Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I get the most amazing things done when I'm avoiding my real To-do list. This week I updated my Blogger profile. It used to say I had 2 kids in high school with the first about to graduate. Now he's a year from done college! In fact my blog-iversary was this month. 3 years!

But all I can think is:

I can't wait for April,
I need trifocals to see my screen
and keyboard
and read the tiny type in my lit book
and where is spring!

Another thing I did yesterday was get the girls to really clean with me for an hour so we could disinfect. Small stomache bug had showed up and I wanted it gone! I even cleaned under the couch cushions. Sigh! No loose change. That was the only good part about my dad smoking for 30 years. the kid who cleaned under the couch cushions got all the loose change that fell there as he chain smaoked, on his back, reading and listening to the news till he fell asleep. (It was also our job to safely move the ashtray from his chest to the table. thank you! Little Flower for interceding-- 20 years cigarette free!)


I am supposed to be writing about Ezra Pound's poetry. Do I play it safe and use the first prompt:
argue for inclusion on a sylabus for a survey of American Lit.
or the second:
How doe sthe author's work show "democracy of feeling" and "rebellion" of form common to the imagists.

Oh and Lent-- that was on hold as well. It just was not my year to get much out of it because I just had nothing to put in: no energy or direction. Of course I am aware that means less joy from Easter.
So I guess the goal will be to use the Ordinary Time of summer to grow, re-create, meditate.
I do love ordinary time. Actually I thinks that's what I've missed in my rollercoaster year. Without the ordinary it is so hard to put myself in the seasons.

This is not however complaint. Rollercoaster's have their highs and we've had some wonderful things happen this past year. Spiritually in the past I've been closer to Christ, more aware of the Spirit, more grateful to the Father and smarter about turning to Our Lady. The cycle will come around again and I'm blessed to know that, deeply ingrained in my heart.

So- I should edit this post but I won't. It is a snapshot of who I am right now: blind to typo's, full of mixed emotions, distracted by children who need me and by my need for them. I'm Ok with who I have become at middle age and I'm even OK with being middle age. I've been Blessed to spend my entire adulthood (and adoloescence) with the same man/partner/best friend. I have seen 2 children grow up and know my others are doing well and still have a mission in life with the youngest three. I have and like my blog but don't feel the necessity to write daily.

Today is good.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Help Sopia Press! Read his poignant letter please.

Not long ago, one of my adult children spent hours pummeling me and the Church. The waves of her anger struck repeatedly, tossing me like a small boat in a storm.

With the bitterness of a woman betrayed, she recited the sins of bad priests we knew, and catalogued the failings of Catholic laymen and bishops we trusted.

"I believed," she cried.

"I believed, while those bastards lied and sneaked about, doing the very things they preached against!"

* * *

What could I say?

I won't defend the indefensible.

So, like Peter in that boat tossed by an earlier storm, I kept myself focused on Jesus.

"They betrayed us," I agreed."But they betrayed Jesus more.

"He condemned these sins centuries ago. If you thought He was wrong to do so, you wouldn't be upset today. Your anger shows that even when priests violate them, you think Christ's teachings --- the Church's teachings --- are right."

That just made her angrier, and since then I've had simply to avoid the topic.

* * *

You know, when I entered the Church as an adult, I had a profound admiration for priests, and naively believed that Catholics --- and particularly priests --- would always be found more virtuous than others.

My faith was so great that I founded Sophia Institute Press to bring back into print the fine Catholic books that had won me to the Faith, and that --- I was sure --- would convert others, too.

Now, at last count, six of the priests I've admired for their orthodoxy have been implicated in the sex scandals, and one is deep in a midwest jail.

That fact didn't make it easy for me to answer my daughter's charges.

Like Peter, I was left only with Jesus.

Jesus gave sinful Peter the power to walk on water. Jesus keeps us from drowning when the world attacks us and assails our wounded Church.

