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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
KEEPING IT CATHOLIC HOME PAGE
+++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)
+++Crechemania.com - 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
September 25, 2007
Fatima Message: The Example of the King of France; Do We Have Less than 10 Years Left?

Those who study the history of Christendom with a "Catholic conscience," per the definition of Hilaire Belloc, and who also pay special heed to Church-approved apparitions might foresee, with a holy fear of God's Justice, that if the gentle, motherly requests of Our Lady of Fatima are not honored in full, that what awaits us is a horrific victory of the continuing Revolution against the Church, the Holy Father, and those who follow him.

Certain words of Our Lord's to Sr. Lucia strongly indicate that the full portent of the Third Secret of Fatima may occur within 10 years’ time. This probable tragedy alone should inspire those who possess confidence in Our Lady of Fatima to courageously accept our collective obligation to declare the entire Fatima message throughout the Catholic world.

The prophecies of Our Lady of the Rosary via Fatima and one, particular later warning of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, to Sr. Lucia about the collegial consecration bring to our attention the apparitions of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in Paray-le-Monial, France. Through this saint, Our Lord gave the world the devotion of the Nine First Fridays and the Twelve Promises to those who practice this particular devotion. Yet there is another serious matter surrounding the Paray-le-Monial apparitions to the saint, and it is one which is very little known.

St. Margaret Mary was told by the Lord that she was to "inform the King of France, 'Eldest son of His Sacred Heart,' that the Sacred Heart wished 'to reign in his palace, to be painted on his standard, to be engraved on his arms,' and that it [the Sacred Heart] will make him 'triumphant over all the enemies of Holy Church,' if the King obeyed Christ's command on these matters. However, as history relates, “Either Louis XIV never received the letter or he refused to reply. But the command still stands." (The Secret of Saint Margaret Mary by Henri Gheon)

On June 17, 1689, Our Lord also told the saint to tell the Catholic King Louis XIV that France must be solemnly consecrated to His Sacred Heart. This command, too, was ignored by the king and also by his heirs and descendants. As a result, France – first daughter of the Church – was not "triumphant over all the enemies of Holy Church" when France was besieged by the “enemies of the Church.”

Furthermore, it is impossible to believe that God's mercy and justice would allow to come to fruition the the triumph of the Church's enemies,who would rise against France, if His messages to the King(s) of France had never been received by them.

AFTER 100 YEARS - OUR LORD'S PATIENCE EXHAUSTED

Exactly one hundred years later, on June 17, 1789, the reigning Catholic king of France (Louis XVI) was stripped of his kingly power and authority by the godless “Third Estate” of the French Revolution. Thus the Reign of Terror went into full motion.

The king and his entire family (including children) were imprisoned. There are some who believe that, during his imprisonment, the King made a private consecration of France to the Sacred Heart, an act fulfilled in the presence of his confessor. But should this legend ever be proven as fact, it still remains that the Lord was not obeyed to the letter. His express command was that the King of France perform a solemn (e.g. – public) consecration of France to His Sacred Heart.

Tragically, the king was executed by the guillotine, paying in his own blood for the disobedience of his forefathers and kings to the King of Kings. Nine months later, his wife the Queen Marie Antoinette, followed in his footsteps. Before her death by execution, the prison guards had taken the Dauphin, their young son, from the care of his mother and the comforting enclosure of his family. The poor little boy, who was badly treated, drugged, and perhaps tortured, was forced to say the most hideous and vile lies against his mother during a sham trial. Later, he disappeared while in the prison, never more to be seen alive. The only surviving child, the young adolescent Marie Terese (known as Madame Royale), was later used as a political pawn. Other innocents also suffered terrible fates during the French Revolution. Due to the ravenous “Mademoiselle Guillotine” and her devotees, the streets literally ran ankle-deep in blood.

To think of what France - and with it, the Church - could have been spared, if only one of the reigning kings had obeyed the simple command of Our Lord! With the downfall of the French crown came the downfall of any semblance of decency, law and order. License (not liberty) was the order of the day. The Church became slave to the state; the state of affairs in France made possible the rise of the dictator Napoleon Bonaparte, the imprisonment of a pope, and the eventual loss of the papal states.

Christ our King wished to establish the public consecration and devotion to His Sacred Heart in order to save France, "First Daughter of the Church," and with it, Christendom. As we now know through the apparitions to Sr. Lucia of Fatima, the Sacred Heart also wills the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary - this time to save the entire world from the punishments it deserves for its many sins.
Our Lord also wishes to have the whole world acknowledge that Russia and the world will be saved by the collegial consecration, so that the Immaculate Heart of His Mother will honored beside His Own.

PART II: "IF YOU LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS"

In briefly reviewing the tragic history of the French Revolution and the fate of the Catholic monarchs and thousands of innocents, we will fully understand how the Lord's apparitions and requests at Paray-le-Monial are linked to Our Lady's requests at Fatima.

On July 13, 1917, Our Lady said to the child Lucia: “God is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church, and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Communions of reparation and for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart ... In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted, and an era of peace will be granted to the world.”

Eleven years, eleven months later - on June 13, 1929 - Our Lady appeared to Sr. Lucia, saying: “The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”

Two years passed, but Sr. Lucia’s endeavors proved fruitless. Those with the authority to fulfill the command would not comply.

In August 1931, Our Lord Himself spoke to Sr. Lucia of Fatima, referring to HIS command for the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By the choice of God's own words, He left no doubt that the request of His Mother was also His own command and Will.

According to the long-used translation, Our Lord said to Sr. Lucia:

“Make it known to My ministers that, given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, they will follow him into misfortune. It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary."

With only the release of the Third Secret Vision (which did not include Our Lady’s words about it), Our Lord's warning to Sr. Lucia in 1931 makes itself tragically clear:

Like the Kings of France who disobeyed the heavenly King’s command by delaying the solemn consecration of France for 100 years, the ministers of the Lord who do the same in regard to the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary “will follow the French king into misfortune.”

Like the countless numbers who also followed the King of France and his family "into misfortune" by their deaths at the guillotine, the Third Secret Vision of Fatima makes it clear that, "if my (Our Lady's) requests are not heard," a bishop in white (generally understood to be the pope, who is the Bishop of Rome and traditionally wears white for certain occasions) will die at the hands of soldiers who bear both guns and arrows; the Holy Father will be immediately followed by a long line of faithful Catholics from all states in life. The Third Secret Vision also reveals that the Angels will gather up the blood of those who die, traditional symbolism in regard to the deaths of martyrs.

In regard to the long-awaited collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, is it not possible that Our Lord was also telling us that, “like the King of France,” He will again allow exactly 100 years for His ministers to completely obey Him? If so, the 100 years conclude in less than 10 years – on July 13, 2017.

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 05:11 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:08 EDT
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Fatima Message: The Most Important Part is Still Missing

A few individuals have asked "Who is behind" the eclipse or the "hijack" of the national Rosary Campaign in regard to the complete Fatima message? In response, I can only emphasize that we don't know whether or not various organizations promoting the incomplete message fully realize what they are doing. 

Because the days are fleeting before the arrival of October 13, 2007, my view is that the time required to thoroughly investigate the answer is time better spent relating Fatima's historical events and the "Three Secrets" of Fatima. 

Our only intention is to point out that the most important request of Our Lady is conspicuously absent and to rectify that most serious omission.


In filial obedience to the Lord's and the Virgin Mary's requests, KIC also asks that those who may participate in a local Rosary Campaign politely invite the organizers to please include the most necessary request:


"For the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."


Only if one encounters resistance, there is recourse to Plan B (not to be used lightly except in extreme circumstances), which is to ask for the intention to be couched in the following way:


"For the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

Yet, if even that does not work, then there is a last recourse: During the public recitation of the the Rosary, while at any Rosary Campaign, publicly and charitably announce the intention as the Rosary begins! Doing so will take much courage and fortitude, not to mention either overcoming or not possessing that awful encumbrance of human respect.


That said, we Catholics should not be forced into compromise, but there are circumstances where prudence is the better part of valor. But it would be an offense to God if, due to a lack of the virtue of fortitude, we totally disregard THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of the Fatima message.


