This blog's mission is simple--to encourage moms who are married to non-Catholics and raising their children in the Faith. If you know a mom who needs a little encouragement in continuing her efforts, I would be delighted if you would share Kathleen's Catholic with her. Thank you!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Free Homeschooling Curriculum and Materials

Before you shop for homeschooling  needs, you might want to check out the curriculum and materials I'm giving away, FREE. Honest, you would be helping me to clean out my bookcases, and I would really appreciate that!

Some of the items are Saxon Math, Calvert Civics, The Writing Road to Reading, and Drawing with Children. I've included ISBNs whenever possible, so you can research the items online or on Amazon to help you decide if they would be useful to you and your children.

You can even search Amazon without leaving this blog. See the SEARCH AMAZON box in the right column? Simply type in the ISBN or title, and Amazon will take you right to the book. How easy is that?

Click here or visit my page, called Free Homeschool Materials, by clicking on the tab above. Please feel free to click on the share button below to tell your friends.
Happy homeschooling! And God bless!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Meemo in the Moonlight and Other Observations

Kathleen's Bird and Nature Journal

These last few days, I've had the pleasure of making a few observations about the gorgeous natural world around us.Click here to visit my bird and nature journal to read about Meemo in the Moonlight, Deluge at Dawn, The Great Blue Heron and Swallowtails. I also provide a terrific website that will help you identify any butterflies or moths that might be gracing (or attacking, as it might be) your yard and garden.

Scroll past the Brief Introduction to the pictures of the butterflies.

God bless!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pool Noodle Rosary

For CCD teachers, vacation bible school instructors, and Catholic moms

Here's a quick post about a terrifc project from Lacy at Catholic Icing.  It would work well for the classroom, vacation bible school, or your little ones at home.

This GIANT ROSARY is crafted from three pool noodles and some clothes line. If you plan to make it for the school year ahead, you might want to shop for your noodles now, while they are still available in the dollar stores.

Click here to visit Catholic Icing and get complete directions and how-to photos. Thank you, Lacy!

God bless.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Catholic Sports Fans Now Have Their Own Sports Network: CSN


Attention all Catholic sports fan! Here is your very own sports network! You can follow your favorite Catholic teams and Catholic athletes from all over the country. Catholic Sports Network (CSN) is launching its flagship at

This could be especially helpful to moms who are encouraging their budding athletes. It would be a great way to illustrate how sportsmanship and their Catholic faith go hand-in-hand.

To start, you might want to read about something brand new--that is, the first ever All-American Catholic football team. Click here to read the article.

What I'm looking forward to, and hoping CSN will provide, are interviews from Catholic athletes (from high school to the pros) about taking their faith into the practice and playing fields, as well as how their faith leads to their mastery of sportsmanship and their ultimate success.

Well, now, the following is from the press release sent to Kathleen's Catholic by Director of Affliate Relations Chris Jung:

Serving nearly 1,200 high schools, 160-plus colleges, and over 70 million Catholic Americans around the country, CSN will provide up-to-date news, feature articles, student-athlete spotlights, national rankings, recruitment information, and a comprehensive multimedia unit that will include weekly newscasts, interviews, and streaming video.

CSN founder Steve Fehder, a 26-year broadcast veteran and entrepreneur, developed this concept after noticing a tremendous void in the coverage of local and national Catholic sports. A Catholic himself, Fehder believes CSN will satisfy the insatiable appetite of the rabid alumni and fan bases of Catholic schools and their athletic teams.

“What makes CatholicSportsNet unique from any traditional sports site, is that we are 100 percent dedicated to serving  the  huge niche of Catholic sports and that Catholicism will be the underlying theme of all content,” Fehder said. “The tradition, the values, the alumni base, the success of athletes and programs across the country, and the incredible stories are what makes this venture so special.”

Hall of Famer Billy Reed
Joining the team will be author, writer, and former Louisville Courier-Journal sports editor Billy Reed. Member of both the U.S. Basketball and Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, Reed has written over 800 articles during a 29-year association with Sports Illustrated, and has penned over a dozen books pertaining to topics ranging from Freedom Hall to Paul Hornung to the world-famous Kentucky Derby.

