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Monday, September 26, 2016

First Latin Mass of the 2016-2017 School Year - Franciscan University

The first Extraordinary Form, Latin Mass of the 2016-2017 school year was held at Franciscan University of Steubenville on Sunday, September 25th.

Father Gregory Plow, TOR, gave an inspiring homily on how it's often not the bad things, but even good things that can distract you from attending the Wedding Feast ... a reminder about priorities.

I regret not finding a way to record and share the Schola, as they sang beautifully!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Say This Prayer for Vocations

There is beauty in the habit. Praying for vocations.
St. Damien Parish - St. Francis Cabrini Church - Ocean City, NJ

WHO wills that all men be saved
And come to the knowledge of YOUR Truth:
We beg you to send
Laborers into YOUR harvest,
And grant them grace to speak YOUR Word
With all boldness; so that YOUR Word
May spread and be glorified,
And all nations may know YOU,
The only GOD, and HIM WHOM YOU have sent,


St. Damien Parish - St. Francis Cabrini Church - Ocean City, NJ

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Prayer for My Daughter on Her 12th Birthday

Dear God,

I pray for my daughter to see the beauty in this world and the goodness in people. 

Show her how to raise her head in confidence, 
yet lower it with humility before You. 

Help her to be a life-long learner. May she always gain knowledge, grow in understanding, and find wisdom. 

Please God, help her to close her eyes in restful slumber and open them in appreciation of Your glorious morning light.

 I offer this prayer for my daughter that she will hear the small still voice inside. Your Voice, the one that brings calm, encourages good choices. 

I pray for my daughter to speak carefully: To raise her voice in defense of the weak. To speak soothingly to those in need. To use words that are productive and kind. Be inside and beside her, dear Lord.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fr. Mark Rutherford - A Conversion Story & Teen Talk - IHM National Conference Notes

Every emotion...

I think I went through them all listening to Fr. Mark Rutherford's talk, The Most Important Talk You Will Never Hear: Cultural Issues Facing Teens at IHM National.

Laughs, tears, chills.

Again, I wish this talk was on video so you could see this beautiful priest's face as it lit up the room with his joy and passion. ALL the talks were influential and formative for my teen/tween, but this one especially is one I bet they'll remember...we'll ALL remember.  So grateful, thank you Seton/IHM.

IHM National Conference - TEEN TALK - 2016
This dynamic, young priest lived a hard life before coming to his faith. He spoke about having too many "mushroom pizzas, " a code word to protect the  younger ears in the audience. He fell into a bad crowd, but he had grandparents who prayed the rosary for him and his brothers every day.  

His grandfather had a vision, in a dream, that he must send the boys to a Steubenville retreat.  He had no idea what this was and looked it up.  By the grace of God they went and there 13 year old Father Rutherford had a "life changing, heart flipping" experience.

When the youth conference priest entered for the end-of-retreat adoration ceremony, lifting high the monstrance in the darkened auditorium and the spotlight illuminated the Blessed Sacrament surrounded by was better than was the weight of glory that brought him to his knees! 

As Jesus passed He flooded this troubled boy's soul. Fr. Rutherford described himself as reduced to a 10-pound diaper of baby and boogers and tears, bawling on the floor. That's how the Youth Conference met him where he was and transformed him.  Later, in confession, he would hear his first call to the priesthood.

He came home, left the school and left behind the bad influences and started homeschooling with Seton! 

Here are some bullet notes from his talk:

*  The words spoken at the Steubenville Youth Conference had reality attached to them.

*  Superheroes in movies, comics and TV fail in relationships.  They fail to use their powers even though the have powers.  They can't carry the world, they are not the Savior of the world.

*  A word that does not build up your heart, bringing peace and calm, is not from God.

*  Recommended the book, Leisure, the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper.

*  His conversion found him in love with Truth and recommitted to studying, no longer failing at school. Currently in classes for a Canon Law degree, his 5th degree.