The Rosary Campaign will take place in parishes and other places across the United States and, it is to be hoped, in other nations. We must keep in mind that, if thousands of Catholics  first and foremost pray the Rosary "for the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary," together we shall be making thousands, if not millions, of supplications to heaven for the collegial consecration of Russia.


Only an FYI, the organizations listed on a flyer insert of a local parish bulletin includes a small note at the bottom, "Coordinated nationally by Tradition Family Property and its American Needs Fatima campaign."
Mothers' Watch also sent out a recent newsletter (dated Summer 2007) in which they included a one-page letter which stated, "Because of the different subject matter, this most important newsletter does not have the banner of Mothers' Watch, but 'Moms for Fatima' as our identity so that we may reach as many people as possible. This time we are not pointing a finger at bishops, sex education or Catholic schools. This special newsletter is a plea to bring as many people as possible to our Blessed Mother."

At this point, I first must say I highly respect the Mothers' Watch ladies; some of you may also recall that I once wrote an article for them (Spring 1998). Due to the respect I hold for them, it was distressing to discover that, while the first half to three-quarters of their recent newsletter included pertinent facts and observations about the Rosary, Our Lady of Fatima, Masonry, and the Muslim threat (with a spot-on reference to Hillaire Belloc), the last section on Fatima repeated the half-truths and innuendos with which so many of us are familiar.


The article of which I speak can be found at http://www.momsforfatima.org Should anyone choose to read that article, please be sure to pay special attention to the last part, especially the two subtitles "Dividing the Faithful" followed by "The Virgin Mary's Requests at Fatima." It is the last section with which we at KIC are specifically concerned. One will find a number of truths in regard to what is called "Our Lady's Peace Plan," but one will also find that some of them are "incomplete." That incompleteness is the problem.


Very troubling is the insinuation that the world is now threatened by a world-war, at the hands of an Islamic jihad, "because we have failed to live the message of Fatima." While that threat is indeed true, the blame appears to be once more solely placed upon a lack of Marian devotion amongst the faithful - another popular assumption these days.

In other words, it is the same insinuation (based only on subjectivity but on nothing historically related by either Our Lady or Our Lord in later apparitions to Sr. Lucia) that if enough of the lay faithful obeyed Our Lady - in daily praying the Rosary, wearing the Brown Scapular, fulfilling the First Saturday Devotions, offering all that they do, especially their daily duty, as a sacrifice for the conversion of sinners - then the popes and bishops would follow suit and also obey the Mother of God.


Today the insinuation includes human, erroneous thinking that the "world" consecrations already made fulfilled Our Lady's request.


However, since it is painfully clear that promised era of peace is yet to be seen, it is alleged that the problem must be due to laxity on the part of the laity. What continues to be totally ignored or fallaciously explained away is the critical fact that God still awaits complete and total obedience in regard to the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When that finally occurs, Our Lady promised that "an era of peace will be given to mankind."

 


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 04:05 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:09 EDT
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Fatima Message: Still in Eclipse

It recently came to KIC's attention that almost every "mainstream" Catholic apostolate and parish is currently promoting what might be sadly called an "eclipse" of the Fatima message via a nationwide "Rosary Campaign," which is planned for Saturday, October 13, 2007 - the 90th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal.

At first glance, the upcoming Rosary Campaign is a most welcome and pious commemoration of the greatest public miracle since the parting of the Red Sea. However, thus far the plans for the Rosary Campaign fail to acknowledge the most crucial command of the Lord our God - a command so imperative for the salvation of souls living during this crisis in Church history that He sent His Holy Virgin Mother to deliver it.

This one command has yet to be obeyed in full: The Holy Father and the bishops throughout the world must consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In response, it is my hope, both on this blog and the KIC email list, to cover the key points of Fatima and the very real necessity of the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 03:52 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:10 EDT
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September 1, 2007
September: A Holy Month to Start Homeschooling


The summer has practically flown by! I know many people view this first weekend in September only as the Labor Day weekend, but we Catholics know that it is much more than a secular holiday. After all, today is September 1, a First Saturday of the month - a special day of devotion and reparation to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart for five major blasphemies against the one one and only Virgin Mother. In addition, this coming Friday (September 7) is a First Friday, in loving honor and reparation to Our Lord's Sacred Heart.


Speaking of how quickly time passes, members of the Keeping It Catholic list may recall my mentioning a literal answer to a prayer this past spring. That’s also the reason you haven't heard much from me. My "summer break" primarily focused on very real and serious health needs. Finally, I was able to fully implement (and plan to continue) an amazing combo of strategies that are working well: A low-carb lifestyle, loads of natural health supplements (including a pro-life option for natural, increased stem cell production), and water therapy three times or more a week. As a result, the more severe symptoms of arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia have greatly improved. More and more often, I see a return to normal energy instead of chronic exhaustion. In addition, I no longer need daily medication, and (finally!) I am much slimmer. All glory to God and grateful thanks to Our Lady for answering my prayers!

I’m also happy to say that my mom, who suffers from many diabetes-related health problems, recently returned home to us. Since we are all doing our best to help her, the home schedule shifted a bit and we are adjusting to it. Our second and third older children are working full-time and getting ready for their third year in college. Our high school-age son, who will be 17 yo this fall, wants to begin college classes this year, too, and our youngest is entering 4th grade. It looks to be another full year, with every day blessed with wholesome work!

There are many things for which each of us can be grateful as September opens. September is another month in which to practice particular devotions to Our Lord, Our Lady, and the saints. Next Saturday, September 8, the entire Catholic Church will once more honor the Nativity of Our Lady. Just a few days later on Wednesday, September 12, we publicly revere the Holy Name of Mary. This year, the Exultation of the Cross falls on Friday, September 14 (and also is the eve of Our Lady of Sorrows on Saturday, September 15), and it is the same day that the Holy Father’s recent “Motus Propio” officially goes into effect. Wednesday, September 19, commemorates the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette, while Monday, September 24, pays homage to Our Lady of Ransom.

Like most months on the liturgical calendar, every day of September honors at least one or more saints, from St. Stephen, King (September 2),
Pope St. Pius X (September 3), St. Rose of Viterbo and St. Rosalia (September 4), St. Laurence Justinia (September 5), St. Eleutherius (September 6), and St. Cloud and St. Regina (September 7) to St. Padre Pio (September 23), the Eight North American Martyrs (September 26), Sts. Cosmas and Damian (September 27), St. Michael the Archangel (September 29) and, finally, St. Jerome (September 30).

In addition to all these beautiful feasts, September also sees the majority of Catholic parents on the Keeping It Catholic List formally begin the task of home education. May we remember to humbly ask God the Father to bless us and our children, while we also petition the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts for their hourly help in carrying our daily crosses.

In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother,


Marianna Bartold

We're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at http://www.keepingitcatholic.org
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"One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, I shall save the world."
~ Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche
~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 18:21 EDT
Updated: September 2, 2007 16:16 EDT
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June 14, 2007
MEN!!! Pt. 2: I Bid You Stand, Men of the West!


On the day my essay ("MEN!!!") was published on the KIC blog, I also posted it to my Keeping It Catholic email list (at Yahoogroups).

In response to that essay, Syler Womack, the very lady whom I mentioned in that piece (as author of The Catholic Code of Chivalry), wrote a wonderful composition of her own.

With her permission, it is posted here as a fantastic follow-up to "MEN!!" To openly borrow from Syler's signature line, our mutual message comes from the not-yet-crowned-king Aragorn in the move version of The Return of the King:

"I Bid You Stand, Men of the West!"

Well, it's sure not going to surprise you when I concur with you 100%...and you hit the nail square on the head when you said our men  are, for the most part, no longer chivalrous. How BLESSED are those of us who have real men for husbands! We are far too busy basking in their love and making their homes to embrace any sort of feminist behavior. Invading the realm of men is in no way appealing, for we are too joyful to be Catholic Wives!

So, here's my word to those Trad Men who spend all their time worrying and writing about women:

Fellows, you need to remember your place!

