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The Keeping It Catholic Chronicles
NEW! Keeping It Catholic - the Blog!
SAMPLES: The Age of Mary
+++Catholic Study Guide for Homeschoolers!
+++Home Education Guides: What Catholic Hsing Moms Asked For!
+++Keepsake Collection of Recipes
+++Another Reason to Homeschool: #1,001
+++Aragorn: The Catholic Monarch?
+++Are We Good Thieves or Bad Thieves?
+++(A) Baby & Her Parents Need Your Help
+++(The) Catholic-But Syndrome
+++Charlotte Church - The New Material Girl?
+++Charlotte Mason: For Whose Sake?
+++Courageous Expose - EWTN: A Network Gone Wrong (Review) - Nice People & Beautiful Things in the World
+++Deadline Date for Terri: Done on Purpose?
+++England's New Grading System: Politically Correct to the
+++FATIMA: Still in Eclipse
+++FATIMA: The Most Important Part is Still Missing
+++FATIMA: One Secret, Three Parts
+++FATIMA and the King of France: Do We Have Less than 10 Years Left?
+++FATIMA: The Question of Consecration
+++(The) Feast of St. Joseph - with Prayers
+++Flight to Narnia - Delayed
+++Flower of the Catholic City
+++For the Italians!
+++Guidelines: Ohio
+++His Holy Father or My Highness?
+++Home & Family Life: The (Almighty) Schedule
+++Homeschooling = Child Abuse?
+++How Long, O Lord?
+++In the Name of Christ the King!
+++Is There Life after Homeschooling?
+++Jesus' Charitable Warning
+++Keeping It Catholic on the Net!
+++(The) Last Catholic Emperor
+++Little Lessons & Christmas Memories
+++MEN!!!! Pt 1, Missing in [Catholic] Action - Chivalry
+++MEN!!! Pt. 2, I Bid You Stand, Men of the West!
+++Michael Schiavo's Slip-Up
+++Moving Meditation on the Messiah: The Passion of the Christ
+++Not a Blitz, But a Blackout (Terri and the Catholic Media)
+++Open Letter to Homeschool Resisters
+++Pope's Death: What God in His Mercy is Telling Us
+++Part 1 - Is Homeschooling Disobedient to the Church?
+++Part 2 - Lynn's Letter on Homeschooling
+++Part 3 - Fr.Stravinskas’ Problems with Homeschooling
+++Part 4 - A
+++Pope's Death: President Orders Flags at Half-Mast
+++RED FLAG: Blessed are We
+++RED FLAG: Catholic Insights into Montessori Education
+++RETREAT 1: Importance of Meditation on the Passion
+++RETREAT 2: Saints' Love of Christ's Passion
+++RETREAT 3: Devotion to the Passion
+++RETREAT 4: The Charity of God
+++RETREAT 5: The Judas Factor
+++RETREAT 6 : The Lamb of God
+++RETREAT 7: The Paschal Supper
+++RETREAT 8: Jesus' Farewell
+++RETREAT 9: In the Garden of Gethsemane
+++RETREAT 10: Ecce Homo!
+++RETREAT 11: After the Crucifixion
+++RETREAT 12: Christ and His Mystical Body
+++Rosary Novena
+++(The) Secrets of Catholic Homeschooling
+++September: A Holy Month to Start Homeschooling
+++Terri Schindler Schiavo: American Martyr
+++Terri Schindler Schiavo - With God, All Things are Possible
+++Today is the 1st Day (of the Rest of this Blog!)
Books by Marianna Bartold
Catholic Home Education Guides
Keeping It Catholic - with Marianna Bartold
March 27, 2008
A New Look: Come Visit "Keeping It Catholic - The Blog!"
Mood:  caffeinated

With a new and more streamlined look, new articles (as well as oldies-but-goodies), new graphics, and more color, I hope you'll keep in touch by visiting Keeping It Catholic: The Blog ---

That is KIC's new "place" on the web and the place where the (Catholic) Action is (pun intended!). At Keeping It Catholic: The Blog you'll find future KIC articles, news and reviews...not to mention my popular Red Flag Reviews.  

Btw, after all these years, I gave in: For those of you who have never met me at a conference (or for those who haven't seen me in a few years) - there's a recent photo of yours truly on the new blog.  (Kindly do not throw darts at it, because you might break your computer screen.)Smile

Major coincidence: My blog isn't the only thing that is more stream-lined these days! Wink

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 16:45 EDT
Updated: March 27, 2008 16:54 EDT
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March 4, 2008
NOW AVAILABLE! Samples of "The Age of Mary" Catholic Internet-Based Study Guides

At the request of Catholic homeschooling parents, catechists, and school teachers, you can now view 8 SCREENSHOT SAMPLES of "The Age of Mary," the Catholic, Internet-Based Study Guide for junior high and high school students!  The preview spans the three following website pages:

Age of Mary Preview I, Age of Mary Preview II, and Age of Mary Preview III.

The question: Why should I choose "The Age of Mary" Catholic Internet-based Study Guides for my older students?

The bottom-line answer: They're thoroughly Catholic, economical, and convenient!

With ONLY two tools - your home computer and your Internet access - your students simply open the electronic "Age of Mary" Catholic Study Guide each day. Watch their interest soar as they click and type their way through their studies!

Junior high and high school-aged students love "The Age of Mary," an intriguing set of Catholic Internet-based Study Guides, with each installment featuring syllabi and free-access, screened links.


*Delight in Interesting, Integrated Subjects!

---That means no more disconnected studies! The five-subject lesson plans are interrelated! What is covered in Religion and/or History is directly connected to Language Arts, Geography, and Science.

*Receive a sound, doctrinal Catholic education, with Mariology (study of the Virgin Mary) and Church-approved apparitions as the foundation.

*Whiz through colorful syllabi with screened, interactive links to online resources for:

---Religion (see more about this in the next paragraph!)
---Language Arts (including Poetry, Composition, Literature)
---History (with a "Catholic conscience," not a "perspective"!)
---Geography (Make it fun, not dry and not boring!)
---Science (Ditto!)

*Enjoy quality computer time: Study Church dogmas and doctrines, delve deeply into history, soak in literature and poetry, type essays, reports or compositions, geographically explore specific parts of Europe, make virtual tours of shrines or other historical spots, and find out about various scientific branches

*Strengthen independent-study skills (VERY important!)

*Learn more about the popes, saints and other respected Catholic historical figures who left their mark on the studied time-frames (French Revolution  to World War I).

*Discover philosophers (saints and otherwise) who greatly impacted history - and the times in which we live.

*Study the writings of popes and great saints - online!

*Cultivate a deeper interior life by learning how to daily live the Church's constant teaching:
Pray, Study, Act!


---SAVE MONEY! For one low price, get everything needed for ONE SCHOOL YEAR of Religion, Language Arts, History, Geography and Science. (Everything is included except math.) The 4 quarterly installments provide enough lesson plans to cover 36 weeks (9 weeks per installment)!

---No website-fees, no yearly charges, no need to log-in to a website! The Age of Mary Catholic, Internet-based Study Guides are electronically delivered to you!

---Once you purchase "The Age of Mary," it's yours to use - year after year. (A great family saving!)

---No books or extras are needed for "The Age of Mary." In each Catholic Internet-based Study Guide, there is included a Bonus List of Living Books or other items (which you may wish to purchase  elsewhere). While helpful, they are not strictly required - because everything your students need is included in "The Age of Mary"!

