St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Feast of the Archangels

With this Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael,now is a good time to visit Opus Sanctorum Angelorum: Work of the Holy Angels.

Our church here in Ohio is named after St. Gabriel. May all God's Holy Angels, Pray for us!

Friday, September 28, 2007

"God does not ask of us the perfection of tomorrow, nor even of tonight, but only of the present moment."
-St. Madeline Sophie Barat
Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins

They glisten like sticky buns, but they're whole-grain muffins packed with pineapple, raisins, and carrots. Here's what you'll need:

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 10-ounce can pineapple slices

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons pineapple juice or orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple (not drained)
1 cup grated carrot (1 large)
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup raisins, preferably baking raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
2. To prepare topping: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar into each muffin cup. Sprinkle nuts, if using, over the sugar. Stack pineapple slices and cut into 6 wedges. Place 2 wedges in each muffin cup.
3. To prepare muffins: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
4. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in oil, juice, and vanilla. Stir in crushed pineapple. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in carrot, oats, raisins, and nuts, if using. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups (they'll be quite full).
5. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and firm to the touch, 15 to 25 minutes. Immediately loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a baking sheet. Restore any stray pineapple pieces and nuts. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve upside down, either warm or at room temperature. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Nutrition information (per muffin): 211 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat., 3 g mono.); 35 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 185 mg sodium.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Feast of St. Vincent de Paul

I had posted this beautiful depiction of St. Vincent de Paul back in February. I couldn't resist re-posting it for his feast day. I don't know about your life, but so much has changed for me since February! I know this is a winter scene, and we are enjoying a beautiful Autumn and probably don't want to think about winter right around the corner, but I thought this picture to be so precious as this saint cradles a babe in his arms and helps a young girl.

St. Vincent de Paul, Pray for Us!

Take twelve whole months.

Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness, hate, and jealousy.

Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.

Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty or thirty-one different parts, but don't make the whole batch at once.

Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients.

Mix well into each day one part of faith, one part of patience, one part of courage, and one part of work.

Add to each day one part of hope, faithfulness, generosity, meditation, and one good deed.

Season the whole with a dash of good spirits, a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play, and a cupful of good humor.

Pour all of this into a vessel of love.

Cook thoroughly over radiant joy, garnish with a smile, and serve with quietness, unselfishness, and cheerfulness.

"We ought to deal kindly with all, and to manifest those qualities which spring naturally from a heart tender and full of Christian charity; such as affability, love and humility. These virtues serve wonderfully to gain the hearts of men, and to encourage them to embrace things that are more repugnant to nature."

Saint Vincent de Paul

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Recall Notice

The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.

This defect has been technically termed "Subsequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S. I. N., as it is primarily expressed.

Some other symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect.

The Repair Technician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.

The number to call for repair in all areas is:
P - R - A - Y - E - R.

Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure.

Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience (long suffering)
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self-control (temperance)

Please see the operating manual, the B. I. B. L. E. (Believers' Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for details on the use of these fixes.

Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.

The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter; Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility.

Thank you for your attention.
P. S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by "knee mail".

"Christ, like a skillful physician, understands the weakness of men. He loves to teach the ignorant and the erring he turns again to his own true way. He is easily found by those who live by faith and to those of pure eye and holy heart, who desire to knock at the door, he opens immediately."

-St. Hyppolytus
Sts. Cosmas and Damian (3rd century)

Cosmas and Damian were twin brothers known for their skill in medicine. In the spirit of charity, they refused payment for their services. They were both martyred during the persecution of Diocletian.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Visit from the Bishop

It's been a busy time here in the life of family and church. I'm enjoying our Bishop's visit so far. He has come on a special pastoral visit for the week. He began this weekend by saying the Saturday evening masses - and our Michael got to serve one of them and was very excited to work with Bishop Conlon. Then on Sunday, Bishop came to visit our parish religious education classes -- we had our regularly scheduled music with the children (I play guitar and lead the kids with the help of our children's choir director), and the Bishop even tried all the hand motions :-) I'm impressed! I then took him on a further tour of the classes, heard some wonderful messages he imparted to our youth, before bidding him farewell as he went off to our sister parish in the adjacent town, to visit their religious ed classes also - altho' I help oversee that program as well - I had to stay with my 2nd grade class (all 22 of them this year; Jubilee babies?).

