Keeping It Catholic


Homeschooling Parents Respond to Issues and Articles

(See the articles printed in Mothers Watch ,

Catholic Family News and the Wanderer)


On This Page:


TORCH Stories Are True

An Agenda of Their Own

Homeschoolers on Alert

NACHE/Cardinal Keeler - Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Anonymous Sniper Poet Tries to Shoot Messenger

House Divided Article Brought Insights

In Complete Agreement

Sex Ed, Mothers Watch, Guidelines, Fr. Hardon

A "Positive" Position on Pittsburgh?

Voice from NJ on TORCH

A NACHE-Oriented Line Up in My Support Group

Hasson's TORCH Article Blew My Mind

Commendation for Mothers Watch and Marianna Bartold

TORCH: Heading Our Way?

Eye-Opening Articles

The Devil Made "Them" Do It!

NACHE, Always Our Children, and Apostolos Suos

Out of the Middle Ages?

Spiritual Support for KIC

House Divided Article Deserves Wide Reading

I Reported You to Bishop McHugh!

Kimberly Hahn's Input in Cincinnati Guidelines

TORCH Member Objects to Pornography Expose

Sheep Following Sheep?

Disturbed Over National Catholic Homeschool Curriculum Idea

Something Truly Catholic

Former Catholic School Teacher Objects to HS Guidelines

House Divided - An Excellent Article to Share!

Is Reporting an Act of "Disunity"?

TORCH - A Self Crowned Monarchy?


Note to our Readers: Keeping It Catholic retains all these letters and emails on file. Please note KIC refrains from printing names and addresses in order to protect the authors' identities. 


TORCH Stories Are True


I am a member of TORCH ( my membership card is waiting to be mailed back to them even as I write this), former member of NACHE and I have been the "leader" of a local TORCHE group for 3 years. The information that has been posted by KIC is true. I have several of the original TORCHE (with an E) newsletters, the current ones (paid thru '99), NACHE magazines, & Leaders Newsletters. In addition, I attended a Leaders' Conference last year. Although your (TORCH) group may make its own decisions, the actual words from the TORCH speaker was: Don't answer questions about guidelines, follow *our* position, some parents just don't understand what we're trying to accomplish. Even as a chapter leader I was expected to toe a line.


Name and State Withheld


An Agenda of Their Own

God knows what's in our hearts. This whole Torch business is a bit unnerving to me. They aren't the first and won't be the last to attempt to '"get these homeschoolers under control at last." Let us pray that their efforts will not take permanent root within our dioceses. I don't understand how anyone can think their agendas are in our best interests...We can't find any reason to disbelieve the information on KIC. We have many grave reservations concerning the developments in Torch.




Homeschoolers on Alert


If homeschoolers want advice....PROTECT your hard work now!

Don't let ANYONE, especially a homeschool group like NACHE

threaten your work and the autonomy and authority God gave



New Jersey


NACHE/Cardinal Keeler - Truth is Stranger than Fiction


The bishop's main duty is to safeguard the Deposit of Faith. If we were living in reasonable times, I don't believe anyone would argue that a bishop ought to oversee the sacramental readiness of those tender souls entrusted to his care. However, these are not reasonable times as seen by the following examples.


1. Cardinal Keeler, the contender to head up an international home school organization, besides having one of the most outrageous sex ed programs in his Catholic schools, apparently cannot put a stop to the heresies in his own diocese.


1st Case in point: St. Vincent dePaul Church in the inner harbor of Baltimore. This historic church was the site where the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore convened to compose the Baltimore Catechism. However, you will find no mention of this very important fact in the parish directory.


This extremely liberal parish perhaps is embarrassed that such an orthodox work was composed within its walls. What the parish directory will boast of, though, is: "We don't accept the Bible word-for-word or a doctrine because someone said so." (page 5) "We share our faith with the world around us in public lectures, such as our recent series of reflections on Dr. Elizabeth Johnson's book, She Who Is, which stirred up enough reaction to get us called 'heretics and blasphemers.' " (page 6) On the same page is pictured a group of people in shorts dancing barefoot in the sanctuary of this historic church.


On page 12, "Some people think of us as subversive. As such, we try to be a viable alternative to the mindless faith set of so many churches that seem to tell you to check your mind at the door and let some printed page or some church 'authority' do your thinking for you." In bold, large typeface at the bottom of this page one reads, "JOIN THE SUBVERSION." On page 9 Cardinal Keeler is pictured, as well as a child Eucharistic minister of about age ten, giving Communion to an adult.


