be healed from all physical affliction, for the greater glory of God, I turn to thee, St. Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary and protector of the innocent.

O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all of my interests and desires.
O St. Joseph
, do assist me through thy powerful intercession and obtain for me from thy Divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged below thy heavenly power, we may offer our thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers.
O St. Joseph, we never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thy arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name, kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.
O St. Joseph
, patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 15:44 EST
Updated: March 19, 2005 15:51 EST
Deadline Date for Terri Schiavo: Was it Done on Purpose?

As most anyone who watches the daily news knows by now, Terri Schindler-Schiavo's feeding tube was removed this afternoon. What else can be said about this travesty of justice that has not already been said? And what other lies about Terri's condition can be bandied about that have not already been uttered? And so - What now?

The buzz on the Net tonight says that the phone lines of senators, congressmen, Supreme Court justices, and other government officials have been consistently busy all day. Some claim that is because the government phones were taken off the hook this afternoon, shortly after Terri's tube was removed. Others allege that their emails to these same influential individuals are bouncing back, because the boxes are full. There are those who claim all of this was done to circumvent those who are intent on saving Terri's life. In other words, they believe it's all been done on purpose.

Speaking of things done "on purpose," is it not possible that Judge Greer set this date, March 18, for a specific reason? After all, it's a Friday. For the most part, government officials "don't do weekends" unless those weeknds benefit their next campaign. And Easter vacation starts early for lots of them. As already stated, many of their email boxes are filled; phone lines are busy for hours. Whether it's because it's a Friday, and everyone left their offices early for the weekend, or because they didn't want to answer their phone lines, or couldn't because they were deluged with calls and faxes, is anyone's guess as this time. But it is Friday - and it seems Judge Greer knew exactly what he was doing.

But back to busy phone signals and clogged email boxes of senators, congressmen, Supreme Court justices, etc. Let's hope that, if true, it's due to people petitioning on behalf of Terri's right to life. Those who are opposed to the right to life may very well be filling up their email boxes, too, urging those with some kind of authority that they should respect Terri's last wishes (known only by the hearsay of her adulterous husband), insisting that she be "allowed to die."

"Allowed to die." That's just a new euphemism for euthanasia enthusiasts.

In the meantime, Terri - an innocent woman - is now suffering dreadful thirst. For all we know, her birth family will not be allowed to be with her during her passion. There's been no word on that, either way, from the Terri's Fight website or any other. In sympathy for Terri, I have purposely taken nothing to drink for a few hours now, and I can tell you that my mouth is parched and my lips are already dry.

But I can get up and get a glass of water any time I wish. Terri can't.

Those of us who stand with Terri's birth family are accused of being religious zealots who only care about Terri because they have political points to make. Amazing, isn't it, about the name-calling that goes on when a moral issue is the real issue? And have you ever noticed, gentle reader, that those calling the names are usually the ones that have their own agenda? It's a case of the pot calling the kettle black, plain and simple.

There's no time to waste in haggling with individuals of that ilk, who are (as usual) showing up on blogs, pro-life email lists, and other public forums (like Free Republic), clogging up Internet space with their fallacious reasoning and their dishonest rhetoric. If you want to help Terri's Fight, please - don't waste your time arguing with those kind of people. Don't worry about the name-callers, the moles or the trolls for now. Instead, put your time to good use.

Keep emailing everyone you can. As I asked before: Fry those phone lines. Burn up the blogs with practical information on how to help save Terri's life. Through it all, keep praying to God, and keep fighting for Terri!

Need contact info? Please scroll down through this blog for more info!

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 01:03 EST
February 22, 2005
In the Name of Christ the King (Not ML King)

Currently, there is an email letter making the rounds on the Net, written by a Mr. Mark Pickup. In his email, Mr. Pickup describes himself as a disabled man, and he writes in the hopes of rousing Americans nationwide to defend Terri Schindler-Schiavo. Keeping It Catholic has received copies of this same email letter, forwarded by Catholics who spend many hours for many good causes.

Mr. Pickup's letter serves its purpose...and yet, something very important has been overlooked by my fellow Catholics - perhaps because in their urgency, they had not thought of it when the email was forwarded to KIC's attention. And so I will say what MUST be said - in defense of a Very Special Person, and as a gentle reminder to other Catholics who may receive the very same letter in their email boxes.

While "Mr. Pickup" is right on target about the right to life irregardless of "disabilities," as well as the need to stand up and help others who cannot defend themselves, Martin Luther King is his obvious theme from his first paragraph. Mr. Pickup's banner is raised in such a way that might make one think it was Mr. King who was the penultimate defender of those who need defending - the sick, the poor, the lame, the blind, the unprotected, the oppressed, the hunted, those who have none to pray for them, and those who have none to love them. One might even get the (wrong) impression that anything done in defense of those treated unjustly is done in the name of the same ML King.

But it was not Martin Luther King who first said, "Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, that you do unto Me." It is not ML King Who said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life..."

In other words, instead of asking, "What does Our Lord expect of us?" or even "What would Jesus Christ do?" (which, by the way, was a line first penned by a Catholic priest decades ago - and I have the proof!), we are instead asked, "What would Martin Luther King do?"

