Post-Synod Analysis

The Synod is finished, thanks be to God!  The fallout and response is somewhat varied though, and the overall outcome is yet to be seen.

The first bit of analysis that I read was on Sunday morning. Christine Niles’ article at Church Militant basically sunk most of my hopes, but then later in the day, I saw this from the Catholic News Agency, saying that the final report backs Church teaching. On Facebook, I found this jewel from Fr. Martin, SJ:

I was very disappointed by this today. One question at this morning’s press conference, by Thomas J. Reese, SJ, exposed a serious flaw in the Synod on the Family, and an instance of clear sexism. While before I had thought that ordination was a prerequisite for voting at the Synod (and one could make that theological argument: it was a synod of bishops, and priests participate in the ministry of the bishop through the sacrament of holy orders), today I learned that Brother Herve Janson, a member of the Little Brothers of Jesus, also had voting rights. That is, he is not ordained. That is, his canonical status is technically that of a layman or laywoman. Thus, ordination was not a prerequisite for voting. So where were the women religious who had voting rights, where were the laymen with voting rights, and where were the laywomen with voting rights? (If you follow the link you can see the exchange on video.)

This was a huge missed opportunity for the Synod, and it goes against Pope Francis’s explicit desire, as stated in “Evangelii Gaudium,” to have more women in leadership roles.

Trust me, man, you would NOT want a woman like me at the Synod. Can you please get off the equality bandwagon for once and focus on something of substance?

On Twitter, apparently he had this: martin

One Mad Mom dishes on that here. Go Mad Mom!

So I clicked over to Fr. Z’s blog (you know he HATES Vatican II ;) ) to try and get some balanced review on the Synod. If you’re still looking for some, I strongly urge you to read his latest posts.  This one was particularly good, especially if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan.

Rorate Caeli had some good observations, as well as the Catholic News Service’s interview with Cardinal Pell here.

A more hopeful but still realistic view is over at Catholicism Pure. Originally from Fr. Ed Tomlinson, the post contains more exhortations to pray, fast, and stay faithful to the Church, as well as practical things we can do.

The articles which I found the most “to the point” were from Steve Skojec at 1Peter5. If you have the time to read it, check out “No, the “Conservatives” did not “win”.  Strong commentary there.

Pray for the Holy Father. Please.


Life right now

Ah, fall.

I hoped to spend it reading philosophy, sipping hot chocolate, and musing over the meaning of life (or how to spin the Pope’s latest words into something Catholic).

However, like any other homeschooling grade 12 student, I had a lot of other things with which I filled my schedule.

A little rest and relaxation is important though, so I did pick up A Midsummer Night’s Dream in my spare time. Yes, I read Shakespeare for fun. My voice teacher also lent me a short book called William Shakespeare’s Star Wars:  Verily, a New Hope by Ian Doescher.  It basically tells the story of Star Wars IV (or I, of original trilogy) in the style of Shakespeare. Quite amusing it is.

I wish I could say I’ve picked up a load of piano pieces for fun, but right now I need to focus on learning exam pieces for June. My latest piece is J.S. Bach’s Prelude & Fugue in B flat major. I thought the Prelude would be difficult, but it’s all wrist rotation in the right hand. Bazinga. Still getting started on the Fugue. Only 3 voices in it; lucky break.

Until next time, God bless!

Why Women Wear Mantillas In Church

Originally posted on :

Young women wearing mantillas Young women wearing mantillas

Chapel veils, or mantillas (which comes from the word manta, meaning cape) are typically circular or triangular shaped pieces of black or white lace that are draped over a woman’s head when attending Mass, or in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Traditionally, the black veils were worn by married or widowed women, while the white veils were worn by young girls, or unmarried women, but there are no hard and fast rules about this.

“Therefore ought the woman to have a power over her head, because of the angels.” (1 Corinthians 11:10)

St. Paul reminds us that as Christ did the will, and sought the honour of God the Father, so the Christian should avow his subjection to Christ, doing His will and seeking His glory. We should seek a fitting demeanour in our dress and habit, avoiding everything that may be dishonourable before…

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End of the Homeschool year

We are done. So very done.

Well, maybe its just me, but I think we’ve done enough organised book-work for the 2014-2015 school year. ;)

The kids all worked hard and pulled together in a couple of difficult situations throughout this year. They have all matured in their own special ways, and all of them have learned something. Here is a re-cap:



Dad taught him how to weld this year, and the two of them are rebuilding a car from a Model A frame that Dad bought before us kids were born. The football player is also working on beginning algebra and English vocabulary expansion via reading. He finished spring season football two weeks ago, and after a few weeks of camp, he is playing during the regular season starting in late August.