Should you have the courage to go to this church, you will find a large table in the back "Gathering Space" as the parishioners affectionately call it. On the table, you will find out in the open many pamphlets, newspapers, and other literature that are completely contrary to Catholic teachings. Call to Action newspapers are proudly handed out to visitors.


Question: Why is such a nightmare parish permitted to operate in Keeler's diocese? Faithful Catholics are constantly told they must submit themselves to the teachings of the Magisterium and be obedient to the local ordinary. Don't modernist Catholics have to follow the same rules?


2nd Case in Point: Keeler was speaker at an orthodox Catholic college several years ago. His talk was so outrageously unorthodox that the professors had to "deprogram" the students the following day.


3rd Case in Point: In Keeler's own diocesan newspaper, he was photographed in a Moslem mosque in the Moslem prayer position. This is a poor example for a past president of the NCCB.


2. Besides approving the sex ed "Catholic Vision of Love" for his Catholic schools and CCD programs and home schoolers, Bishop Wuerl of the Pittsburgh diocese was involved in and authorized the sale of St. John the Baptist Church. This Catholic church is now known as Church Brew. It is a beer pub. The main altar is now known as "The Main Bar," with beer kegs and a bar with stools taking up the entire expanse of the desecrated sanctuary. Should anyone doubt this, it is on the Internet. Check Look at the blasphemous pictures and read its history.


The diocesan lawyer who negotiated this sale claims that the bishop was fully aware of what the purchasers of St. John the Baptist intended to do. The bishop, before the sale of a church, knew that it would be turned into a bar and approved the sale.


Questions beg to be asked: Why on earth would any home schooling organization have anything to do with those bishops who have ceased to safeguard the Deposit of the Faith? How could these bishops be trusted to safeguard the souls of our innocent children? How could any knowledgeable Catholic build bridges with the likes of these?

 With shepherds like these, who needs wolves?


Name and State Withheld


Anonymous Sniper "Poet" Doesn't Like Message, Tries to Shoot Messenger


There once was a homeschooler with a poison pen,

She used it to trash people again and again.

But I say this person needs to get a life,

She does no one a favor by creating such strife.


Using our Catechism as a guide,

Catholic homeschoolers all from such vitriol should hide.

The eighth commandment calls it a sin,

Bearing false witness against women or men.

Name and address unknown. The juvenile work above was sent via email to homeschool leaders' list discussing the pro's and cons's of an international Catholic homeschool association. The email address was new to the list, it was never used before or after, and the author was "charitably" careful not to include any identifying signature. Only one thing is certain: it came from a Catholic homeschool leader on the list.

Your Articles Brought Insights


I read your article Homeschoolers and the Hierarchy today...


My wife and I have discussed many of these issues together over the last four years since we started homeschooling our daughter. We have sensed an undercurrent within the Catholic homeschooling community.


At times we have felt that we were being paranoid. We would ask ourselves why do we need a national round table? Who is the NCEA? Why do people who are not homeschooling their children join and try to control homeschooling groups?


[A few] years ago we attended a Catholic family conference in Connecticut. We attended to hear Fr. Rutler. A large number of the participants were homeschooling families. Somehow the conference was "infiltrated" and the seminars for the teenagers became centered on sex education. Our daughter walked out because she felt that the discussion was inappropriate. She was 13 at the time. We were never able to find out how the conference had been subverted.


The Hahns and Marcus Grodi were keynote speakers. We were not comfortable with their "preaching" at the conference and your article has given me an insight into why it did not feel right.


My wife (name deleted) has not read your article yet and I'm sure she will have a lot more to say to you. She has had her own homeschooling group and has a lot more first hand knowledge of what is going on in the day to day life of the homeschooler. I do know that homeschooling is not accepted by the hierarchy in the church and it makes sense that they would try to get a handle on it.


Thanks for your insight.



State Name Withheld

In Complete Agreement


Dear KIC,

Please enlist us in your KIC e-mail listserver and in KIC in any capacity necessary to keep us informed of these Catholic home schooling issues. We are in complete agreement with you. God bless you.

L. B.

State Withheld

Sex Ed, Mothers Watch, Guidelines, Fr. Hardon


You don't know us from Adam and Eve. My wife (name deleted) and I are parents of a Catholic family of five children...18 year old (names deleted), 16 year old ...15 year old ...13 year old and [a] 3 year old


We began homeschooling (name deleted) three years ago because of the start of sex education in the 5th grade of our formerly Catholic grade school. We were ostracized because of our insistence that there be nosex ed in our schools; the nun who is head of education for the diocese came and met with concerned parents. She told us that the Diocese had decided that we should have sex ed and that was the end of the decision process. I asked her to reconcile that way of making decisions with the Holy Father's directions that parents were the primary educators of their children and that schools should collaborate with parents. She told us that she had checked with the diocese's canon lawyer and assured us that we had no say in which program of sex ed thediocese instituted and that our only responsibility in this question wasto pay for whatever program the diocese chose to institute.


