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  • Blog Entries

    • Maximilian Kolbe
      By Maximilian Kolbe in The CH Times 10
      The CH Times
      May is the month of Mary, and as such we have done a couple special articles in honor of her. You are probably expecting an article on Fatima. Well, I hate to disappoint, but Chantal has instead written on Our Lady of Akita! It is a truly fascinating story, read it below!
      Our Lady of Akita
      In 1975, in the town of Akita, Japan, Our Lady appeared to a religious sister in a unique and dire apparition. In the convent where Sister Agnes lived, there was a wooden statue of Our Lady that had been carved in 1963. Being twelve years old, the wood was dry and had started to crack. Nevertheless, on the morning of January 4, 1975, the statue began to weep. Actual, physical tears flowed from the statue's eyes. The statue shed so many tears that they flowed down the face and collected in the fold of the dress at the throat, then ran down the dress itself and fell onto the globe on which Our Lady was standing. Two different labs studied the tears from this statue, and both confirmed that they were comprised of "bodily fluid." The lacrimations were found to be a different blood type than Sister Agnes', thus dispelling the suspicion that she had done something to cause the tears. Experts had no natural explanation for the phenomenon. When questioned, the sculptor of the statue had no idea how the statue was crying, either. He said that he used a dry wood to make the statue, and that the entire statue was made out of the same piece of wood; there were no seams in it. Therefore, he could think of no natural explanation for the tears, declaring, "It is a mystery." The statue wept a total of 101 times. The last time the statue wept was the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15, 1981.
      During this time, Sister Agnes received messages from Our Lady. She warned the nun that "the work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church," predicting a dark time of confusion and heresy, during which many souls would be lost. She warned of the necessity for souls to repent, in order to avoid the wrath of God. She also emphasized the importance of the Rosary as a powerful tool against the Enemy and the sole consolation of the faithful during the impending time of trial. She exhorted the faithful to pray the Rosary especially for the clergy, who would be tested and severely attacked by the Enemy. On October 13, 1973, the anniversary of her last apparition at Fatima, Our Lady gave Sister Agnes a beautiful promise: "Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved." Like her apparition at Fatima, Our Lady's apparition in Akita was a powerful warning for our time and a call to conversion and repentance, in order that we may experience God's mercy. 
      Furthermore, @Halfling Sized Ranger has written a special story about Our Lady.
      The Visitation
                      It was late at night and a young girl had just finished saying her prayers.  She was fourteen years old, but she was so mature for her age that she appeared a couple years older.  She had healthy, glowing, sun kissed bronze skin and medium hazel eyes that danced and sparkled.  Her long, raven black hair went down to the middle of her back.  She was about five feet tall and very graceful.  While she was a good, healthy looking child on the outside, she was even more beautiful on the inside, for her soul was the purest of all time.  It was never tainted with sin nor did she experience many temptations.
                      She had just put her head on the pillow when a bright, warm, yellow-white light flooded her room.  It was so bright she had to shield her eyes with her hand.  To her amazement, her eyes adjusted to the light and she lowered her hand.  She felt as if she could stare at it forever and not suffer the consequences of eye damage.  She could barely make out the outline of a man, or an Angel rather.  He had large, broad wings, which led her to believe that he was an Angel.  He also wore a long, golden robe that went all the way down to his ankles.  His golden blonde hair looked as if it had just been trimmed.  His face looked gentle, but also set in a strong, determined way.  “Do not be afraid, Mary,” he said, “You have found favor with God.  He wants you to be the Mother of His Son and His Name shall be Jesus.”
                      Mary was a bit surprised that the Angel knew her name since she didn’t know him.  She knew Angels existed, but she never personally knew any Angels.  “How can this be?” she asked with much awe and wonder in her voice, “I do not know man yet.”
                      “Through God, all things are possible.”
                      “I am a Handmaid of the Lord.  Let it be done unto me according to your word.”
