Catholic Homeschooling Mothers Retreat ~ Notes

Nuggets I want to remember from this courageous priest who spent 5 hours on Saturday nourishing our souls and validating our vocation...

~Parents are the first teachers of their children. It is their obligation, not the school's... not the priests to be their child's teacher. Church teaching tells us this. When we echo the Church, we echo Christ.

~ Mary is the most perfect catechist and she is Our Mother and role model. She is like the wooden handle of a kite. The kite that soars high represents Christ and Truth and the string is all that is tethered to the Truth and it wraps itself around the handle. If you let go of the handle, lose the kite! You can not soar. Mary is necessary for Salvation.

~ There is a crisis in Catechises. Much of it is no longer in conformity with traditional teachings the Church has always held. Today it is more devotions...too many laypeople, because we don't want to offend! The modern CCD books are confusing , the teachings soft.

~See the promises of the Rosary - PRAY IT EVERYDAY.

~ Consecration to Jesus through Mary (de Montfort) and the Rosary are a vaccine, an antidote to the epidemic of heresies. Read Father Gobbi - article from EWTN on him,

~ When we allow errors and impugnity for those errors, we deny and make little of the martyrs who shed their blood for just one article of the faith!

~ Pray for priestly courage. They are like the apostles before pentecost, hiding in the upper room and afraid. For the priests worried about Church's tax exempt status ,what is that compared to perhaps saving the life of one child...what is that to one life? Pray that priests and Bishops end their strange silence on abortion.

~ Pray for the Pope criticized for his courage on contraception and forgiveness of excommunications. These are days of persecution and schism within the church. A retiring Cardinal Egan now saying that he does not believe or support priestly celibacy, like that of Christ's, is telling of our times where inside the Church there is so much disobedience to the Pope and the Magisterium.

~ There is a remnant if we believe in the Holy Father as Chief Catechist, the role Christ gave him. Sr. Lucia of Fatima said, "he who is not with the Pope is not with God."

~ Fatima warned of those going to hell in droves in 1917 for sins of the flesh. Can you imagine how many now??!!

~ What a change in the church when only 25% believe in the True Presence! No wonder churches are closing - empty pews - diminishing vocations (except for traditional orders, seminaries)...why? Because pride blinds....

~ Fatima emphasized Eucharistic Adoration and reparation. The Fatima message was to prevent Truth decay. It is more relevant today. REVISIT FATIMA"S MESSAGES.

~ Faith is caught AND taught. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Practice what you preach. You can't catch doctrine, it MUST be taught! AND, actions do speak louder than words...are you embracing poverty if there's an expensive car in the rectory? What is your disposition to Confession? Do you go regularily and often...encourage it?!

~ Mary is the perfect model, a living catechism. Prayer is at the heart of the Holy Rosary, the catechism on a string. It is say Mary, she says Jesus. Mary leads us to Jesus. Fathers should lead their families in daily rosary as the primary vehicle of Catholic education. If you do it while they are young, it will be like breathing air to children...LEARN THE WISDOM OF THE SAINTS. In the rosary it is the mysteries we must meditate on and the background music to them are the Hail Marys and Our Fathers. No more potent prayer than the Rosary; it is transforming in it's efficacy.

~ There is a great tribulation and persecution but trust God, say your prayers, don't be worried about the future. Remember there will be a 1000 year reign of Christ and peace on earth. God will renew the Church and the face of the earth. God ALLOWS everything. The Church, as Christ's body, is going through a crucifixion. It will be abandoned, betrayed.... the Church must bravely face redemption.

~ As long as there is a Pope and you are with the Pope, the Church is still alive.

~ It's all a test of the faith. Read the signs of the times...socialism, communism. (Father is a former international banker and was not optimistic about the stimulus.)

~ Stay close to The Eucharist, Our Lady, The Pope - anchor yourself to these.

~ How can we support our Pope and his efforts on Summorum Pontificum? The Pope sees shortcomings in the Novus Ordo Mass and sees the Traditional Latin Mass as a raise the N.O. in reverence Ubi Petris....where the Pope is there is the Church. Be unfied with the Pope. (Taking his Pope's lead, this priest is now in training to learn the rubrics of the Latin Mass.)

~ Communion...where is the unity? We're divided. Some stand, some kneel, some on their tongue, some on their hand . What is recieving and what is taking?? Only the priest can self the Papal masses the Pope gives communion to those on kneelers and on their tongue. Watch and learn from the Pope, follow the Pope. In the Latin Mass the priests fingers are held together to show the utmost care of every particle of Christ in the Eucharist....the care can not be there in the particles when recieving in the hand...has belief in the Eucharist increased with communion in the hand and the priest not pinching his fingers together? Well 75% today do not believe that the Eucharist is Christ, but rather that it is a symbol.

~ Back to the congregation is a disordered phrase. In the ad orientam Mass we ALL face our Lord, the worship should be of God, not ourselves. Christocentric. Active participation is misunderstood, it means being drawn into the sacred and praying the Mass with the priest and offering ourselves. The priest is the one educated and consecrated to be the liturgy committee. He is the liturgy committee.

~ Why would anyone be adverse to the Old Mass? It produced saints. (It is the history of the Mass up until the last 40 years...was it "wrong" all that time?)

~ Be charitable. If you do not have love you are the noisy gong.

~ Be suspect when you hear "old school", "new school" TRUTH IS UNCHANGING.


Ruth said...

Awesome post, Alison. We LOVE the Traditional Mass.

Juli said...