Needless to say we stopped giving any support to the parish and began homeschooling the last of our children to ever go to that school again.

I went to confession the next day to our pastor to confess my anger at the meeting. He gave me absolution and suggested that I call the good sister after this heated meeting to talk to her. I called her at the Diocesan office for Education; she hung up on me and then wrote me a letter saying she would talk to me when she had more time. That was three years ago and I am still waiting for her to explain herself.


I enjoyed the Mother's Watch material and read the Spring 1998 edition in front of the Blessed Sacrament...


On a yearly basis over Mother's Day weekend from Wednesday to Sunday , Fr.John Hardon conducts a silent retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, Illinois using the spiritual exercises of St. IgnatiusLoyola. I have enjoyed his loyalty to the Holy Father and devotion tothe true deposit of the Catholic faith. I know that he is grieved bythe past behavior of new converts to the faith who are active in theHomeschooling Guidelines effort.


Please know Fr. Hardon is anxious about this development and continues to suffer for the faith.


Additionally, our Sioux City Iowa diocese recently had Daniel DiNardo installed as co-adjutor bishop. His name appeared in the article on page 7 of the Mother's Watch Spring 1998 publication. I would be interested in contacting the person(s) who met with then Monsignor DiNardo and Fr. Lawler to discuss the sex education programs in their catholic schools.

I wrote to our good pastor and told him our objections to sex ed in the Catholic grade school from which we removed our daughter. Our pastor forwarded a copy of this letter to our bishops Lawrence Soens and Daniel DiNardo. I would be most interested in visiting with the person(s) who sat through the "unsatisfactory" meeting with then Msg. DiNardo and Fr.Lawler. If you are able could you please try to see if that person would be willing to visit with us here in North West Iowa. I doubt that our bishops would be replying to our letter forwarded from our pastor, but I still would be interested in the observations of the person(s) who attended that meeting.


We are in this for the long term, the fog through which the church is now passing will lift and we will be thankful again for the fullness of the faith. We will keep you in our prayers and thoughts.


Thank you for whatever help or thoughts you could give us.


Yours in Christ,




Positive Position on Pittsburgh?

If we as homeschoolers do not work with the diocese on constructing guidelines for sacramental preparation, how will our children be allowed to receive the sacraments? My own parish refused to recognize the preparation we had done with my daughter for First Holy Communion. Fortunately, we have a priest in the family who administered the sacrament. But what about people who are not so fortunate? How will their children receive the sacraments? I advocate working together with the diocese in order to come up with fair guidelines for all of us. These guidelines should not include mandatory religious education classes. I think the Diocese of Pittsburgh's Faith Education in the Home is a good model for Catholic Homeschooling guidelines.




A Voice from New Jersey on TORCH

I just finished reading Homeschoolers: A House Divided that someone thought I might want to read. I was rather surprised to see it and the mention about the TORCH Chaplet group. I didn't know they were doing that or that Joyce Lively of the Family Life Office had rejoined their group. It's true they keep everything secret.

I'm not surprised if TORCH works against you for that article but I'm glad you wrote it. It refreshed my mind about many things I was beginning to question.

I was at the meeting where they decided to join TORCH. I didn't know what I know now or I would have protested their decision right from the start. As it was, the split occurred for other differences of opinions, etc.... I was clueless about them then. They acted as though they were more traditional and obedient than the other members in our old group. I mean that compared to the other families that had been in SJCH and were now becoming CHAPLET/ TORCH seemed, superficially, to be more traditional than those particular families. I knew they seemed to be some sort of franchise or something but that was it.

When the split happened, the TORCH people were willing to "let" us stay together if we didn't do our own newsletter anymore. They would not go along with having us "report" what went on at their meetings and what was planned in anything but their own new newsletter, which we had nothing to do with. They wrote up by-laws, etc. ...that shut us out. We would have also had to officially join them by suddenly paying membership fees to even attend the meetings. And we were the original group! They wanted total control over the newsletter because they couldn't get control of ours.

Ours was ours. If you wanted it, you paid a subscription fee and you got it. There were no membership fees to belong to the group. The TORCH people thought we should have been giving an accounting of the money taken in,( as if we were profiting, ha,ha,) and they wanted offices for people to chair, etc...... Everything was yea, nay, and second the motion. Who needs another school board? Besides, they only wanted to hear huggy kissy stuff and fluff. Nothing truthful that might make them feel uncomfortable.