Last evening our own teens, Doug and Jamie went to the "teens" session with Bishop Conlon and they really liked it. Tonight, I attend the "Catechists" session and I'm looking forward to it. I could really use a pep talk when it comes to religious ed. I hope to glean some benefits from this session. I can use all the boost I can get.

Bishop Conlon is a very nice gentleman. I've enjoyed listening to him and allowing him to enter into our lives in a more connective way, doing what he does as Bishop, shepherd us, in this great diocese of Steubenville.
St. Pacifico of San Severino (1653-1721)

Pacifico was raised by his uncle after both of his parents died when he was three. He was a Franciscan priest and a Philosophy professor. He lived a life of contemplation after his health failed. For the final 29 years of his life, he was lame, deaf, and blind.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"..the kind of new saint that the Vatican is looking for.."

From my own backyard, in the diocese of Steubenville: the cause for a new saint. Follow the link to: Rocco Palmo's, Whispers in the Loggia to find out more.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Poetry Friday

I Hear America Singing
by Walt Whitman

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics--each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat--the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench--the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter's song--the ploughboy's, on his way in the morning,
or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother--or of the young wife at work--or of the girl sewing or washing--Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day--At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Reflection on Today's Readings


"That is why her many sins are forgiven – because of her great love." –Luke 7:47

The penitent woman owed a larger debt to God (Lk 7:43); she had committed "many sins" (Lk 7:47). Jesus "wrote off" her huge debt of sin; He forgave it all (Lk 7:42, 48). The woman's response to being forgiven was a model for us all. She reformed her life, accepted the gift of saving faith (Lk 7:50), came directly to Jesus, and showered Him with love (Lk 7:45).

Jesus told a story about another grievous sinner who owed a "huge amount" of debt to the Lord because of all his sins (Mt 18:24). Again, God mercifully forgave this man completely and "wrote off the debt" of his sins (Mt 18:27). Here the similarity between these two great sinners stops. The man seemingly forgot all about the forgiveness he had received and "went out" (Mt 18:28) to resume his lifestyle of sin. He was handed over to be tortured (Mt 18:34).

Jesus "wrote off both debts. Which of them was more grateful to Him?" (Lk 7:42) How will you respond to Jesus and the forgiveness He has for you?

PRAYER: Father, may my heart overflow "in much gratitude to" You (2 Cor 9:12). I give You my life out of love for You.

PROMISE: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by it." –Ps 111:10

PRAISE: Some of the Korean Martyrs were new Christians, even catechumens. They proved the depth of their faith in Jesus by dying for Him as martyrs.

MyCatholic Reflection

St. Andrew Kim Taegon (19th century)

A Korean noble, Andrew's parents were converts and his father was a martyr. At fifteen, he was baptized and travelled 1300 miles to attend seminary. He became the first priest born in Korea, and the first priest to die for his faith there.

"We have received baptism, entrance into the Church, and the honor of being called Christians. Yet what good will this do us if we are Christians in name only and not in fact?"

St. Andrew Kim Taegon

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Archbishop Chaput's powerful talk to Clergy at the National Conference of the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, in July of 2007. Wow!

The Men He Intended: Claiming our vocation as priests of Jesus Christ

St. Januarius (4th century)

Januarius was a bishop in Italy during Diocletian's persecution. While visiting imprisoned deacons, he was arrested, and later martyred. His blood was preserved, and dried. Every year since 1389, on his feast day, and on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May, his blood liquifies.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Being a Light to Others; Responsibility

"In our prayer to-day, we can ask ourselves: Do I dedicate sufficient time to my religious formation, or do I allow myself to become absorbed by the other things that fill each day? Do I have a plan for reading, reviewed in spiritual guidance, which will help me make progress in doctrinal formation according to my age and background? Am I faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, knowing that there I find the light of truth rather than the contradictory opinions I often come across in matters of faith, social teaching, etc? Do I try to get to know the teachings of the Popes and to make them known? Do I respect them with piety and docility? Do I frequently rectify my intention, offering up all my actions to God, taking into account our tendency to seek applause, recognition and praise for what we do? Am I constantly aware that this is often where the deformation of one's conscience begins?