Your place is at the head of your family---not as a tyrant, but as a provider and protector and one who cherishes his mate above all earthly things. Your place is to make your wife realize that she is the Queen of your world. She is your Guenivere--- your Isolde---your Dulcinaea. She has sacrificed her health and strength to bear you fine sons and daughters. Do you realize how many times the fate of nations has turned on the ability of a Queen to bear sons? If your wife has borne you one, or several, you should fairly weep with gratitude every time you think of her! If she has mothered adopted sons, why, she is even more to be exalted! If she has been open to life, she has been willing to sacrifice her own life so that YOU can have heirs! Do you thank her for it? Do you respect her for it?

Your home is your wife's World. She desires nothing more than to make it a haven for you and your heirs. Do you ever see what she does? Do you ever thank her for the meals she cooks for you? For the patience with which she plans and executes thankless jobs every day? For the fact that she daily cleans your filth off the bathroom porcelain? or do you only see when she fails to live up to perfection?

You complain about Feminism, and Feminism IS the oldest and most deadly heresy---but it is a heresy which is made possible not by women but by MEN. Your failure to honor her womanly accomplishments, your habit of taking her for granted---these are the things which have driven her out of her home, out of her realm and into situations which mock her and all women. She receives no appreciation from you, so she seeks appreciation in false venues. She feels like a thankless drudge at home, but she can be center stage as a eucharistic minister---and then, to make matters worse, you casually abdicate your responsibilities and allow her to take over because it's so much easier on you! Your sons see it, and it's fine with them for their sisters to take over their responsibilities on the altar.

Shame on you! You have forgotten how to be men. You have forgotten to thank God constantly for this wonderful gift of a loving wife! You have failed to cherish her. Ah, but you can still find time to write critical tracts about her behavior! Step away from the computer and go love your wife! No, you won't receive adulation from all the other sour-faced fellows who browbeat their wives with your accusations, but you may just become the man you should be, and that will pave the way for your wife and children to be as they should be, too. Your place is at the head of your family, not in the bully pulpit. Get back to your place, and stay there!

Syler Womack

"By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men
of the West!
"
  ~King Aragorn


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 10:25 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:14 EDT
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June 9, 2007
His Holy Father or My Highness?
Mood:  cheeky

 

 

Well, here’s a comforting piece of news from John Hooper in Rome, correspondent to The Observer (UK). 

 

Don't the bungled words so often coming from the mouth of our president make you pine for Archie Bunker? 

 

Meanwhile, the news from Rome just keeps getting better and better, right through to the last paragraph.

 

-Not! 

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What the President Said to “His Holy Father” 

John Hooper in Rome
Sunday June 10, 2007
The Observer (UK)
 

He really is priceless. Other world leaders see the Pope with their advisers and the Vatican's peerlessly punctilious protocol experts, making sure they do not commit the slightest gaffe. But George W. Bush can outwit them all. On the plane to Rome, he was already struggling. The Pope is addressed as 'Your Holiness'. Roman Catholics refer to him as 'The Holy Father'. But somewhere in the tumble dryer that is the part of the US President's brain set aside for words, the two concepts got tangled and he told Associated Press: 'I think His Holy Father will be pleased to know that much of our foreign policy is based on the admonition to whom much is given, much is required.'

No doubt Pope Benedict, whom Bush later described as 'very smart', was able to deconstruct the rest of the sentence. But before he got down to cases with Bush, the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church had the unusual experience of being called 'sir'. 'It's good to be with you, sir,' said Bush as he sat down. But it was just one of those days for George W. Even the car broke down.

 

His visit to Rome had been preceded by the biggest security operation this bodyguard's nightmare of a city had ever seen. The Tiber was dragged. The sewers were searched. Squares were cleared and roofs occupied. Yesterday the presidential cavalcade hurtled along its route preceded by a swarm of more than a dozen motorcycles, scooters and even motorised three-wheelers carrying tough-looking armed police riding pillion.

But when it got to Largo Poli, near the Trevi fountain, Bush's car ground to a halt. It remained perilously immobile for a minute and half. The President and Laura Bush were hustled into another car. That was denied by a White House official, who said the reasons for the breakdown were 'unclear'. Just as unclear was how the wide presidential limo could get through the gates of the US embassy. It couldn't. The presidential couple had to walk in.  

'But this is how we do things in Italy,' cried a delighted onlooker. At least Bush could take heart from the G8 summit in what, in talking to the German-born Pope, he termed 'your old country'. He described it as 'successful ... good'.

 

Not everyone saw it that way. Some felt Bush had been spectacularly wrong-footed. Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, suggested that, if America's anti-missile shield was really to protect Europe from Iran and not Russia, the US could use Russian-controlled radar. [Emphasis KIC's]

 

The Pope mischievously asked Bush if his talks with Putin had also been good. Glancing at the reporters who were about to be ushered from the room, the President replied: 'Ummm ... I'll tell you in a minute.'

 

Source: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,2099509,00.html

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 20:18 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:17 EDT
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MEN!!! Pt. 1: (Missing) in Catholic Action - Chivalry!
Mood:  incredulous

 

In case readers of this blog haven't figured it out yet, I'm a Catholic woman. One who simply considers herself a Catholic...but it appears I'm also one whom others consider a "rad Trad" due to my staunchly Catholic approach to very serious subjects.  

 

On the other hand, I've heard from other women, also considered "rad Trad" (aka Tradosaurus Regina!) who get very annoyed with a few of my more light-hearted posts or go into a state of shock upon meeting me and seeing that I wear jewelry (!) and...<gasp>make-up. Kiss

 

Seems we Catholics today are a motley-crew. Sad but true.

 

The fact is: A person can't please everybody all of the time... and one shouldn't try. To paraphrase Shakespeare: To God and thine own self be true.

 

That said, I can guarantee this post is going to irritate, annoy, and tick off a lot of men and women who, for reasons unfathomable to me, possess a heretical, Calvinist, legalistic Puritanistic attitude which cunningly pretends to be that of traditional Catholicism. This is especially true in regard to the alleged traditional Catholic view of women and their roles - at least, as explained to us by a number of our contemporary "traditional" Catholic men.

 

In the interest of fair play...

 

Isn't it time the Catholic audience heard a traditional Catholic woman chime in on the subject of men? (And I freely admit I plan to have some fun with this.)

 

A reader of almost all things Catholic, I've gone through phases, so to speak, throughout my adult reading life. Always looking for meat in Catholic papers, I often received pablum. As a result (and as a mature, well-catechized Catholic), I’ve mainly focused on traditional Catholic papers these past seven years. For the most part, I greatly enjoy them. Yet it cannot be denied there is a serious flaw continually displaying itself as an "integral" part of the mindset of most (but not all) traditional male authors.

 

Say what? you may ask. Please allow me to explain.

In almost every article bewailing the disastrous changes in the Church, I began to notice that the first thing mentioned or listed by a traditional male author will always, consistently, and without fail have something to do with women or girls.

 

Now, it isn't as though I was looking for that pattern; it's simply one that came to my attention.  

 

And an interesting pattern it is...but what does it mean?

 

Something about "splinters and beams" comes to mind.

 

While some trad men authors harp on a woman's role, place and behavior in the great scheme of things, we never read an article in which a traditional man reminds his brothers in Christ of their collective duties toward God, wife, children and society. Seriously - have any of you ever read a carefully researched article on that subject? Or an article that touched on the subject even momentarily?

 

I wondered why some "trad" men just can't let any opportunity slip by without even the slightest, off-hand remark about women and their "rightful" place. I even discussed it with a few trustworthy "trad" lady friends.  As one of them wrote to me:

 

"The men who are doing right are too dam' busy to write about it, that's why! The 'writers' are generally on a power trip."

 

 

Hmmm. Now that's a thought. I can't say I like it, but it's a thought. C'mon, now...are most trad male writers on a power trip? Really? If true, one would also have to consign the majority of all male Catholic writers (be they trad, neo, or whatever label is in vogue at the moment) to the same pitiful little dustbin. On the other hand, one can't deny that modernist male writers who think they are members of the Kool Kathlix Klub are prone to a different kind of arrogance than their trad counterparts.

   

At any rate, as a traditional Catholic author in my own right, I've often pondered writing an article on this quirky, bizarre attitude of some trad men that seemingly appears to lean-toward-misogynism, especially in regard to Catholic women.

 

 

But then what?