---SAVE TIME! As your jr. high or high school student uses the computer for 5 core topics, you'll have extra hours to teach your little ones, take care of household tasks, or simply relax a bit!

---Discuss topics (suggestions provided in the syllabi) and review "The Age of Mary" assignments in about one hour a day. Your student(s) can then study, read through links, and research or type assignments for the rest of the day.

---Enjoy worry-free convenience! Just check over your students' shoulders as they sit at the computer, zooming through each installment of the electronic "Age of Mary" syllabus.

---Easily provide parent-teacher guidance while encouraging independent study!

---Give your students the best of both worlds - both classic and scholastic!

---Print out the complete syllabi for your records! No writing in lesson plans books or typing them into your word processor necessary!

---Relieve (or completely avoid) "homeschool burnout" (for both you and your students)!

---Most importantly, bring your family closer "to Jesus through Mary." With our entire curriculum, study Church-approved apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary - including Our Lady of Paris (the Miraculous Medal), LaSalette, Lourdes, and Fatima!

I trust you'll enjoy the
Sample Pages of "The Age of Mary." And please don't forget -  within 24 hours of your order and email confirmation, you'll receive your first "Age of Mary" Catholic Internet-based Study Guide.

In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother,

Marianna Bartold
"The Age of Mary" Catholic Internet Study Guides
We're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 04:24 EST
Updated: March 4, 2008 04:51 EST
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October 5, 2007
Fatima: The Question of Consecration

Before going any further, I first wish to state it has been my intention to eventually address the historical facts regarding the papal consecrations so far made. Although I have been asked, it is not my intention to offer my personal conjecture on the why’s and wherefore’s regarding the reason(s) the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary has not yet been made. At the same time, I again will say that Fatima’s history spans the last 90 years; I know my readers will understand that what I will share might be considered an historical “briefing” or a “highlighting’ of the key points of Fatima.


To briefly respond on the question of Pope John Paul II's consecrations of the world to the Immaculate Heart: It was not only Pope John Paul II (may God rest his soul) who made world consecrations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There was, first, a world consecration made by Pope Pius XII in the first years of WWII; years later, the same pope alone performed a consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, but he did not command the bishops to join him.


These historical facts and the world events that followed them prove that, while God may accept such consecrations “to a degree,” they do not completely fulfill the obligation which heaven expects in regard to the solemn, collegial consecration of Russia (not the world) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


In the tradition of the Church, an act of consecration is a “solemn consecration” (whether made by a pope, reigning Catholic monarch, or a bishop in his own diocese). It is one that is publicly made in a church, basilica, or cathedral. It stands to reason that a solemn collegial consecration must follow the same traditional protocol. 

Our Lady’s request in 1929 was succinctly and clearly made when she said:

 “The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”


Incidentally, while Our Lady did not specifically ask that the bishops join the Holy Father in Rome when the consecration of Russia is made to Her Immaculate Heart, it would be highly proper, from a pious standpoint, and could have been accomplished many times in the past. However, it does not seem that heaven requests that all bishops travel to Rome; it shall be enough that the Holy Father and the bishops of the world spiritually unite, on one day, to make the solemn consecration.

In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother, 
Marianna Bartold, Main Moderator
We're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at
"One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, I shall save the world." 
 ~Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 21:31 EDT
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FATIMA: One Secret, Three Parts

About a week ago, I announced that we on the Keeping It Catholic list shall discuss the entire message of Fatima. Since various obligations are pressing and also because covering 90 years of history in a succession of emails is a formidable task, I have decided to outline the Secrets of Fatima and then primarily focus on the yet-to-be-accomplished collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Graces, we dedicate our poor service in sharing with our fellow Catholics the entire truth about Fatima. To Jesus through Mary!

Please understand that KIC’s only concern is that the entire message of Fatima is shared with our fellow Catholics. The One Secret in Three Parts inevitably demands a firm faith, as well as a strong grasp on the key doctrines of the Faith. Faith places obligations upon all Catholics (laity and clergy), because God revealed through both Tradition and Scripture that we only attain salvation through “faith and good works.”

The Fatima revelations are in full conformity with Divine Revelation because, in their sum total, they underline, in the utmost simplicity, the key doctrines of the faith. As always, God chooses to act through persons, but the Fatima revelations make is clear that, in this era, it is His Holy Will that the Immaculate Heart must be loved and honored and that all Catholics on earth fulfill their roles in what He now asks, from the humblest lay person up to he who holds the highest office on earth, which is held by Pope Benedict XVI. Since 1830, Fatima was the only Marian apparition in which Heaven requests the cooperation of all Catholics to fulfill the Divine Plan for the world.

The apparitions of Fatima revealed the obligations of Catholics to the Lord God, which are as follows:

--Make acts of reparation to the Lord our God for sins, and also for the conversion of sinners, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (This is God's confirmation of the holy and humble work of St. Louis de Montfort, who taught "To Jesus through Mary.")

--Pray the Rosary every day (especially for the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who, as God’s handmaiden and Mother of God, desires not the eternal death of sinners but wishes to save them).

--Make all that we do a sacrifice for the love of God - again, in reparation to the sins which offend Him and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of sinners. Our Lord later explained to Sr. Lucia that the sacrifice which He now requires of us is the faithful accomplishment of our daily duty.

--Wear the Brown Scapular and live chastely according to one’s state in life

--Accomplish the Five First Saturday devotions in reparation for five particular blasphemies against the Virgin Mother of God --- for what offends the Mother, offends the Son.

---Finally, there is the most critical Secret in which the Lord commands His Vicar, who alone holds the office of Supreme Pontiff and who alone possesses the authority and solemn duty to command the princes (the bishops) to join him in the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.



We Catholics cannot forget that a reigning pope holds the ultimate position as a reigning monarch in his office as God our King’s Steward. Jesus Christ is King and a reigning pope serves the King as Steward of the Catholic City, which is visible in the hierarchy and the laity but is also invisible, because it is found in the Catholic interior life of each faithful soul. "For lo, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke XVII: 20, 21) The Pope’s authority as Christ's steward-monarch is world-wide and extends also to non-Catholics, although they reject his office. Like any of the King’s subjects, he also must obey the command of the King, whether through by His own word or by those of the Queen Mother, the Virgin Mother of God.

The outline above highlights the true and entire message of Fatima. As faithful Catholics, we know that we cannot reject, ignore or dismiss any part of the Fatima revelations; we cannot ignore all that was related to and asked of the Catholic world by the Virgin Mother of God.

It was Our Lady who first asked the three shepherd children if they were willing to do as she asked, rather than impose herself against their free will. Catholic doctrine explains that God, Who gave all mankind free will, also allows us to every day make the choice whether we will do what is right or do what is easy, for - as we should know - they are never the same thing and they are forever diametrically opposed to each other.

As we know, the three children said "Yes" to Our Lady, just as she once said "Yes" to God. Our Lady's response to the children: "Then you will have much to suffer, but My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the path that will lead you to God."


Lest we hesitate because we fear suffering, let us recall also Our Lord's fear in the Agony of the Garden, and let us also remember that we cannot avoid suffering in this life; but what makes suffering meritorious is our resignation and forbearance to God's Will. Moreover, we have Our Virgin Mother, who promises us that Her Immaculate Heart will be our refuge and the path that shall lead us to God!

Again---To Jesus through Mary! If mere children could so quickly and generously respond to Our Lady, cannot we adults also say "Yes" to our Virgin Mother --- and through her, say "Yes" to the Lord our God?