*  To parents - primary responsibility is to transmit Jesus through scripture and tradition, to educate, to be teachers of the faith.

*  Be the stream, the current, model to your children.  Let them see you weak and how much you need Jesus.

*  Jesus is the Truth

*  Father's Conversion YouTube Video 

 To hear this talk in its entirety, on and after August 1st  you can find  audio of it HERE, along with other talks from this 2-day Catholic homeschooling/parenting conference.

I hope IHM Conference organizers will consider starting a YouTube channel and creating and sharing videos of their speakers.  I believe it is the next step in reaching out and leading souls to the Catholic faith and homeschooling. 

Fr. Mark Rutherford was born and raised in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and later in Ann Arbor. Fr. Mark grew up in a Catholic home with three brothers. He first heard and discerned a call to the priesthood at age 13 while participating in a Franciscan University of Steubenville Youth Conference in 1997. Growing up he attended both Catholic and public schools, and was homeschooled. He and his three brothers loved and played hockey for a large part of their lives, which for Fr. Mark gave way to sports like wrestling, boxing, and Tae Kwon Do.

From 2001-2005, Fr. Mark attended Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan, majoring in both Theology and Philosophy, with a minor in classical languages. He was accepted as a seminarian of the Diocese of Lansing in the summer of 2005, and attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary from 2005-2009, earning the M. Div., S.T.B., and beginning the S.T.L. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Earl Boyea on June 13th, 2009, the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua.

He was then assigned as Parochial Vicar of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Brighton from 2009-2012. In 2012, he was assigned as Parochial Vicar of Church of the Resurrection in Lansing from 2012-2014. In 2014, he is was assigned as Administrator of St. Mary Catholic Church and school in Williamston, and to study for the J.C.L. in Canon Law at Catholic University of America during the summers. He is currently Pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church and school, serves on the Diocese of Lansing Education Board, and in his third year of studies in Canon Law. Hobbies: working out, boxing, mixed martial arts, and movies.

Fr. Shannon Collins - Purgatory, the Perfecting Fire - IHM National Conference Notes

"It's hard to live as a Catholic, but it's better to die as one," quoted Fr. Shannon Collins during his 2nd talk at the IHM National Conference.

His talk was entitled,  Homeschooling: Doing Your Purgatory on Earth
Here are some bullet notes from that talk.  To hear it in its entirety, on and after August 1st  you can find  audio of it HERE, along with other talks from this 2-day Catholic homeschooling/parenting conference.  

*  Jews and Christians have always prayed for the dead, so there must be a place where they benefit from the prayers.  Hell is a choice that can not be changed once chosen and in the perfection of heaven, prayers are not needed. Purgatory is that place where those who have died and need purification are assured of heaven.

*  Those in purgatory can not pray for themselves, but they can pray for us. 

*  The modern world has lost its sense of sin and denies it exists. The need for reparation is completely rejected. But we are called to "take up our cross" and offer up in atonement for our sins.  When we accept our sufferings they become of use, beneficial.

*  There is a hell.  Jesus made many mentions of it... especially mentioning, in Matthew, the sins against the Holy Ghost that can not be forgiven.

*  Only the purest of pure see God in heaven...stain and sin can not be in heaven and so for those with certain offenses and damage to repair from those sins, a purifying fire is needed.

*  Moses failed in one area and was not allowed into the Holy Land. That's imagery of purgatory.

*  We have seasons of penance, Advent and Lent and priests give us penance for our confessed sins.

*  The temporary prison, the Lord tells us to settle our debts now.  

*  The God who told us to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect wants to make us perfect.  Not a vengeful God, but a merciful and just one.

*  We deal with transforming ourselves on earth where our suffering is beneficial, profitable.

* If a target is well off in the distance, we must aim high.

* Offering up here has value to the souls in purgatory, they are at the final door. They are at the highest level before heaven. They are our models as they hunger and desire after God.