Math, phonics, music, and science were non-issues for her this year. However, she started the school year doing grade 3 spelling, and she is twelve. (Disclaimer: if anyone is wanting to use this as a case against homeschooling, first go and test any publicly schooled twelve-year-old’s spelling.) We have been focusing on that as our main point. Over the past few years, Mom and I wanted her to read more, and in turn, improve her spelling. In January, she read White Fang by Jack London. That did it for her! There was enough action and use of adjectives to draw her into the story and keep her excited. She went on to read the Silver Chief books and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. Her spelling is coming along, and she can keep working on it over the summer.


The industrious, little Cinderella of the family continues to struggle with math and reading. Last summer, she and The Debater did the 100 Days of Reading challenge (Mom’s idea). It meant that for 100 days, each kid would read aloud to Mom, Dad, The Football Player, or myself. If they completed the challenge, each of them would get twenty dollars. It went well, and their reading improved steadily! After a hiatus though, she forgot a few sight words, and has difficulty shaping her sentences at all. She works at it, but it doesn’t come to her as easily as it does to The Debater. She is starting to understand more of the missing number problems in math, her piano skills are coming along, and reading–well, it will come. . .


This kid could argue any person to the point of insanity. He is a math and music wizard, and like the tween, has discovered a love of reading (Lego idea books especially). He started the year in grade 1 spelling and phonics, and grade 2 math. He is now doing grade 2 spelling and grade 3 phonics and math. His struggle? Listening to directions! :P


The youngest child in the family is only preschool age, so this year she mostly played with Barbie and her Lego set. She is starting to draw figures that make some sense. Last September I looked over her shoulder once and said, “What’s this you’re drawing? Oh, of course its a kitty, how silly of me!” She is drawing pictures of her siblings and making Lego figures of everyone in the family. Over the summer I’ll be teaching her the alphabet and counting to 30 or so.


As for myself, I am still working on algebra (blech), music history, and an English course. Over the school year I took a Latin course, and it was awesome! I can hardly wait to return to it in the fall. After a few weeks of summer camp, I will be organising the kids’ school books for one final year of teaching before I leave for university in fall 2016. I am continuing to practice piano over the summer, and I have a list of over a dozen grade 9/10 pieces which I would like to tackle. For now, the garden needs weeding, the kids still need supper, laundry still needs to be folded, the kitchen needs to be cleaned, and the world still burns. Am I discouraged? Nope. Its all part of working towards sainthood and growing in love, for God and neighbor!

“Look at Him, even just for a moment”


Beautiful reflection

Originally posted on 8 Kids And A Business:

Life is extremely busy. I’m taking another parish nursing online course and my days are filled with family/work/school/volunteer commitments. There’s never enough time.

When the calendar is overflowing, it’s easy to rush through prayer, or worse, stop spending time in quiet prayer. These days, I have to force myself to be still before the Lord.

Providentially, a friend gave me this piece of writing from St. Teresa of Avila. Her wisdom is exactly what a busy person needs.


“I’m not asking you now that you think about Him or that you draw out a lot of concepts or make long and subtle reflections with your intellect. I’m not asking you to do anything more than look at Him. For who can keep you from turning the eyes of your soul toward this Lord, even if you do so just for a moment if you can’t do more?

He has suffered…

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A Better Lent Than Last Year


Over at The Catholic Gentleman, Mr. Guzman has a post on 7 Ways To Have A Good Lent. Check it out, cause it is solid awesomeness. Also on that page is a link for a worksheet, which can help you make … Continue reading

Belated Christmas greetings. Also, music.

As I write this, it is practically my favorite sort of December weather outside: fifteen degrees below zero (Celsius), fluffy snowflakes falling, frosty trees, and just a little breeze giving a “nip” to the air. This is one of those wonderful wintery days that brings classic Christmas card images to mind. The kids and I will probably go sledding this afternoon, but for now I have piano to practice.


Ah yes, I am a pianist. This is a detail I haven’t spoken much about on the blog. I started piano (under duress) when I was five years old, and I changed teachers a number of times. I am currently playing Grade 9 repertoire (Royal Conservatory). Music is one of the things that gives me a reason to get up in the morning. Even listening to it can leaving me feeling refreshed, in awe, or with a new outlook on life in general. The latest piece I am working on is Mozart’s 1782 Fantasia in D Minor. Exciting, really. To God be all the glory. :)

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.     Psalm 150:3-6, NIV