                      At that moment, Mary felt different.  She didn’t know how to best describe it.  She almost felt like she had just received new life.  Of course, she knew she was the Mother of God and all that.  She felt that she personally had just received a new life as well.  She felt refreshed, as if the feeling was a breeze that came on a hot day and gently shook the leaves in the trees.
                      The Angel left and the room was plunged back into darkness.  Mary could only sit in her bed for a few minutes as she tried to comprehend what had just happened.  The next morning, she woke up early and helped her mother get breakfast ready.  During breakfast, she told her parents about what happened last night.  Her parents stared at her for a couple minutes, almost as if she had just grown a third eye in the middle of her forehead.
                      “I’m being honest,” Mary said, “An Angel really did appear to me.  He told me that I had found favor with God and He wants me to be the Mother of His Son.  I told him that I’m the Handmaid of the Lord and I agreed to do it.”
                      “We believe you, Mary,” her mother said, “You’ve always been an honest child.  I apologize.  Your father and I shouldn’t have stared at you like that.  I knew God would send His Son, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon and before you’re married.”
                      “This is wonderful,” said her father, “We shall be redeemed.  I’m so happy for you, Mary.”
                      When Joseph had caught wind of what happened, he was startled.  His soon-to-be-wife was already pregnant before their marriage?  He wondered how this was possible because he and Mary were following all the rules they were supposed to be following.  He decided to quietly divorce her since that was the only thing he could do.  However, an Angel appeared to him and explained everything.  “Don’t worry, Joseph,” he said, “Everything is going according to God’s plan.”
                      That convinced Joseph to marry Mary a couple months later.  From the moment the Angel appeared to Mary, all of history was changed forever
      @Thumbelina16 has collected another great amount of the news. 
      In the Times
                 Latest news starts off with Mr. Warren rearranging a few of the forums. Getting to Know You and Uncategorized Topics have been merged to make a new General Discussions forum with the title of Members. This topic had been used previous to the Getting to Know You and Uncategorized Topics forums. Prayer Requests is now it's own forum and has been made available to view for the alumni members. Personal Announcements has been made into it's own forum and Status Updates, Chats. and AMA's are sub forums to this forum.
                A current trend going around Catholic Harbor is to write letters to the forum, sharing stories, acknowledging friends, and thanking the Harbor for it's impact on members' lives.
                Current debates are "Resolved: The country needs to open back up now" and "R: Corona virus is not nearly as bad as we thought".
                The winner of "Yup, this is a poetry contest" is @Little White Flower who won first place with her lovely poem "As You Fade from Me". You can view it in the topic "Yup, this is a poetry contest" in Creative Writing.
                The current total topic count for Catholic Harbor as of May 14, 2020 is 20,649, making an edition of 307 since April 30, 2020. The current total post count is 1,350,988 also as of May 14, an edition of 23, 474 posts since April 30, 2020. We have had 6 new members this month, with the newest being @Tori.
      Some of the most popular memes of the past month are:

      When @Maximilian Kolbe and @Beowulf are on your side in a debate

      Any suggestion topic *exists*


      “Eirec! Ho, Eirec!” The tall elf turned his masked face to look towards the speaker. A young elfling crawled up beside his arm and whispered in his ear.
      “The signal. Omien says to proceed.” Eirec nodded savagely and turned back to the tall barbed-wire fence fifty feet away. Fifty feet of ground that he had sat and studied all day in preparation for this moment; fifty feet of which he knew every clump of grass and dirt. The guard along the barrier was staring towards the mounting column of fire that arose in the distance. The fool. 
      Stealthily, Eirec rose onto his feet and silently dashed across the grass on his toes. The bright moon shone dully on his light hair as he moved as rapidly as a squirrel. Five feet away from the barrier, he leapt and seized a fencepost, flattening his body against the sturdy support to halt the movements of the connected wires. There was no sound as he paused for an instant to listen. The fool still watched the rising and sinking fire in the distance. Haeril’s daughter did her work well.