May we all continue to pray to Our Lady of the Rosary for the graces God wishes to give us through the hands of His Mother, so that we will both live and spread the entire Fatima message. The time is already late...let us pray and sacrifice especially for the intentions of the Holy Father, who will one day command and lead the solemn, collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother,

Marianna Bartold, Main Moderator
We're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at
~+~+~+~+~+~+ ~+~+~+~+~ +~+~+~+
 "One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, I shall save the world."

~Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche
~+~+~+~+~+~+ ~+~+~+~+~ +~+~+~+

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 13:10 EDT
Updated: October 5, 2007 21:10 EDT
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September 25, 2007
Fatima Message: The Example of the King of France; Do We Have Less than 10 Years Left?

Those who study the history of Christendom with a "Catholic conscience," per the definition of Hilaire Belloc, and who also pay special heed to Church-approved apparitions might foresee, with a holy fear of God's Justice, that if the gentle, motherly requests of Our Lady of Fatima are not honored in full, that what awaits us is a horrific victory of the continuing Revolution against the Church, the Holy Father, and those who follow him.

Certain words of Our Lord's to Sr. Lucia strongly indicate that the full portent of the Third Secret of Fatima may occur within 10 years’ time. This probable tragedy alone should inspire those who possess confidence in Our Lady of Fatima to courageously accept our collective obligation to declare the entire Fatima message throughout the Catholic world.

The prophecies of Our Lady of the Rosary via Fatima and one, particular later warning of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, to Sr. Lucia about the collegial consecration bring to our attention the apparitions of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in Paray-le-Monial, France. Through this saint, Our Lord gave the world the devotion of the Nine First Fridays and the Twelve Promises to those who practice this particular devotion. Yet there is another serious matter surrounding the Paray-le-Monial apparitions to the saint, and it is one which is very little known.

St. Margaret Mary was told by the Lord that she was to "inform the King of France, 'Eldest son of His Sacred Heart,' that the Sacred Heart wished 'to reign in his palace, to be painted on his standard, to be engraved on his arms,' and that it [the Sacred Heart] will make him 'triumphant over all the enemies of Holy Church,' if the King obeyed Christ's command on these matters. However, as history relates, “Either Louis XIV never received the letter or he refused to reply. But the command still stands." (The Secret of Saint Margaret Mary by Henri Gheon)

On June 17, 1689, Our Lord also told the saint to tell the Catholic King Louis XIV that France must be solemnly consecrated to His Sacred Heart. This command, too, was ignored by the king and also by his heirs and descendants. As a result, France – first daughter of the Church – was not "triumphant over all the enemies of Holy Church" when France was besieged by the “enemies of the Church.”

Furthermore, it is impossible to believe that God's mercy and justice would allow to come to fruition the the triumph of the Church's enemies,who would rise against France, if His messages to the King(s) of France had never been received by them.


Exactly one hundred years later, on June 17, 1789, the reigning Catholic king of France (Louis XVI) was stripped of his kingly power and authority by the godless “Third Estate” of the French Revolution. Thus the Reign of Terror went into full motion.

The king and his entire family (including children) were imprisoned. There are some who believe that, during his imprisonment, the King made a private consecration of France to the Sacred Heart, an act fulfilled in the presence of his confessor. But should this legend ever be proven as fact, it still remains that the Lord was not obeyed to the letter. His express command was that the King of France perform a solemn (e.g. – public) consecration of France to His Sacred Heart.

Tragically, the king was executed by the guillotine, paying in his own blood for the disobedience of his forefathers and kings to the King of Kings. Nine months later, his wife the Queen Marie Antoinette, followed in his footsteps. Before her death by execution, the prison guards had taken the Dauphin, their young son, from the care of his mother and the comforting enclosure of his family. The poor little boy, who was badly treated, drugged, and perhaps tortured, was forced to say the most hideous and vile lies against his mother during a sham trial. Later, he disappeared while in the prison, never more to be seen alive. The only surviving child, the young adolescent Marie Terese (known as Madame Royale), was later used as a political pawn. Other innocents also suffered terrible fates during the French Revolution. Due to the ravenous “Mademoiselle Guillotine” and her devotees, the streets literally ran ankle-deep in blood.

To think of what France - and with it, the Church - could have been spared, if only one of the reigning kings had obeyed the simple command of Our Lord! With the downfall of the French crown came the downfall of any semblance of decency, law and order. License (not liberty) was the order of the day. The Church became slave to the state; the state of affairs in France made possible the rise of the dictator Napoleon Bonaparte, the imprisonment of a pope, and the eventual loss of the papal states.

Christ our King wished to establish the public consecration and devotion to His Sacred Heart in order to save France, "First Daughter of the Church," and with it, Christendom. As we now know through the apparitions to Sr. Lucia of Fatima, the Sacred Heart also wills the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary - this time to save the entire world from the punishments it deserves for its many sins.
Our Lord also wishes to have the whole world acknowledge that Russia and the world will be saved by the collegial consecration, so that the Immaculate Heart of His Mother will honored beside His Own.


In briefly reviewing the tragic history of the French Revolution and the fate of the Catholic monarchs and thousands of innocents, we will fully understand how the Lord's apparitions and requests at Paray-le-Monial are linked to Our Lady's requests at Fatima.

On July 13, 1917, Our Lady said to the child Lucia: “God is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church, and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Communions of reparation and for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart ... In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted, and an era of peace will be granted to the world.”

Eleven years, eleven months later - on June 13, 1929 - Our Lady appeared to Sr. Lucia, saying: “The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”

Two years passed, but Sr. Lucia’s endeavors proved fruitless. Those with the authority to fulfill the command would not comply.

In August 1931, Our Lord Himself spoke to Sr. Lucia of Fatima, referring to HIS command for the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By the choice of God's own words, He left no doubt that the request of His Mother was also His own command and Will.

According to the long-used translation, Our Lord said to Sr. Lucia:

“Make it known to My ministers that, given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, they will follow him into misfortune. It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary."

With only the release of the Third Secret Vision (which did not include Our Lady’s words about it), Our Lord's warning to Sr. Lucia in 1931 makes itself tragically clear:

Like the Kings of France who disobeyed the heavenly King’s command by delaying the solemn consecration of France for 100 years, the ministers of the Lord who do the same in regard to the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary “will follow the French king into misfortune.”

Like the countless numbers who also followed the King of France and his family "into misfortune" by their deaths at the guillotine, the Third Secret Vision of Fatima makes it clear that, "if my (Our Lady's) requests are not heard," a bishop in white (generally understood to be the pope, who is the Bishop of Rome and traditionally wears white for certain occasions) will die at the hands of soldiers who bear both guns and arrows; the Holy Father will be immediately followed by a long line of faithful Catholics from all states in life. The Third Secret Vision also reveals that the Angels will gather up the blood of those who die, traditional symbolism in regard to the deaths of martyrs.

In regard to the long-awaited collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart, is it not possible that Our Lord was also telling us that, “like the King of France,” He will again allow exactly 100 years for His ministers to completely obey Him? If so, the 100 years conclude in less than 10 years – on July 13, 2017.

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 05:11 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:08 EDT
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Fatima Message: The Most Important Part is Still Missing

A few individuals have asked "Who is behind" the eclipse or the "hijack" of the national Rosary Campaign in regard to the complete Fatima message? In response, I can only emphasize that we don't know whether or not various organizations promoting the incomplete message fully realize what they are doing. 

Because the days are fleeting before the arrival of October 13, 2007, my view is that the time required to thoroughly investigate the answer is time better spent relating Fatima's historical events and the "Three Secrets" of Fatima. 