Fr. Shannon Collins was born in 1964 and is a native of Cohasset, MA. After undergraduate and graduate work in history and education, he taught in Catholic schools for a number of years. Having completed his seminary training at St. Philip Neri Seminary in Toronto, Ontario, he was ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 2000.

Father has been a very strong proponent of Catholic homeschooling and, over the years, a very popular speaker at numerous Catholic homeschooling conferences across the United States. He has appeared on EWTN and had previously served as chaplain for the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Alabama. Father is currently a traditional religious priest under Bishop Roger Foys of Covington, Kentucky.

Fr. Jeffrey Kirby - Mercy and the Drama of Salvation - IHM National Conference Notes

Life changes when God reveals Himself and we know.

St. JPII said, "Life is not a problem to be solved, it is a mystery to be loved."

Fr. Jeffrey Kirby was a new-to-me speaker and I truly hope to see him speak again sometime.  He was hysterical and although I highly recommend getting the audio of his talk, he really needed to be videoed.  His physical humor added to the laughs.

 To hear this talk, Mercy and the Drama of Salvation, it in its entirety, on and after August 1st  you can find  audio of it HERE, along with other talks from this 2-day Catholic homeschooling/parenting conference.

Here are my bullet notes:

* God works gradually through revelation, covenants and out of kindness, which in Hebrew is the word, "Hesed." The depth of the word implies sheer goodness and mercy . In Latin, it became misericordia, a heart for the unfortunate, miserable ones.

*  When someone upsets us, all we can see is the sin.

*  Sin has no life, it's boring, repetitive. Try grace.

*  In the drama of Salvation, oh where grace will take us! What is the master going to do today? Discipleship is the great adventure! The drama is still being written.

*  God likes order. We are most like him when we bring order out of chaos.

*  Adam & Eve, God gave them everything, God decides right from wrong, it was His tree! They believed the lie and forfeited glory for false power. In justice, God could have done 2 things. He could have destroyed them for offending His glory or he could have ignored them. Both would have been just.  He chose "hesed." God the Father disciplines...leave the garden.  He'll sends a Restorer and they deserve to live out the consequences.

*  And it happens again and again. Noah, after being spared, still sins,  and Abram too sins, in the exact way God promised to bless him. He was told he'd have ancestors like the stars in the sky.  Looking up during the day, he knew the stars were there but he couldn't see the graces promised, he couldn't see them. Ishmael was not the promised blessing. 

*  Later, Moses and David would both require God's "hesed." David's kingdom was the blueprint. He was King, his mother was the Queen and those who wanted mercy went to the Queen mother, whose son could not refuse her. They were flanked by 12 leaders of tribes.  The prime minister was the key bearer. David was the apple of God's eye.  

*  In His everlasting love, God shows mercy... God's constant option throughout history. So, do no less!

Fr. Jeffrey Kirby is a priest of the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina. He is the Host of the national Christian formation program Doors of Mercy. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate in moral theology from the Holy Cross University in Rome, with research on the natural moral law and conscience formation.
Prior to his doctoral work, Fr. Kirby served as the Vicar of Vocations and the Founding Director of the Drexel House: Catholic Residence for Men. In his vocations work, Fr. Kirby guided hundreds of men and women in the spiritual life and through the process of discernment. From these experiences, he wrote the book Lord, Teach Us to Pray.
Fr. Kirby attended seminary at the Pontifical North American College. He is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a Master’s Degree in Philosophy. Additionally, he holds a Master’s Degree in Bioethics from from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome.
Fr. Kirby is a friend to Catholic media, and has been on EWTN, CatholicTV, and Salt and Light, three of the largest Catholic television networks in the world. He has also been on the BBC, NPR, and ABC to discuss various issues relating to the Church.
As a parish priest, Fr. Kirby was known for his support to homeschooling families, as an advocate for homeschool curriculum, and as an organizer of homeschool family associations.
Fr. Kirby grew up in West Germany while his father served multiple tours with the US Army in that country, and he himself served in the National Guard with an Honorable Discharge upon completion of his enlistment. Fr. Kirby has run two marathons, and has crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice by boat! He’s a former English tutor to the Pontifical Swiss Guard, tour guide of St. Peter’s Basilica, and all around pasta/Italian food connoisseur!
Currently, Fr. Kirby is working with noted author and theologian Dr. Paul Thigpen on a Christian formation program entitled, Luke: The Gospel of Mercy to be released in the late summer (Pre-Orders available through St. Benedict Press).