      Eirec seized the topmost wire with his gloved hand, feeling the sharp prick of barbs nonetheless, and pulled himself up, using his feet to help hoist his body. Three feet, two one, and he was on it. Swinging his second leg over, he accidentally brushed the top wire and caught his leg, scraping it and tearing his pants. Clumsy, he berated himself fiercely. He had no room for mistakes! Moving quickly, Eirec slid down the fencepost and moved towards the oblivious guard.
      His foot came down on an unlucky stick and it cracked. The man jerked alert and turned to face the threat, but Eirec unsheathed his knife and drove it into the man’s side as he was turning. Clamping a hand over the man’s mouth, Eirec stifled the human’s death cry. He must not fail!
      Laying the dead guard on the ground, Eirec drew his sword and slashed the wires of the fence, then he pulled the severed metal aside to let in more elves. Three. There were only ever three to help. They were all in and the leader released the wires, gripping his first sword and drawing a second. It was almost too easy, if one knew what he meant.
      All four elves sped across the distance between the fence and the nearest bunkhouse, avoiding the half-hearted searchlights. A pillar of flame arose in the distance and grew taller every second. They hadn’t much time. 
      Eirec stabbed through the thin walls of the building and twisted the swords in his hands. A dull clack echoed the area as mad cheers drifted to their sharp ears. Faster… faster…He could not stop. Not now.
      Forcing the swords upwards, Eirec heightened the cracks then slid his swords down to the floor of the raised building. Muted voices on the other side whispered excitedly. Leaning against the wall between the slits, Eirec applied pressure and felt the wood beginning to give way. He whispered to the waiting prisoners and heard them move away. Then he pushed again. The wood split and broke, leaving a gaping hole. A girl slid through and instantly the three elves with him switched from keeping a lookout to pulling elves through. Only twenty.
      Twenty from one bunkhouse. All the escapees were out now and already Eirec’s three companions were leading their quintets towards the forest, through the fence. He urged the boys, girl, woman, and old elf to hurry as the distant cheers faded away and idle conversation broke out in the nearby watchtower. They needed to be out soon!
      Eirec stayed beside the old elf as he moved behind the rest. The other four were through ahead of him and he held the wire aside with his sword tip for his elder.
      “You’re turn, grandfather,” he whispered with his muffled, deep voice to the grateful elf. His tuned ears caught the oh’s of the people in the nearby watchtower as Haeril’s daughter performed a finale. Or an encore. One of the two. She was superb, and the humans were fools. Complete idiots.
      Eirec slipped through behind the elderly elf, who was helped to his feet by the boys, as a light flashed across the spot where he had stood, then whispered for his companions to run. The moon was blocked, if only for an instant, but it was all he needed. His five escapees rushed to reach the shelter of the trees while he hung back somewhat to deal with any possible discoverers. His charges were in, already being greeted by the other elves that had arrived to aid them. He was at the edge then, but looked back cautiously. There must be no discovery yet. And no one must be left behind.
      A final flicker of flame lit up the distant sky and Eirec wished he could rescue her. Haeril’s daughter. His friends pulled him in worriedly and he broke out of the dream. Here and now was what mattered. Here and now. The flames died away and Eirec turned his attention elsewhere. Sheathing his swords, he followed the others back to the rendezvous and helped the twenty mount horses. He stayed. Tomorrow, they would strike again.
      Art by @Quinta
      Finally, this last article is a MUST READ. Seriously, it is definitely one of my all time favorites.
      Homeschoolers Answer Google’s Most Searched Questions on Homeschooling
      Compiled and Edited by @Mr. Rock, with contributions by @FaithHope&Love, @Chessroofer, @Campion, (and his brother), @Arx, and @Artemis.