Our only intention is to point out that the most important request of Our Lady is conspicuously absent and to rectify that most serious omission.

In filial obedience to the Lord's and the Virgin Mary's requests, KIC also asks that those who may participate in a local Rosary Campaign politely invite the organizers to please include the most necessary request:

"For the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

Only if one encounters resistance, there is recourse to Plan B (not to be used lightly except in extreme circumstances), which is to ask for the intention to be couched in the following way:

"For the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

Yet, if even that does not work, then there is a last recourse: During the public recitation of the the Rosary, while at any Rosary Campaign, publicly and charitably announce the intention as the Rosary begins! Doing so will take much courage and fortitude, not to mention either overcoming or not possessing that awful encumbrance of human respect.

That said, we Catholics should not be forced into compromise, but there are circumstances where prudence is the better part of valor. But it would be an offense to God if, due to a lack of the virtue of fortitude, we totally disregard THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of the Fatima message.

The Rosary Campaign will take place in parishes and other places across the United States and, it is to be hoped, in other nations. We must keep in mind that, if thousands of Catholics  first and foremost pray the Rosary "for the intentions of the Immaculate Heart of Mary," together we shall be making thousands, if not millions, of supplications to heaven for the collegial consecration of Russia.

Only an FYI, the organizations listed on a flyer insert of a local parish bulletin includes a small note at the bottom, "Coordinated nationally by Tradition Family Property and its American Needs Fatima campaign."
Mothers' Watch also sent out a recent newsletter (dated Summer 2007) in which they included a one-page letter which stated, "Because of the different subject matter, this most important newsletter does not have the banner of Mothers' Watch, but 'Moms for Fatima' as our identity so that we may reach as many people as possible. This time we are not pointing a finger at bishops, sex education or Catholic schools. This special newsletter is a plea to bring as many people as possible to our Blessed Mother."

At this point, I first must say I highly respect the Mothers' Watch ladies; some of you may also recall that I once wrote an article for them (Spring 1998). Due to the respect I hold for them, it was distressing to discover that, while the first half to three-quarters of their recent newsletter included pertinent facts and observations about the Rosary, Our Lady of Fatima, Masonry, and the Muslim threat (with a spot-on reference to Hillaire Belloc), the last section on Fatima repeated the half-truths and innuendos with which so many of us are familiar.

The article of which I speak can be found at Should anyone choose to read that article, please be sure to pay special attention to the last part, especially the two subtitles "Dividing the Faithful" followed by "The Virgin Mary's Requests at Fatima." It is the last section with which we at KIC are specifically concerned. One will find a number of truths in regard to what is called "Our Lady's Peace Plan," but one will also find that some of them are "incomplete." That incompleteness is the problem.

Very troubling is the insinuation that the world is now threatened by a world-war, at the hands of an Islamic jihad, "because we have failed to live the message of Fatima." While that threat is indeed true, the blame appears to be once more solely placed upon a lack of Marian devotion amongst the faithful - another popular assumption these days.

In other words, it is the same insinuation (based only on subjectivity but on nothing historically related by either Our Lady or Our Lord in later apparitions to Sr. Lucia) that if enough of the lay faithful obeyed Our Lady - in daily praying the Rosary, wearing the Brown Scapular, fulfilling the First Saturday Devotions, offering all that they do, especially their daily duty, as a sacrifice for the conversion of sinners - then the popes and bishops would follow suit and also obey the Mother of God.

Today the insinuation includes human, erroneous thinking that the "world" consecrations already made fulfilled Our Lady's request.

However, since it is painfully clear that promised era of peace is yet to be seen, it is alleged that the problem must be due to laxity on the part of the laity. What continues to be totally ignored or fallaciously explained away is the critical fact that God still awaits complete and total obedience in regard to the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When that finally occurs, Our Lady promised that "an era of peace will be given to mankind."


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 04:05 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:09 EDT
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Fatima Message: Still in Eclipse

It recently came to KIC's attention that almost every "mainstream" Catholic apostolate and parish is currently promoting what might be sadly called an "eclipse" of the Fatima message via a nationwide "Rosary Campaign," which is planned for Saturday, October 13, 2007 - the 90th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, Portugal.

At first glance, the upcoming Rosary Campaign is a most welcome and pious commemoration of the greatest public miracle since the parting of the Red Sea. However, thus far the plans for the Rosary Campaign fail to acknowledge the most crucial command of the Lord our God - a command so imperative for the salvation of souls living during this crisis in Church history that He sent His Holy Virgin Mother to deliver it.

This one command has yet to be obeyed in full: The Holy Father and the bishops throughout the world must consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In response, it is my hope, both on this blog and the KIC email list, to cover the key points of Fatima and the very real necessity of the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 03:52 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:10 EDT
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September 1, 2007
September: A Holy Month to Start Homeschooling

The summer has practically flown by! I know many people view this first weekend in September only as the Labor Day weekend, but we Catholics know that it is much more than a secular holiday. After all, today is September 1, a First Saturday of the month - a special day of devotion and reparation to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart for five major blasphemies against the one one and only Virgin Mother. In addition, this coming Friday (September 7) is a First Friday, in loving honor and reparation to Our Lord's Sacred Heart.

Speaking of how quickly time passes, members of the Keeping It Catholic list may recall my mentioning a literal answer to a prayer this past spring. That’s also the reason you haven't heard much from me. My "summer break" primarily focused on very real and serious health needs. Finally, I was able to fully implement (and plan to continue) an amazing combo of strategies that are working well: A low-carb lifestyle, loads of natural health supplements (including a pro-life option for natural, increased stem cell production), and water therapy three times or more a week. As a result, the more severe symptoms of arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia have greatly improved. More and more often, I see a return to normal energy instead of chronic exhaustion. In addition, I no longer need daily medication, and (finally!) I am much slimmer. All glory to God and grateful thanks to Our Lady for answering my prayers!

I’m also happy to say that my mom, who suffers from many diabetes-related health problems, recently returned home to us. Since we are all doing our best to help her, the home schedule shifted a bit and we are adjusting to it. Our second and third older children are working full-time and getting ready for their third year in college. Our high school-age son, who will be 17 yo this fall, wants to begin college classes this year, too, and our youngest is entering 4th grade. It looks to be another full year, with every day blessed with wholesome work!

There are many things for which each of us can be grateful as September opens. September is another month in which to practice particular devotions to Our Lord, Our Lady, and the saints. Next Saturday, September 8, the entire Catholic Church will once more honor the Nativity of Our Lady. Just a few days later on Wednesday, September 12, we publicly revere the Holy Name of Mary. This year, the Exultation of the Cross falls on Friday, September 14 (and also is the eve of Our Lady of Sorrows on Saturday, September 15), and it is the same day that the Holy Father’s recent “Motus Propio” officially goes into effect. Wednesday, September 19, commemorates the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette, while Monday, September 24, pays homage to Our Lady of Ransom.

Like most months on the liturgical calendar, every day of September honors at least one or more saints, from St. Stephen, King (September 2),
Pope St. Pius X (September 3), St. Rose of Viterbo and St. Rosalia (September 4), St. Laurence Justinia (September 5), St. Eleutherius (September 6), and St. Cloud and St. Regina (September 7) to St. Padre Pio (September 23), the Eight North American Martyrs (September 26), Sts. Cosmas and Damian (September 27), St. Michael the Archangel (September 29) and, finally, St. Jerome (September 30).

