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Parents, who make the conscious decision to homeschool, accept the literal role of parent as primary educator. Such a decision is ordinarily based on the premise that Catholic homeschooling is a blessing to the Church. It enhances the diversity of Catholic education, while at the same time, affirms the position that homeschooling parents participate in the mission of the Church to teach in the name of Jesus...
~ The Archdiocese of Baltimore
By Susan Sluyter
When I first began teaching more than 25 years ago, hands-on exploration, investigation, joy and love of learning characterized the early childhood classroom. I’d describe our current period as a time of testing, data collection, competition and punishment. One would be hard put these days to find joy present in classrooms...
To read more,click on the following link:
2013/02/24 - Catholic Homeschooling
Course 101: "The Meaning and History of the Constitution"
Course 201: "The Progressive Rejection of the Founding and the Rise of Bureaucratic Despotism"For more information about Hillsdale and their mission to educate all American Citizens about their fundamental rights, visit the link above.
The American tradition of Groundhog Day has roots going back to Germany and other European countries. February 2 has long been the date of a religious observance known as Candlemas, or Mariä Lichtmess in German. The following Bauernregeln are also related to the second day in February:
|Bauernregel 1||Rural Saying 1|
|Ist's zu Lichtmess mild und rein |
wirds ein langer Winter sein.
|If Candlemas is mild and pure, |
Winter will be long for sure.
|Bauernregel 2||Rural Saying 2|
|Wenn's an Lichtmess |
stürmt und schneit,
ist der Frühling nicht mehr weit;
ist es aber klar und hell,
kommt der Lenz wohl nicht so schnell.
|If Candlemas brings |
wind and snow,
Then spring will very soon show.
But if it's clear and bright,
Then spring won't come so right.
At least as early as the 1840s, German immigrants in Pennsylvania had introduced the tradition of weather prediction that was associated with the hedgehog (der Igel) in their homeland. Since there were no hedgehogs in the region, the Pennsylvania Germans adopted the indigenous woodchuck (a name derived from an Indian word), aka the groundhog. The town of Punxsutawney, some 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, has played up the custom over the years and managed to turn itself into the center of the annual Groundhog Day, particularly after the 1993 movie starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Each year, people gather to see if a groundhog dubbed "Punxsutawney Phil" will see his shadow after he emerges from his burrow. If he does, the tradition says there will be six more weeks of winter. (Phil has a rather dismal 39% rate of accuracy for his predictions.)
A similar German legend is connected with St. Swithin's Day (Siebenschläfer, 27 June), for which tradition says that if it rains on that day, it will rain for the next seven weeks. But the Siebenschläfer is a dormouse, not a hedgehog.
In Germany, the day has also been known as Mariä Reinigung, das Fest der Darstellung des Herrn and Mariä Kerzenweihe. The latter name (Kerze = candle) is related to the English "Candlemas" name and the tradition of blessing both sacred and household candles on Feb. 2. Up until 1912, Mariä Lichtmess was an official holiday in Germany. The Roman Catholic church has celebrated the feast day of Candlemas since 1960.
Shrovetide begins at the Feast of the Epiphany and runs until Shrove Tuesday.
In western Christian churches, the day before Lent starts is Shrove Tuesday. This is also known as Pancake Day. This day was traditionally the last chance to use up the foods Christians would not be eating during Lent. Today people often give up chocolate or alcohol.
Festivities take place in many cities all over the world, including Mardi Gras in New Orleans (USA), Carnival in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Venice (Italy). People dress up, wear masks, parade and dance in the streets.
“I am happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of Creation and your sympathy that does so much good for me. Thank you for your friendship and love,” the Pope said at around 5:30 p.m. from the balcony of his villa.
“You know that today is different than previous ones. I’m no longer the Pope. Until 8:00 p.m. I am, but then afterwards I am no longer Pope of the Catholic Church,” he said.
“I’m simply a pilgrim that is starting the last stage of his pilgrimage on Earth,” he remarked, “but I would still like with my heart, with my love, with my prayer, with my reflection, with all my inner strength to work for the common good of the Church and of humanity, and I feel very supported by your sympathy.
“Let’s go ahead together with the Lord for the good of the Church and of the world,” he said as he finished his brief greeting.
Pope Benedict XVI then gave his last papal blessing to the crowd.
