The Babe

Look to the Babe in Bethlehem! Look to the Christ Child!

Questions We Are Asked – December 2008

As I reach the Christmas holidays, I feel I have not accomplished much at all.

People have an unfortunate tendency to dwell more on their failures than on their successes. Take the time to think about what you have accomplished. Be happy about what the children have learned. Think about their spiritual lives and how they have grown, and how you and your husband have become closer to your children. Write all these things down in a list for yourself. Then ask your children to make a list, talking together with you and with each other, listing what they think they have accomplished.

Coming to a Stadium Near You

Since the dawn of the home schooling movement in America, the question has been asked: “Can home schoolers compete academically with their brick-and-mortar counterparts?” Since every serious study has supported home schooling in that regard, you don’t hear the question much these days. Perhaps more readily seeing the value of sports in their sons’ lives, fathers have continued to ask a different question: “Can home schoolers compete athletically with their brick-and-mortar counterparts?”

Is Seton “Too” Catholic?

We occasionally hear comments that Seton is too Catholic. Some families have taken their children out of local Catholic schools and have noted that those schools did not “saturate” all of their classes with the Faith as Seton does. Others say they want their children to have “both sides of the story” so that they can “find the truth.” Yet most of our families are extremely happy that Seton does present the Catholic Faith throughout the curriculum. Seton is proud to follow the teachings of the Church and to inculcate the Faith throughout the school day as recent popes have asserted should be the goal.

Love of Learning

In the mid twentieth century, John Holt attempted to popularize a method of home education, called un-schooling, which calls for parents to provide a rich environment in the home which will stimulate the child’s curiosity and foster intellectual development. Children learn best, Holt claimed, when they are allowed to follow their own interests and choose their own methods. Personally, I have never been a big fan of un-schooling past the pre-school years because, to become truly educated, children must learn from a prescribed course of study. A little boy may want to focus on spiders and bugs, but nevertheless, he needs to learn his catechism questions and how to spell.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily at Lourdes

When we follow the Jubilee Way in the footsteps of Bernadette, we are reminded of the heart of the message of Lourdes. Bernadette is the eldest daughter of a very poor family, with neither knowledge nor power, and in poor health. Mary chose her to transmit her message of conversion, prayer and penance, which fully accord with words of Jesus: “What you have hidden from the wise and understanding, you have revealed to babes” (Mt 11:25).

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

No matter how the election goes, no matter how sorrowful we may be that wrong candidates won the various elections, or how happy we may be that the right candidates won, we must stay in constant prayer. As Christians, we do not put our faith in the princes of this world, who will always fail and falter to some degree. We put our faith only in the Prince of Peace, who never fails to fulfill his promises and never falters in giving us the graces we need.

Questions We Are Asked – November 2008

Is it possible that there might be some repercussions for home schoolers from the November election?

Home schooling rights are not in danger. There is a whole string of court precedents which support homeschooling, going back nearly 100 years, and those precedents are not likely to be over-ruled. However, the National Education Association is against private schooling generally and home schooling particularly, and they may propose more state restrictions on home schooling if they feel public sentiment moving their way. Certainly those enrolled in an accredited school, such as Seton, have the best protection.

Mere Fatherhood

This monthly column is devoted to examining the role of the Catholic father, and how we fathers can better live our calling. Mostly, it has been about theory.

This time, it is about practice.

Future Perfect

When Sarah Palin was selected as a nominee for Vice President, it was quickly reported that her eldest daughter is pregnant and unmarried. Upon hearing this information, several commentators expressed surprise that evangelical Christians did not condemn Sarah Palin and her daughter. Someone commented that these Christians who stood behind Sarah Palin would have been the first to kick out of the house any pregnant daughter of their own.