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Professor Joseph Pearce - Catholicism, Atheism & Trinities - IHM National Conference Notes

Professor Joseph Pearce said, "Atheism has something in common with Catholicism; it is rooted in a claim of reason. However atheism is profoundly unreasonable."

Here are some bullet notes from that talk, The Sense of Catholicism and the Nonsense of Atheism To hear it in its entirety, on and after August 1st  you can find audio of it HERE, along with other talks from this 2-day Catholic homeschooling/parenting conference.  'Cause you wanna HEAR Joe Pearce and his British accent!

*  Separate faith from reason and you have heresy.

*  Read Peter Kreeft and  the book, Reason to Believe by Richard Purtill

To show that a belief in The Trinity is not fantastic or irrational, Professor Pearce noted other accepted trinities.

*  3 Dimensions, the oneness of space, in physics the 3-in-1 demonstrates unity.

*  Time = past...present...future

*  The Way, the Truth and the Life

*  The Good, the True and the Beautiful

* Love itself...requires the lover...and the beloved...and object itself

*  Catholicism helps us make sense of science and nonsense in atheism...thanks be to God for science!

Get the audio and go to YouTube for more Joe Pearce.  He's great!

 Prof. Joseph Pearce is a native of England and the Director of the Center for Faith and Culture at Aquinas College, in Nashville, TN. He is editor of the St. Austin Review, an international review of Catholic culture, series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions, and executive director of Catholic Courses.
The internationally acclaimed author of many books, which include bestsellers such asThe Quest for Shakespeare, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, Bilbo’s Journey, Literary Converts, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile, and Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc. Joseph Pearce is a world-recognized biographer of modern Christian literary figures. His books have been published and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Mandarin, Korean and Polish.
Prof. Pearce has hosted two 13-part television series about Shakespeare on EWTN, and has also written and presented documentaries on EWTN on the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings.
He has participated and lectured at a wide variety of international and literary events at major colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Europe, Africa and South America. He is also a regular guest on national and international television and radio programs, and has served as consultant for film documentaries on J.R.R. Tolkien and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Prof. Pearce relocated to the United States in 2001. He and his wife homeschool their two children, Leo and Evangeline.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Michele Quigley - Catholic Time Management - IHM National Conference Notes

In her charming and familiar way, like we were all sitting around a table together, Michele Quigley spoke about "ideas and inspiration for creating an atmosphere of order and peace"... IN GOD'S TIME.
Michele Quigley - IHM National Conference - 2016
Here are some bullet notes from that talk.  To hear it in its entirety, on and after August 1st  you can find  audio of it HERE, along with other talks from this 2-day Catholic homeschooling/parenting conference.  

BREAKING NEWS, Michele is writing a book!

*  Put first things first. Nourish your relationship with God. It can feel selfish to take time alone to pray but it isn't selfish, it's self-care. 

*  By nature we are self-focused and though that gets distorted by sin, "Love your neighbor as yourself" assumes we WILL love ourselves. And we should --as God does. Desiring the highest and best good.

*  You can't give what you don't have. The busier you are the more you need that prayer time. Self-care, being in a relationship with God and nourishing that relationship as the primary one in our lives fills us with love, and that overflows into our lives and relationships. Ask God to desire it and ask Him to help you find the space for it. He will.

*  Considering journaling (pen to paper) as a means of gaining insight and clarity in my daily struggles. Growth in holiness comes through self-awareness. Journaling can be incredibly helpful for understanding yourself.