I am trying to dialogue with one of the women from TORCH/Chaplet here in Jersey. She didn't know about the article and would like to read it. I don't know if they ever made contact or not. I didn't get a reply about that. As I said, Chaplet was our old group that broke away from South Jersey Catholic Homeschoolers.

I recently wrote to one of the TORCH people but she answered none of the questions about Torch/Chaplet. Coincidentally, she is the person who made up the name for the group!

I wrote to the woman (name deleted) who first told me about those terrible stories TORCH says against you. I thought she would want to read your article. Now she says she wasn't interested in it as she was a TORCH member herself now. That's very intriguing since it seems most people would have a natural curiosity to read about a group they are affiliated with. But that is, of course, her right and her choice.

She says she enjoys the "insurance" it affords them to set up activities. This is a ignorant response to me. The thing is, insurance, as in HSLDA insurance, is easily available anywhere, not through TORCH alone.

I would have also thought that she would have been interested even just from the perspective because she's a CHSNA rep and would want to keep abreast of things. Plus, she does have children in need of receiving the sacraments.

All this talk of guidelines would concern me. How can she claim to be a person, coming out of nowhere, who claims she'll assist me in making all the pieces to the puzzle fit and then join the very group that fried us? It doesn't make any sense.

If I find out the answers to my questions, I'll let you know. I certainly am curious about Joyce Lively rejoining the group. I wasn't aware that she had, however, I don't really know who is or isn't in their group anymore. They were forbidden from sharing their newsletters with me - friends can't even borrow a copy because the TORCH people tell them to keep everything secret. What I don't understand is why they listen to TORCH.

Name Withheld

New Jersey


NACHE Oriented Line-Up


I have had a couple of in-depth discussions with our support group members, trying to drum up volunteers to run for office in our group, because we now have a NACHE oriented voter line-up.

One person whom I trusted to have an open mind disagreed with me, saying that she thought our support group leaders had done its job in getting a copy of the guidelines to the members. Yet this woman had very little understanding of what went on behind the lines. I had hoped they might begin to see the light if they saw your stories in print, but I know now that will never happen. I can hear it already. Angry letters proclaiming, "Not true! Not true!" Yet, did any one of these people call me and ask what my side of the story was? Not a one.


I just feel that I have had no impact, except negative, because people want a comfort level they don't want disturbed. They have known these "good people for years" and they trust them. They are succumbing to people - both fellow home schoolers and bureaucrats, who don't care for the souls of people, just to insure the systems. If the victims don't care, why should I break my neck? The good people are saying, " I fought the battles. I am done fighting. I need to turn home." I can relate to that, but a good ex- Ohio Board member (kicked off through our governor's influence, incidentally) said it right about school issues.


If homeschoolers don't think they have the time or energy to get involved, then just wait until your children are forced back into the schools. I need to focus on better things.


Do I just let go and standby by as our support group lets NACHE give them the rope to hang themselves? Sadly, they won't even know how they died. What do I do at this point? Doesn't it make you wonder why we have the grace to see what others do not, and what does God expect us to do with this knowledge?


Thanks for letting me vent. I know this is peanuts compared to what you're up against. I need to stay focused on prayer because as today's readings said, all of this is vanity.

Name and Address Withheld by Request

TORCH/Hasson Article Blew My Mind


Haven't time for more than a note but that Hasson article (TORCH Newsletter, May 1998) "blew my mind." It was so awful I wouldn't know where to begin.


I had to remove my children from Catholic schools in 1966, 32 years ago because the Bishop had imposed non-Catholic catechetics in Our Lady of Good Counsel school. I was frantic at the time because it was clear to me that I, not the Bishop, would have to answer to God for what was being taught my children.


Mrs. Hasson attributes Catholicism to the Bishops. What an assumption! I could write a book about those years and what I had to do to piece an education together for my children in spite of the disinterested Bishops and the silly nuns who carried out their anti-Catholic programs. And, I am sorry to say, there was no help from the Vatican.


At that time friends, also frantic, actually spent the money to go to Rome to approach the proper authorities in the Vatican with the religion books they were forcing on the Catholic school children. They could not get a hearing anywhere. At that time Paul VI was Pope. I never came closer to despair than when I realized we had no recourse to "Rome". Nothing was going to be done. The Pope was not going to come to our assistance. We lost our schools. The schools our parents and grandparents had established out of very small wages were lost for my children. And we're not even talking about the sex ed programs back then!


 But the sex ed programs were inevitable. Once they eliminated Catholicism anything would go and did.