In addition to all these beautiful feasts, September also sees the majority of Catholic parents on the Keeping It Catholic List formally begin the task of home education. May we remember to humbly ask God the Father to bless us and our children, while we also petition the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts for their hourly help in carrying our daily crosses.

In the love of Christ and His Virgin Mother,

Marianna Bartold

We're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at
"One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, I shall save the world."
~ Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 18:21 EDT
Updated: September 2, 2007 16:16 EDT
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June 14, 2007
MEN!!! Pt. 2: I Bid You Stand, Men of the West!

On the day my essay ("MEN!!!") was published on the KIC blog, I also posted it to my Keeping It Catholic email list (at Yahoogroups).

In response to that essay, Syler Womack, the very lady whom I mentioned in that piece (as author of The Catholic Code of Chivalry), wrote a wonderful composition of her own.

With her permission, it is posted here as a fantastic follow-up to "MEN!!" To openly borrow from Syler's signature line, our mutual message comes from the not-yet-crowned-king Aragorn in the move version of The Return of the King:

"I Bid You Stand, Men of the West!"

Well, it's sure not going to surprise you when I concur with you 100%...and you hit the nail square on the head when you said our men  are, for the most part, no longer chivalrous. How BLESSED are those of us who have real men for husbands! We are far too busy basking in their love and making their homes to embrace any sort of feminist behavior. Invading the realm of men is in no way appealing, for we are too joyful to be Catholic Wives!

So, here's my word to those Trad Men who spend all their time worrying and writing about women:

Fellows, you need to remember your place!

Your place is at the head of your family---not as a tyrant, but as a provider and protector and one who cherishes his mate above all earthly things. Your place is to make your wife realize that she is the Queen of your world. She is your Guenivere--- your Isolde---your Dulcinaea. She has sacrificed her health and strength to bear you fine sons and daughters. Do you realize how many times the fate of nations has turned on the ability of a Queen to bear sons? If your wife has borne you one, or several, you should fairly weep with gratitude every time you think of her! If she has mothered adopted sons, why, she is even more to be exalted! If she has been open to life, she has been willing to sacrifice her own life so that YOU can have heirs! Do you thank her for it? Do you respect her for it?

Your home is your wife's World. She desires nothing more than to make it a haven for you and your heirs. Do you ever see what she does? Do you ever thank her for the meals she cooks for you? For the patience with which she plans and executes thankless jobs every day? For the fact that she daily cleans your filth off the bathroom porcelain? or do you only see when she fails to live up to perfection?

You complain about Feminism, and Feminism IS the oldest and most deadly heresy---but it is a heresy which is made possible not by women but by MEN. Your failure to honor her womanly accomplishments, your habit of taking her for granted---these are the things which have driven her out of her home, out of her realm and into situations which mock her and all women. She receives no appreciation from you, so she seeks appreciation in false venues. She feels like a thankless drudge at home, but she can be center stage as a eucharistic minister---and then, to make matters worse, you casually abdicate your responsibilities and allow her to take over because it's so much easier on you! Your sons see it, and it's fine with them for their sisters to take over their responsibilities on the altar.

Shame on you! You have forgotten how to be men. You have forgotten to thank God constantly for this wonderful gift of a loving wife! You have failed to cherish her. Ah, but you can still find time to write critical tracts about her behavior! Step away from the computer and go love your wife! No, you won't receive adulation from all the other sour-faced fellows who browbeat their wives with your accusations, but you may just become the man you should be, and that will pave the way for your wife and children to be as they should be, too. Your place is at the head of your family, not in the bully pulpit. Get back to your place, and stay there!

Syler Womack

"By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men
of the West!
  ~King Aragorn

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 10:25 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:14 EDT
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June 9, 2007
His Holy Father or My Highness?
Mood:  cheeky



Well, here’s a comforting piece of news from John Hooper in Rome, correspondent to The Observer (UK). 


Don't the bungled words so often coming from the mouth of our president make you pine for Archie Bunker? 


Meanwhile, the news from Rome just keeps getting better and better, right through to the last paragraph.




What the President Said to “His Holy Father” 

John Hooper in Rome
Sunday June 10, 2007
The Observer (UK)

He really is priceless. Other world leaders see the Pope with their advisers and the Vatican's peerlessly punctilious protocol experts, making sure they do not commit the slightest gaffe. But George W. Bush can outwit them all. On the plane to Rome, he was already struggling. The Pope is addressed as 'Your Holiness'. Roman Catholics refer to him as 'The Holy Father'. But somewhere in the tumble dryer that is the part of the US President's brain set aside for words, the two concepts got tangled and he told Associated Press: 'I think His Holy Father will be pleased to know that much of our foreign policy is based on the admonition to whom much is given, much is required.'

No doubt Pope Benedict, whom Bush later described as 'very smart', was able to deconstruct the rest of the sentence. But before he got down to cases with Bush, the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church had the unusual experience of being called 'sir'. 'It's good to be with you, sir,' said Bush as he sat down. But it was just one of those days for George W. Even the car broke down.


His visit to Rome had been preceded by the biggest security operation this bodyguard's nightmare of a city had ever seen. The Tiber was dragged. The sewers were searched. Squares were cleared and roofs occupied. Yesterday the presidential cavalcade hurtled along its route preceded by a swarm of more than a dozen motorcycles, scooters and even motorised three-wheelers carrying tough-looking armed police riding pillion.

But when it got to Largo Poli, near the Trevi fountain, Bush's car ground to a halt. It remained perilously immobile for a minute and half. The President and Laura Bush were hustled into another car. That was denied by a White House official, who said the reasons for the breakdown were 'unclear'. Just as unclear was how the wide presidential limo could get through the gates of the US embassy. It couldn't. The presidential couple had to walk in.  

'But this is how we do things in Italy,' cried a delighted onlooker. At least Bush could take heart from the G8 summit in what, in talking to the German-born Pope, he termed 'your old country'. He described it as 'successful ... good'.


Not everyone saw it that way. Some felt Bush had been spectacularly wrong-footed. Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, suggested that, if America's anti-missile shield was really to protect Europe from Iran and not Russia, the US could use Russian-controlled radar. [Emphasis KIC's]


The Pope mischievously asked Bush if his talks with Putin had also been good. Glancing at the reporters who were about to be ushered from the room, the President replied: 'Ummm ... I'll tell you in a minute.'



Posted by catholic_homeschool at 20:18 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:17 EDT
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MEN!!! Pt. 1: (Missing) in Catholic Action - Chivalry!
Mood:  incredulous


In case readers of this blog haven't figured it out yet, I'm a Catholic woman. One who simply considers herself a Catholic...but it appears I'm also one whom others consider a "rad Trad" due to my staunchly Catholic approach to very serious subjects.  


On the other hand, I've heard from other women, also considered "rad Trad" (aka Tradosaurus Regina!) who get very annoyed with a few of my more light-hearted posts or go into a state of shock upon meeting me and seeing that I wear jewelry (!) and...<gasp>make-up. Kiss


Seems we Catholics today are a motley-crew. Sad but true.


The fact is: A person can't please everybody all of the time... and one shouldn't try. To paraphrase Shakespeare: To God and thine own self be true.


That said, I can guarantee this post is going to irritate, annoy, and tick off a lot of men and women who, for reasons unfathomable to me, possess a heretical, Calvinist, legalistic Puritanistic attitude which cunningly pretends to be that of traditional Catholicism. This is especially true in regard to the alleged traditional Catholic view of women and their roles - at least, as explained to us by a number of our contemporary "traditional" Catholic men.


In the interest of fair play...