      In the 21st century, homeschooling has risen greatly in prominence. Especially with this Coronavirus, millions of kids are now being “homeschooled” (though not in the same way as us, of course), and so it is being talked about much more. As such, more and more people hear the term “homeschooling”, yet some don’t really know what it is all about. Thus, they turn to a very popular source of information, Google, to answer their biggest questions about homeschooling.
      I have found the most popular questions people are asking Google about homeschooling, and gave these questions to a few members on CH (who are more than qualified to answer the questions). @FaithHope&Love, @Chessroofer, @Campion, @Arx, and @Artemis have each answered the questions in their own unique style, wit, and humor. @Campion’s younger brother (who isn’t a member on CH) also answered two questions for @Campion.
      You might be asking yourself, how do you find the most asked questions on homeschooling (or anything, for that matter)? The answer is simple: go to Google.com and start typing in the search bar. Underneath the search bar, as you type, Google autocomplete shows a list of “predicted searches”. The predicted searches are chosen based on popular searches which are relevant to the words already in the search bar. Thus, to get the questions, all I did was type some phrases that people might start off their queries with, and then chose some of the “predicted searches” from the autocomplete list.
      Now, you might have typed in some of the phrases to see what some other questions about homeschooling are, and noticed some of the questions below are not on the predicted searches list anymore. This is because popular searches change frequently over time, and some other questions might be more popular now. Trust me, though, these once were popular questions searched on Google.
      As the compiler and editor, I have had to limit the number of questions here for a few reasons. The first is brevity. There are lots of questions on homeschooling and you just have to draw the line somewhere. Second, some of the questions are redundant (I wouldn’t ask “Is homeschooling easy?” and also “Is homeschooling hard?”). Third, some questions are just plain dumb (“Is homeschooling one word?”) or irrelevant (“Why is homeschooling illegal in Germany?”).
      Without further ado, here are the most asked questions on homeschooling, and their answers:
      Is homeschooling bad?
      @FaithHope&Love: “HOMESCHOOLING IS THE MOST AMAZING THING ON THE PLANET EARTH! There is no way it could be bad. There are no downsides to it. You get to go at your own pace. Do what ever you want. Learn in detailed. Go on amazing field trips. And have so much fun!”
      @Chessroofer: “It depends on what your teaching in home school. If you’re teaching how to be the best criminal in the world, it's gonna have some ill effects. But if your teaching the same stuff most schools teach, it is actually better.”
      @Campion: “For the people who want to control the minds of every child in the country, homeschooling is terrible, horrible, no good and very bad. For everyone else, it’s great.”
      @Arx: “No; homeschooling allows kids the means to study the blade, a necessary art for purging this world of the demons.”
      @Artemis: “Depends on how you do it & who is doing it. Homeschooling may be bad for some people, depending on their personality, learning style, & situation, but that does not make homeschooling bad, objectively.”
      Is homeschooling free?
      @FaithHope&Love: “I honestly don’t even know. I mean you need to get books.....and a curriculum....and well I mean it’s school you need stuff. No it isn’t free, but the price to pay to homeschool is completely worth it.”
      @Chessroofer: “No, it is not free. Depending on the form of homeschooling you use, it could be cheaper than a brick and mortar, but it does cost money.”
      @Campion: “As far as money is concerned, no; but it does free you in other ways, such as the ability to study whatever you want, whenever you want.”
      @Arx: “Curriculum prices differ, but the real kicker are the blades. Swords are not cheap.”
      @Artemis: “Again, depends. Some ‘courses’ come just from your parents while other courses are provided by a co-op or school like Seton Home Study. I would say, in general, homeschooling is cheaper.”
      Is homeschooling effective?
      @FaithHope&Love: “I mean the average grades of a homeschooler are higher than that of a public schooler. So yes it is.”
      @Chessroofer: “Homeschooling in many cases is effective, but then again, in some cases it is not. If you’re learning a hands on course that requires some experience in the field, it is sometimes better to have the public school experience.”