We need light and clarity, both for ourselves and for those around us. This is our big responsibility. The Christian has been placed by God as a lamp to light up, for others the way towards God. We ought to educate ourselves to face the rush of people who are going to press upon us with a specific and urgent question: 'Well then, what must I do?' [Escriva, Furrow, 221] Children, relatives, colleagues, friends, they all look to our behaviour and we have the responsibility of leading them to God. And so that the blind person's guide is not himself also blind [Matt15:14], it is not enough to have second-hand knowledge or mere hearsay. To lead our friends and relatives to God, a vague and superficial knowledge of the route is not enough; we need to have walked it ourselves........."

(from Lenten volume of: In Conversation with God)

Memorial of St. Joseph Cupertino

"Clearly, what God wants above all is our will which we received as a free gift from God in creation and possess as though our own. When a man trains himself to acts of virtue, it is with the help of grace from God from whom all good things come that he does this. The will is what man has as his unique possession."

-Saint Joseph of Cupertino, from the reading for his feast in the Franciscan breviary.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I've been thinking alot about Martha and Mary these days. This is a beautiful image done by artist: Johann Friedrich Overbeck, called: Christ in the House of Martha and Mary.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Isn't this beautiful? My blogging friend Esther made a couple of them; I picked this one. I may have to display it in my side margin somewhere because it is so pretty. Thanks Esther! Your gift is beautiful.

Interesting observation

For my readers, I've been testing out some different blogging formats; this one, for instance, I'm blogging through email. I thought it was interesting that even at my Bloglines account, my own blog text appears in "color" when blogged in this manner.  Technology!  Isn't it a wonder!?  Now, if they could just get my van transmission ahem.... :-)
Have a beautiful Sunday!  It's simply lovely here in northeastern Ohio today.  I'm enjoying the onset of Autumn so much. 

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mary, teacher of the sacrifice that is hidden

"Mary, teacher of the sacrifice that is hidden and silent! See her, nearly always in the background, co-operating with her Son; she knows, yet says nothing." (The Way, 509)

The Virgin of Sorrows. When you contemplate her, look into her Heart; she is a Mother with two sons, face to face: He... and you. (The Way, 506)

The humility of my holy Mother Mary! She is not to be seen amid the palms of Jerusalem, nor at the hour of the great miracles--except at that first one at Cana. But she doesn't escape from the contempt at Golgotha; there she stands, juxta crucem Jesu, the Mother of Jesus, beside his Cross. (The Way, 507)

In the hour of rejection at the Cross, the Virgin Mary is there by her Son, willing to go through the same fate. Let us lose our fear of behaving like responsible Christians when the environment in which we move is not easy. She will help us. (Furrow, 977)

Courtesy of: Opus Dei

Feast of St. Catherine of Genoa "Apostle of Purgatory"

This Saint Catherine is one I am very fond of; how excellent she is called the Apostle of Purgatory! St. Catherine of Genoa, Pray for us!

St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)
Catherine married at age sixteen. Careless, cruel, and unfaithful, her husband brought them to bankruptcy. She converted him through her prayer and fidelity, and the two lived together chastely the rest of their lives, working with the sick and poor.

"If it were given to a man to see virtue's reward in the next world, he would occupy his intellect, memory and will in nothing but good works, careless of danger or fatigue."
– St. Catherine of Genoa

Courtesy of, and

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows

Hallowed Mother, do this favor: Those Wounds that gored my Savior, deeply on my heart engrave. Mine it be, Christ's throes in sharing. Mine it be, his anguish bearing. These, his wounds, to keep in mind. From the flame of hell unending, be thou, Virgin, me defending, in that dreadful reckoning day! When in death my eyes are closing, open them, Lord, to see reposing, Victory's crown in Mary's hand. When my frame by death is broken, and my doom by thee is spoken, be it, Lord, the better land. Amen.

I beseech you, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose most holy soul was pierced in the hour of your Passion by the sword of sorrow, may intercede for us with your mercy now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Friday, September 14, 2007

Classic Bishop Sheen

"It is not particularly difficult to find thousands who will spend two or three hours a day exercising, but if you ask them to bend their knees to God for five minutes of prayer, they protest that it is too long."