 

Would I place it on the KIC website or submit it to be published in a "paper"? And to whom would I submit it? Would my favorite trad papers take me for a radical feminist posing as a traditionalist woman, due to what I wrote?  I think so. Would a few seriously consider what I wrote and change their minds, even a wee bit? I hope so.

 

So the question remains: Why do most trad male authors who write any kind of list outlining "What's Wrong with The Church" think it their duty to whine and gripe first about women, whether trad or Novus Ordo?

I'll tell you why: Men - even trad men - are no longer chivalrous. Very few of them even pretend to be. What these men need are lessons from the "Catholic Code of Chivalry" (a beautiful piece by Syler Womack, published in my Catholic Study Guide on The Return of the King)!

Sad to say, too many "trad"  men consider it their obligation to zoom in on the symptoms of the Church's decline (and lo, they are many) and transform one of the more recent symptoms into the seeming "Queen of them All."

What is that symptom?

Women-in-the-Sanctuary (serving as EM's - e.g., Extraordinary Ministers), but that term also includes "Altar Girls" (too often disrespectfully spelled "gurlz" or "gurls" - as though the problem should be laid at the feet of the poorly-taught, badly-led little girls and teens who have been wrongly led to believe they can and should serve at the altar.)

Seriously...These men blather on about the splinters in the eyes of both little girls and grown women, never once considering the beams in their own eyes. But let's take another step or two. I am serious here, and I ask in all sincerity:

Who is responsible for the infiltration and decline of the Church?

Men. 

Who allowed the Rhine group and liberal "periti" to take over Vatican II?

Men
- from the pope right on down to the liberal cardinals and bishops. 

Who within the Church of the past 40+ years is responsible for the rape of ALL our children, body and soul, and who tenaciously connived to keep those sins "under cover"?

Men. 

Why did most religious orders go down the proverbial hell-hole? 

Through the example, admonition and insistence of MEN with authority in the Church. 

So where do so many traditional men get the idea that their subjective viewpoint/mindset/opinion/whatever on women is "traditionally Catholic," anyway? Heck if I know, but it didn't issue forth from true traditional Catholicism.

Thanks be to the good God, I've been graced to marry a true Catholic gentleman. I've also had the fortune to know a small (very small) number of men like him. But all in all, I'm not impressed by most males posing as men today. Where have all the real men gone?

 

 

Sadly, my husband and I have had the misfortune to meet lay "trad" men who think they can admonish any woman he pleases, simply by his "virtue" of being born a male. (Can you tell my tongue-is-firmly-implanted-in-my-cheek?)

 

Or "trad" men who are extremely ungallant but think the facade of a smiling face fools an intelligent Catholic woman just because she is a woman.

 

There are even "trad" men who think they can spank their wives!  I kid you not. (Talk about perverted Puritanism!) 

 

And there are "trad" men who - not going so far as their more vicious brothers - are still very keen on "keeping a woman in her place."

 

(As one lady friend says, "I like knowing my place. It means I have one.  Not everyone does, you know...But I don't need some document dork in a suit to tell me what my place is.")

 

What is a woman's role in the Church and, through Her, society? If anything, the true Catholic woman is the mainstay and heart of the family and of society. A woman's role as mother - whether physical or spiritual - is a high vocation and one that should be loved, honored and cherished. (Btw, married ladies and gents, do those last 3 words sound familiar? It's what a man promises to his wife for all the days of his life!) 

To return to my point - most trad Catholic male authors will inevitably first list among the Church's most severe problems either "women in the sanctuary" or "altar girls."

 

I'm not saying that either fact isn't a huge concern. But whose FAULT is it that lay men and women are in the sanctuary, or that little girls or teen girls are serving at the altar?

 

Men's.

Now understand - my purpose is not to finger-point. It's to MAKE a point.

 

Of all the travesties in the Church, do the majority of traditional Catholic men really consider "women in the sanctuary" or "altar girls" to be the worst of them all?

-What about the altering (and often the renaming) of every single Rite in the Church - from Baptism to Extreme Unction? That's correct - it's not only the Mass that was changed, but each and every Rite, thanks to the "spirit of Vatican II" (whatever that means!).

 

-What of moving the Blessed Sacrament in the sacred Tabernacle to the side, the basement, or anywhere other than its rightful place on the High Altar? Our Lord and Savior is no longer honored as He deserves to be.

-What about Communion in the hand? Our Lord, hiding under the appearance of bread, is popped in the mouth and chewed like a common potato chip.

-What about the forced absence of kneeling during the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God in the Novus Ordo) and the reception of Holy Communion? (We no longer need to genuflect or kneel before Our God...we are "enlightened" now.)

-What about that atrocious hand-holding? The Kiss of Peace? (Be sure to keep what should be Divine Worship totally horizontal and focused on the community.)

-How about "Extraordinary Ministers" - male and female? (They were not seen before Vatican II, either.)

 

-What of the almost Church-wide demise of the First Friday and First Saturday devotions?

 

-Who is responsible for the decline of the Rosary in our days?

 

 

-For that matter, who is behind the eclipse of the true, entire Fatima message?

 

 

-Who decided that a mere 30 minutes of Confession shall be allotted per week to the entire parish?

 

-What of the seemingly prevalent number of sodomites who are now either our priests, bishops, or cardinals? And because of them, true priests of the Catholic Church are shunned and disrespected everywhere they go.

-And what of the number of Catholic men from all walks of life - from holy orders to layman - who abrogate their responsibilities, in countless ways, every single day?

-What of the Catholic lay men who live just like pagans? So many men do not want to marry but prefer to live in sin with women or other men. If they do marry, so many do not wish to sacrifice for their wives and children, do not see to the Catholic education of their children, do not even want to accept children, barely participate in the raising of the few children they have or, even worse, do not remain faithful to their marriage vows.

When traditional men point out the true or alleged failings, misdemeanors or sins of women, they only reveal themselves to be true Sons of Adam. They do exactly what our first father did. Instead of accepting responsibility for his own actions, good ol' Father Adam actually had the gall to petulantly complain to God the Father Himself: "The woman YOU gave me..."

 

Guess what? All of Adam's sons have been doing the same ever since - pointing their fingers at women instead of taking responsibility for their own actions or at least admitting that it is men in the Church who failed all of us.

 

And, dear Catholic reader, in case you don't know it, the human race did not fall until the moment FATHER ADAM consented to the first sin. Each one of us inherited Original Sin and all of its effects (even after baptism) through this one man, the first FATHER, Adam.

 

I don't know about you, but I feel sorry for him....what a load with which he had to live for almost 1,000 years! Because of his sin, the first baby ever born grew up to be the first murderer. Because of his sin, he and his wife and all their children throughout time (including our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ) suffer and die.

 

If today's traditional Catholic men want to see the Church partially restored (because total restoration is not going to happen until we all see the happy day of the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary), it's about time they take a good look at all of their collective duties and responsibilities.

 

Once they honestly do that, they just might finally "get it" that real Catholic women are looking for real Catholic men to lead by example. We would dearly love to see our men as true Catholic knights...complete with the truly beautiful and manly virtue of chivalry and its self-sacrificing love.

 

 

'Nuf said. For today, anyway. Laughing

 


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 12:52 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:19 EDT
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October 19, 2006
KIC's Catholic Study Guide for Homeschoolers!

Dear KIC Blog Visitors:

Since I'm a real Catholic homeschooling parent just like you, I know about your dedication to your children. I know the joys, the glories and the work of Catholic education at home. That's why I've come up with my Catholic Study Guide, the main feature of the Keeping It Catholic Newsletter!

When you check the link above, you'll see more info about it, starting with these four simple questions:

---Tired of tweaking your Catholic curriculum?
---Whipped out from writing weekly lesson plans?
---Discouraged by disconnected subjects?
---Looking for an easier way to keep your homeschool Catholic?

The upcoming issues feature "The Age of Mary," this year's Catholic Study Guide theme that helps you:

--Bring your family closer "to Jesus through Mary." Study Church-approved apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary - including Our Lady of Paris (the Miraculous Medal), LaSalette, Lourdes, Fatima, Banneux and others!

--Give your children and teens a Catholic conscience of history instead of a Catholic "perspective."

--Provide your homeschooling family with the best of both worlds - both classic and scholastic!