Isn't it time the Catholic audience heard a traditional Catholic woman chime in on the subject of men? (And I freely admit I plan to have some fun with this.)


A reader of almost all things Catholic, I've gone through phases, so to speak, throughout my adult reading life. Always looking for meat in Catholic papers, I often received pablum. As a result (and as a mature, well-catechized Catholic), I’ve mainly focused on traditional Catholic papers these past seven years. For the most part, I greatly enjoy them. Yet it cannot be denied there is a serious flaw continually displaying itself as an "integral" part of the mindset of most (but not all) traditional male authors.


Say what? you may ask. Please allow me to explain.

In almost every article bewailing the disastrous changes in the Church, I began to notice that the first thing mentioned or listed by a traditional male author will always, consistently, and without fail have something to do with women or girls.


Now, it isn't as though I was looking for that pattern; it's simply one that came to my attention.  


And an interesting pattern it is...but what does it mean?


Something about "splinters and beams" comes to mind.


While some trad men authors harp on a woman's role, place and behavior in the great scheme of things, we never read an article in which a traditional man reminds his brothers in Christ of their collective duties toward God, wife, children and society. Seriously - have any of you ever read a carefully researched article on that subject? Or an article that touched on the subject even momentarily?


I wondered why some "trad" men just can't let any opportunity slip by without even the slightest, off-hand remark about women and their "rightful" place. I even discussed it with a few trustworthy "trad" lady friends.  As one of them wrote to me:


"The men who are doing right are too dam' busy to write about it, that's why! The 'writers' are generally on a power trip."



Hmmm. Now that's a thought. I can't say I like it, but it's a thought. C'mon, now...are most trad male writers on a power trip? Really? If true, one would also have to consign the majority of all male Catholic writers (be they trad, neo, or whatever label is in vogue at the moment) to the same pitiful little dustbin. On the other hand, one can't deny that modernist male writers who think they are members of the Kool Kathlix Klub are prone to a different kind of arrogance than their trad counterparts.


At any rate, as a traditional Catholic author in my own right, I've often pondered writing an article on this quirky, bizarre attitude of some trad men that seemingly appears to lean-toward-misogynism, especially in regard to Catholic women.



But then what?


Would I place it on the KIC website or submit it to be published in a "paper"? And to whom would I submit it? Would my favorite trad papers take me for a radical feminist posing as a traditionalist woman, due to what I wrote?  I think so. Would a few seriously consider what I wrote and change their minds, even a wee bit? I hope so.


So the question remains: Why do most trad male authors who write any kind of list outlining "What's Wrong with The Church" think it their duty to whine and gripe first about women, whether trad or Novus Ordo?

I'll tell you why: Men - even trad men - are no longer chivalrous. Very few of them even pretend to be. What these men need are lessons from the "Catholic Code of Chivalry" (a beautiful piece by Syler Womack, published in my Catholic Study Guide on The Return of the King)!

Sad to say, too many "trad"  men consider it their obligation to zoom in on the symptoms of the Church's decline (and lo, they are many) and transform one of the more recent symptoms into the seeming "Queen of them All."

What is that symptom?

Women-in-the-Sanctuary (serving as EM's - e.g., Extraordinary Ministers), but that term also includes "Altar Girls" (too often disrespectfully spelled "gurlz" or "gurls" - as though the problem should be laid at the feet of the poorly-taught, badly-led little girls and teens who have been wrongly led to believe they can and should serve at the altar.)

Seriously...These men blather on about the splinters in the eyes of both little girls and grown women, never once considering the beams in their own eyes. But let's take another step or two. I am serious here, and I ask in all sincerity:

Who is responsible for the infiltration and decline of the Church?


Who allowed the Rhine group and liberal "periti" to take over Vatican II?

- from the pope right on down to the liberal cardinals and bishops. 

Who within the Church of the past 40+ years is responsible for the rape of ALL our children, body and soul, and who tenaciously connived to keep those sins "under cover"?


Why did most religious orders go down the proverbial hell-hole? 

Through the example, admonition and insistence of MEN with authority in the Church. 

So where do so many traditional men get the idea that their subjective viewpoint/mindset/opinion/whatever on women is "traditionally Catholic," anyway? Heck if I know, but it didn't issue forth from true traditional Catholicism.

Thanks be to the good God, I've been graced to marry a true Catholic gentleman. I've also had the fortune to know a small (very small) number of men like him. But all in all, I'm not impressed by most males posing as men today. Where have all the real men gone?



Sadly, my husband and I have had the misfortune to meet lay "trad" men who think they can admonish any woman he pleases, simply by his "virtue" of being born a male. (Can you tell my tongue-is-firmly-implanted-in-my-cheek?)


Or "trad" men who are extremely ungallant but think the facade of a smiling face fools an intelligent Catholic woman just because she is a woman.


There are even "trad" men who think they can spank their wives!  I kid you not. (Talk about perverted Puritanism!) 


And there are "trad" men who - not going so far as their more vicious brothers - are still very keen on "keeping a woman in her place."


(As one lady friend says, "I like knowing my place. It means I have one.  Not everyone does, you know...But I don't need some document dork in a suit to tell me what my place is.")


What is a woman's role in the Church and, through Her, society? If anything, the true Catholic woman is the mainstay and heart of the family and of society. A woman's role as mother - whether physical or spiritual - is a high vocation and one that should be loved, honored and cherished. (Btw, married ladies and gents, do those last 3 words sound familiar? It's what a man promises to his wife for all the days of his life!) 

To return to my point - most trad Catholic male authors will inevitably first list among the Church's most severe problems either "women in the sanctuary" or "altar girls."


I'm not saying that either fact isn't a huge concern. But whose FAULT is it that lay men and women are in the sanctuary, or that little girls or teen girls are serving at the altar?



Now understand - my purpose is not to finger-point. It's to MAKE a point.


Of all the travesties in the Church, do the majority of traditional Catholic men really consider "women in the sanctuary" or "altar girls" to be the worst of them all?

-What about the altering (and often the renaming) of every single Rite in the Church - from Baptism to Extreme Unction? That's correct - it's not only the Mass that was changed, but each and every Rite, thanks to the "spirit of Vatican II" (whatever that means!).


-What of moving the Blessed Sacrament in the sacred Tabernacle to the side, the basement, or anywhere other than its rightful place on the High Altar? Our Lord and Savior is no longer honored as He deserves to be.

-What about Communion in the hand? Our Lord, hiding under the appearance of bread, is popped in the mouth and chewed like a common potato chip.

-What about the forced absence of kneeling during the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God in the Novus Ordo) and the reception of Holy Communion? (We no longer need to genuflect or kneel before Our God...we are "enlightened" now.)

-What about that atrocious hand-holding? The Kiss of Peace? (Be sure to keep what should be Divine Worship totally horizontal and focused on the community.)

-How about "Extraordinary Ministers" - male and female? (They were not seen before Vatican II, either.)


-What of the almost Church-wide demise of the First Friday and First Saturday devotions?


-Who is responsible for the decline of the Rosary in our days?



-For that matter, who is behind the eclipse of the true, entire Fatima message?



-Who decided that a mere 30 minutes of Confession shall be allotted per week to the entire parish?


-What of the seemingly prevalent number of sodomites who are now either our priests, bishops, or cardinals? And because of them, true priests of the Catholic Church are shunned and disrespected everywhere they go.

-And what of the number of Catholic men from all walks of life - from holy orders to layman - who abrogate their responsibilities, in countless ways, every single day?