 So 32 years later we're supposed to be grateful when a Bishop smiles at the homeschooling mother . NO ONE WOULD HAVE TO BE HOME SCHOOLING IF THE BISHOPS WERE TEACHING CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, WOULD THROW OUT THE MODERNIST TEACHERS AND THE SEX ED PROGRAMS. (Sorry I yelled). However by now the situation is too far gone.


For one thing I question if the current crop of Bishops would know even the basics of Catholicism since Modernism (defined by St. Pius X) has been taught in the Bishop's seminaries for more than 30 years. The 20 yr. reign of John Paul II has only solidified the Modernism of Roncalli and Montini. May God bless and protect all these dear little homeschooling mothers. They are earning their way to Heaven.


I am sending this to you personally because I'm sure the material is too hot for the general public. However if you want to put it online go ahead but I'd rather not have my name on it. Thirty two years ago, after complaining publicly about the new catechetics, the phone co. was forced to put me on an unlisted tel. # because of the number of crank calls that began pouring into my home and tying up the trunk lines.


They're a mean bunch out there! I know the abuse you must be getting for your efforts.


In Cristo Rey!

Name and Address Withheld by Request

A Commendation for Mothers Watch and M. Bartold

This email was sent to both Catholicity and Keeping it Catholic simultaneously during a "hot" point in the debates on both email lists.


Mrs. Bartold should be commended for addressing the criticisms directed toward her and her piece. If we are not willing to be accountable for our actions, as she has been, then we are no better than those in this society which we are trying to protect our children from.

Mrs. Hasson stated that the MW (Mothers Watch, Spring 1998) article was "Riddled with factual errors, the article drew conclusions and made insinuations that are nothing less than sheer fantasy. On that basis alone, it deserves to be dismissed without a second look."

I take great exception to that statement because Mrs. Hasson failed to provide a single example of "factual errors." If we are to be people of integrity then we must be able to accept criticism. If the parties involved in the creation of the guidelines have nothing to hide then they should confront MW directly. This could all simply be a case of misunderstanding. Please provide rebuttal, people; MW hit you hard but if your only recourse is personal attack then their actions will be perceived as justified.

 My first encounter with MW was at a pro-life convention in which MW was the first session speaker. During their presentation they made derogatory statements about the actions of both the Knights of Columbus and Priests for Life. Imagine the position this placed me in for I was manning the KoC table and selling PfL materials. I sold no material after the first session and found myself trying to explain the KoC's involvement in the production of a "Sex Ed" program (they financed the printing of a Bishop's program).


Did I find MW out of line--no! If there is truth in what they are saying we must all stand up and listen. The least one must do is investigate their allegations. I must acknowledge that I have received the MW newsletter for a year now and have found their style to be harsh but do not know of any instance in which they have been less than honest.


The Catholic community must be true to the teachings of the church. If we allow our fondness for certain individuals or organizations override our love of the fullness of the Faith then we will no longer be serving God but will have acquired an inordinate attraction, separating us from God and weakening His Church. It is hard to hear criticism leveled against people we admire but, if the allegations are correct then MW is performing an act of charity (admonishing the sinner). The loudest roar in this entire debate has been the deafening silence of the accused. The light of truth will dispel all darkness, without proper rebuttal it seems as though the matter is quite bright already.

Pray friends for, though your ship be sturdy, no mercy has the sea,


TORCH Heading Our Way?


I've emailed you before. My name is [name deleted]. I'm the newsletter editor of [name deleted} based in [area deleted].


I have applauded your past writings concerning sacramental guidelines. However, now I have a BIG problem. I sent a copy of your Mothers' Watch article about the guidelines to the president of our group. You probably received a letter from her in which she admonishes your writing style as being uncharitable, rude, and divisive.


I didn't expect her to give her opinion on the style of your article but the issues at hand, which I felt needed our group's attention.


Anyway, to make a long story short, she presented our group with the Pledge of Solidarity which she attained through a friend. Needless to say, I would never sign a document so full of vague definitions and confusing language. However, our president touted this paper to be significant in our struggle to bring these issues of homeschooling to rest. I wasn't so sure. Seemed to me we were bringing more problems on ourselves by signing.


Anyway, call me crazy but I think our president will eventually introduce to our members the idea of affiliating with TORCH. If we have to vote on it, you know what mine will be! I have no interest in throwing myself into the proverbial fire!


E-mail me if you have time and tell me what you think of the situation. Do you think TORCH is using this "pledge" as a means of recruiting other small groups into their group? That would be disastrous, in my opinion. We would never have liberty to disagree concerning these or any other issues again! I value your opinion very much. I have to admit, I wouldn't do things the way you do but I respect the fact that you're representing truth. I know this because you make frequent mention of Church law and Tradition, something conspicuously missing from "Pledge of Solidarity."