*  Write by hand, not electronically. There's an intimacy to writing by hand that is missed when typing. Avoid the distractions of the computer and devices for this time.

*  What comes next?
Make a list of anything and everything that's on your mind in regards to managing your time and organizing your life. From the big to the small, the monumental to the mundane. List all of it.

* Ask and answer these questions:

Do I get the things done that NEED to be done? If not, why not?

Do I get the things done that I WANT to do? If not, why not?

What isn't working? or What do I need to get a handle on?

What can I drop? What would I LIKE to drop?

What's working? Don't skip this one! You need to be able to identify what IS working to help you find your rhythm and get a handle on what isn't working.

What are my priorities? What's a priority for one person doesn't even make the list for another so really take the time to think and pray about this. Then, go back through the list and ask yourself how all of the above lines up with your priorities. You might be surprised.

Be completely and brutally honest when writing out this list.

*  Building the plan.

I didn't want a schedule. I wanted free, flowing peaceful and calm days with my children but without some system of order and structure that didn't happen. Without finding our rhythm, all I did was manage chaos.

Each family's rhythm is unique because each family is unique.
Use the list to find your rhythm and build on that. The answers to "what's working" will be the key to finding your rhythm, the answers to "what's not working" will help you discover your disruptions.

Work to find the natural flow. Anything that goes against your family's natural rhythm won't last long.

Emergencies happen. That's normal but it shouldn't be the norm.

Stay flexible. Any system of time management has to be structured enough the work while still being flexible enough for your family.

Don't be a slave to the system, make the system your slave.

Is the answer as simple as "getting things done." Sometimes, but  productivity is not a virtue. (big laughs)

Sometimes something as simple as thinking ahead and planning accordingly can alleviate the stress of the chaos in the moment.

Always put love first. You can't do everything. Figure out what is most important and arrange everything else around those things.

*  Some obstacles to effective time management:

Perfectionism. Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, or good enough.

Not delegating because no one does it as well as you do.

Procrastination. Waiting until the last minute. Doing everything but what you need to be doing. Really just another part of perfectionism.

Distractions. The key is knowing they will come and working to minimize them.

Underestimating. Most people underestimate the amount of time it will take to do something or get somewhere. Homeschoolers tend to be chronically late.

Comparing. Don't compare. No matter how much you think you see or understand you are only seeing a snapshot of another's life. Don't compare those snapshots to your big picture. It will never match. Glean the good from others but don't compare.

*  So how do you gain control of your time? You don't. Time moves forward regardless of what you do but you can manage your actions, what YOU do to keep things flowing smoothly.

*  As you work to form a plan of action strive to keep it simple. Any system that's too complicated will likely be quickly abandoned.

*  There is NO perfect plan, system or method, only the one that works for YOU.

Remember that ultimately all time belongs to God. 
May we do good with the time He has given us.

Mrs. Michele Quigley is the wife of Tim, mother of ten, grandmother, veteran homeschooler, and a convert of 30+ years to the Catholic faith. She is an active member of the St. Anthony’s Latin Mass community, and has worked as a catechist and RCIA director at St. Mary’s parish in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where she lives with her family.
Michele is the creator of numerous tools and resources for Catholic homeschooling mothers, including the popular Catholic Daily Planner and Mater Amabilis, a rigorous, living books curriculum that is available free online. She speaks nationally on a variety of topics, including the liturgical year, time management, family life, and how Charlotte Mason’s philosophy can be adapted for use by faithful Catholics. Michele is a contributor to the website O Night Divine, and a new book, Why Should I Learn This? Her most recent initiative is Grace Days™, a ministry she co-created to offer encouragement and support to homeschooling mothers in their vocation.
In addition to her work in the homeschooling community, Michele has served as executive producer of and actress on “Ordinary”, a web-based Catholic television show entering its second season. In her spare time, Michele pursues her favorite hobbies, which include photography and sewing. Her photographs, and information about Grace Days, planners, and much more can be found at her website.