-What of the Catholic lay men who live just like pagans? So many men do not want to marry but prefer to live in sin with women or other men. If they do marry, so many do not wish to sacrifice for their wives and children, do not see to the Catholic education of their children, do not even want to accept children, barely participate in the raising of the few children they have or, even worse, do not remain faithful to their marriage vows.

When traditional men point out the true or alleged failings, misdemeanors or sins of women, they only reveal themselves to be true Sons of Adam. They do exactly what our first father did. Instead of accepting responsibility for his own actions, good ol' Father Adam actually had the gall to petulantly complain to God the Father Himself: "The woman YOU gave me..."


Guess what? All of Adam's sons have been doing the same ever since - pointing their fingers at women instead of taking responsibility for their own actions or at least admitting that it is men in the Church who failed all of us.


And, dear Catholic reader, in case you don't know it, the human race did not fall until the moment FATHER ADAM consented to the first sin. Each one of us inherited Original Sin and all of its effects (even after baptism) through this one man, the first FATHER, Adam.


I don't know about you, but I feel sorry for him....what a load with which he had to live for almost 1,000 years! Because of his sin, the first baby ever born grew up to be the first murderer. Because of his sin, he and his wife and all their children throughout time (including our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ) suffer and die.


If today's traditional Catholic men want to see the Church partially restored (because total restoration is not going to happen until we all see the happy day of the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary), it's about time they take a good look at all of their collective duties and responsibilities.


Once they honestly do that, they just might finally "get it" that real Catholic women are looking for real Catholic men to lead by example. We would dearly love to see our men as true Catholic knights...complete with the truly beautiful and manly virtue of chivalry and its self-sacrificing love.



'Nuf said. For today, anyway. Laughing


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 12:52 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:19 EDT
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October 19, 2006
KIC's Catholic Study Guide for Homeschoolers!

Dear KIC Blog Visitors:

Since I'm a real Catholic homeschooling parent just like you, I know about your dedication to your children. I know the joys, the glories and the work of Catholic education at home. That's why I've come up with my Catholic Study Guide, the main feature of the Keeping It Catholic Newsletter!

When you check the link above, you'll see more info about it, starting with these four simple questions:

---Tired of tweaking your Catholic curriculum?
---Whipped out from writing weekly lesson plans?
---Discouraged by disconnected subjects?
---Looking for an easier way to keep your homeschool Catholic?

The upcoming issues feature "The Age of Mary," this year's Catholic Study Guide theme that helps you:

--Bring your family closer "to Jesus through Mary." Study Church-approved apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary - including Our Lady of Paris (the Miraculous Medal), LaSalette, Lourdes, Fatima, Banneux and others!

--Give your children and teens a Catholic conscience of history instead of a Catholic "perspective."

--Provide your homeschooling family with the best of both worlds - both classic and scholastic!

--Use an easy-to-follow for almost all core subjects (designed for upper elementary and high school levels).

--Included lesson plans integrate ideas for Religion, Language Arts, History/Geography, and Science to "The Age of Mary."

--Give your older children and teens quick options for quality time on your home computer with screened, interactive links. Naturally, those links match up with suggested assignments, virtual tours, essays, research ideas - and offer just plain enjoyment!

--Delivered to your email box in a beautiful, color format. (Some issues may be in ebook formatting, which will be made available to you for download. When opened, it will look just like a book on your desktop!) You can keep it on your hard-drive and print out the Catholic Study Guide!

The Keeping It Catholic Newsletter with Catholic Study Guide is an innovation in Catholic home education, and it can be yours for the next year at a very special, reduced subscription when you order by October 31, 2006.

To order with your Visa, MC, Discover or Amex, or eCheck,  please see What KIC Has to Offer You!
 Psst! Spread the word and let your fellow Catholic home educators know about this special offer! ~MCB

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 16:05 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:20 EDT
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October 18, 2006
The Keepsake Collection of Recipes

With the upcoming holidays comes the release of the Keepsake Collection of Recipes. Thanks to Keeping It Catholic List families who submitted 300+ recipes, the Keepsake Collection is quite a "melting pot" of variety! For a limited time, it's only $20 (world-wide) for our incredibly convenient, downloadable ebook (just check our Order Page to find out why it's so convenient), which includes:

---Awesome recipes created by most humble dads (and submitted by their loving wives - who, of course, gave full credit to their hubbies)

---Delicious recipes invented by kids! (Try out Mimi's "Chickles" – a lovely chicken dish - or Anthony's "Breadsticks with Parmesan and Garlic Butter")

---"Vintage" recipes for every-day and for holidays, all handed down for quite a few generations

---Feast day recipes, including my traditional holiday recipe of "Cheesy Lasagna," for which chefs of upscale, classy restaurants have asked me! (Now how's that for a slice of "humble pie"? )

---Melt-in-your mouth cookie recipes from moms who bake and sell them (very quickly!) at Farmer's Markets

---Fascinating recipes from all over the U.S., like Alaska (did you ever have meatballs made from moose?), the east (try Johnycakes from Rhode Island or Amish Baked Oatmeal!), the mid-Atlantic (sample Sister Emmanuel's Fasting Bread), and right on down to Texas (from whence we received a genuine recipe for Robert E. Lee Cake)

---Easy and quick recipes (a boon to any busy parent!). Whip up a dinner in 30 minutes!

--Crockpot recipes of various kinds, leaving your afternoons free from the worry of "What will I make for dinner today?"

This is really a "one of a kind" collection --- so I hope you'll take a moment to Pre-Order your downloadable cookbook today. (The pre-order price lets you save $5.00 if you order now!) The Keepsake Collection will be ready for you just in time for the upcoming holidays! (Please see our Order Page for even more details!)

 God bless and...Bon Apetit!

 Marianna Bartold, Editor of the Keepsake Collection of Recipes

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 11:55 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:21 EDT
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October 4, 2006
Homeschooling the (Very) Little Ones

From time to time, I'm asked questions about homeschooling toddlers and "pre-schoolers." The most recent question came from a mom who wrote:

"Hi, Marianna:

I belong to your email list and I so enjoy it! At the moment, I am toying with the idea of homeschooling my son, Xavier. He is 2 1/2 years old. Can you recommend anything I can do now with him?" - Bonnie

My response to Bonnie:

When it comes to "homeschooling" very little ones, my recommendation is to teach them what we should teach any sweet little children at home. That is, love him and teach him, by both word and example, and by the simple, every-day enjoyable things in life:

-Teach him his basic prayers by praying with him at home. You needn't make him kneel down next to you, but you could start by taking him on your lap or having him sit next to you as you pray aloud some of the shorter prayers, like the Morning Offering or the Guardian Angel Prayer and the St. Michael Prayer. Do this every day, and again before bedtime, and he will learn his prayers.

-At the same time, teach him how to make a reverent, "large" Sign of the Cross (this usually takes quite some time - as in months or years - because most children tend to make it backward! So be patient and gently correct him each time). Never make or allow him to make a hasty, small, "frightened" Sign of the Cross, but teach him to make it expansively, and without showing off.

What do I mean by "expansively"? I mean a Sign of the Cross that is made slowly and carefully, not one done quickly and "shortened up" inside the head, shoulders and chest as though we are embarrassed someone might "catch" us. The Sign of the Cross is the Sign of Our Faith, and we should make that Sign with charity and fortitude, and teach our children to do the same.

-Take him to Mass with you and teach him how to behave at Mass. This includes genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament and telling him why - because Jesus lives there. At the Consecration, have him kneel next to you and whisper to him, "Jesus is here. See? (Point out the elevated Host) Now we can tell him we love Him." Don't worry about confusing him that Jesus is in the Tabernacle and again present at the Consecration. That is something he may not ask about for years, but he certainly isn't going to ask when he's two.