On behalf of all homeschoolers who place their faith, hope and trust in the Lord, I thank you.


Name and State Withheld by Request

Eye-Opening Articles


I just came across your website. I've read your eye-opening articles in Catholic Family News on homeschooling issues and was a subscriber to Catholic Family's


Please put me on your e-mail list; I really look forward to reading and hearing more about authentic and traditional Catholic education.


God Bless!


State Withheld


The Devil Made Them Do It!


I am writing, first of all, to thank you for your articles on homeschooling which were printed in Catholic Family News. They voiced concerns, some of which have been on my mind for some time. I wanted to contact you back when the articles were first published,but family circumstances didn't permit it.


I would like to request to be placed on a list for interested people regarding your "Keep It Catholic" program and also for the new review book you have coming out. We are traditional Catholics as well as well as homeschoolers who live in the [name deleted] Diocese. Your article was the final push that I needed to switch over to a Catholic program (we chose Seton) and leave the Abeka stuff behind.


I thought you might be interested to hear about my experiencewith this homeschooling debate. When I submitted my renewal form for membership in NACHE, I wrote a few words in their one line available for comments on the form. I stated that as a Catholic I was concerned about what I was hearing regarding Protestant influences & an authoritarian attitude in the organization.

I did not expect any sort of response. Therefore, I was quite surprised to receive a letter from Lesley Payne, the editor for NACHE's Catholic Home Educator.


I can only describe this letter as angry and defensive, though the anger was not pointed towards me. She states that anything negative I have heard "is part of an ongoingvicious rumor campaign that has been waged against us for several years by peoplewho feel our work cuts into their businesses and/or their personal prestige." She characterizes this controversy as being the work of Satan, and talks about gossip, calumny etc. She closes by stating "I hope you will letothers you know who are unwittingly spreading these rumors know that theyare only cooperating with Satan by doing so."


I was puzzled by this intense response. We live a rather isolated existence on an acreage in a rural area. We have no contact with other Catholic homeschoolers (we were charter members of a Catholic homeschool group that formed a few years ago, but the group was immediately taken over by some aggressive women who steam rolled over everyone to the point of being abusive. We left in disgust.), and we are not on the Internet. It was not until I spoke with an acquaintance, (name deleted)....that I found out this thing has been raging for some time.


I must admit I was rather puzzled by my acquaintance's reaction. There was a lot of smoke (I was told that some of these NACHE women struggling with poor health & several children). While that is quite admirable, it doesn't make them automatic purveyors of the truth.


I was told about everything they've accomplished under the ever-liberal Keeler in the Baltimore archdiocese (again, very admirable but they're not canonized yet) and ultimately it was strongly suggested that I "stay out of it." Of course, as a founding member of TORCH and a friend of a lot of these women, I guess it's difficult fo my acquaintance to be objective about this.


Anyway, I would just like to encourage you to please continue to speak the truth, and to thank you for doing so. Also, if you any information on alternative home school movements that are perhaps more faithful to Catholicism, we would sure appreciate knowing about them.


Thank you very much.

 Sincerely in Christ,


Name and State Withheld By Request


NACHE, Always Our Children, and Apostolos Suos


Mary Hasson's article in the May 1998 TORCH newsletter is, I believe, the way that the TORCH and NACHE officers think: we must always be obedient to the bishops' directives to be obedient to the Church itself.

This latest document from Rome, discrediting the national bishops' conferences, is a timely blessing for us, not only because of "Always Our Children," but also because of their hs survey and directives to the diocesan CCD offices. You ought to reprint or link to the EWTN news items on that: John Paul II's Motu Proprio on Episcopal Conferences. The Apostolic Letter is called Apostolos Suos.


Name and State Withheld by Request

Out of the Middle Ages?


 Sounds to me like something out of the Middle Ages. I'll keep on homeschooling by myself if it should come that far. God asked me to homeschool to keep my kids CATHOLIC and so I could learn more about my faith. How is this possible if someone else is telling me what is true Catholic teaching when it's so watered down even the fish can't see our Savior in it?


State Withheld

Spiritual Support for KIC


The Homeschoolers: A House Divided article is excellent, but I am going upstairs right now to start a novena to St. Michael for you, because you are going to need all the spiritual support you can get with the attack you are going to be under from this.


Love and prayers!


Address Withheld

PS) I've started the novena. I salute your courage...and I appreciate your insight. I pray that I'll have the same when things start to heat up around here. But I'm very concerned about the persecution you are about to undergo. You will be sharing in Our Lord's Passion.


Homeschoolers: House Divided Deserves Wide Reading


Thank you so much for putting that MOTHERS WATCH article on the web. I sent it to the homeschooling group my daughter belongs to in (state name deleted). It is well worth getting around.


