I couldn’t agree more. We didn’t have these gadgets when we raised our kids. We got rid of television and opted to read books. My father was a radical when he raised me – he refused to get us kids a TV but read stories and books to us every night after we all ate dinner together at 5 PM sharp.

Watching my own kids raise my grandkids is a beautiful thing. My grandkids have no TVs in their homes. They have no iPhones, iPods or other gadgets attached to their heads. They carry books around and love to have conversations with people of all ages.

Actual pictures of the family at dinner "together" in Lourdes

A while ago I sat in a restaurant (at Lourdes France, no less) and watched a family with three young children walk in and sit across from my wife and I. Except for the father, each one had a iPhone, iPad or some other gadget.

They all had earbuds in their ears and were each in a world of their own – the mother included. The family did not talk to each other AT ALL during the meal and much of the food was left uneaten because the kids were so engrossed in their games, videos and music.

The poor father sat there looking bewildered and sad. He was not man enough to take charge of his family. Had it been me, I would have immediately confiscated the gadgets, taken the family home for a meeting. At the meeting I would have laid out some new rules for the family – and gadgets, TV, computers would be controlled if not eliminated, especially during family meals.

Fathers — man up! Get the family under control. Reclaim sanity in the home. Spend time with the wife and kids. Control the gadgets. Start reading books together. Take walks in the woods. Turn off the TV (or better yet, get rid of it). Restrict or eliminate the iPhones, iPads and other gadgets from young kids. Pray together. 

The Pope is right! Here is a bit about his talk as reported by

Spending time interacting within the family is important, and therefore, togetherness shouldn’t be replaced by having phones out and televisions blasting.

Pope Francis stressed this during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square today, as he continued his catechesis on the family. Last week, he looked at the importance of the family as the place where we learn the value of forgiveness, and this week, he considered the importance of togetherness. 

Togetherness, he pointed out, involves sharing together the good things of life with your loved ones and being happy to do so, and also sharing the difficult times, such as loss of a loved one.

The Holy Father began his catechesis pointing out that sitting at the table for the family dinner, and sharing our meal and the experiences of our day, is a fundamental image of togetherness and solidarity.  He also said togetherness is a reliable “thermometer” to measure the “health” of the relationship.

He noted how if a relative has a struggle, speaking about it together at the table helps to find a solution.

“A family that almost never eats together, or is not at the table, but watching the TV or on their smartphones, is hardly a family,” he said, lamenting when “the children at the table are attached to the computer, to the phone and do not listen to each other.”

For a great movie to show the devastation of TV on the family, I highly recommend this masterpiece movie Avalon.

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It is too bad that a letter stating that Catholic schools must teach according to the truth and morals of the Catholic Church should bring condemnation and threats to an archbishop. Welcome to America in the 21st century.


Dissenting from Catholic Teaching or the Natural Moral Law in a Catholic
High School does not Promote Holiness, Virtue and Evangelization.

Dear Teachers in the Archdiocesan Catholic High Schools,

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone Letter to Teachers

Thank you for the work you do to help our young students learn, mature, and grow in the Catholic faith. Know of my gratitude for the energy, expertise and devotion that you bring to this wonderful and most critical enterprise.

This enterprise involves a two-fold endeavor, since, for a Catholic high school to attain excellence, it must be at one and the same time an excellent institution of secondary education and a truly Catholic institution. Changes in our secular society over the last few decades have brought new challenges to this endeavor in both senses, as we now face both increased difficulties in educating our students well in an array of academic subjects, and unprecedented challenges in forming our young people with a deep and strong Catholic identity as well as a knowledge and practice of the Catholic faith.

The Second Vatican Council, in its declaration on Catholic educationGravissimum Educationis, insisted on Catholic schools assisting Catholic parents in their primary duty of educating their children in virtue, holiness, and their ability to evangelize others in society (see especially nn. 3 and 8). Picking up on this theme, the U.S. bishops have affirmed that “Catholic elementary and secondary schools [are] invaluable instruments in proclaiming the Good News from one generation to the next” (see Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, US Conference of Catholic Bishops [2005], p. 2).

As one means of fulfilling this most serious responsibility, all of our schools currently have programs to help teachers give more effective witness to the Catholic faith. I support these programs. However, I also see a need to provide more clarity for our teachers. For this reason, I have developed a document that clarifies Catholic issues in our Catholic schools. At the outset, though, I wish to state clearly and emphatically that the intention underlying this document is not to target for dismissal from our schools any teachers, singly or collectively, nor does it introduce anything essentially new into the contract or the faculty handbook.

Many Catholics are at Variance with Church Teaching

At the same time, we need to face the current reality in society and the Church honestly, seriously and frankly: many people have opinions directly contrary to the natural moral law and the teaching of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, many Catholics themselves have beliefs at variance with Church teaching. This is simply a reality of our modern society. This reality stems in great part from the tremendous pressure the contemporary culture places on everyone to conform to a certain agenda at variance with, and often aggressively so, our Christian understanding of the human person and God’s purpose in creation.