And Jesus guarantees that, despite the sins of Her members, the Church Herself is perfect.

Yes, perfect!

But not at all in the way that I imagined when I converted to Catholicism.

Fr. Ronald Knox explains it well in a remarkable little book, The Church on Earth, which I published a couple of years ago.

There he notes that, unlike the Protestant churches, the Catholic Church is not a system that men, after prayer and deliberation, devised as the best scheme they could think of for perpetuating the work of their Master, Jesus.

On the contrary, the Catholic Church is directly God's handiwork: in the New Testament Jesus Himself instituted the Sacraments and established the Church, placing Peter at its head.

Since God Himself established our Church, we must believe that it is perfectly designed to lead souls to perfection; and that it does so when they abide by Her teachings and partake of the graces She affords them.

Had I remembered just this one point from Msgr. Knox's slim book, the conversation with my daughter --- and with others who assail the Church for the sins of her members --- would have gone much better.

* * *

You know, this past quarter-century I've published hundreds of books like The Church on Earth, which, in just a paragraph, can make the difference between faith lost and faith regained.

Indeed, I've brought forth into the world almost three million copies of books by the very best Catholic authors, living and dead -- authors whose holiness and wisdom continually draw souls to the Church (the perfect Church) that Christ founded 2,000 years ago.

Now, however, all this is threatened. Although we cut our staff down to just six persons last year, and tripled the number of books we published, contributions to our work declined by over $100,000 --- a deficit that we have since then been unable to to make up with sales alone.

Now our checkbook is empty.

We don't have enough to keep
in print the books we've published.

Catholics will soon no longer have access to the scores of books we've published by St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bishop Fulton Sheen, St. Robert Bellarmine, Fr. Lawrence Lovasik, and many other good Catholics.
(See sidebars on this page
and our website.)

* * *

Can you help?

For your Lenten reading, could you buy a copy of The Church on Earth or perhaps one of our other books? And could you buy a few more books as gifts for others?

If you can't afford that,
could you buy one of our
or even just
contribute one dollar?

Or more than a dollar,
if possible.

If you buy a book or two, or give a dollar or two, and everyone else who receives this email does the same, our doors will stay open; these books will stay in print; and we'll have enough to publish many more Catholic books -- books that will draw souls everywhere to the perfect Church that God so lovingly established for us men and for our salvation.

Thank you, and as the new year rushes upon us, please pray for us . . . and for my daughter.

Sincerely yours,

John L. Barger, Publisher
Sophia Institute Press

Box 5284, Manchester, NH
03108 USA 1-603-641-9344

Monday, March 22, 2010

NECHC Speakers

Western Mass Catholic Homeschoolers is proud to announce that our featured speaker will be

Susie LlyodSusie Lloyd
author of Please, Don't Drink the Holy Water!
and now Bless Me Father For I Have Kids.Susie Lloyd's Bless Me Father For I Have Kids

Nissa and Brian Gadbois. Nissa and Brian GadboisBrian is in Worcester's Deaconate program. They own a farm and several businesses. Nissa specializes in using Waldorf methods of teaching in a truly Catholic enviroment.

Cooperators in God's Plan by Allison Gingras
Alison Gingras

God has a plan for all our children, and as parents and teachers the most powerful teaching tool we have is prayer and our Catholic faith. This is especially important when the child(ren) we are teaching faces special learning needs, such as Ad/hd, sensory integration, hearing loss, or comprehension difficulties. Allison Gingras knows this first hand, having guided her children through these issues, as well as the normal hurdles encountered in home schooling. She will address the struggle many parents feel of being responsible to provide our child(ren) the best education and the doubts of wondering whether we are always the best choice for providing that education. In addition, she will offer practical strategies, as well as how she leans on her faith to meet the challenges of cooperating with God's plan.