--Use an easy-to-follow for almost all core subjects (designed for upper elementary and high school levels).

--Included lesson plans integrate ideas for Religion, Language Arts, History/Geography, and Science to "The Age of Mary."

--Give your older children and teens quick options for quality time on your home computer with screened, interactive links. Naturally, those links match up with suggested assignments, virtual tours, essays, research ideas - and offer just plain enjoyment!

--Delivered to your email box in a beautiful, color format. (Some issues may be in ebook formatting, which will be made available to you for download. When opened, it will look just like a book on your desktop!) You can keep it on your hard-drive and print out the Catholic Study Guide!

The Keeping It Catholic Newsletter with Catholic Study Guide is an innovation in Catholic home education, and it can be yours for the next year at a very special, reduced subscription when you order by October 31, 2006.

To order with your Visa, MC, Discover or Amex, or eCheck,  please see What KIC Has to Offer You!
 
 Psst! Spread the word and let your fellow Catholic home educators know about this special offer! ~MCB


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 16:05 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:20 EDT
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October 18, 2006
The Keepsake Collection of Recipes

With the upcoming holidays comes the release of the Keepsake Collection of Recipes. Thanks to Keeping It Catholic List families who submitted 300+ recipes, the Keepsake Collection is quite a "melting pot" of variety! For a limited time, it's only $20 (world-wide) for our incredibly convenient, downloadable ebook (just check our Order Page to find out why it's so convenient), which includes:


---Awesome recipes created by most humble dads (and submitted by their loving wives - who, of course, gave full credit to their hubbies)

---Delicious recipes invented by kids! (Try out Mimi's "Chickles" – a lovely chicken dish - or Anthony's "Breadsticks with Parmesan and Garlic Butter")

---"Vintage" recipes for every-day and for holidays, all handed down for quite a few generations

---Feast day recipes, including my traditional holiday recipe of "Cheesy Lasagna," for which chefs of upscale, classy restaurants have asked me! (Now how's that for a slice of "humble pie"? )

---Melt-in-your mouth cookie recipes from moms who bake and sell them (very quickly!) at Farmer's Markets

---Fascinating recipes from all over the U.S., like Alaska (did you ever have meatballs made from moose?), the east (try Johnycakes from Rhode Island or Amish Baked Oatmeal!), the mid-Atlantic (sample Sister Emmanuel's Fasting Bread), and right on down to Texas (from whence we received a genuine recipe for Robert E. Lee Cake)

---Easy and quick recipes (a boon to any busy parent!). Whip up a dinner in 30 minutes!

--Crockpot recipes of various kinds, leaving your afternoons free from the worry of "What will I make for dinner today?"

This is really a "one of a kind" collection --- so I hope you'll take a moment to Pre-Order your downloadable cookbook today. (The pre-order price lets you save $5.00 if you order now!) The Keepsake Collection will be ready for you just in time for the upcoming holidays! (Please see our Order Page for even more details!)

 God bless and...Bon Apetit!

 Marianna Bartold, Editor of the Keepsake Collection of Recipes


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 11:55 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:21 EDT
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October 4, 2006
Homeschooling the (Very) Little Ones

From time to time, I'm asked questions about homeschooling toddlers and "pre-schoolers." The most recent question came from a mom who wrote:

"Hi, Marianna:

I belong to your email list and I so enjoy it! At the moment, I am toying with the idea of homeschooling my son, Xavier. He is 2 1/2 years old. Can you recommend anything I can do now with him?" - Bonnie

My response to Bonnie:

When it comes to "homeschooling" very little ones, my recommendation is to teach them what we should teach any sweet little children at home. That is, love him and teach him, by both word and example, and by the simple, every-day enjoyable things in life:

-Teach him his basic prayers by praying with him at home. You needn't make him kneel down next to you, but you could start by taking him on your lap or having him sit next to you as you pray aloud some of the shorter prayers, like the Morning Offering or the Guardian Angel Prayer and the St. Michael Prayer. Do this every day, and again before bedtime, and he will learn his prayers.

-At the same time, teach him how to make a reverent, "large" Sign of the Cross (this usually takes quite some time - as in months or years - because most children tend to make it backward! So be patient and gently correct him each time). Never make or allow him to make a hasty, small, "frightened" Sign of the Cross, but teach him to make it expansively, and without showing off.

What do I mean by "expansively"? I mean a Sign of the Cross that is made slowly and carefully, not one done quickly and "shortened up" inside the head, shoulders and chest as though we are embarrassed someone might "catch" us. The Sign of the Cross is the Sign of Our Faith, and we should make that Sign with charity and fortitude, and teach our children to do the same.

-Take him to Mass with you and teach him how to behave at Mass. This includes genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament and telling him why - because Jesus lives there. At the Consecration, have him kneel next to you and whisper to him, "Jesus is here. See? (Point out the elevated Host) Now we can tell him we love Him." Don't worry about confusing him that Jesus is in the Tabernacle and again present at the Consecration. That is something he may not ask about for years, but he certainly isn't going to ask when he's two.

If at all possible, do *not* use the cry room but sit near the middle or back of the church. The cry room is for infants who literally can't be taught how to behave. Praise your little one for his good behavior, but never tolerate misbehavior (like speaking loudly in church, running, sliding off the pews, kicking the pews, lying down on the pews to play, eating, etc.). It helps to explain in ways he can understand, like "Now when we go into the church, we must always talk like this" (and lower your voice to a whisper, and ask him to try it!).

Try to avoid bringing toys or food to church. (Toddlers who need a drink are another story, so bring a "sippy" and only use it if absolutely necessary.) You could bring a small children's Bible "booklet" or a felt book for him to quietly look at (nothing heavy that he can easily drop), but these are not play things and should not be treated as such. Plastic rosaries are not really a good idea, either - they are too easily mishandled because small children tend to put them around their necks (a safety hazard) or swing them in the air.

There are many ways parents can gently teach children how to behave in church, but it is always a "work-in-progress. " In short, don't expect miracles. Teaching children how to behave and, later, what to pray and do at Mass starts when they are toddlers who can stand alone. By the time they are ten years of age (sometimes sooner), they no longer need any reminders about their personal behavior, about genuflecting, about what to pray during the Consecration, or to make their thanksgiving after Mass. (However, sometimes those ten years do seem like forever!)

-Teach him obedience and courtesy (every-day manners), which are the absolute foundation for a pleasant childhood, for both you and him.

-Read to him (if he'll tolerate it at this age), or point out colorful pictures in a little child's catechism or a nice story, and talk to him about the story in your own words.

-Color with him (which is an easy pleasant way to teach him his colors). Give him blank paper, a small package of coloring crayons, easy coloring books and let him have fun! After some time, ask him "What color is that sun you just made? Is that a red sun? Wow, is that nice - it looks just like a big, red bouncing ball!" This can later progress to: "Did you ever make a green sun? You didn't? Well, let's see what a green sun would look like - let's see, which crayon is the green one?" Help him find the green crayon, point out the color again, and play around with "green" that day - make green grass, a green person, a green dog...and he'll learn the color "green." The next day, ask him, "Now where did that green crayon go?" and have him find it.

(Btw, I always gave my small children the regular-sized crayons, not the super-large ones. It never made sense to me that such short, little fingers could easily wield a huge, bulky crayon. The only thing that can be said for those big ones is that they are virtually unbreakable. )

-Go for outside walks whenever and wherever you can, and enjoy watching your son enjoy them! You can have some nice, little conversations, too, about all the things he sees. He may also want to come home with some souvenirs, like colorful leaves, acorns, or pinecones. (Always be sure to check for bugs and spiders hiding in pinecones!)

-Sing to him or sing with him! Let him listen to all kinds of pleasant music - the kind you enjoy, classical music, and "children's songs" available for purchase, too.

-Let him play! Allow him to choose what he wants to do (within reason, of course). Don't feel you have to entertain him most of the time. Let him learn how to keep himself happily occupied with good things. For children of this age, playing IS learning.

Speaking of avoiding the "entertain me" mentality...