Stop by their website, and check it out.

God bless.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lila Rose and The Mona Lisa Project: A Must-See for Every Catholic

The is a must-see for every Catholic.

Lila Rose, an elegant and determined young woman (and a homeschool graduate) has dedicated her life to fighting abortion. Her speech is elegant and direct. Especially poignant is her story of the unborn cousins.

Here's also the story of the Mona Lisa Project and how this little grassroots group is fighting the Goliath Planned Parenthood with truth and love for the unborn.

The undercover video Lila mentions follows. (If you don't see it below, please click here.)

God bless.

The Mona Lisa Project Reveals the True Ways of Planned Parenthood

Here is the undercover video of the Mona Lisa Project. Young Lila Rose poses as a 13-year-old with a 31-year-old boyfriend. The indifference of the Planned Parenthood counselors will shock you, especially if you are a parent.

God bless.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Privilege to Counsel the Boy Scouts of America Catholic Religious Emblem Program

 A Scout is Reverent

by Kathleen Blease

The twelfth point of the law of the Boy Scouts of America is: A scout is reverent. When a scout advances in rank, he must attend a Scout Master conference, and it's not unusual for the Scout Master to ask, “How do you live the twelfth point of the law?” This year, fifty-one Boy Scouts were ready and able to answer the question.

(photo copyrighted by Roger L. Blease)
The AAD religious emblem is fashioned after the colors of the Vatican's flag and presented to the scout on a red ribbon. Boys can then pin the emblem to their uniform for special occasions, such as Courts of Honor. For everyday wear, the scout sports the embroidered knot just above the left pocket.

Each September, Catholic scouts throughout the Diocese of Allentown form patrols to meet the challenge of the Boy Scouts of America Catholic religious emblem, and a worthwhile challenge it is!

A scout can earn a total of five religious emblems throughout his scouting career. Cub scouts can earn the Light of Christ and the Parvuli Dei (“child of God”). Boy Scouts can earn the Ad Altare Dei (“to the altar of God”), the Light is Life, and the Pope Pius XII.

This past school year, I counseled a patrol in the Ad Altare Dei Religion Emblem program (AAD). The AAD is open to all practicing Catholic Boy Scouts who rank in First Class or who are at least beginning 7th grade. Older scouts are more than welcome, and they often add a great deal to the quality of the meetings. Most scouts who are preparing for their Confirmation find this an excellent reinforcement to the instruction they are receiving through their parish.

I found the emblem to be a deep and inviting program, during which scouts explore the Seven Sacraments and how they are pinnacle to our every day lives. The Ad Altare Dei program is both loyal to the Magisterium and grounded in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is not meant, however, to be a substitute for a parish religion education program (PREP, also known as CCD), so it's important that parents continue to educate their children in the Faith. AAD, however, is an excellent complement.

By the start of the school year, each counselor decides how long and how often the meetings take place, but everyone must complete all the requirements by April. Boys meet as a patrol with a trained Catholic counselor for discussion, various individual projects, and a patrol service project that brings their stewardship to the community. Our patrol of six scouts met twice a month for two hours, with a break at the half-way point for refreshments and fellowship. Class A uniforms were required for all our meetings to reflect our respect for the subject at hand. A good friend of mine, Terry Brodniak, generously offered to be my support and to fulfill the necessary “two-deep leadership” requirement.

We began the program by asking the scouts, “What makes us Catholic?” And we developed a long list of items, such as: authority, the Eucharist, Confession, Mary, saints, priests, nuns, the Rosary, and so on. We filled three pages with our list. During our time diving into the sacraments, these items were explored one-by-one. You might think that this was tedious work, but it was far from it. The scouts were more than enthusiastic to place these subjects in their correct context. For instance, we explained the authority of the Church—how Jesus handed this to Peter, who was then our first pope. And we explained the Rosary—how it is the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus through the eyes of his loving mother, Mary. There were lots of “ah-ha!” moments during these discussions.