This pressure is exerted relentlessly in the media, in entertainment, in politics, in academia, in corporations – in short, in all of the influencers of popular culture. This problem in society in general is already serious enough, but when people in Catholic institutions endorse such views it creates a toxic confusion about our fundamental values among both students and others in society at large. As teaching institutions, therefore, Catholic schools have to be very clear about what constitutes the true teachings of the Catholic Church. They owe that to the teachers, to the students, and to the parents of the students. 

Confusion on Sexual Morality and Religious Discpline

Confusion about the Church’s stance is prevalent in areas of sexual morality and religious discipline. For this reason, the statements for inclusion in the faculty handbook focus on these two areas. This focus does not imply lesser importance to Catholic teachings on social justice, which in fact are widely accepted and well interpreted in Catholic educational institutions. The areas requiring clarification are in Catholic teachings on sexual morality and religious practice.

Having clear statements especially about “hot button issues” related to faith and morals is important to teachers for two reasons. The first is that a forthright statement of the Church’s position on these issues helps teachers provide good perspectives to their students who often struggle in these areas.

The second reason is that candid formulation of Church doctrine protects those teachers who don’t agree with the statements. That sounds counterintuitive, but it is indeed the case. In a society in which confusion reigns about Church teachings, highlighting the controversial issues alerts teachers to avoid contradicting Church teaching on these issues either in the school or in some public way outside the classroom.

Dissenting from Catholic Teaching does not Promote Holiness

All teachers are expected to contribute to an atmosphere of holiness, virtue, and familiarity with the Gospel. How can this occur if not all teachers agree with Catholic teachings?

The way to assist teachers who distance themselves or privately oppose some Catholic teachings is to alert them to sensitive issues. Because the school fosters holiness, virtue and evangelization, teachers not knowledgeable about the precise contours of Catholic teaching have to be cautious about what they say in the school and what they do in the public sphere outside the Catholic school. Honest mistakes do happen, and when they do, reparation can be made. This is not in and of itself a cause for a teacher to be punished. At the same time, teachers and staff at Catholic high schools have to strive to present Catholic teachings as consistently as possible. Dissenting from Catholic teaching or the natural moral law in a Catholic high school does not promote holiness, virtue and evangelization.

Finally, it is important to note the careful use of language in the document. In front of many statements of Catholic teaching in the faculty handbook come the words “affirm and believe.” This is a statement made on behalf of the institution, not all individuals in the institutions. Our Catholic high schools try to hire people who do believe what the Church teaches, but in our schools we have good teachers who belong to other Christian faiths or to no faith at all. They are members of the school community.

The language “affirm and believe” acknowledges the good activity of the entire corps of faculty and staff by making this claim on behalf of the institution. That is, in the first instance, “affirm and believe” refers to the Catholic high school itself, and, secondly, to many faculty who identify with the Catholic teachings behind which the high school as a whole stands.

My hope is that the document on Catholic faith and morals that is becoming part of the faculty handbook in our Catholic high schools will help the schools better fulfill their mission, and also highlight for teachers true Catholic teachings that are contested by many people in secular society today.

Sincerely in Christ,
Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone



Fr. Matthew Kauth

My good friend Fr. Kauth from Charlotte NC is embroiled in a huge fracas because of teaching JPII’s Theology of the Body in a Catholic High School. He is the chaplain at the high school. He invited a Dominican Sister to give a speech. She has a doctorate in theology. In the course of her speech she criticized homosexuality and the sky began to fall.

Below is an article in on I hope it gets national attention and authentic Catholics rise up to support Fr. Kauth and Sr. Jane Dominic. 

Some parents and students at one of North Carolina’s largest Catholic schools are outraged after a Nashville Dominican nun who holds a doctorate in theology criticized homosexuality in a presentation to students, according to the Charlotte Observer.

“We the students of Charlotte Catholic High School would like to issue a formal complaint regarding Sr. Jane Dominic [Laurel]’s speech,” according to an online petition. “We believe  ame sex couples have the ability to raise happy, well-adjusted and successful children … We believe that homosexual couples are capable of monogamy. As rational people, we know that most homosexual people lead healthy, normal and productive lives like their heterosexual counterparts.”

Sr. Jane Dominic PhD

An alternate petition states that “we the students of Charlotte Catholic High School, acting on our Catholic beliefs, are declaring a formal objection towards all those who do not accept Sister Jane Dominic’s lecture … We are outraged that the topics talked about are being debated within a community where the shared faith teaches us what truly is holy and that anyone would stand up against a nun, who has given her life for the Lord, and blatantly deny God’s teachings.”

Bishop Peter Jugis will attend a meeting with parents and students on April 2.

A friend who knows Fr. Kauth well wrote: “I’m hoping that this ‘lancing of the sore’ as Fr. Winslow  said, will bring healing and true Catholic teaching back into the classrooms of our Catholic schools.  I think that this may be the beginning of that and it’s taking place here in Charlotte.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up on the national news. Please pray to help bring healing.”

