September 29, 2015

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Today, I would like to highlight the lives of two very remarkable people: Therese Lipscombe and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.

Therese is a senior in high school who suffers from cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and progressively limits the ability to breathe. Thick mucus builds up in her organs, especially her lungs, preventing the release of digestive enzymes and clogging airways and trapping bacteria, leading to infections, extensive lung damage, and eventually, respiratory failure.

Basically, Therese can breathe right now about as much as you or I could through a straw.  Really.  Go on.  Try it.  It's not fun.

Walking from one room to another or eating a small meal causes Therese to be out of breathe and panting, as if she'd just run a 5K race in 20 minutes.

But, Therese keeps going.  She is joyful and outgoing, with a heart for service to others.  She is one of my favorite people and adopted niece!

I've never met a person who is more positive, more upbeat, more enthusiastic about LIFE in general than Therese!

Which is why I also want you to meet Blessed Pier Giorgia Frassati.

On 6 April 1901, Pier Giorgio was born in Turin, Italy into a prominent family, which owned the noted liberal newspaper La Stampa.  Though an average student, Pier Giorgio was known among his peers for his devotion and piety, works of service, and charity. He was active with Catholic youth groups and was a Third Order Dominican. He established the newspaper Momento based on Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, Rerum Novarum, and joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society in 1918, spending much of his time helping the poor.

He also vigorously enjoyed outdoor pursuits like rock climbing, skiing, and horseback riding.

His friends described him as “an explosion of joy!”

Frassati died in 1925 of poliomyelitis. His family naturally expected Turin's elite and Pier Giorgio’s friends to attend the funeral.  However, they were shocked to find the streets filled with thousands of mourners, many of whom he had helped directly during his brief life. 

The poor of the city petitioned the Archbishop of Turin to begin the cause for Frassati's canonization. The process was opened in 1932 and on 20 May 1990 St. Pope John Paul II beatified him.

After this, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati's body was moved from the family crypt in the Pollone Cemetery in Turin and re-interred in the Turin Cathedral, at which time his body was found to be incorrupt.  His body remains there for veneration by the faithful today!

Joyful, outgoing, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, with a heart for service to others, needs only one miracle to become a saint.  Only one.

Just.  One.  Miracle.

Joyful, outgoing, Therese Lipscombe, with a heart for service to others, needs only one miracle to be healed.

Just.  One.  Miracle.

We believe that, if it is God's Will, Therese can be Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati's .... miracle!

Specifically, right now, as her condition is dramatically worse, please pray for Therese's miraculous healing, through the intercession of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati!  And spread the word to others to beseech their prayers, too!

"O merciful God,
Who through the perils of the world
deigned to preserve by Your grace

Your servant, Pier Giorgio Frassati,
pure of heart and ardent of charity,
listen, we ask You, to our prayers and,
if it is in Your designs that he be
glorified by the Church, show us Your will,
granting us the graces we ask of You,
through his intercession,
by the merits of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

+Maurillo, Archbishop of Turin

(sources:  Catholic Online and


September 28, 2015

Seton - 6th Grade Material

Here's a chart I made to track the graded material that was due for Seton this past year when one of my children was in sixth grade.  I made it blank so anyone can use it.

The "P" in a circle denotes that the item is parent-graded.

The column headers denote spaces in which to put a check mark for completion (the check mark), that the item has been uploaded to Seton's website (the little computer), and what grade finally was received (A+).

Hope it makes someone's else life a little more organized and easier this school year!

(, I just have to go design charts for this year for all my kids.  Oy!)  :-)

September 25, 2015

Coloring Pages!

Ooooo!  What a find!  And just in time for the beginning of the school year!

Too often, I grumble about religious coloring pages that are of poor quality or don't enlarge well to a standard page size.  But today, here are two mah-velous links for you, dahling, of Catholic and Biblical coloring pages!  As you visit each site, scroll down for even more choices!

Waltzing Matilda

Wow!  What a visual treasure trove for your little ones!  If you have any coloring page sites to recommend, please share them in the comments.  Thank you so much!

September 22, 2015

Meet Candy Carson

A dear friend recently sent me a copy of this article about Dr. Ben Carson's wife, Candy Carson.  I hadn't heard anything about Mrs. Carson in the media, and came away thinking what a positive, refreshing, and inspiring individual she is!