Our meetings had a general routine. First the lighting of our candle and an opening prayer to make us aware of Christ's presence. Then a brief discussion of the liturgical year and points of interest, such as the explanation of Advent and how it is connected to Our Blessed Mother; how God humbled himself to become one of us, born to a woman, when He could have taken any form. Finally, we ended with discussing the workbook materials the scouts were required to complete, along with time for more questions.

And there were always plenty of questions that impressed me; children really do want to know about God. For example, we explored the meaning and value of Holy Communion, our invisible Christ. The word communion means “common union.” Common to mean daily acts. Union to mean to be with Christ. And so by receiving Holy Communion, we live and act our our daily lives with Christ—our Savior is physically with us through the Eucharist. I am sure the boys received this instruction a few years ago, when they were preparing for their First Holy Communion, but now that they were older, it meant so much more. The AAD counselor's guide says that boys this age are ready to go beyond the surface answers of their childhood, and I found this to be very true. What I enjoyed the most was their ardent curiosity, and we often found that our two hours together was too short. The National Catholic Committee tells counselors that they should see evidence of spiritual growth. Indeed I did!

But the meetings were not all workbook and discussion. We also addressed putting our beliefs of Christ's teachings into action. One parishioner and scout leader suffered a serious illness at the time. In the light of the life of St. Therese of Lisieux, a doctor of the church who is also known as the Little Flower, the scouts chose to provide aid in small but very meaningful acts. They sent the leader handmade get well cards that detailed their offerings of their talents in a prayerful way. For instance, one scout offered up his next band performance, while another dedicated a page of his original comic book to the leader. Still others offered their Holy Communion to him, with a special prayer for his fast and complete recovery. The scout leader was quick to thank the boys for expressing their unique and special kindness.

In addition, the program is open to a plethora of opportunities to explore the richness of the Seven Sacraments. The scouts made various posters, collages, homemade videos about Reconciliation and Holy Matrimony. We visited Fr. Deogratias Rwegasira, from the order of the Apostles of Jesus and pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Easton. He explained Holy Orders and the calling to religious life, as well as the Pope's The Year of the Priest, and St. John Vianney, the patron saint of all priests. We also visited the shut-ins—Anointing of the Sick--and witnessed the Baptisms of three babies. We celebrated a prayer service to the Holy Spirit to remind us of Confirmation, encircling a small bonfire in the chilly Autumn night. Another prayer service during Lent included an examination of conscience and focused on God's mercy, bringing Reconciliation to the foreground. The scouts were then reminded of their obligation to attend Reconciliation at their home parish before Easter Sunday. We attended Mass together during Scout Sunday and discussed Holy Communion at our meeting that followed. And we attended A Night of Prayer and Praise for Vocations at the Cathedral, to hear various speakers—priests and nuns telling their personal stories of hearing the call--and to attend an Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with Bishop Barres.

The scouts completed the AAD program by attending a retreat organized by the Minsi Trails Council Catholic Committee on Scouting at the Trexler Scout Reservation. Our patrol joined another 46 boys to participate in the program that was centered on The Year of the Priests. They learned about American saints, they attended an Agape prayer service, they made icons, discussed the laity's role in the church, learned about the life of Fr. Walter Ciszek (a priest from the Allentown Diocese, who was charged by USSR officials with being a spy and committed to 15 years of hard labor in Siberia), and they had the opportunity to spend time each day with a priest or seminarian to discuss their daily lives, vocations, and the seminary. The scouts were also required to present their completed workbooks and all projects to a Board of Review. Upon their return, my patrol offered accolades, such as “Fantastic!” “A lot of fun!”, “The food was great,” “I thought the daily lives of priests was really interesting,” and “I really liked meeting the priests.” As I told retreat director and Scout leader William Minford, to receive such high praise from teenage boys must mean he hit the mark beautifully—truly inspired by Christ.

The following month, scouts attended an awards ceremony, during which they were presented with their well-earned AAD medals. The ceremony revolved around the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a variety of hymns--some sung in Christian Latin--and scripture readings.