Favorite TV shows that promote gays in a very favorable light

Steve here: I am not surprised by this. Homosexuality will become the hot button that will bring much persecution to Christians who dare to speak the truth about homosexuality and the gay agenda. TV, the media and news have been actively promoting the gay lifestyle for a decade or more and the ugly fruit is now falling from the tree.

In a few years it won’t be petitions that are passed around; rather, the good Sister will be arrested and imprisoned for “hate speech.” The problem is that too many Catholics are not primarily Catholic – but are living as indoctrinated by the secular society.

GK Chesterton wrote, “Catholicism is the only thing that saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his time.

Boy if that isn’t the truth today. I am glad I’m a Catholic. I refuse to be seduced by the world or the fads that others chase. God bless us all – especially our heroic priests and sisters and deacons and all lay people who speak fearlessly for the truth. Pray for Fr. Kauth and Sister Jane Dominic – and our Church and families.


Pope Francis’ Homily to Close the Year of Faith

November 24, 2013

This Year of Faith was a great year and inspired many to take their faith seriously. I admire Pope Benedict for instituting the Year of Faith and Pope Francis for closing it out with class. What was the Year of Faith? It is very simple: 1) Learn you faith; 2) Live your faith; 3) Share [...]

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Mark Blumley’s Article on Catholic Education

September 13, 2013

Mark Brumley is President of Ignatius Press and a friend. He writes: Below is the link to an article I wrote recently for the National Catholic Register on Catholic education.  It’s a condensation of a longer presentation I gave recently to the faculty and administration of Kolbe Academy-Trinity Prep in Napa, California. The points I [...]

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Who Owns Your Kids? The State, right? This MSNBC Commentator Thinks So!

April 9, 2013

Why should we be shocked? It is only a matter of time until her opinion becomes predominant in our country. Just look at Europe who is ten years ahead of us. Catholics beware! Homeschoolers, watch out! Even now the Federal Government is saying that homeschooling is not a right in their attempt to send a [...]

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Give the Gift of Renewed Faith

November 22, 2012

  We don’t like the big focus on a consumeristic Christmas either, but we do want more people to share the truth of the Catholic Church with their family and friends…so we are discounting our most popular CDs & DVDs from now until December 10 at Enjoy!   $10 off my 6 most Popular [...]

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Religious Liberty Threatened…will you stand with us?

June 15, 2012

I hope you are aware of the battle going on right here within the borders of our United States. As my own pastor Fr. Ed Fride recently said, “When they took God out of our schools and we did nothing. Next they took God out of our government, and we still did nothing. Now they [...]

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Catholic Courses

November 29, 2011

I have been using the Teaching Company and their Great Courses for several years now. Most of them are very good. But when it comes to the Christian Faith and the Catholic Church I dare you to find one that is truly Christian or Catholic. Now they have a competitor: Catholic Courses. Joseph Pearce is [...]

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Two New Talks by Steve Ray

October 11, 2011

Two of Steve’s new talks. Both are on audio CD or available as MP3 files to download to computers or iPods and more. Stay tuned for another new talk coming soon: Jesus, the Ultimate Male Role Model. Steve Talks Straight to Teens I was asked to speak for an hour to a group of 800 [...]

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Steve’s New Talk Available: “Steve Talks Straight to Teens”

October 2, 2011

There they were — 800 teenagers in the bleachers at Notre Dame High School in Peoria Illinois. The assignment: Speak to these students for one hour – inspire them – challenge them – teach them the Faith – keep them interested. This audio CD (or MP3 if you prefer) is the result. I had a [...]

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Waiting for Superman

July 23, 2011

Just watched the recent documentary entitled Waiting for Superman which critiques the public schools and teachers’ unions in America. It is a sad and devastating story. Every parent should see this movie and act accordingly. Makes me glad we home-schooled our kids. You can see the info on the movie and the trailer by clicking [...]

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Passover Lamb: A True Story

April 18, 2011

Contributed by Jesse Ray 4-18-2011 I arrived on the scene with my gun and stoically loaded in some self-defense rounds (although I was clearly not in danger). I did not lavish the idea of slaughtering a lamb, but my friend and new-farmer, Pat, called and sheepishly asked for some help. I guess he thought I [...]

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Free Holy Heroes CD

December 1, 2010

From my friend, and founder of Catholic Scripture Study, Gail Buckley: My friends Kerri and Ken Davison, are making a great offer that I want to pass on to you, especially those of you who have children or grandchildren or friends with children or grandchildren :)  They are offering a FREE CD on their Holy [...]

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Sick of Sloppy RCIA Materials?

November 13, 2010

The 60′s are over! All the watershed they left behind should be thrown away. You don’t have to have sloppy, watered-down, fuzzy, quasi-Catholic RCIA material any more. The Association for Catechumenal Ministry has the best RCIA material around! And they’ve just launched a new blog at titled, “The Blog That’s All About RCIA,” this [...]

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“Christian” School Textbooks

October 13, 2010

There are many Catholics who send their kids to “Christian” (READ: Protestant) schools. This is of course their right, but not all of them know what their children are being taught. Here are a few pages from a textbook we used for our kids before we became Catholic. This is typical of “Christian” school textbooks. [...]

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