– Bishop Fulton Sheen

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Charity of Beauty, Feminine-Genius Blog

This is a very interesting post on "dress", style, fashion and modesty. Several comments are included. What do you all think?

The Charity of Beauty

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Reposted from 2006: Christian Friendship, Understanding

Introduction from Moderator:

We continue our series with the aspect of "understanding" as it so important in beginning, fostering, nurturing and maintaining friendships.

"True friendship also means making a heartfelt effort to understand the convictions of our friends, even though we may never come to share them or accept them". ~Saint Josemaría Escrivá~

I have personally pondered and prayed on this quote ever since I came across it several years ago.

It is certainly not always easy to understand the convictions of others when they differ from our own; it does take effort, a caring and a regard for the person. We must, through the grace and strength of God, make a genuine effort toward understanding with a noble Christian spirit. We must be sincere and lay ourselves open to understanding; when we are sincere, perhaps our efforts will be reciprocated by the other party and they too will strive toward understanding our convictions as well, (but being understood yourself isn't your motive; we are asked to attempt to understand others even though it may not be returned in our regard).

And so as we are contemplating authentic friendship and what it is Our Lord desires of us in this area, let us broaden ourselves to open up to the possibilities of where we have fallen short in our efforts of understanding others.

(Following here are various passages from the writings of Fr. Francis Fernandez Carvajal regarding understanding in association with those nearest and perhaps even farthest from us. Other contributors are indicated within the text).

"The Lord asks us to understand others, even though others may not understand or even try to understand us. Perhaps sometimes they are like the guests invited to the banquet who could not bring themselves to respond to the Lord's invitation. We have to care for other people despite the possibility that they may ignore us. We should be performing acts of service for people who very probably will not do the same for us. Let us make life pleasant for those around us, no matter how they or others treat us. Everything we do should spring from a largeness of heart. We cannot keep a running tally of credits or debits. People who complain about the ingratitude of others should take a close look at their own rectitude of intention. Generosity should not lead to recriminations and collapse. Selfless sacrifice should make the heart bigger. It should uplift it with the consoling thought that God is pleased with our efforts.

The Christian gives for love of God without expecting anything in return. It includes whatever one person can offer another: respect, joy, optimism, companionship, attention.....The more generous you are for God, the happier you will be. [J. Escriva, Furrow, 18]

There are many virtues that make it easier to live with other people, and that even make it possible to do so at all; take kindness and forgiveness for example, which lead us to judge people and the way they behave in a favourable light, without dwelling on their defects and errors; take gratitude, which is that appreciation of a good received, with the desire of acting in some corresponding way. Often we will only be able to say thank you or something similar by way of expressing gratitude; it is not difficult to be grateful and it does a great deal of good.

Affection and friendship are of enormous help in our daily dealings with people;.... making an effort to live those many human virtues that make the growth of friendship possible; lack of self-interest; understanding; a spirit of co-operation; optimism, loyalty.

Mutual respect is another indispensible virtue in our relationships with others. It moves us to consider other people as unrepeatable images of God. In his personal relationship with God, a Christian learns to venerate the image of God that is found in each and every man (St.. J. Escriva, Friends of God, 230). We also have to see the image of God in those who, for whatever reason, we find less lovable, less likable, less amusing. Being with others also teaches us to have respect for things, because they belong to God and are at the service of men. Respect is a necessary condition if we are to help others improve, because if ever we try to lord it over others, our advice, our attempts to correct, and our suggestions become ineffective.

Again, Forgiveness: We would be poor Christians if, at the slighest upset, our charity were to grow cold and we were to distance ourselves.......A Christian should examine himself to see how he reacts to annoyances that being with other people always produces.

Jesus' example inclines us to live in a way that is pleasantly open towards other people; it leads us to understand them, to regard them always with an initial sympathy which will be a growing one. A person who feels understood easily opens his heart and lets himself be helped. Anyone who lives the virtue of charity can easily understand people because he makes it a rule not to judge others' inmost intentions, which are known only to God.