Allison Gingras holds a Master's in Education and has been an early childhood educator for over 14 years. Though it isn't her education, as much as her life, that provides the information she shares with other homeschool families. She is a mother of 3, each with their own special need including ad/hd, various comprehension and writing issues, sensory integration and hearing impairment. Her greatest achievement is her faith, which she feels provides all the grace she needs to help each of her children in exactly the way God planned specifically for them.

Laura Eckroat, local author of
The Life of Bud The Life of Budand A Simpler LifeA Simpler Time

ABOUT ME --Laura Eckroat

I am a Kindergarten Teacher at St. Joan of Arc in Chicopee. I have one class left to earn my Masters in Mild-to-Moderate Disabilities from Elms College. I am certified in Mild-to-Moderate Disabilities & in Elementary Education from the State of Massachusetts. In my former life I was a Human Resources Manager for Amoco Oil Company and I was also the General Manager / Training Store Manager for the educational toy store -- Zany Brainy ... which is how I found my passion --teaching! I have a 16 year old daughter who attends Cathedral and I am married to Steven who is a Chemist.


My book -- The Life of Bud is a life cycle / seasons book. The book was released in February, 2009. My second book – A Simpler Time is due out in early 2010. Both books have a theme of nature. I would use these books to demonstrate how to use children's literature to teach Inquiry Based Science to children. I would also have other examples of books available for the Home School Teachers to see. I will show work completed by students. I would be referencing how these examples tie into the Mass Curriculum Frameworks.

I will be doing this workshop at the Massachusetts Reading Association Conference on Thursday, April 8.

Kate Duneluk
Last year one of our last presentations had a smaller audience as people hurried to get lunch that hour. The audience however was so enthusiastic this little company was asked to come back:family-picturemmpt
Making Music Praying Twice will give one of their workshops and have a table available. Keep in mind this is their actual workshop -- not an informercial on their product-- but ways to use music to help your child's development.

Kris Correira, an instructor for Homeschool Connections who blogs from MA at

http://AtHomeScience.blogspot.com At Home Science
Kris says: I am a Catholic homeschooling mom to 3 boys with a Charlotte Mason educational philosophy. I also am an emergency department physician assistant and community college instructor, both once primary roles relegated for my children, their education, and our home.


JUNE 5, 2010 9:30AM TO 7 PM
Vendor Applications also available at this site.
7 4 P E A R L S T . • H O L Y O K E , MA • 0 1 0 4 0
P H O N E : 4 1 3 - 5 3 3 - 0 0 4 5 • O R 4 1 3 - 3 1 5 - 9 9 9 9
Please register now!
Costs before May 5th:
1st Person $35, Couple $40,
Add a grandparent for $10 (Non- homeschooling)
Add a High School Student for $10 (Parent MUST be in Attendance and responsible)
Nursing babies welcome and Free!
(Religious and Priests Registered by April 15 are Free! Form available at our website.)
We have posted our Confirmed Vendors and Speakers but expect to add more Vendors soon!

Costs after May 5th:
1st Person $40, Couple $50,
Add a grandparent for $12 (Non- homeschooling)
Add a High School Student for $12 (Parent MUST be in Attendance and responsible)
Phone: ___________________________________
Web Site: _____________________________________
Nursing baby (Y/N):__________
Attending with Spouse:______________________________
or Grandparent: __________________________
Check can be made payable to WMCH.
Mail to: 74 Pearl St Holyoke, MA 01040
Questions? Call Mary Brazeau 413-533-0045 or Christine Hebert at 413-315-9999
Donations welcome also but are not currently tax deductible.
You can also support this event by subscribing to Faith and Family Magazine or National Catholic
through our website.

The html code below allows you to promote our Yahoo group on a webpage or blog and get more updates directly from Western Mass Catholic Homeschoolers about this event.

style="border: 0px;"
alt="Click to join NewEnglandCatholicHomeschool"/>

Click to join NewEnglandCatholicHomeschool

With devotion to His Sacred Heart,
Mary Brazeau and
The Team at WMCH