(photo by M. Carpinelli
 The awards ceremony, celebrated by Fr. Eric  Tolentino of the Diocese of Allentown.

I started the program in September with high hopes of a positive experience of growth for both the scouts and for myself, and I was not disappointed. The Ad Altare Dei religious emblem is a vigorous program with an emphasis that is well placed on the Seven Sacraments, the very essence of Our Church.

If you are interested in the Boy Scouts of America Catholic religious emblem program for your child, or if you would like to become a counselor, contact the National Catholic Committee on Scouting at for more information, or feel free to email me at I would be more than happy to help you get started!

(photo by M. Carpinelli)
Recipients of the Ad Altare Dei award, one of the religious emblems awarded in May.

God bless.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nessun Dorma, "No Man Shall Sleep"

Catholic writer and fellow homeschooling mom, Susie Lloyd, posted Pavarotti's Nessun Dorma on Facebook one day, and it reminded me just how much I love this aria.

Nessun Dorma means "no man will sleep", and it's from Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot. In 2002, I included its English lyrics in one of my collections of classical poems, which I compiled for Ballantine Books.

Of course, Pavarotti's voice makes the aria super intense, and anyone who listens to it is sure to get goose bumps. But once you know the lyrics, you just might shed a few tears as well, especially if you've ever fallen deeply in love.

Here are the lyrics:

No Man Will Sleep

No man will sleep! No man will sleep!
You, too, oh Princess,
In your virginal room,
Watch the stars
Trembling with love and hope!

But my secret lies hidden within me,
No-one shall discover my name!
Oh no, I will reveal it only on your lips
When daylight shines forth!
And my kiss shall break
The silence that makes you mine!

Depart, on night! Set, you stars!
Set, you stars! At dawn I shall win!
I shall win! I shall win!

Giacomo Puccini

God bless.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

here's the blog by the author of The Authentic Catholic Woman

If you read my book review of The Authentic Catholic Woman by Genevieve Kineke, then you might be interested in visiting the author's own blog, called Feminine-Genius: Exploring the Richness of Authentic Femininity. Click here to visit. Many thanks to Genevieve for finding my blog and linking her readers to the review.

If you'd like to read the book review, or to purchase a copy of the book, click here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Praise God He Has His Art!

My son has been out of commission for more than a week now, after tripping over a garden hose and dislocating his knee. I'm so grateful he has his art! During this time, he's been developing ideas and sketching new characters.

Ben has been drawing since he was 18 months old. Sounds creepy, I know, but it's true. When he wanted to draw a train, it was truly a train...on railroad tracks with trees around and clouds in the sky. By the time he was 3 years old, he would sit at the kitchen table for three hours at a time drawing and painting. I would make him get up from the table--sometimes a struggle--and play, or at least do some jumping jacks. We have boxes and boxes of his first efforts, even moved them from house to house.

Is he a prodigy? Goodness sakes, no. I don't think so. He just loves to draw and paint. And I think he's quite good at it. In my opinion, everyone should have just one thing that he enjoys doing with all his heart. No doubt, Ben has found his. And God bless him!

Just for fun, here are a few random pieces from his comic book, Star Wars: The Elites.

Well, now...let's all pray that Ben gets back on his feet real soon.

God bless.

Friday, July 9, 2010

New Summery Recipes: Bright and Refreshing for Hot Summer Days!

Vanilla Lemonade Sorbet

 (photo copyrighted by Roger L. Blease)
Check out my newest recipes!

Vanilla Lemonade Sorbet with fresh berries, Summer Corn Salad with fresh thyme and oregano, and Surprise Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. What's the surprise? No butter. They are made with olive oil! My husband called these rich morsels "the best ever!" Click here to visit my Recipe Box for these and other recipes.

God bless.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Authentic Catholic Woman: A Book Review

Title: The Authentic Catholic Woman
Author: Genevieve Kineke
publisher: St. Anthony Messenger Press
paperback, 156 pgs.
cover price: $13.99
With a Foreword by Christopher West

In June, I wrote an essay entitled Just What IS a Woman's Role If She Cannot Be Ordained? in defense of the Church forbidding a woman's ordination into the priesthood. A friend of mine consequently recommended The Authentic Catholic Woman by Genevieve Kineke.