"Our friends, all the different people we come across, have to discover in our friendship or our attitude a firm support of their faith. If we want to be for them a source of strength, then we have to be close to them in their weaknesses....."if we are to serve others, for Christ's sake, we need to be very human...We need to understand everyone; we must live peaceably with everyone; we must forgive everyone." (St. J. Escriva, Christ is Passing By, 182)

How then can we improve our efforts of understanding others and the convictions they hold? Let us pray for the help we need to enable ourselves to be true and thoughtful friends to those God has blessed us with in this life, and those we have yet to meet, as we journey towards everlasting life and friendship eternal.

Next: Part III: Christian Friendship; Generosity in Friendship

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

St. Cyprian (190-258)

Cyprian was the Bishop of Carthage during the persecutions. His vigorous championing of Pope St. Cornelius averted a schism. One of the early Church fathers, he argued for the authority of the bishop as ground for the church's unity. He was martyred.

"You cannot have God for your Father if you do not have the Church for your mother. God is one and Christ is one, and his Church is one; one is the faith, and one is the people cemented together by harmony into the strong unity of a body. If we are the heirs of Christ, let us abide in the peace of Christ; if we are the sons of God, let us be lovers of peace."
– St. Cyprian

Life in Christ: Catechism #2407
In economic matters, respect for human dignity requires the practice of the virtue of temperance, so as to moderate attachment to this world's goods; the practice of the virtue of justice, to preserve our neighbor's rights and render him what is his due; and the practice of solidarity, in accordance with the golden rule and in keeping with the generosity of the Lord, who "though he was rich, yet for your sake... became poor so that by his poverty, you might become rich."

God Bless America

God bless America!
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her,
through the night with the light from above!

From the mountains, to the prairies,
to the oceans, white with foam....
Oh, God bless America,
my home sweet home!
God bless America,
my home sweet home!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A little further reflection ...

For those interested I have added some further reflection in the "update" at the bottom of my post: Our Homeschooling, How We Began, Part II, below. Just scroll down, or click on the title of the post within this message.

God bless! Thanks for visiting!

"One Came Back", blogspot

I'd like to direct your attention to a prayer blog I discovered through my friend Esther. What a beautiful blog and grand idea. I'll be adding it to my blogroll. Go to: One Came Back

Bl. Claudio Granzotto (1900-1947)

Claudio was drafted into the Italian army at fifteen, where he served for three years. His artistic abilities, especially in sculpture, led to a degree with honors from the Venice Academy of Fine Arts. Six years later, he entered the Order of Friars Minor. He was known for his life of prayer, his work with the poor, and his artistic skill. (More here)

"The home must be in accord with the Church, that all harmful influences be withheld from the souls of children. Where there is true piety in the home, purity of morals reigns supreme."

St. John Vianney

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Our Homeschooling: How It Began, Part II

So, I was undecisive as to whether we would really home educate. I thought it would be a good education, I wasn't worried about socialization or anything negative, and I knew there were laws that allowed us to keep our children home and educate them. But, what would others think? I somehow couldn't quite get myself to agree to it; I prayed and prayed that God would actually just "give me the answer" so I could say "yes or no" to this commitment, and I left it at that....then....

When I was pregnant with our second child, and my oldest son was nearing 2 years of age, we discovered he had a peanut allergy. A pretty serious one. Upon one of our several visits to the pediatric allergist, the subject of "school" came up - the doctor said [and I quote].."you can monitor what he eats and any peanut exposure vigilantly, but the hardest thing will be when he goes to school....." Quite off the cuff I said immediately: "..well, maybe we just won't send him to school..." and then the doctor picked up quickly..."I have many families who home school their children that have these kinds of serious allergies...there is no reason why he couldn't be homeschooled if two parents agreed this would be a suitable alternative...."

Well, I couldn't believe it! I wasn't even thinking: "homeschooling" when I made my remark - really, I was just saying we wouldn't send him to school.....

Later, I thought to myself: could we have those remarks written on your prescription pad??

Well, I felt very confidently that I - we, had received our answer, and we have literally not looked back since, but if only to recall how God has worked in our lives.