This post, especially the part about catechesis, came at a good time for me. I'm struggling with my church not accepting what we use (St. Joseph's Baltimore Catechism) as a good Sacramental Preparation for my children to receive First Communion. I went to look at the list on and I know some of the materials and they are "soft" as you say! So frustrating. What happened to letting the children come to Jesus and not hindering them? I feel like my children are being hindered by our own church. We had the same problem with my older daughter in our old church. The R.E. teacher said too many homeschoolers used the Baltimore catechism and I guess that wasn't acceptable to her. They'd rather do crafts and workbook pages over stuff that didn't even have anything to do with the Eucharist!
Sorry, I read this at an emotional moment. Forgive my rant.

Cheryl said...

What can I say? These post on the retreat are so wonderful! I wish we could have one in every parish! Thank you for sharing!

amy said...

Well, phoey! I'm sorry I missed the retreat. We had previous commitments here at our chapel- (we're not technically considered 'a parish', because of some military blah-dy, blah rule).

Sounds like it was WONDERFUL. Great post, btw.

Also, I emailed you a week or so ago on joining you all for dinner after the conference.


+JMJ+ said...

Hi Juli - Not a rant at all, I hear this frequently. But I do remember reading in Mary Kay Clark of Seton's book CATHOLIC HOMESCHOOLING and also on their website and another website called KEEPING IT CATHOLIC that we should not be hindered by Church Rel Ed Directors.

In fact a priest told me that our Bishop had once been challneged and conceded that CANON LAW is on the PARENT's side. It is THE PARENT who is responsible to prepare the child for Sacraments. The CHURCH has the responsiblity of ASSESSING READINESS ONLY. ONLY.

So, if they would like to ask you child some questions...and I would insist that they are the same questions asked of their CCD candidates, even one in the room to compare...then that should be fair.

Read up on it and in charity, with the spirit of understanding if you are reading Canon Law incorrectly, ask you DRE and priest to just assess readiness.

Prayers for you!

+JMJ+ said...

Amy - I am so braindead. Did you say you were coming??

Looking forward to meeting you and if you feel up to it, will be great to have you join the gang for dinner. :)

Laura said...

Thanks for this. I just put together a post on these very topics that will be up tomorrow morning, so if you don't mind, I'll include a link to this info, too. I love it when things are so timely :)

God Bless.

~Kathy~ said...

What a wonderful post! I so wish we had a Traditional church within decent driving distance, but alas, the closest one is 45 miles away. We just don't have the finances to make that our home parish. We have to deal with a very liberal parish. I am thinking we may try to attend the Traditional Mass at the other church, once a month or so, just so my children get to see what it should really be like, on a regular basis.

BTW, thanks for visiting my blog!


Nadja Magdalena said...

Wonderful post, Allison! You write so much of what I haven't the patience to compose nor the mental organizational skills to express well--it would just come out a a jumble of Catholic doctrine and personal frustration...thank you!

So many of us are feeling such frustration and borderline despair over what is going on in the world and in the Church. I'm blessed to have not only a TLM within driving distance (an hour--out here, that's driving distance!)but also very orthodox mission priests who celebrate the new Mass, but who do not depart from the Magisterium and are working hard to save souls. So many in our country are not so blessed.

Again, many thanks.

Elizabeth said...

This is terrible...HOW did I miss actually meeting YOU...I was there!!! I loved what Father had to say about the Rosary, especially. Thanks for the post.
I'm glad you put it reminds me to think about it all more often!
Pax Christi, Elizabeth

Christine said...

Thank you for sharing. You did a wonderful job that I felt like I just went to the retreat myself!

I love everything you said.

I liked the part about the "noisy gong"!

Anonymous said...

I have a deep love and appreciation for the Mass in the extraordinary form. However, I think it is prudent to temper zeal for this form of the Mass with humility. More damage and harm has been done in the course of my short personal experience as a Roman Catholic (only 12 years) by an insidious and sneaking attitude of prideful pharisaic superiority on the part of Catholics who prefer the EF to the OF and their judgmental behavior toward others who do not share their preference, than I can begin to relate with charity. Please in your love for this treasure of our faith, have a care for the perhaps weaknesses of your other brothers and sisters in Christ of a different inclination. Loving the Latin Mass is no indicator of spiritual superiority- however well it might indicate artful personal taste! I hope you understand my concern and why I post it here- its not meant to castigate anyone, I am airing a peaceful sisterly concern, from my own personal experience.

regan said...

thanks for a lovely shot in the arm allison. no matter how long one does this homeschooling thing it is always good to have a bit sound advice to remind us WHY we are doing this and some of the more important things that must NOT be forgotten!!

Sarah said...

I tried to reply yesterday, but it wouldn't work ... Oh well! What excellent nuggets you received at your conference! I am glad you had such a wonderful time. Your post actually gave me a great deal of hope. Thanks for sharing this!

Kimberly said...

Wow!! Oh, how fortunate you were to glean such wisdom from the words of that holy priest and that you SHARED THEM!!

Thank you so much, Allison. What an inspiration!

Mark A said...

Thanks! I love your comment about praying the rosary every day. I found a neat rosary web site ( where I can actually pray with others online at the same time, and have been using it often.

+JMJ+ said...

HI everyone!

Just wanted to thank you all for your comments. As he did for us, this priest seems to have resonated with you all as well.

I have heard him speak at conferences before. This priest is very faithful and holy, no nonsense! Allow me just to remind and clarify...these are notes from HIS words. (and I take them to heart)

Thanks Mark A for the recommendation.

Renee said...

I read your wonderful post on my google reader located on my cell phone where there is no ability to leave a comment. I happened to be driving to and from one an activity with my mother and even had her read it. We both found it dynamic and wished we had been there! What a treasure trove you have there with other Catholic homeschooling mothers! So great! Thank you for sharing!!!!

I have no idea what was going on with blogger and wonder since you alerted me how many other comments I lost. so sorry...boohoo... Send again? :)

Bless you during your Holy Week, hugs to you;

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