Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family


September 2007

Approaching the Feast of All Saints

As we approach the Feast of All Saints, it is great fun discuss the holy men and women our young ones wish to emulate. Many of my “internet friends” have already begun discussing costume ideas. Here are a few photos from last years All Saint’s Day party at our parish.

Meet: St. Joan of Arc

The Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Joseph

St. Maximilian Kolbe

And, of course, St. Michael the Archangel

The costumes were all created with materials readily available at home (we have an assortment of plastic armor and swords…all obtained at the dollar store). Even St. Michael’s wings were quite easy: silver poster board reinforced with coat hanger wire, sandwiched between the layers and hot-glued.

I’m not quite sure whom the children will choose this year…we will be having that discussion on Tuesday. I’ll keep you posted!

Mathetes Award for Excellence in Discipleship

Barbara at Praying For Grace has nominated me for the Mathetes Award for Excellence in Discipleship. I am truly touched and humbled. To be considered an “excellent disciple” by this lovely, faith-filled woman is a weighty matter. God grant me the grace to remain worthy and the humility to realize that there are many more worthy than I. Thank you Barb, for your good example and for providing encouragement for other Catholic mothers.

Mathetes is the Greek word for disciple, and the role of the disciple (per the Great Commission) it to make more disciples. So the rules for accepting the award are such: Winners of this award must pick five other “disciples” to pass it on to, and provide links for (1) the originator of the award (Dan King of management by God), (2) the person that awarded it to you, and then (3) name and sites of the five people that you believe are fulfilling the role of a disciple of Christ.

Alas…only five. There are so many deserving disciples. Here are some who encourage me, daily:

Elena Maria Vidal at Tea at Trianon

Allison at Totus Tuus Family

Ken at Hallowed Ground

Leticia at Causa Nostrae Laetitiae

PJP and the gang at Recapturing Our Catholic Patrimony

Thank you all, for your excellent example. God’s blessings upon you!

St. Michael’s biggest fan…

My Gareth. Sporting a really nice set of wings in emulation of his patron.

St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us!

The Feast Of St. Michael The Archangel

From Goffine’s Devout Instructions:

September 29

MICHAEL is the prince of the heavenly armies, who first contended against the proud Lucifer. The holy Church honors him as a particular defender, and the faithful call upon him in all dangers of soul and body, but they particularly implore his intercession at the hour of death, in order that, after having, according to his example, courageously fought against Satan, they may receive the crown of victory, and that their souls may by him be brought before the throne of God. Let us also venerate him, and, full of confidence, cry out with the holy Church, “Holy archangel Michael, protect us in battle, that we may not perish in the tremendous judgment.”


O God, Who with wonderful order dost direct the miuistry of angels and of men, mercifully grant that our life on earth may be protected by those who ever minister before Thee in heaven. Through Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.

Epistle: Apocalypse 1:1-5

In those days God made known the things which must shortly come to pass, and signified, sending by His angel to His servant John, who hath given testimony to the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever He hath seen. Blessed is he that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy, and keepeth those things which are written in it. For the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you and peace from Him that is, and that was, and that is to come, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, the first-begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, Who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins, in His own blood.

This epistle is read to-day because Saint Michael so bravely contended against the sedition of Satan, and, after gaining the victory, drove him and his adherents from heaven.
Gospel: Matthew 18:1-10
[] At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest Thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come, but nevertheless, woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven.

Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel

Great prince of heaven, Saint Michael, to thy protection commend my soul and body, and, by the glory which thou possessest in heaven, I beseech thee that thou wouldst ever assist me, particularly at the close of my life; that thou wouldst strengthen my faint-heartedness, and obtain for me from God the remission of my sins, and au entire submission to His holy will, that my soul may depart full of comfort. Then receive it, and bring it, under the guidance of the holy angels, before the face of God, to enjoy the contemplation of Him for all eternity. Amen.

In Preparation For The Feast Of St. Michael The Archangel

“At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who standeth for the children of thy people.”

Tomorrow we celebrate Michaelmas, also known as the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. Our family has a great devotion to St. Michael, most particularly due to the great devotion our young son, Galahad has shown since early childhood.

Galahad is convinced that St. Michael is his personal Guardian Angel. He speaks with such conviction, that we don’t question his belief.

Here’s a little background on the Great Prince, St. Michael the Archangel:


Feast: September 29

St. Michael, who ranks among the seven archangels, is also one of the three angels mentioned by name in the Scriptures, the others being St. Raphael and St. Gabriel. St. Michael is spoken of twice in the Old Testament, and twice in the New. The first reference occurs in the Book of Daniel (chapter x), where Michael comes to comfort Daniel after he has had a vision, and promises to be his helper in all things. In Daniel xii, Michael is called “the great prince who standeth for the children of Thy people.” In these references Michael is represented as Israel’s great support during the seventy years of the Babylonian captivity. Daniel, wise and holy leader that he was, wanted his people to understand that God had not forgotten them, and that, even though enslaved, they had a royal champion. In the New Testament (Jude ix), we are told that Michael disputed with the devil over the body of Moses; this episode is not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible.

