Monthly Archives: October 2008

The Rights and Dignity of the Human Person and Family

Please GO OVER TO PHILIP’s BLOG and SIGN THE PETITION. It wont take you a minute. Don’t put it off or shrug about how what you have to say is meaningless in the fight for Life. We need to stand up for the rights of each person just to be allowed to live. We need to fight for the basic rights of the family; for parents to keep the right to have and educate their children.

As Christian’s it is time we fought back against those who want to see people killed because they are too young to speak out, and killing them because they are disabled.

I am stunned by the number of Catholics, let alone other Christians who simply don’t care about the number of people murdered in abortion or like Terri Shiavo are starved to death for being disabled. Then there’s the woman in Oregon told her insurance wont cover her cancer treatment but they will pay for a doctor to kill her!

Fr. Corapi produced a half hour video that all Catholics (and Americans) should see. It expounds upon what Bishop Rene H. Gracida just said boldly in a recent radio spot. (He is the Bishop that ordained Fr. Corapi a Deacon).

“This is Bishop Rene H. Gracida, reminding all Catholics that they must vote in this election with an informed conscience. A Catholic cannot be said to have voted in this election with a good conscience if they have voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is a pro-abortion candidate.”

Personally I find it difficult to understand how so many people who say they follow Christ can be so lacking in discernment, that they need to be told this again and again.

Fight for a dream

Finally, I think I may have some hope when it comes to my health situation. I put a formal complaint into the hospital where I had my MRI six years ago and after being messed about EVEN THEN my husband phoned someone in a posh office and suddenly the thing was found. My Chiropractor has finally received it and has had chance to look it over.

I have an appointment to see him tomorrow. Once I have seen him and know where I stand with him I may then get my GP to make a PRIVATE referral to a rheumatologist. There is no way I will use the NHS again for this.

My dream is that I will finally find someone in the medical profession willing to try and help me. That maybe, just maybe, I will be able to have treatment that will get rid of the pain and even-well, it’s a dream-help me to walk properly again. It might not happen, but if I could at least believe that someone was TRYING to make it happen, that would help.

It seems to be something inherent in the NHS that doctors feel quite able to treat patients with contempt. My friend with breast cancer sees a chiropractor and other so-called ‘alternative’ medicine practitioners. They treat her with respect and listen to what she says. It’s not much to ask for-but she can’t get that during her NHS appointments.

I am nervous about tomorrow. For a start I am not sure any other doctor has properly looked at the MRI before. The report on it was written nearly 11 months after it was taken-a two line report. As the thing has been missing, how do I even know the consultant LOOKED at it before he wrote his dismissive two liner?

I had reached a point of being too exhausted to fight any more-but I am trying to rise to the occasion one more time.

Say a prayer

Recipes: Chutneys, apple jelly, cranberry sauce….

I am coming to the conclusion that you can make chutney out just about anything. It’s a great way to avoid throwing things away and it makes great Christmas gifts.

Apple and Courgette (Zuccini) chutney

I had a huge chunk of a huge courgette left so I chopped it into cubes. I reckon I had aboout 1lb of the stuff (and that was just half a courgette. It was huge)


80z onion chopped and crush about three cloves of garlic. Put it in the pan and sweat down with a little water.

Add the Courgette (about 1lb) and I peeled and chopped about 1lb 8oz of apples too. (bramleys) Then add 1lb of raisans or sultanas.

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Conversion stories; Fr. John Corapi

I admit it, I’m a sucker for a good conversion story. I have read the books and love watching (when I get the chance) the ever gentle Marcus Grodi’s programme “The Journey Home”. Today at Mass Father received another convert-there’s been a few recently-and pointed out he has six more people in going through preparation. Say a prayer.

My all time favourite story of conversion is that of Father John Corapi. His story is positively epic! He is baptised and brought up Catholic. He ditches it all and goes after fortune and some kind of fame-both of which he finds. He becomes a millionaire, partying with the rich and famous of California. While at a party he is introduced to cocaine and he ends up loosing everything-and just about everyone, but for his mother. Having lost his millions, his Ferrari and his house, he is left on the streets where his mother gets a message to him along with a Hail Mary and a ticket home.

The rest of his story is here:

I really do recommend taking the 10minutes to watch or just listen to this. I watched his whole story on EWTN  some time ago and I have it on DVD. I have heard a lot of stories; Scott Hahn, Steve Ray, Ros Moss, and the astonishing story of Brother Francis Edkins (I’ve found his story on Youtube as well). These stories show that God can work absolute wonders not matter what. Don’t lose hope for your loved ones. Pray and wait.