However, I recognized her immediately.  Through their work, both professionally and charitably, my parents made sure when we were growing up that their children were surrounded by women like Candy Carson.  Such so-called, "old-fashioned values," were what made our country great and gave Americans a steady, consistent moral compass.  In the recent words of Patrice Lewis at World Net Daily*, "[Men]
make the living, then return home to the person who is making the living worthwhile."

As Mrs. Carson shows, many women, in addition to raising their families, also accomplish great things outside the home.  But, as she also clearly understands, the wife or mother is the heart of the home.  And America is the greatest nation on Earth for women to have the choice and resources to achieve their greatest potential, either at home or in any other area they so desire.

I firmly believe gratitude is the mother of many other virtues.  Candy Carson is grateful for the many ways in which God has blessed her life.  What a privilege it would be to have a woman of such graciousness, a man of such integrity, and a couple of such strong faith in the White House!

God Bless America, indeed!

P.S. - Bonus articles!  Here are a few other (brief!) gold nugget articles to introduce you to the person Dr. Ben Carson is, the person the media seldom will fully convey:

1).  Pediatric Neurosurgeon - Water on the Brain Surgery

2).  Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

3).  Quick Facts About Ben Carson
4).   Ben Carson's Official Website

September 19, 2015

On Mary

I've always marveled at why the Blessed Mother even gives us the time of day.  I mean, really.  We crucified her Son.  Would YOU be interested in befriending someone who did that to YOUR only child?

If you have children, then you understand the ultimate protective feelings engendered if anyone so much as threatens to look cross-eyed at one of your offspring.  And yet, despite what we have done to Jesus -- Mary's only Son -- in sending Him to the cross for crucifixion, Our Lady STILL nevertheless mercifully reaches out to us in our sinfulness, accepts us as her own, encourages us, and always points us toward Him, her only Son.


Is there any better example of selfless obedience, humility, and service to God?

Our Faith teaches us that we were made to know, love, and serve God in this world and be happy with Him forever in Heaven.

Mary teaches us HOW to know, love, and serve God in this world, so we may be happy with Him forever in Heaven.

Is there any greater gift of hope to the human race than the ongoing loving example of the Mother of God?

September 9, 2015

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Today's inspiration for you:

Travel abroad vicariously for a moment and see the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia.  It's a Russian Orthodox church built in the late 19th century under the direction of the Russian imperial family on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally injured in March of 1881.  Give all the glory to God!

September 7, 2015

Eucharistic Miracle In...1996!

"And the Word became flesh, and made His dwelling among us!" (John 1:14)

We pray these words everyday when we pray The Angelus at noon.

We profess this belief every day and every Sunday when we recite the Nicene Creed and receive communion at Mass.

We celebrate this moment, in which time itself is delineated between B.C. ("Before Christ") and A.D. ("Anno Domini," Latin for, "In the Year of Our Lord"), every year at Christmas.

Believe it!

Now, to inspire and renew your belief, here is a WONDERFUL (short) video that is completely worth your time, about a recent Eucharistic miracle involving our current pope, Pope Francis.  The video is simple, informative, amazing, and suitable for all ages.

Enjoy!!!  :-D

Ladybug, Ladybug...!

My husband made an interesting observation today:

He remembered that, when my father died, I was so devastated that I made the comment, half-seriously, "Why is everyone acting like nothing happened!?  How is it that the world is still just.... moving forward, going on, going about its business as usual?"

We feel the same stupefied shock when we consider the ongoing holocaust that is abortion today.  Even in the light shed by  revealing new Planned Parenthood videos, why have we all momentarily gasped in horror, then shaken our heads sadly and trundled on about our lives, business as usual?

And why is the Church doing that?

Wait a minute.  Let's back up a bit.

Several years ago, my husband and I saw a sign at the annual March For Life in Washington, D.C.  (which is attended by hundreds of thousands of people annually and has been going on for forty-three years!), which read:

"Every abortion clinic should have a sign out front that reads:

'This Abortion Clinic Open
By Permission of the Local Christian Churches.' "

Don't get me wrong.  I wholeheartedly believe in the power of prayer.  There are many things which God alone can do.  But, He welcomes our supplication.  Countless hours of dedicated prayer by untold numbers of people (including our family) in front of their local abortion facilities (like this woman, who was arrested for it) or on the Mall in D.C. on an ice-cold January day, are invaluable.