In the Apocalypse (chapter xii) we find the most dramatic reference to St. Michael. Here John recounts the great battle in Heaven, when the wicked angels under Lucifer revolt against God, and how Michael, leading the faithful angels, defeats the hosts of evil and drives them out. In this role he has been painted by many artists, and the poet Milton, in book vi of , recounts the famous struggle. Because of this victory, St. Michael is revered in Catholic tradition and liturgy as the protector of the Church, as once he was regarded as the protector of the Israelites. In the Eastern Church, as well as among many theologians in the West, St Michael is placed over all the angels, as prince of the Seraphim. He is the special patron of sick people, mariners, and grocers; in Asia Minor many curative springs were dedicated to him. His cult has also been popular in Egypt, Rome, France, and Germany. His emblems are a banner, a sword, a dragon, and scales. The name Michael is a variation of Micah, meaning in Hebrew, “Who is like God?”

Saint Michael, Archangel. Scriptural Saint. Celebration of Feast Day is September 29.

Taken from “Lives of Saints”, Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.

We are planning a family celebration and have found a few interesting recipes that would be served at a traditional Michaelmas celebration.

Check out Michaelmas Pie, St. Michael’s Bannock, Michaelmas Broth and the ever so important Michaelmas Goose!

A very good day…

Three weeks down.

I’m very encouraged. School is going so very well…why do I keep waiting for the rose to lose it’s “bloom?”

Today was an excellent day. A day devoted to History, Science and Art. The scholars (a term I use as a reminder of our mission statement) had an excellent time creating their own…gasp! ancient Roman tomb markers. Using the example of Gaius Mucius Scaevolus‘ marker, they designed their own. Charlotte was tickled to hear Gaius Mucius referred to as Mucius the Left-handed. She’s been calling herself Mucius the Left-handed all day.

We had initially begun an exploration of aerospace and aeronautical engineering. Due to a very profitable thrift store expedition, we have changed course. A really nice microscope and a good friend’s donation of a smaller microscope and slide preparation kit, have paved the way for Microscopy. We have prefaced our class with the history of the microscope. It was such fun to see the look of delight on four year old Emily’s face as she observed the magnification properties of a drop of water. Not once did the younger children exhibit any signs of boredom or restlessness. The up close view of an “invisible world” was simply too intriguing.

To my great delight, Arthur has asked to lead our microscopy class labs. He is more than able, having poured over manuals on care and usage of equipment and slide preparation. All in all, a delightful and engaging day.

Monday, we travel to the National Museum for the USAF for Homeschool Day. The children are excited, but are even more anxious for Tuesday’s classes at home. Microscope slide preparation.

I hear the “professor” is very, very good…

How about a nice, hot cup of…soap?!!

It’s official. I’m losing my mind.

Every morning, the ritual is the same: fix the coffee, make a bacon/egg/cheese bagel sandwich, fill the water jug and pack his lunch. In that order. Because I love him.

I filled the coffee pot with filtered water, poured it into the machine, put the filter in the filter basket and opened the box of dishwasher tabs, placed one in the filter basket and shut the compartment.


Thank heavens I didn’t turn it on. My dear husband might want to take a closer look at his lunch today.

Insanity is such an insidious thing…I never saw it coming!

A Homeschool Latin Mass

Up at 6:00 a.m. with six very sleepy children and a college student. A hasty breakfast, dress for Mass, out the door and into a torrential downpour. Ten minutes later, stuck in traffic.


Late. Not for Mass…college. Again. An hour and fifteen minutes on the road for a twenty minute drive. God bless her, she’s been late twice. Not a single word of reproach.

Mass. Praise God! On time, the boys don their vestments. This is the Homeschool Latin Mass. Seated with the younger children, I observe the sea of empty pews. Two families. Then three. Four. A very slow trickle.

Fr. Lutz asks Arthur for a count. “Thirteen, Father!”

“Thirteen?!” Father places a few hosts in the ciborium. A few moments later, the church is swarming with children!

Mass begins, and the Church continues to fill. I didn’t count, but I would estimate at least one hundred children and parents were in attendance.

At least 85% of these families were from neighboring parishes. This was their first Latin Mass. How precious!

These wonderful mothers and fathers brought their children, on a weekday, during the worst storm imaginable, fighting their way through snarled traffic due to numerous weather-related accidents to attend this Mass. A Latin Low Mass.

How well-behaved the children were! Wet and cold, to be sure, but no more noise than one would expect under the circumstances.

What could be lovelier than a sanctuary full of kneeling children and their loving parents?

Reminder: 40 Days For Life Campaign

The 40 Days For Life Campaign begins today and ends November 4th, 2007.

From the website:

Why 40 Days?

Throughout Biblical history, God has used 40-day periods to transform individuals, communities and nations…

* Noah was transformed by 40 days of rain
* Moses was transformed by 40 days on Mount Sinai
* David was transformed by Goliath’s 40 day challenge
* Elijah was transformed when God gave him 40 days of strength from one meal
* Nineveh was transformed when God gave the city 40 days to remain faithful
* Jesus was empowered by 40 days in the desert
* The Disciples were transformed by 40 days with Jesus following His resurrection

Imagine the transformation God could accomplish in America this fall when individuals and communities unite together for 40 days of prayer and fasting, pulling out all the stops to end the violence of abortion…

You can be a part of that transformation by taking action today!
Never underestimate the power of prayer. You CAN make a difference.

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