Genevieve is a convert to the Catholic faith and the founder of Canticle magazine, a forum dedicated to the topic of the vocation of the woman. Click here to visit the website.

Authentic femininity (and authentic masculinity) is a term I have heard several times in the course of six years of homeschooling. It is becoming an important concept among Catholic homeschooling moms, particularly in the light of John Paul II's gift to men and women everywhere, his Theology of the Body.

One can argue that the "women's movement" has done a great deal to forward the cause of equal employment and opportunity for the feminine gender, particularly here in America. Yet, one great injustice has occur during this "battle." Authentic femininity has been traded away. In an effort to make women equal to men in the eyes of society, women have turned their energies into becoming more like men, redefining the term of "a self-actualized woman."

As urgent as the role of a man is in the plan of Creation, it is not meant to be played out by a woman. A woman has a unique role that parallels and complements her counterpart. Genevieve writes, "You are a feminine apostle--a vocation that has a startling richness and is distinct from both masculine apostles and false, weaker visions of womanhood." False, weaker visions of womanhood: this is what our society has embraced today, and the "startling richness" is almost extinct.

She continues: "This is a critical time for women and a critical time for the world. The Church has made it clear that if we women can discover the richness of our vocation, then we will have an impact that we never imagined. If we are faithful to our femininity, we can do what God asks of us and rebuild a civilization of love and life."

The Authentic Catholic Woman is not a handbook of how to be the ultimate Catholic mom. Nor is it a fluffy how-to on being a good wife. Undoubtedly, I came away from Genevieve's work with plenty of nuts and bolts and realistic guidelines to a life of grace. Many times, I've read books that make me say, "Yes...but how?" Genevieve indeed answers how. But most importantly, she shows how femininity is directly connected to the Church, which is the Bride of Christ, and how authentic femininity is deeply rooted in the sacraments and, indeed, in all of the creation and redemptive plan of Our Father in Heaven.

I found The Authentic Catholic Woman to be so engaging that once I finished, I turned back to the beginning and started again (something I rarely do). Lots of dots were connected as I worked my way through each chapter. Chapters included: What Do Women Want? The Essence of Femininity; Mirroring the Sacraments of Initiation; Mirroring the Sacraments of Healing; Spousal Love; The Church as Mother; The Church as Teacher; The Bride in the Old Testament; The Church as Builder of Culture; Pitfalls to Authentic Femininity; and Our Gift to the Church and the World. Genevieve also includes notes, from which a "further reading" list can be easily culled.

This is not a difficult read, yet Genevieve's work is firmly grounded in scripture and Church doctrine. She clearly conveys the truth, and truth is always deep, complex, and remarkably beautiful. Her writing makes it accessible and easy to understand. I came away with awe and wonder over the completeness of the creation plan and the feminine role. She also reminds us that the feminine role works in tandem with the masculine; lived in an authentic manner, they cannot be separated.

In a world that calls for women to be more like men, and for men to be like women, here is the antidote--our Catholic Faith. Genevieve explains that through Him, with Him, in Him we can live our true womanly nature and bring the redemptive plan to reality. Of course, I must not forget to mention Genevieve's explanation of model of Mother Mary, our purest form of womanhood. As the author notes, John Paul II calls her, "our tainted nature's solitary boast."

This is a must read for every Catholic woman--and, might I suggest, for her husband as well.

God bless.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Freedom to Live Our Faith: Happy Independence Day

This holiday weekend, let's keep in mind that because of the dedication and ultimate sacrifice of our founding fathers and soldiers of yesteryears and today, we are free to live our Catholic faith as completely as Our Dear Lord intended, without fear of imprisonment or death.

Let's grasp this opportunity! The United States of America is the only place left on Earth where this is still possible. While the fight continues to protect our religious freedoms, let's remember to actually live our Faith!

Happy Independence Day!

God bless America.
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