Are homeschoolers Amish or Distributist?

I have talked quite a bit over previous posts about what I call the ‘alternative economy’ used by homeschoolers and our friends and neighbours. Well the inspiration is Distrubitism the dream of G.K.Chesterton and his friend Hillaire Belloc. Gilbert and Frances Chesterton worked in the London office of the PNEU (Parent’s National Education Union) so there’s a lovely link with Charlotte Mason and home education.

I have been reading Damian Thompson’s blog Holy Smoke. There is the really horrible prospect of Catholic primary schools introducing the programme “All that I am” – which is quite frankly an obscene way to teach children as young as five about sex.  One of the commenters on the blog goes by the name of Mystic Mug and one more than one occasion has raised the need for Distributism in the UK (and I think the USA would love it too). S/He wrote this:

Sorry to bat on about this, but the answer is Distributism.

Somebody stop me, I am having a utopian trip here….”

A distributist parent would automatically opt for home schooling as something so important as their children’s education could not be left in the hands of a State flunky, “Catholic” or not.

Distributist parents would most likely form local guilds to amass resources and share the load. This would provide the social element of education and an “extended family” for the children, and adults.

Home school dinners would be provided from home grown ingredients, mostly. Start and end times would be flexible.

Horror stories of nasty Gordon, and evil Peter, and malignant Ed could be related to the wee ones as required.

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Deciding to Homeschool pt II

When Charlotte Mason wrote her series of books she was not really intending that children would be homeschooled for all their acedemic lives. She wrote, it seems to me, to encourage parents and teachers to work in mutual support to prepare children to be ready to learn and to then expose them to a rigorous Christ centred education. Ah those were the days!

These days most homeschool families choose to keep their children out until their college or university years.  Each decision is tough. I know a family in the process of preparing their oldest child to sit the 11+ with a view he might go to either a grammar school (if they can find one) or more likely private school. But that is expensive and they are living on one wage.

As a parent I want my children to grow up with a moral framework and a set of skills for life. By homeschooling I can ensure they are taught the Faith properly-avoiding Icons and other bizarre pseudo-Catholic-barely-Christian programmes.  They are taught to want to learn, to listen and be respectful of others. There’s plenty of time for activities such as cooking, gardening, art and music.

If you decide to go ahead-what happens?

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Deciding to homeschool

I’ve recently met a family where the mother is going through the difficult process of trying to decide whether to homeschool her children or not. I know that some homeschoolers shake their heads and mutter under their breath when they see how difficult this decision is for some people, but we need to remember that the situation each family faces is unique to them.

This mum is asking questions about what it is like to homeschool; why we did it; how it works and who supports you?

Every family have their own reasons for homeschooling. Many families decide when their children are young and never send their children to school. They have enough knowledge of the system and what goes on in the average classroom to decide they do not want that for their children. Others decide to homeschool for a while because they believe they can give their children a better start at home. They consider school at the age of 7 or 8 when research says children are more likely to learn at a reasonable rate.

For those of us who have removed our children from school, it is because the school has failed our children either through not tackling bullying or not meeting the needs of children who have what is called ‘special needs’.

Homeschooling is more than just academics however. Charlotte Mason wrote a lot about HABITS and the ATMOSPHERE OF EDUCATION and about DISCIPLINE.


Most of us who homeschool, do so after a lot of reading, research, prayer and heart searching. It is not a snap decision. There are a lot of books out there, the vast majority written by American homeschoolers explaining how homeschooling works, why people do it and what the outcomes are. I do think, personally, that too few of these books are really honest about the difficulties faced by many homeschool mums.

Most of the research is also based in the USA although there has been some study done here in the UK.The most comprehensive study was done by Paula Rothermel shows how well home educated children perform. There are more research papers HERE.

So, what does this research show? It shows over all that home educated children do better academically, socially, emotionally and even morally, than their contemporaries in school. Interestingly class and race do not show marked difference in home educated children. I have heard some commentators (on the BBC-where else *sigh*) suggest that homeschooled children do better because they come from higher socio-economic homes. This isn’t true. Figures show homeschoolers are found across the board-even among single parents.

It takes so long to write these posts-you know-in between homeschooling.

I’ll come back to it.