-Limit or completely cut off family access to the television, if you have one. Television too easily snares and captures both children and adults, who just as easily become its willing victims. Too many television shows and commercials are immoral, seductive and occasions of sin to excuse its use. You might have a family member (perhaps your spouse) who finds an excuse as to why you "can't get rid of it," but that's all they have - an excuse, not a good reason. Favorite shows or sports are mere excuses and not worth the immorality to which children will be exposed the rest of the time.

If you can only reach a compromise, aim for one in which the television is "off" most of the week, only used for pre-taped family shows (in other words, DVD's), and perhaps only on Saturday night IF everything else is done - prayers, work, and baths!

Television is the reason families don't spend real time together, and it is probably the major contributing reason as to why we, as a culture, are "trained" to expect constant entertainment and noise in our ears. (Ever notice how almost every place we go, including stores and hospitals, have canned music or a television endlessly droning in the background?) Let your son enjoy silence...because it's the place where God speaks to us most often, and the place where we can hear Him most clearly.

These are just a few things you can teach and do with your son, some of them on a daily and some of them on weekly basis. However, none of these things (except the Mass or the prayers) need be done "formally," because as a Catholic, "pre-school education" is an attitude you wish to avoid. This precious time, when your son is small, is a fleeting one and you will find yourself wishing for these days again before too long.

God bless you and yours always!

Marianna Bartold, Author & KIC Forum Moderator
The Keeping It Catholic Home Education Guides
We're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at
http://www.keepingitcatholic. org


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 06:55 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:28 EDT
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August 15, 2006
Crechemania.com - Nice People and Beautiful Things in the World

 

Syler Womack, a long-time Catholic homeschooling mom of five and member of the Keeping It Catholic e-mail List, has become a good friend to many of us. She recently emailed the following letter (reprinted here with her permission) about a treasure she just discovered called Crèchemania.com. 


Syler's Letter

  I have to tell you about the wonderful new site I found.  My post to the fellow who owns it will explain everything, so I won't bore you ahead of time, but please look at the site first, then read my post to the owner, and finally, [about]  his post to me.  So beautiful.

http://crechemania.com/php/

My post (to crechemania.com):

 There is really no way I can tell you how much finding your site meant to me. My son called this morning from Kuwait. He is deploying with the American army to Iraq tomorrow, and will not be home for a year. As when he served in Afghanistan, my first thoughts were, "What about Christmas?" Before he went to Afghanistan, I gave him Baby Jesus from my childhood creche to take with him, but there was no time before he went to Iraq...
 

 Then I remembered the wonderful paper Christmas decorations book I bought at the National Gallery in London 10 years ago. It has never been used, and I determined to send it to him---but I also remembered the pop-up creches we used to see long ago-- I wondered if it were still possible to find them---and I found your site!

 My son has had a fascination for creches, and for assembling miniatures, all his life. (As a sophomore at West Point, he actually constructed a model of the battle of Zama, complete with little paper elephants, and a little paper Hannibal and Scipio). Finding your site was literally the answer to a prayer.

 I will be able to include one of your wonderful downloadable creches in his letters during Advent, and they will afford him hours of enjoyment---and who can be homesick during Christmas when the most important part of Christmas is right there with him?

 Thank you so much, and all of your wonderful members whose hearts are fine and pure enough to appreciate these delicate treasures.
 

Sincerely,

Mrs. Syler Womack



Syler let us know that Mr. Alexis Xenakis from Crèchemania.com quickly responded, writing her to tell her how moved he felt and how much he appreciated her letter. He also shared with Syler how deeply he appreciated her son Forrest's commitment.


Mr. Xenakis closed his letter by asking Syler if he could create a special creche for Forrest, which would include a dedication to him.
 

What a lovely thing it is to know that there still remain kind people in the world, willing to take time from their busy lives and do something genuinely nice for another person. It all started with a note of gratitude for someone else's work. How often do we take the time to let family and friends know how much we appreciate them, much less strangers who - in some way - have done something to help or inspire us?

Just an Idea: You might want to do yourself and yours a favor and visit Crèchemania.com, where you can download the most beautiful "paper" creches to print and assemble. (And why we're at it, perhaps we can email Mr. Xenakis and let him know that, thanks to Mrs. Syler Womack, we know of his generous gesture to her son, now on his way to Iraq, and how much we appreciate both of these fine gentlemen.)

 


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 11:13 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:29 EDT
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August 10, 2006
Charlotte Church - The New Material Girl?

 

 

 It appears that fame may have gone to the head of 21 year-old Catholic, Welsh singer/actress Charlotte Church, who has so often been dubbed "The Voice of an Angel" (after the same name of one of her song releases).  Miss Church has been making her first steps in imitating older singer/actress Madonna who, like Church, was raised Catholic but is known  (and often applauded for) her public blasphemy against the sacred. Unlike Madonna, Church was once hailed by appreciate Catholics world-wide for using well her God-given talents. In fact, at the tender age of 12, Miss Church sang for Pope John Paul II. It seems she's changed however - and for the worse. The former child wonder, who has already caused scandal by posing nude for a few magazines, has recently stepped up to blasphemy.

  In July 2006, the pilot of The All New Charlotte Church Show saw Church, cast in the role of a drug-taking nun, saying she worshipped “St. Fortified Wine,” sticking chewing gum on the face of a statue of the Child Jesus (Amy Proctor),  and “smashing open a statue of the Virgin Mary to reveal a can of cider and eating a communion (sic) wafer emblazoned with an ecstasy smiley face and pretending to hallucinate…” Miss Church also called Pope Benedict XVI a "Nazi" and made personal, derisive remarks about two fellow entertainers. (EntertainmentWise.com) 

As a result of Church’s shocking portrayal of a drug-taking, blasphemous nun,  Ignatius Press has announced it is dropping from their catalog all Charlotte Church items (CD’s, DVD’s, audiocassette tapes, and VHS tapes). The announcement, made on the blog Ignatius Insight Scoop, was stated as follows:

“It is with regret that we do this. Miss Church possesses a great gift from God, and in the past she has used her talents to offer praise and glory to our Lord. But we cannot stand by a young woman who uses her stature in the media to mock the Eucharist, slander the Holy Father, and denigrate the vows of religious women."

“Therefore, our catalogues and website will immediately withdraw all compact discs, cassette tapes, DVDs and VHS tapes that feature Miss Church. Please join us in praying for this troubled young woman."

Good for Ignatius Press! Not only are they standing up against blasphemy and slander, they remind us to pray (and I would add, sacrifice) for this young woman.

Now, with all due respect and sincerity, if only Ignatius Press would also move so quickly in dropping the works of the deceased Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri du Lubac (two Jesuits who, during their lifetimes,  accomplished more damage within the Catholic Church than the increasingly raucous Miss Church can ever hope to match), they could be taken even more seriously when they take a just stand against blasphemy and slander.

 

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 09:00 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:30 EDT
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August 9, 2006
Keeping It Catholic on the Net!

Do you remember life before the Internet? I'm sure most of us do. Today, it almost seems a common thing to possess a home computer  with Internet access. And while it's something about which most of our children take for granted, the Web and the Internet are quite young. In fact, the Web is only a "teenager." The Web and the Internet are history in the making, and that history is something we may want to share with our children.

This week marks the 15th birthday of the World Wide Web (WWW).Yes, that's right -  the "Web" was conceived in 1989 (http://www.w3.org/Consortium/) but its formal birth announcement came August 6, 1991 (coincidentally or not, that date is also the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord).

I first became acquainted with the Web when it just a few years old. The friendship started when I was busy preparing for the Spring 1994 debut of my magazine, The Catholic Family's Magnificat! Like everybody else at the time who wasn't a "computer geek," I was on a steep learning curve, becoming acquainted with both computer software and "the Internet." To give you an idea about how much I didn't know when I first started, I had never heard of "cut and paste." Email was still a mystery to me, and so was writing email off-line and uploading it later! And when a friend recommended I use a "search engine," I was totally dismayed. A search what?

Now, twelve years later, I wouldn't pretend to know all the ways of the Internet and the Web - because "they" keep growing, while I am only growing older Wink - but I would say that we are good acquaintances.