Update: Being the kind of person that believes nothing is by mistake, or accident or default when it comes to God's purpose and plan for our lives, I look with far more depth and value at the gift of homeschooling and how it was arranged for us. I should add: "Catholic" homeschooling; because indeed, it is a Catholic education and formation that is uniquely and wonderfully given in the home, the domestic church. I see where our son's serious allergy led to a lifestyle that could lead to the very benefit and further salvation of each soul in this family. Perhaps our son's allergy has saved his own soul from what corruption he may have daily been exposed to that would have had far worse eternal consequences than even the peanut allergy, as deadly as it is. God has his way, and we pray for the graces always that our eyes and ears and hearts are open to his voice and we have the courage to follow where he is leading us.

This years' homeschooling line-up....

This year in our homeschooling line-up, we have an 11th grade son, a 9th grade daughter and a third grade son. Our youngest son will turn four on Oct 1st.

We are enrolled with Mother of Divine Grace and have used them for our Catholic homeschooling all these years.

Our curriculum pretty much reads like the back of the Emmanuel Books catalog!....if you are familiar with that catalog.

Our oldest son has a very full curriculum which includes:

Religion: Fr. Laux series continues, this year with Introduction to the Bible
Math: Algebra II (Saxon)
Language: Spanish I (Power-Glide)
Spanish & English History & Literature: Christ the King, Lord of History; along with much literature reading: currently, Churchill's History of the English- Speaking Peoples, and soon Beowulf begins.
Biology (J.Wile's Apologia series): Exploring Creation with Biology
Art: Doug takes from a teacher and continues his great drawing with Rapidograph ink; he has several pieces he'll enter in a festival competition this October.

Our new high schooler, our daughter's curriculum for ninth grade includes:
Religion: Fr. Laux's texts: Chief Truths of the Catholic Faith, and Catholic Morality
Math: Algebra I, (Saxon)
Language: Henle Latin continues, 2nd year
Grammar arts: Warriner's Grammar & Composition 3rd Course
History: text: Christ & the Americas; American History with a lot of literature reading, first up, time period covered: Exploration & Colonization. She is beginning with The Scarlet Letter, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Evangelization of the New World, Americans: the Colonial Experience.
Science: Earth Science study
Music: Jamie continues with her piano lessons; and art is a variety of measures for her! She just finished art classes for the summer.

Michael, our third grader:
Religion: St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 1; Knecht's Bible History for Children
Math: Arithmetic 3 (Abeka)
Language: English from the Roots Up, root cards
Grammar: Lingua Mater, Primary Language Lessons; Spelling: Writing Road to Reading
History: How Are Nation Began, and Our American Heritage; Map Skills, States & Capitals Cards
Science: Exploring God's World
Music: Reading Music (Hayes), and recorder/piano and most importantly, listening to a series of classical masterpieces as scheduled in his syllabus (we use The Music Masters Cds) And the Classical Kids audios. Really nice!
Art: Michael does a variety and also just completed art lessons for the sumemr, but formally we use the Mommy, It's a Renoir art program for art enrichment with our younger children.

Mark, our 4 year old. Yes! We must include him; what does he do all day while we are instructing the other children?
Religion: we recite prayers and learn to make the sign of the cross; we look at lots of nice religion books like My Jesus and I (Fr. Morrow).
Math: we know our numbers! We use lots of hands-on items, from puzzle pieces to magnet numbers. We also watch Leap Frog videos, and we use Winnie-the Pooh early learner CD-Roms, (Mark has good computer etiquette and does nicely at the computer); and the Leap Frog lap-board system.
Language: we're still working on English!
History: immediate family :-)
Science: we can pick up bees with our bare-hands!
Music: We sing, we dance, we shimmey.....We listen to a lot of music - we like Mozart a lot.

The image is The Angel and the Mother, (Janmot) and is featured on the front cover of October's Magnifcat Devotional. Simply captivating!

Our Homeschooling: How it Began

Hmm, this homeschooling that we did it start? Sometimes, I reflect back to the why and how this all began. It was birthed by my husband; even before our oldest (now 16 1/2) was a year old my husband announced one day in the kitchen after arriving home from work, we might want to listen to Focus on the Family on such-and-such a day, as it is going to be discussing "homeschooling". What?.....what's that?, I remember saying. My husband explained and I said: "People do that? Why would they do that??" LOL! I laugh now, yes, but then, I was quite serious; I had no idea people were educating their children at home - it was all quite new to me. Well, my husband said, let's listen and keep an open mind. How the Holy Spirit was working through him, now amazes me! Before long, we were attending our first homeschooling conference, locally and I was meeting families who were and had been for several years, homeschooling. Still, our oldest was very young and I had "years" to think about biggest hurdle was if we were to decide to would I tell family and friends? How would I explain? This was all so new and so different then what was happening "out there".

