Archive for March, 2012

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

The source of every perfect gift is God who is Love — Deus caritas est: “Whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him” (1 Jn 4:16). Sacred Scripture tells the story of this original bond between God and man, which precedes creation itself. Writing to the Christians of the city of Ephesus, Saint Paul raises a hymn of gratitude and praise to the Father who, with infinite benevolence, in the course of the centuries accomplishes his universal plan of salvation, which is a plan of love. In his Son Jesus — Paul states — “he chose us, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him in love” (Eph 1:4). We are loved by God even “before” we come into existence! Moved solely by his unconditional love, he created us “not … out of existing things” (cf. 2 Macc 7:28), to bring us into full communion with Him.

2012 Conferences

Jacksonville, FL. March 16 (Fri.). Immaculate Heart of Mary Jacksonville Homeschool and Parent Conference, Embassy Suites Jacksonville-Baymeadows, 9300 Baymeadows Rd, Jacksonville, FL. 2:00 PM — 8:00 PM. Info: 540-636-1946 or or

How to Study

We often receive calls from parents asking for ideas to help their children improve their study skills. While each person has a favorite way to study, these ideas have been successful for many students.

Going My Way

One recent morning, after working out in my local gym (I know what you’re thinking…this story already sounds fictional), I walked outside to my car and noticed that one of the tires on my Mustang had gone flat. “No problem,” I thought, “I’ve got a spare tire and jack in my trunk.”

How Parish Schools Led to Catholic Home Schooling

Last month’s column was the story of how a largely poor, immigrant population built a powerhouse parish school system that provided a first-rate scholastic education. By the mid 1960s, the Catholic system reached its peak with 4.5 million elementary school pupils, and another million students in Catholic high schools.

Questions We Are Asked – March 2012

This is our first year. Should I be concerned that we are not totally on schedule according to the lesson plans?

The lesson plans are a suggestion. Most home schooling parents want a guideline based on how many lessons they need to cover in 180 days, the usual schedule for state schools. However, you can and should adjust the schedule according to the abilities and interests of each child. You certainly don’t want to slow down a student who loves math, finds it easy, and can do two lessons a day. At the same time, you don’t want to rush a student who is struggling with reading or grammar; that student may need two days even though the lesson plans call for only one day. It usually evens out, with students taking more time on some subjects and less time on other subjects.

St. Joseph

We recall that Mary’s mother, St. Anne, was already elderly when Mary was born. While Mary was still a young child, her parents took her to live in the holy Temple of Jerusalem. When Mary came of age to be married, it is thought that the priests in the Temple made the marriage arrangements for her. We can be certain that the Temple priests knew how special and holy was Mary, and that they would have chosen a man known for holiness, courage, and industry who could provide a good home.