“Thank you. And now I impart to you the Lord’s blessing with my whole heart. May God bless you Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Thank you and good night. Thanks to all of you.”
Lord, source of eternal life and truth, give to Your shepherd, the Pope, a spirit of courage and right judgement, a spirit of knowledge and love.
By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care may he, as successor to the apostle Peter and vicar of Christ, build Your church into a sacrament of unity, love, and peace for all the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.- See more at: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=909#sthash.kJjPoZav.dpuf
“I hear this Word of God addressed to me in a special way at this moment of my life. The Lord has called me to 'scale the mountain', to dedicate myself still more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church. If God asks me this it is precisely so that I might continue to serve her with the same dedication and the same love with which I have tried to give up to now, but in a way more suitable to my age and my strength. Let us call upon the intercession of the Virgin Mary: May she help all of us to always follow the Lord Jesus, in prayer and in works of charity.” Pope Benedict XVI February 24, 2013
From the Network of Iowa Christian Homeschoolers(NICHE):
Home schoolers have many allies in the fight to preserve and expand liberty for home education in Iowa. Among those allies is the Public Interest Institute ("PII"), which is a "think tank" and policy research institute led by Dr. Don Rachter and headquartered in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
We thought two of their most recent policy studies would be of interest to the NICHE membership. One is entitled "School Choice: Not if the Unions Have a Say," and the other is entitled "Education Savings Account: A Path to Give All Children an Effective Education and Prepare them for Life." The PII conducts research and produces fine products on many other topics of interest, but these two pertain to issues on educational freedom facing the Iowa legislature this year.
While we appreciate having allies like Dr. Racheter and the PII in the battle with us, please note that this email is not an endorsement of the contents of these policy studies or their proposals. We just thought some of you would be interested in seeing what some of the leading thinkers on policies in our state are saying on these topics.
Also of potential interest is the Iowa Civics Project that the PII launched in 1996. It is based upon a 12-unit curriculum on Iowa state and local government that was updated last year. It is entitled Iowa Government and Politics and it is available for free to schools and teachers (including home schools). It is a great complement to participating in our annual Homeschool Day at the Capitol that will be held on Tuesday, February 26, 2013. Several copies will be on display at the event, but you may also contact the PII for your own copy!
I hope to see you at the Homeschool Day at the Capitol next month. We need your help to build rapport with the new legislature and to protect our hard-fought home schooling freedoms!!
NICHE Legislative Liaison
From the website:
The goal of America Needs Fatima is to win the heart and soul of America for Mary by spreading Our Lady's Fatima message and promoting devotion to Her Immaculate Heart.
America urgently needs the prophetic messages of Our Lady at Fatima. Above all, America needs a clear direction, a great purpose, and the means to achieve it. The admonitions, requests, and warnings of Mary Most Holy can rightly be called a heaven-sent survival manual.
America Needs Fatima sees the essence of Our Lady's message is to open our eyes to the gravity of today's moral corruption, to explain it in light of God's plans, and to outline how to prevent the chastisement. Our Lady is thus teaching us about our epoch and our future.
To fulfill this desire in spreading our Lady's message, America Needs Fatima has organized pro-life rallies, anti-blasphemy protests, the distribution of millions of fliers nationwide, a home visitation program enthroning statues of Our Lady of Fatima, and the promotion of books and devotional items. All seek to draw people closer to God and His Blessed Mother.
Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. explains the importance of a Catholic education in a world of secularization and how urgent and critical that parents become their children's prime educators.
Mary, Mother of the Holy Family, obtain for all Catholic parents the grace to raise their children for a heavenly eternity.
Teach us parents to do everything which your Divine Son tells us to do. If we do, we shall be reunited, not only as families; we shall join the Family of the Most Holy Trinity.
Make us parents courageous and firm and clear: that we are the primary teachers of our children to prepare them for that final graduation and the first day of a heavenly eternity. Amen.
Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of your light penetrate
the darkness of my understanding.
Take from me the double darkness
in which I have been born,
an obscurity of sin and ignorance.
Give me a keen understanding,
a retentive memory, and
the ability to grasp things
correctly and fundamentally.
Grant me the talent
of being exact in my explanations
and the ability to express myself
with thoroughness and charm.
Point out the beginning,
direct the progress,
and help in the completion.
I ask this through Christ our Lord.