The information in it is invaluable to my daughter's group, some of whom were very concerned about those diocesan "guidelines" for homeschoolers. How ironic when we all know that most of them have been homeschooling precisely to avoid the religious and sex education programs in the ex-catholic schools (or at least the sex-ed programs). That was great work that you did putting together "Homeschoolers: A House Divided." It deserves a wide reading.



State Withheld


Reported You to Bishop McHugh


 I got from your web site a "bunker down" attitude. It seems that you feel it better to move away from the Church than to stay and fight. This is an enormous error.


And lastly, in your "News Flashes" section you appear to slander Bishop James McHugh. He is the bishop of the diocese where I live. I

informed him of this. The author and books (editor's note: Randy Engel, The McHugh Chronicles) you mention will be criticizedand Bishop McHugh defended in the near future by The Catholic League For Civil And Religious Rights. They are on the web at

I do have one question. Before publication, did you ever think of giving a call to Bishop McHugh and asking him about the charges made against him?




New Jersey


Kimberly Hahn's Input in Cincinnati Guidelines


 I want to inform you as what has happened in Cincinnati. I will attempt to answer any of your questions. It can truly be summarized briefly by saying that a very sweet, intelligent, young new convert became involved in evaluating the concept of guidelines. She did much research and did her homework correctly by making several contacts. Those contacts included Kimberly Hahn and someone in the Chicago diocese.


She heard about the division in homeschooling groups and the ire of the bishops and to avoid these same problems, she and another leader in our group (name withheld} applied the same principles here. Other than blurbs in the monthly newsletter to keep home schoolers abreast of what they were doing about the guidelines, no other information, or decision-making power, was passed on the the homeschoolers. They even refused to pass out copies of the draft guidelines to the parents, because they did not want to disobey the initial Archdiocesan directive not to do so. (One of these ladies had called the Archdiocese to ask "permission.")


I cannot say that I would not have made the same mistakes they made,given the information they received. I think it was commendable the time and effort that was expended to become informed. The problem that I have with their process is the fact that they neglected to believe input from experienced people within their own ranks. They were the authority and we were to be led. Talk about being blind to a lack of charity!


Keep up the good fight. I am indebted to you for your article that put in black and white what I have attempted to get across to the home schoolers. I look forward to further enlighteners and would only wish that someone .... .. would get to the bottom of certain communities. This may be impossible as I believe we are dealing with a long-standing, professional organization,who already has our numbers.


Name Withheld by Request



TORCH Member Objects to Expose on "Pornography" in Baltimore Diocese - Another Example of Shooting the Messenger

Letter to M. Bartold, KIC founder, with cc to Mothers Watch


I do not even know where to begin. I have never ordered your magazine (KIC note: this person refers to receiving the Mothers Watch Spring 1998 issue. KIC does not publish or edit MW, but KIC founder M. Bartold did write the article Homeschoolers: A House Divided for MW, appearing in the same issue to which this person responded.) I do not wish to receive it now or in the future. My reasons are several.


First- my soon to be eighteen year old, who brings in the mail asked if he could open and read it. Looking at what appeared to be a Catholic and safe piece of mail and nodded. He has been exposed to pornography that he never would have seen thanks to your organization. I DID NOT SOLICIT THIS FROM YOU AND DID NOT ASK FOR IT IN MY HOME. Nine years of homeschooling to prevent having him exposed to this so your trash could reveal trash to him.


Second it appears that you got my name and address off a directory of home schoolers that is clearly marked for members only. Not to be given out to any other organizations no matter how good. I would like to know who exactly betrayed this trust. I doubt it is a current member.


Third I see you bashing several very good, strong Catholic organizations I know to have the blessing of the Pope, so I would never begin to trust you. I'm sure Fr. Hardon's a better judge of organizations than you!


Fourth all the information regarding TORCH CHAPLET, of which I am a member is wrong, including the definition of the acronym. (Catholic Homeschool Association with Papal Loyalty Educating Together). If you care to set the record straight there is no leader appointed, voted or otherwise. We rotate on an "as can do" basis the slots of secretary, treasurer, and field trip organizers. There is NO president, chairperson, etc. The group was organized as a multi-diocesean organization. Most members are probably outside the Trenton diocese. I'm not sure what the remark about the Camden leader, again who is not existent, has to do with the paragraph at all. Obviously the remark about approaching the bishop is taken totally out of context, neither bishop has been approached. You have a whispering -down -the -lane version ; great journalism!