They save lives.  Literally.

Prayer and fasting are the gateway to the heart and mind of God, Who alone can change the heart and mind of...anyone!

So, the Bible says, "Pray without ceasing," (I Thessalonians 5:17).


The Bible also says, " without works is dead," (James 2:26b).


What works are we doing?
What works is the Church doing?


Remember the old nursery rhyme?

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home.
Your house is on fire!  And your children are gone!
All except one and her name is Anne,
for she crept under the frying pan.

My husband noted that our moral house in America is on fire, good people.  And when your house is on fire, you don't stop to finish painting a room or sweep the floor or mow the lawn or put the dishes away.

When your house is on fire, you grab your kids, and you go.  You run.  You RUN out of that house!

The house of our human family in America is on fire today, and it is up to us to grab our children and run.  This includes the silent children waiting patiently to be born within the previously assumed safety of their mothers' wombs.

Everything else is secondary.


For me.  For you.  And for the Church.

The Catholic Church today is the single most powerful, worldwide, religious institution.  The Church, this "Goliath for God," MUST do every effective, tangible, practical thing to put real pressure on the abortion industry, so that abortion's killing fields come to a screeching halt and are put out of business.  Today.

I'm not talking about just continuing the individual (priceless!) efforts of indomitable old ladies offering their daily Mass.  Nor of courageous reporters revealing the revolting reality behind the scenes of abortion practices.  Nor of non-profit organizations like the March For Life who spend every day of the year beating the pavement to save every single life they can.  Nor even of our Christian brothers and sisters in other denominations, who join the Catholic Church in this almighty fight.

All of these are important!  All of these are actions that are supplications to God to end abortion.

But, I'm talking about the hierarchy of the Church.  I'm talking about the strong arm, the muscle, the official power.  The leaders.  The deacons.  The priests.  The bishops.  The Vatican.  The pope.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, is about to visit the United States for the first time.  Is this the welcome mat that the Catholic Church in America is going to lay out for him?  Miles of film footage showing the evils of abortion, which we continue to allow in our country under the guises of, "freedom," "choice," and the profit of, "line items"?

Is that it?

There must be something more we can do, something more the Church can do.

I know the Church has pro-life offices.  I know the Church has always, "condemned," abortion (the history of which viewpoint Father William Saunders articulates excellently here).

But, abortion is a devastating fire.  It is a conflagration from the evil one.  We are the ladybugs.  And the Church has the potential to provide the shelter of the frying pan.  We must fly away home and rescue the children, drop whatever else is occupying us, and get them safely under the protection of the frying pan.

And then we must pick up a fire extinguisher, aim it well, and smother the life-exterminating blaze of abortion until it ceases to exist.

But, what will our fire extinguisher be...?

Forget the spaghetti dinners and flower sales and church gift shop.  All of that helps, yes.  But, we still haven't won.

What can we do to halt abortion?  Now.
What can the Church do to halt abortion?  Now.

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home.
Your house is on fire!  And your children are gone!

Our human home is burning to death.  Abortion exists because, as human beings, we allow it.  We turn our backs on women in unintended pregnancies and allow the murder of organisms which unarguably can only be humans in their earliest nascent state.

Until abortion is stopped, until we put out the fire of this scourge on human life, every ounce of energy, resources, and column inches belonging to us and to the Catholic Church in America should be put to use eradicating abortion.

Without LIFE first, nothing else matters.  And abortion is a deadly plague.

Are we so ineffectual?  Is the Church?  Is there nothing more we can do in this country to protect LIFE so that abortion is recognized for the horror that it is!?  What am I missing?  Why is abortion still legal?

September 1, 2015

How to Play Cornhole!

Labor Day's right around the corner.  It's the last week of summer!  Here's a fun idea for your last hurrah of lawn games and picnics before autumn's chill sets in -- play cornhole!  The website below has complete directions on constructing your own cornhole set, which could be an excellent group woodshop and sewing project for homeschooling!  If you have other related sites for fun lawn games, please feel free to note them in the comments for everyone.

Thank you!  Enjoy!

How to Play and Make Your Own Cornhole!