Catholics know there is only one KING who is the perpetual defender of the innocent - Christ the King. When we pray, study or act, we do so in HIS NAME.

We cannot "do" what Jesus would probably do - walk into Terri's hospital room and command, "Arise, daughter, and walk." But we CAN fast and pray for that particular intention!

Let us pray and ask Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to stay the hands of those who would harm Terri while pretending to do her a "good" by taking her life. Let us ask for this grace (not only preserve to her life but also to give guardianship to her parents and/or siblings if her husband's heart remains hardened) through His Virgin Mother, Mary, the Mediatrix of All Graces. Let us do so, not because what is happening to Terri might someday happen to us - as Mr. Pickup pleads - but because defending Terri is the RIGHT THING TO DO.

And, if we really believe in and hope for miracles, let us pray that Terri is completely cured from her disability and that her memory, (if it is not now intact) is completely restored so that SHE can tell the world - and the courts - what REALLY happened to her the fateful day she was found unconscious in her own home.

It is with prayerful supplications only "to Jesus through Mary" that Keeping It Catholic shares Mr. Pickup's sentiments, "GOOD PEOPLE OF AMERICA! DEFEND TERRI SCHIAVO!" to which KIC humbly adds:


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 10:29 EST
Updated: February 22, 2005 10:38 EST
Terri's Fight: "With God All Things are Possible"

"Pray, Study, and Act" is Keeping It Catholic's motto, which is the Church's perennial directive because it was Our Lord's example, His "way of life."
Please forgive me for repeating the motto, but important things bear such repetition. This time, though, I'm going to ask you to speed up the process - keep praying, keep studying, but act now!

Last night, I sent out a notice about the urgency of Terri Schindler-Schiavo's case to the Keeping It Catholic members on our Yahoo list (please join us by subscribing to the Keeping It Catholic faith, family and home education email list; just send an email to

Please keep praying for Terri, whose life is still in grave danger. Last night, John, one of our "KIC Contacts" emailed me with the following update on Terri's case:

"Fox News just reported that a stay has been issued and the tubes will not be pulled until another pending hearing has been held." (Thanks, John!)

If you'll forgive a mix of metaphors - we can't rest on any laurels yet. Now's the time to "push the envelope," "to strike while the iron is hot," and to remember that "when the going gets tough, the tough get going."

It's tougher for Terri and her family. It is not our lives in danger; it is not our daughter or sister whose life is threatened daily by the very man who once promised to love and cherish her all the days of her life, "until death do we part" and who has repeatedly proven he has no intention of keeping his vow before God and man. A man who cannot keep a vow is a man who cannot be trusted, but who also must be pitied and prayed for just as much as he is opposed. If Michael Schiavo would stop pushing for what his lawyer euphemetistically calls Terri's "right to die," there would be no courts involved.

No, Terri is not our blood sister, or daughter, or wife. But let's remember, fellow Catholics, and all visitors to the KIC web-log, Terri really is our spiritual sister, a suffering servant in the Church Militant, and we can help her. All we have to do is choose which of the 3 things we can do today, tomorow and every day while we pray that either her husband's heart is changed and he dedicates himself to Terri's cause in the way Our Lord wishes him to or her birth family gains legal guardianship of Terri. And if (let's show our hope and say when) either of these two prayed-for outcomes are realized, we can still offer our help to Terri and her family when that happy day arrives. In the meantime...

Pray, Study, and Act! Here's how:

1. Keep PRAYING for Terri's intentions and for the continual strength and perseverance of her blood family who work and pray constantly in her defense. What to pray? The Holy Rosary, which is the Church's most highly indulgenced prayer after the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Rosary is the prayer for our age, the prayer constantly emphasized by Our Lady of Fatima when she instructed: "Pray the Rosary every day."

2. STUDY the Church's profound and deep teachings regarding the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill." This commandment of God's forbids the so called "mercy killings" (euthanasia) or "death with dignity" (which really means the sufferer has decided to take his life, either by his own hand or with the assistance of another, or a major decision maker in the family is weary of caring for or bothering with the sufferer.) Remember what David did to the man who killed the suffering Samuel, who had attempted to kill himself by his own sword and was therefore in agony, begging another to finish the deed and take his life? A man killed Samuel out of pity, and ran to David as quickly as he could to give the news and bring Samuel's personal effects. He wasn't bragging; he was reporting and did not try to lie about his deed. But a thing happened he could not foresee - David ordered that the man himself be slain. Why? David said it was because the man had slain an "anointed of the Lord" and, when questioned further by David, had admitted he had known that Samuel was the anointed king, chosen by God.

Catholics are anointed with holy oil when certain sacraments are administered to them - first at Baptism, then with Confirmation, and also during Extreme Unction (also known as the "Last Rites" and the "Sacrament of the Sick"). Yet even if one is not anointed by the sacraments of the Catholic Church, each human life is precious to God, Who commanded long ago that "thou shalt not kill."