Judging on what I know to be true, your organization did not get the facts on this and therefore I will assume this is the kind of journalism that you promote. After showing the Post Office the unsolicited, unmarked pornography, it will quickly find its way to my fireplace.


This is not a request it is a demand - do not mail me any more of your unsolicited garbage.




New Jersey CHAPLET/TORCH member

Sheep Following Sheep


What can we do, besides pray, about the NACHE and Hahn situation?? It is

sad that these groups get such a following......we are all sheep I

guess......only to find out that they have their own agenda and ideas and

they don't seem to realize that they aren't the majority!! Let me know

if there is anything that I can do.

C. T.


Disturbed Over a National Homeschool Curriculum


I am a homeschooling mom of two and was very disturbed at learning about

these so-called "guidelines" created for Catholic homeschoolers in

various dioceses. I discovered this info through a newsletter called

"Mothers' Watch." The sacramental guidelines were enough to infuriate me

but I was really frightened at the notion of a national Catholic


I think the patrons of your website might, like me, really like this

newsletter. Its up-to-date info on guidelines for catechism, sex

education, and future attempts at a national curriculum are something all

Catholic homeschoolers need to be aware of. It is published quarterly

and costs a contribution of $20. The address is P.O. Box 2780,

Montgomery Village, MD 20886-2780; phone (410)761-7437. Editorial staff

is Judith Ammenheuser and Anne Polcha.



Something Truly Catholic


My family is new to homeschooling a second grader (soon

to be third grader). My search through all the online

'bulletin boards, etc.' has brought me to this website, and

I must say I am MOST intrigued. Instinctively, I have kept

searching (perhaps Spirit led), feeling that there must be

something out there truly Catholic, but totally unfamiliar

with it. We are currently using A BEKA books. I am

really quite satisfied with them from the academic point of

view, but know there is something missing.

How, where do I find the truly Catholic material you speak

of? Are there options within this (meaning are there

several schools or vendors)? What about Seton Home

study? Are they on your list? Help!


State Not Included in Email


 Former Catholic School Teacher Objects to Guidelines


 Thank you for the important information that you shared in your article

in the recent issue of Mother's Watch. I am not yet homeschooling (my

child is too young) but I had taught in a Catholic school for 5 years and

know full well the reasons not to send my children to Catholic schools.

What I was unaware of was the recent move to create guidelines for

homeschoolers in my city of Chicago. Can you give me more details on

what has been done in my archdiocese or who I would contact for this

specific information? Since I won't be homeschooling for a few years yet

I haven't been following such matters closely.


Also, do you have any advice on how I could voice my opinion against

such guidelines within my archdiocese? Perhaps since I am not officially

homeschooling (yet) and since I did teach in the Catholic school my

opinion may be listened to. (Or am I being naive?)


Thanks for any info you can give me, thank you for your article and all

your efforts to protect our children.


Yours in Christ,




Excellent Article

I receive MOTHERS WATCH and read your article HOMESCHOOLERS DRAW BATTLE LINES. It is excellent!


State Withheld

Is Reporting an Act of Disunity?


It seems to me that you are further creating disunity by the

outrageous posting of your information here on this so-called alert about

Seton not being at NACHE. Since you are not Dr. Clark or Mary Hasson, or Fr.

 Hardon for that matter... what business is it of yours? And why do you

desire to make it everyone else's business, except to stir up more problems/

animosity towards NACHE and TORCH.

Why are you so privy to Fr. Hardon's letter to NACHE? How are you

enlightened as to interpret what he alludes to or means by some of his


I am continually perplexed at your continued efforts at trying to

discredit NACHE and TORCH. Is there anything POSITIVE you many have to

contribute to the homeschool arena?

Your attacks on NACHE and TORCH are no different then their

"supposed" discord with Seton.

Why not put some energy into contributing to the Good that is there

in the Homeschool arena instead of always dramatizing and continuing the

tabloid style of writing here.





State Not Included in Email Letter

TORCH: A Self-Crowned Monarchy?

How delighted I was to find the Keeping It Catholic site! I have every copy of Magnificat you published and I can assure they are kept carefully for posterity. Thank you, too, for your insights on the homeschooling issues and the nefarious goings-on with TORCH.


After our group had personal run in with TORCH, I can testify that your observations on how TORCH operates are absolutely on target. TORCH ripped our group apart with their rumor-mongering, their judgments on other people within the group, their subversive tactics and an attitude of suspicion toward anyone who doesn't quite wax enthusiastic over them. You've done a great service to Catholic homeschoolers everywhere by exposing this TORCH group and their associates at NACHE. Under the pretext of obedience to the Church, they have now crowned themselves, wishing to impose a monarchy over other homeschooling parents.


Name Withheld



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