Btw, did you know that the WWW and the Internet are not the same thing? Most us may consider them to be "the same thing only different," but the facts say otherwise. The Internet itself came about in the late 1960's. The WWW, however, "is a part of the Internet designed to allow easier navigation through the use of graphical user interfaces and hypertext links between different addresses" while the Internet itself "is the structure on which the World Wide Web is based." (Wendy Boswell, http://websearch.about.com/od/whatistheinternet/a/worldwideweb.htm)

If you don't mind allegory, I might say that the "Internet" is the building, while the Web might be considered nifty shortcuts through the halls, elevators, and stairways of the Internet building (because it - the Web - allows us to navigate through the Internet building). Or if you prefer surfing terms, the Web is the surfboard which allows people to "surf" the Internet Ocean (commonly called "surfing the Web" - which only confuses the issue, because one is really "surfing on the Web" surfboard to "ride the waves" of the Internet Ocean). And think of all the terms that come to mind, all due to the Web.  If the Internet is an "ocean," perhaps that explains why our computers have "ports" (short for "portals"). ???

What impact has the WWW and the Net had on the Catholic world and the "world at large"? To merely scratch the surface, the Vatican itself boasts a website, but there are also Catholic websites of many kinds, all with different reasons for existence.  There are all kinds of search engines out there, like "Dogpile" (Yikes! What a name! ), "Metacrawler" and "MamametaSearch" (which calls itself "The Mother of All Search Engines"). "Google," which didn't even exist 15 years ago, has practically become a verb, as in "I think I'll 'google' it" (meaning, "I'll use Google to conduct a search on something of interest to me").  Even "Yahoo!" is no longer a way to just "verbally" yell greetings over a distance (much less a type of insult, as in "What kind of Yahoo would do something like that?")! No, now we can "Yoo-hoo" others via Yahoo, too!

Back in 1994, when I was an Internet (or would that be a Web?) "newbie," your favorite Catholic homeschool websites did not exist.  Neither did Email Lists like ours, Keeping It Catholic (KIC).   On AOL, Prodigy, and other ISP's, there were "boards" for all natures of interests, but there were no specific "email lists" or websites for Catholic homeschooling parents.  By early 1995, I was fortunate to have a website for my magazine (but I did not design it, since I then knew nothing of "html" - Hyper Text Mark-up Language). Because I recognized that the "Web" was the wave of the future, I also recall personally urging other Catholic homeschooling parents (as well as Catholic home study programs) to "get on-line."

Today, Catholic homeschooling parents can accomplish "online enrollment" in the Catholic home study program of their choice, peruse homeschool catalogs online, make "online orders" for other books and supplements if they wish to customize their own curriculum and, in a few instances, even have their children take tests online. To save money, parents can also email the Catholic curriculum providers rather than place long-distance phone calls!

As for Catholic homeschool support - by 1995, "email loops" took off, mainly among individuals who were on the boards and wanted to discuss various matters among fellow Catholics. From there, "listservs" came about - small computer software programs that allowed a user to email hundreds of individuals at one time. (That's how the KIC List got its start). In 1999, when our family moved from the city to the country, our ISP changed, so I moved to KIC List to "One List," which eventually became Yahoogroups.

On a personal note, just think of the changes that have been wrought in all of our lives, due to computers and the "Net"! For example:  Although I had learned "word processing" while in college, I was 32 years old when I truly learned how to use a computer. As a result, my children are used to having a computer in the house. While I learned how to type "the old fashioned way," they learned how to type by using computer software. Because I quickly became aware of both the "good and the bad" of the Net, I rarely allowed our children to have Internet access. Recently, I had to "give in" to that house-rule, since two of the three older "babies" simultaneously entered college last year. They use the Internet for a few "distance learning classes," as well as research papers for their "sit-in" classes.

On a professional level, this Year of Our Lord 2006 marks the 10th anniversary of "Keeping It Catholic on the Net." Hundreds of thousands of people visit the KIC website, and we've literally had thousands come and go on the KIC List itself.  Many of you have been with us from our beginning in 1996, and many more have joined since our move to Yahoogroups in 1999. There are also many of you have been kind enough to let me know that KIC is an important part of your life, and that means so much to me.

"The times, they keep a'changing," but it is my hope that, come what may, we'll be "Keeping It Catholic on the Net" for many more years to come.

In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother,

Marianna Bartold, KIC Founder

Author of the Keeping It Catholic Home Education Guides
We're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at www.keepingitcatholic.org
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"Unless the Lord keep the city, he watched in vain that keepeth it."
~ Psalm 126:1
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Posted by catholic_homeschool at 15:12 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:31 EDT
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July 1, 2006
Charlotte Mason: For Whose Sake?

It seems there is a flurry of interest in my last blog entry in regard to Catholic homeschool catalogs. The main question: Which Catholic homeschooling catalogs promote Charlotte Mason ("CM") - and why? Don't they realize Mason, a Protestant teacher, many times proved herself to stand against sound Church doctrine? All one has to do, they say, is read her books. (True enough...but one needs the "Catholic conscience of history" to spot Mason's many errors.)

As to which Catholic catalogs are helping promote Mason while making a bit of money on her, too, for now I ask that you simply peruse the catalogs yourself...it's good practice in cultivating your Red Flag Instinct! In the meantime, here's another question: How did a good part of the Catholic homeschooling world enter a dangerous alliance with the heretical Charlotte Mason?

Answer: By reading and buying Protestant materials from Protestant homeschool catalogs - a practice which I publicly warned against, first in 1996 and again in 1998. Mason (and all for which she stands) is the perfect example of the dangers in which we Catholics place ourselves when we flirt with and flip through Protestant homeschool catalogs, which are (naturally) stocked with Protestant authors and a Protestant world-view (which, by the way, is very contagious).

But now we don't even need to flip through a Protestant catalog. The "Catholic" catalogs are picking up Mason, too!

These catalogs do us no favors; in fact, to use Olde English parlance, they "do us a discourtesy." They lead us into temptation, with the result that, today, too many Catholics fling aside bits and pieces of the Church's doctrines on faith, marriage and education and replace the Church's sound doctrine with those of heretics'.

Catholic education-at-home is slowly but surely being replaced with the sweet poison of the heretical Charlotte Mason, the Victorian poster girl for the likes of Rousseau, Darwin, Locke, Huxley, Herbart, and many more anti-Catholic philosophers. The next thing we know, we'll be spouting Teilhard de Chardin with glee.

Charlotte Mason cunningly lures and beckons with what we imagine to be the beauty of the Victorian Era. A time named after Queen Victoria of England, a queen who was head of a heretical "church," the Victorian Era was one of Protestant prudery, hidden under the guise of modesty. In a time in which the people were culturally forced into covering the body from (literally) chin-to-toe, lulling the populace into thinking they were exhibiting the virtues, the human mind was under attack with the age's evolving novelties. One need only read the Church's Syllabus of Errors, in which the Church formally listed condemned errors to grasp the concept.

Charlotte Mason, an Englishwoman of the Victorian Age, designed her "child-raising" model specifically to attract mothers.  In this, she was fairly successful. (And let's not forget - England has not been a Catholic nation for centuries.) Let's also not forget that the mothers Mason wished to attract were those of the Anglican upper-class (and, therefore, they were her own path to a self-supporting lifestyle), those who could afford nannies for their children, not to mention affording servants to clean their homes, wash their clothes, shop, and prepare their meals, those who did not engage in "real" one-on-one mothering but were more inclined toward social gatherings and tea parties and "charities."

No, Charlotte Mason's "model" was never meant to be a model for real Catholic mothers - who understand and accept the Church's doctrines on the Christian education of youth, who take care of their own children and homes - much less a "homeschooling" model of any kind.

As daughters of Eve, we can be kind, compassionate, and open to others. On the other side of that same coin, our openness to others, combined with Mother Eve's self-assuredness, curiosity, and pride - which she passed down to us - leads us into very dangerous spots if we don't ignore our willful inclinations.

Let's not show ourselves to be so filially devoted in the latter regard, for that is what we will do if we harken to the voice of Charlotte Mason, just as our first mother entered into "dialog the devil," when she herself was still innocent ...and her husband, watching with casual disinterest, went along with the game. We all know what happened afterward.