3. ACT! Time is of the essence!

-IF YOU LIVE IN OR NEAR FLORIDA, seriously consider demonstrating outside the facility where Terri will be starved to death.

-LOCAL and LONG DISTANCE ALTERNATIVES. Email or fax Governor Jeb Bush. Email OR or FAX: 850.922.4292,
Alternate FAX 850.487.0801.
MAILING ADDRESS: Governor Jeb Bush, Office of the Governor, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001.
-CONTACT PRESIDENT BUSH to demand an Executive Order to ban the starvation of Terri Schiavo. Email:
or FAX the President, c/o Andy Card, White House Chief of Staff: 202.456.1907.

"And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 09:28 EST
Updated: February 22, 2005 10:11 EST
February 8, 2005
An Open Letter to Homeschool Resisters

The following "Open Letter" was written at the request of a number of Keeping It Catholic email list members to the author's mother, Syler Womack. The reason for the request? "Miz Syler,"as I fondly call her, or "Syler cher" as her Louisiana Cajun friends do, had previously offered advice to a mother asking fellow KIC members for tips on how to deal with her 14 year old son's continual resistance to home education. As I recall, the teen boy wanted to go to school not for any lofty academic reasons but only to get involved with various activities, make a few friends and perhaps attain a level of "popularity."

"Miz Syler" provided her own tried-and-true insights, based on her many years of Catholic homeschooling experience - including how she dealt with her once-homeschool-resistant eldest, Chisum, now a man of 27 years. Miz Syler concluded that, if her advice didn't help, perhaps she'd ask her son to have a little talk with the other homeschool mother's son (long distance, yet!).

Well, that - as they say - was that. "Miz Syler" then received a number of requests for her eldest son's own insights in the form of an email letter to the Keeping It Catholic email list.

The resulting letter - which I've dubbed "An Open Letter to Homeschool Resisters" and to which I have added the "bolds" and the italics - is obviously a keeper. It is reprinted here, with the kind permission of Chisum Womack, to whom all rights are reserved:

An Open Letter to Homeschool Resisters

My mother has asked me to address certain home schooled young men who are not satisfied with their options. I'm 27 and I was home schooled from
kindergarten until I went to Texas A&M in 1996. I'm Chisum.

All I can say is this: If all you ever want to do in life is fit in, by all means continue to complain and be uncooperative and eventually your mother may give in. Thank God mine didn't. If you go to public school, you may very well fit in and have a lot of friends. You can spend all your time with them, doing things your parents don't want you to do. Of course, there's no guarantee in public school, and you might end up just being the nerd that everyone picks on all day. Good luck.

My mother made me stick with home schooling, and no, I don't fit in. I made a lot of friends in college, and a few of them were worth keeping. But most of the people I have met in the 10 years since I finally got my wish to get out of home school and went to college have been cookie cutter public school and parochial school alumni with no foundation in the faith and no depth or ability to reason. They are conditioned to think that anything they feel like doing is okay with God, because their "god" is a special "god" who they made up to suit themselves. They are addicted to "relationships" and unable to hold their own in any discussion above the level of football. They are consummate consumers, rah-rah republicans and die-hard democrats who never stop to think about what their government is doing or how it got this way. I suppose they are "happy", and if you really want to fit in, go for it. Go to public school. You won't have to worry about learning big words or high ideals that confuse other people and make them uncomfortable.

Speaking for myself, regardless of the fact that I was obstinate as a teenager, I'd rather be a real, thinking Catholic, even if it means that every time I want to have a meaningful conversation I have to call home and talk to my 14 year old baby sister. Because I'm finally mature enough to understand that the reason I don't fit in is because I'm a leader. I'm out here in front, and so are my brothers and my sisters. We're not lonely because there's no one around. We are the ones other people respect. We're only lonely because it's so hard to find anyone who comes up to our standards. But you go ahead and try to fit in if that's what you want to do. If you're actually able to achieve popularity, you can be popular all the way through high school. Then you can get slammed in college when you find out it's a whole new game. Go ahead. Take all that behavior you learned in public high school and try to use it in college. Let me know when you do so I can come watch.

What makes you think you've got what it takes to be popular in high school anyway? Not without compromising everything you know is right. I know those guys who were popular. Do you want to spend all your time playing those games? Learn to be yourself. Learn that you don't need other people's approval to be happy. Learn to put God first. Learn to stand on your own. You can't do that in public school because the whole system is designed to keep you in line. The teachers are happy when people who express themselves and stand up for what's right are persecuted by their classmates because that means the teacher doesn't have to answer any questions and can spend all day dispensing propaganda. You won't be popular unless you're extremely good looking, or athletic, or a player, or a bootlegger. So if you want to spend all your time conforming and looking over your shoulder and watching your step, go to public school.

I told Mom it wouldn't matter what I said to you, because I remember being you. But maybe this post will remind your mothers not to pay any attention to you. Look, we're talking about three or four years. Don't waste them. You have to decide if you are going to learn and be productive, or drag your butts and be miserable. Your choice. I'm out.

---Chisum Womack. Copyright 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 10:23 EST
Updated: March 19, 2005 02:23 EST

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