More later.....

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

We Begin

I don't know about my other home schooling friends, but today, we begin with all our courses. The last two weeks were spent as "warm up", getting into maths and languages. But today, we are full course, full-speed ahead. I'll post later what all our studies involve this year. Our third grader is very excited to be "doing school" to its fullest.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Labor Day prayer

Labor Day prayer from the Archdiocese of Detroit Web Site:

On this weekend, when we rest from our usual labors, loving Father, we pray for all who shoulder the tasks of human labor—in the marketplace, in factories and offices, in the professions, and in family living.

We thank you, Lord, for the gift and opportunity of work; may our efforts always be pure of heart, for the good of others and the glory of your name. We lift up to you all who long for just employment and those who work to defend the rights and needs of workers everywhere.

May those of us who are now retired always remember that we still make a valuable contribution to our Church and our world by our prayers and deeds of charity. May our working and our resting all give praise to you until the day we share together in eternal rest with all our departed in your Kingdom as you live and reign Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

As found on Joe Paprocki's blog: Catechist's Journey (check it out!)

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Labor Day is a national legal holiday that is over 100 years old. Over the years, it has evolved from a purely labor union celebration into a general "last fling of summer" festival. (more here)

Cardinal Schönborn: “The Pope’s message to us will be captivating”

Vienna, Aug 31, 2007 / 03:42 pm (CNA).- Commenting on the upcoming visit to Austria by Pope Benedict XVI, the archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said he expected to hear strong and forceful statements from the Pontiff about the reality of Europe and Austria’s responsibility in the region.

“What he has to tell us will be captivating. They won’t be empty words about unimportant matters,” the cardinal told the magazine News. He said that at Hofburg in Vienna, the Pope would surely remind the country of “its place and responsibility in Europe.”

He noted that as a cardinal, Pope Benedict “was never afraid to be precise and sharp in his diagnosis, in the same way as a doctor.” The Pope is not “bombastic” in his manner of speaking, he went on, but rather he speaks “with clear precision and with the dedication of a doctor who really wants to help and point out the path to a cure.”

Cardinal Schönborn pointed out that the Holy Father has the “uncommon gift of being able to speak with both the emotions and with reason,” expressing the “rational together with the existential dimension of life enlightened by the faith.” “This has always been the fascination of Pope Ratzinger, who captivated hundreds of students who attended his classes at Tübingen and Ratisbona.”

The young Joseph Ratzinger, he continued, was considered one of the bright young lights of Vatican II. He always defended the ecumenical nature of the council, but even by 1964, before it was concluded, he was warning about the dangers of misinterpreting the council.

Thus, he explained, in the post-conciliar controversy, Ratzinger always recalled that the Council was not meant to be a break with the past but rather a “renewal in continuity.” Cardinal Schönborn said the Pope’s reputation as “an inquisitor” was due to his 24 years as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith, during which he was responsible for rejecting any deviation from the Church teaching.

The cardinal said the Pope’s discourse in Ratisbona, the recent CDF document on the Church and salvation, and the permission to celebrate the Mass according to the 1962 missal, show that the Holy Father is unafraid. “He says things as he sees them and he wants to inspire reflection,” the cardinal said, adding that the Pope has been the one responsible for generating a new discussion about the liturgy.

Cardinal Schönborn also said he hoped the Pope’s visit would encourage people to express their faith in public, as there is a tendency to treat religion as a private affair in Austria. He also warned that those who are expecting the visit to lead to changes in the fundamental structure of the Church are misguided. “The fundamental structure of the Church, which Christ himself established, was clearly fixed and determined from the end of the first century and has remained thus throughout the centuries, and it is non-negotiable.”

St. Giles (8th century)

Born a noble, Giles used his wealth to help the poor. He became a hermit and lived in a cave. He was so admired that the French king built him a monastery for his followers, and Giles became its first abbott.