If at all possible, do *not* use the cry room but sit near the middle or back of the church. The cry room is for infants who literally can't be taught how to behave. Praise your little one for his good behavior, but never tolerate misbehavior (like speaking loudly in church, running, sliding off the pews, kicking the pews, lying down on the pews to play, eating, etc.). It helps to explain in ways he can understand, like "Now when we go into the church, we must always talk like this" (and lower your voice to a whisper, and ask him to try it!).

Try to avoid bringing toys or food to church. (Toddlers who need a drink are another story, so bring a "sippy" and only use it if absolutely necessary.) You could bring a small children's Bible "booklet" or a felt book for him to quietly look at (nothing heavy that he can easily drop), but these are not play things and should not be treated as such. Plastic rosaries are not really a good idea, either - they are too easily mishandled because small children tend to put them around their necks (a safety hazard) or swing them in the air.

There are many ways parents can gently teach children how to behave in church, but it is always a "work-in-progress. " In short, don't expect miracles. Teaching children how to behave and, later, what to pray and do at Mass starts when they are toddlers who can stand alone. By the time they are ten years of age (sometimes sooner), they no longer need any reminders about their personal behavior, about genuflecting, about what to pray during the Consecration, or to make their thanksgiving after Mass. (However, sometimes those ten years do seem like forever!)

-Teach him obedience and courtesy (every-day manners), which are the absolute foundation for a pleasant childhood, for both you and him.

-Read to him (if he'll tolerate it at this age), or point out colorful pictures in a little child's catechism or a nice story, and talk to him about the story in your own words.

-Color with him (which is an easy pleasant way to teach him his colors). Give him blank paper, a small package of coloring crayons, easy coloring books and let him have fun! After some time, ask him "What color is that sun you just made? Is that a red sun? Wow, is that nice - it looks just like a big, red bouncing ball!" This can later progress to: "Did you ever make a green sun? You didn't? Well, let's see what a green sun would look like - let's see, which crayon is the green one?" Help him find the green crayon, point out the color again, and play around with "green" that day - make green grass, a green person, a green dog...and he'll learn the color "green." The next day, ask him, "Now where did that green crayon go?" and have him find it.

(Btw, I always gave my small children the regular-sized crayons, not the super-large ones. It never made sense to me that such short, little fingers could easily wield a huge, bulky crayon. The only thing that can be said for those big ones is that they are virtually unbreakable. )

-Go for outside walks whenever and wherever you can, and enjoy watching your son enjoy them! You can have some nice, little conversations, too, about all the things he sees. He may also want to come home with some souvenirs, like colorful leaves, acorns, or pinecones. (Always be sure to check for bugs and spiders hiding in pinecones!)

-Sing to him or sing with him! Let him listen to all kinds of pleasant music - the kind you enjoy, classical music, and "children's songs" available for purchase, too.

-Let him play! Allow him to choose what he wants to do (within reason, of course). Don't feel you have to entertain him most of the time. Let him learn how to keep himself happily occupied with good things. For children of this age, playing IS learning.

Speaking of avoiding the "entertain me" mentality...

-Limit or completely cut off family access to the television, if you have one. Television too easily snares and captures both children and adults, who just as easily become its willing victims. Too many television shows and commercials are immoral, seductive and occasions of sin to excuse its use. You might have a family member (perhaps your spouse) who finds an excuse as to why you "can't get rid of it," but that's all they have - an excuse, not a good reason. Favorite shows or sports are mere excuses and not worth the immorality to which children will be exposed the rest of the time.

If you can only reach a compromise, aim for one in which the television is "off" most of the week, only used for pre-taped family shows (in other words, DVD's), and perhaps only on Saturday night IF everything else is done - prayers, work, and baths!

Television is the reason families don't spend real time together, and it is probably the major contributing reason as to why we, as a culture, are "trained" to expect constant entertainment and noise in our ears. (Ever notice how almost every place we go, including stores and hospitals, have canned music or a television endlessly droning in the background?) Let your son enjoy silence...because it's the place where God speaks to us most often, and the place where we can hear Him most clearly.

These are just a few things you can teach and do with your son, some of them on a daily and some of them on weekly basis. However, none of these things (except the Mass or the prayers) need be done "formally," because as a Catholic, "pre-school education" is an attitude you wish to avoid. This precious time, when your son is small, is a fleeting one and you will find yourself wishing for these days again before too long.

God bless you and yours always!

Marianna Bartold, Author & KIC Forum Moderator
The Keeping It Catholic Home Education Guides
We're "Keeping It Catholic" on the Net at
http://www.keepingitcatholic. org

Posted by catholic_homeschool at 06:55 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:28 EDT
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August 15, 2006 - Nice People and Beautiful Things in the World


Syler Womack, a long-time Catholic homeschooling mom of five and member of the Keeping It Catholic e-mail List, has become a good friend to many of us. She recently emailed the following letter (reprinted here with her permission) about a treasure she just discovered called Crè 

Syler's Letter

  I have to tell you about the wonderful new site I found.  My post to the fellow who owns it will explain everything, so I won't bore you ahead of time, but please look at the site first, then read my post to the owner, and finally, [about]  his post to me.  So beautiful.

My post (to

 There is really no way I can tell you how much finding your site meant to me. My son called this morning from Kuwait. He is deploying with the American army to Iraq tomorrow, and will not be home for a year. As when he served in Afghanistan, my first thoughts were, "What about Christmas?" Before he went to Afghanistan, I gave him Baby Jesus from my childhood creche to take with him, but there was no time before he went to Iraq...

 Then I remembered the wonderful paper Christmas decorations book I bought at the National Gallery in London 10 years ago. It has never been used, and I determined to send it to him---but I also remembered the pop-up creches we used to see long ago-- I wondered if it were still possible to find them---and I found your site!

 My son has had a fascination for creches, and for assembling miniatures, all his life. (As a sophomore at West Point, he actually constructed a model of the battle of Zama, complete with little paper elephants, and a little paper Hannibal and Scipio). Finding your site was literally the answer to a prayer.

 I will be able to include one of your wonderful downloadable creches in his letters during Advent, and they will afford him hours of enjoyment---and who can be homesick during Christmas when the most important part of Christmas is right there with him?

 Thank you so much, and all of your wonderful members whose hearts are fine and pure enough to appreciate these delicate treasures.


Mrs. Syler Womack

Syler let us know that Mr. Alexis Xenakis from Crè quickly responded, writing her to tell her how moved he felt and how much he appreciated her letter. He also shared with Syler how deeply he appreciated her son Forrest's commitment.

Mr. Xenakis closed his letter by asking Syler if he could create a special creche for Forrest, which would include a dedication to him.

What a lovely thing it is to know that there still remain kind people in the world, willing to take time from their busy lives and do something genuinely nice for another person. It all started with a note of gratitude for someone else's work. How often do we take the time to let family and friends know how much we appreciate them, much less strangers who - in some way - have done something to help or inspire us?

Just an Idea: You might want to do yourself and yours a favor and visit Crè, where you can download the most beautiful "paper" creches to print and assemble. (And why we're at it, perhaps we can email Mr. Xenakis and let him know that, thanks to Mrs. Syler Womack, we know of his generous gesture to her son, now on his way to Iraq, and how much we appreciate both of these fine gentlemen.)


Posted by catholic_homeschool at 11:13 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:29 EDT
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