The ancient story of Adam and Eve is a lesson to us in regard to many things. When it comes to Catholic education, rather than "adopt" Charlotte Mason in your Catholic home - thus taking the first steps to a Protestant worldview - follow in the footstops of "the new Eve" - the Virgin Mother Mary. Listen to and obey the voice of God, which is entrusted to the Church via Divine Revelation, and "keep it Catholic" in all things.

Yes, dear friends, only the Catholic Church is the faithful guardian and interpreter of Divine Revelation. Of its many doctrines, the Church also possesses a doctrine on the Christian (meaning Catholic!) education of youth. How many Catholic families honestly and conscientiously cling to even this one doctrine? For if we cling to one, then we cling to all.

Divine Revelation is meant for all ages. God wants all of His children to attain Salvation. Only God gives us the means for a Catholic education that confirms itself to His Will - not that of Charlotte Mason's.

Today, we live in an era permeated with modernism. When speaking of this particular heresy, I often quote Boromir from the movie version of The Lord of the Rings, when he spoke of Mordor: "The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume." Whether we like it or not, modernism is the poisonous fume that we breathe; therefore, it affects each one of us, because we have been born and raised in The Modernist Era.

The Church, however, possesses timeless antidotes, which are summed up as follows: "Pray - Study - Act" - especially by partaking of the Sacraments, praying the Holy Rosary, wearing the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and clinging to the Church's doctrines and dogmas.

Still, there has always been and always will be Catholics who refuse to adhere to various Church doctrines and wrongly think themselves free to do so. It could be Mass attendance, it could be contraception, it could be anything - including not obeying the Church's docrine on Catholic education, especially as it is provided in the encyclical, Divini Illius Magistri (On Christian Education of Youth, 1929).

They will not endure the Truth in a matter they (wrongly) consider inconsequential, or "out-dated." They will not endure the Church's doctrine on the Catholic education of youth, but they will pretend theirs is merely a "disagreement" (conveniently, and usually with coy guile) with those who try to help them by sharing the Church's doctrines. Willing victims of modernism, they act as though a matter of Church doctrine comes down to, "We'll just have agree to disagree."

What can be done about those dedicated to this most tragic, unfortunate progressivism within the Catholic homeschooling world? Pity them and pray for Catholics with that viewpoint, but do not listen to them. For truly, we see - even within Catholic homeschooling circles - Our Lord's words come to fruition once more: "For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober." (2 Timothy 4: 3-5)


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 10:27 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:32 EDT
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June 29, 2006
Let's Talk About...Red Flags in Catholic Homeschool Catalogs

Yes, that time of year is once more upon us! It's Homeschool Shopping Season! Homeschool conference season is nearly over, leaving parents with bags of books and (hopefully) happy memories. But – ah! - a homeschool catalog is a horse of a different color. We can still peruse catalogs at our leisure, lingering over them in our favorite corner of the couch, gleaning ideas by scanning book lists and descriptions, and feel ourselves motivated merely by flipping through pages. A homeschool catalog, unlike a conference, is always waiting for us. A homeschool catalog holds a different kind of…potential. You have to be a homeschooling parent to understand what I mean by that remark.

 I’m more than a bit concerned, however, when I read through the (still) relatively few Catholic homeschool catalogs available today and see a variety of Red Flags in at least one of them that shall not (yet) be named. One worrisome example is Charlotte Mason, “affectionately” known by her “followers” as “CM.” For those who don’t know, the long deceased Charlotte Mason’s philosophy was anti-Catholic. One might say that “CM” aspired to be the "New and Improved" (albeit female and Victorian) version of Rousseau, one of her favorite philosophical “mentors.” (She had quite a few - Pestalozzi, Froebel, Huxley...and the list goes on.)

Mason knowingly embraced the philosophy of Rousseau, the so-called Father of the Enlightenment, aka the “Age of Reason” in which Our Lord was deposed from His altar, in which Our Lady was replaced with the “Goddess of Reason” and in which countless faithful were martyred at the guillotine.

Yes, dear readers, that's real history with what Hillaire Belloc called “the Catholic conscience.” As he explained so well, a true Catholic sees and understands history “from within” and not with a “perspective” or an “aspect.” I realize that many Catholic homeschooling parents, themselves cheated of a Catholic education in which religion (and the Catholic conscience of history) permeated all the subjects, never heard of the French Revolution. Not knowing much, if anything, of the French Revolution, it cannot be expected such parents know of Rousseau, much less expect that they have they read his infamous novel, Emile or understand its significance in this discussion. (Let it suffice to say that the theme of Emile was simply this: Children should be raised for the State, not for God).

But Mason knew all that Rousseau advocated in that regard - and she thought it a grand idea. Can there really exist a Catholic parent who does not find that fact alarming?

Since there are well-meaning Catholic homeschooling parents who do not yet know these characters or about these important facts of history, I explain to them, with a detailed "overview" in my books and speeches, why “Rousseau” is a huge, billowing Red Flag. I do so to further explain why Charlotte Mason's educational ideas or methods were not of a kind which we Catholics should respect or emulate.

It's one matter if parents really didn't know the truth about Rousseau, Pestalozzi, the French Revolution, or even Charlotte Mason herself. However - lest we forget the Church's teaching regarding culpability - we become morally responsible if, once charitably warned, we refuse to accept the truth for what it is.

The truth is that Rousseau was a degenerate and Charlotte Mason knew it; still, she admired him, calling him a "prophet" and a "genius." Since she admired Rousseau, an enemy of the Catholic Church, and since she promoted errors condemned by the Church, what did all of that make her? A heretic, for one thing. A rationalist, for another. And let's not forget a Communist (under the guise of Christian Socialism), a feminist, a humanist, a Darwinian, and host of other sundry terms that might make even the most liberal Catholic a tad nervous.

Right reason, combined with even a superficial knowledge of Catholic history and a budding Catholic conscience of history, makes a world of difference in understanding what is wrong with Charlotte Mason. Once one studies the French Revolution (and its lingering effects) with a fully formed Catholic conscience of history, no further explanation is necessary.

That's why so many parents who intrinsically understand what it means to “Keep It Catholic” don’t allow the Charlotte Mason "Method" (or anything "CM") in their homes. So what is the faithful Catholic to do when flipping through at least one Catholic homeschooling catalog, as I did this past week, only to find a few books about CM, like “The Charlotte Mason Companion” proudly displayed and sold? That very fact alone brings forth questions about the company itself.

Can it be that a Catholic homeschool company that has been around for quite some time truly doesn’t know anything about the real “issues” about Charlotte Mason? It hardly seems possible. Could it be that they don't know the real history of the French Revolution?

If that is true, can we really trust their history recommendations for our Catholic homeschools, much less their recommendations in other study areas? Or is that they can blithely and completely disregard Charlotte Mason's admiration for Rousseau, the man who fathered and then abandoned his illegitimate children, and set in motion the ideals that led to the French Revolution? One might as well admire the person who admires Karl Marx, Lenin and Stalin - and be done with it.

Continuing with this serious reflection, does or does not this Catholic-owned business accept the Church’s condemnation of the very same errors embraced and promoted by Charlotte Mason? If they accept it, they will abandon carrying anything to do with CM.

And then there is the “Great Books” philosophy, which is also being touted in the same catalog. (It falls within the realm of what people today think is "classical education.") As I humorously ask my audiences, “Who decided what’s so great about the Great Books, anyway?”

In fact, in my book, Home Education Guide, Volume I, I explain the worldly thinking that is the "Great Books" philosophy. We cannot pretend we don’t “get it,” we cannot “gloss over” these very real and very important issues, and we cannot pretend that we can somehow “catholicize” Charlotte Mason.

We can’t do that because we cannot “catholicize” heresy. So keep cultivating both your Catholic Conscience of History and your Red Flag Instinct. And when you see Red Flags like Charlotte Mason or “Great Books” in a Catholic homeschooling catalog, please --- do yourself (not to mention countless other homeschooling families, as well as the company) a huge favor:

Give them a phone call or drop them an email and let them know how important it is that their customers can trust them to be Catholics of integrity, and not just a company out to make a quick and easy dollar. Ask them to drop anything that promotes or supports Charlotte Mason or the Great Books, and replace those products with more items that help you and yours “Keep It Catholic.”


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 01:03 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:36 EDT
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