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Taking Advantage of Summer

Jun 15, 2023

Taking Advantage of Summer by Elias Naegele at Heights Forum. Culture is largely transferred through story and tradition. Fostering a love of these things is an important element of our roles as parents given that the family is the basis of culture. Aside from the importance of building the family’s moral imagination and sense of togetherness, having traditions adds to the excitement of summer. These traditions can be large or small: for example, the Thursday before our annual August beach pilgrimage when I was growing up, we would head to the library to load up on books on tape, a handful of novels per child, and all of the Herge, Bill Peet, Barbara Cooney, Robert McCloskey (to name a few) books that were available. We would stumble out carrying the largest L.L. Bean canvas tote bags, bursting at the seams, and commence a picnic lunch. This expedition lasted a mere several hours once a summer, but we looked forward to it all year and reveled in it in the moment. Read


Countercultural Schools Can Save the American Catholic Church by Kimberly Begg at Catholic School Playbook. The amazing story of how [Fr. James M. Stack and Mary Pat Donoghue] breathed life back into their school by reclaiming the Church’s education tradition is often told to offer an actionable path forward for struggling and failing schools. And appropriately so. But what has happened—and is still happening—in Hyattsville has greater significance for the American Catholic Church. Because when St. Jerome Academy became more Catholic, the Catholic community in Hyattsville became more Catholic and continues to become more Catholic all the time. Today, Catholic families from all over relocate to Hyattsville so they can tap into the vibrant Catholic community there, where Catholics live, work, raise families, worship, and support each other, faithfully and joyfully, in a distinctly Catholic way. This is possible everywhere. Read


'Perpetual Indulgence' Versus Religious Conviction by Nathaniel Hurd at RealClear Religion. Complicating matters in our time, culture-forming organizations, including professional sports teams like the Dodgers, affirm and celebrate SOGI ideology while religious people who dissent from it are increasingly subjected to lawsuits, public smears, government actions, and harmful legislation. These punitive acts have become so prevalent that my organization, the Religious Freedom Institute (RFI), launched a Crisis Toolkit to help religious organizations navigate this growing cultural hostility. Read


4 Ways History Restores Our Bearings by Joseph R. Wood and Andrew J. Zwerneman at Cana Academy Blog. Students of history need to study the past in its pastness. They need to dig into and absorb the details of the past as they do the details of a short story or a painting, neither of which, as art, holds its meaning apart from the details. Only persons have history, and where and when those persons act in time matters. Read


New York Transgender Guidance Says Schools Should Hide Gender Transitions from Parents by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. New guidance from the New York State Education Department says school officials should keep parents in the dark about their child's gender identity if the student does not consent to inform them…. The guidance says school employees "should be mindful that some [transgender and gender expansive] students do not want or cannot have their parents/guardians know about their transgender status" and that informing parents of their child's transgender identity "can have severe consequences for the student." Read


Florida’s Educational Reform: Freedom or Repression? By Charles Coulombe at Crisis Magazine. When a student is being taught drivel, they are not being taught something useful. As early as the 1950s, the matter of “Why Johnny Can’t Read” was bandied about. Decades of teaching ever less in the way of history, literature, civics, math, writing skills—and ever more in the way of “values-free education”—has produced generations of children of all ages who, for the most part, are incapable of either academic or practical endeavor. Read


Throwback Thursday


4 Ways to Have an Incredible Summer by Tom Steenson at Heights Forum on June 1, 2016. The lure of the electronic screen is strong, especially during the hot and humid days of a D.C. summer. Yet, in nearly every case, it is preferable for a boy to have connections with what is real, tangible, and natural, over that which is virtual and artificial. Just as the human body thrives on natural and whole foods, so also does the mind (and soul) excel when the person is in contact with the natural things of the world. Watching a nature documentary? Ten times better is to get outside, and observe, dig, and find a real living thing. Playing chess against a computer is one thing, but playing against a real-life opponent, with all of the social interaction that goes along with it, is much to be preferred. When our eyes are turned towards a screen, oftentimes, we’re missing face-to-face contact with someone. Help your son to cut the power cord, and choose the real over the virtual this summer. The benefits will be measurable, and will make him a more well-rounded person. Read

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