      @Campion: “Yes and no; it depends on how seriously you take it. A kid who does everything but work at a public school probably won’t be the best homeschooled student no matter what you give them to do. But someone who takes their work seriously could excel through taking control of their own studies.”
      @Arx: “Have you ever seen a demon? You're welcome.”
      @Artemis: “If done correctly, I would say so! I personally have learned how to be independent through it & it is more effective with the way I work & my own learning style.”
      Is homeschooling hard?
      @FaithHope&Love: “It completely matters on who you are. I personally think doing school in general can become difficult, but homeschooling is pretty easier compared to public school because you get to go at your own pace. xD”
      @Chessroofer: “It is as hard as anything else you do, if you find opening a pickle jar hard, you will find homeschooling to be impossible.”
      @Campion’s brother: “Well, yes, but actually no.”
      @Arx: “Homeschooling is indeed hard. Mastering the blade is a difficult task which takes years of training and practice.”
      @Artemis: “I would say ‘yes.’ I find it easier than private school but harder in other ways. Although, hard does not equal bad.
      With homeschooling, you do not have as many cutthroat deadlines as you do for public & private schools. This means, for the most part, you have to set your own deadlines (if your parents do not) & be self-disciplined to meet them. I personally think this is good because it prepares you for college, which has spaced out deadlines with more time to work (or procrastinate).
      Another thing that might be more difficult for students when homeschooling is the lack of a professional teacher to help you understand certain written material. For the most part, when using Seton & homeschool-designed text books, the instruction or "teacher" is within the lessons plans & text. But every so often, something does not make sense & you need guidance. Sometimes your parents also do not understand it as well. This is partly why I love Seton because we have academic counselors always ready to aid us.
      Being interrupted at home by family also is another factor of homeschooling that can make it difficult for some. This past coronavirus quarantine has made things harder for me because I cannot flee to my favorite coffee shops or library to get some peace.”
      Is homeschooling fun?
      @FaithHope&Love: “Homeschooling is THE FUNNEST THING EVER! You get to do so many cool things!”
      @Chessroofer: “Is homeschooling fun! You try doing school of any kind and tell me it's fun!”
      @Campion: “Absolutely. Sometimes. Maybe.”
      @Arx: “Swordplay is a very entertaining art, so yes.”
      @Artemis: “I think so! I love being able to design my own routine that works best for myself, being able to do on the spot extra research on stuff I am learning, being able to listen to electronic music while doing math, being able to work in my room, basement, or front porch, being able to set up my own study space, & being entirely independent. There is room also for field trips of your own choice & more time to do the extra-curricular activities you would not be able to pull off when going to school for 8AM-3PM. 
      I would not have been able to teach myself coding, learn more about astronomy & telescopes, do independent study with apologetics, debating, & philosophy, take up bodybuilding, & train in Krav Maga if I was not homeschooling. The best part too is that I am not having to sacrifice any of my academics for the sake of the others. With Seton, I am getting a solid education & am learning all the essentials, but I am also not wasting time in lectures or school "things" that would come with private or public school.”
      Why do homeschoolers think they are better?
      @FaithHope&Love: “Because we are   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  .”
      @Chessroofer: “What homeschoolers are you talking to? I mean, no one in their right mind could say they are better. Unless your speaking religiously, then they are correct.”
      @Campion: “Because we are.”
      @Arx: “Because while publicschoolers spend their time in class, learning about garbage like math, homeschoolers are mastering the blade. Now that the demons are here everyone is unprepared. Except for homeschoolers for they have studied the blade.”
      @Artemis: “Hm, I think this is the case for some homeschoolers & I think it is the opposite for some. For the ones who think they are superior, I believe it is due to the adults in their lives talking about how bad "those public schoolers" are & also pumping up the advantages of homeschooling & telling their children they are going to turn out better than those who go to school. For the ones who think they are inferior, I believe it is because they have been told so & feel alienated by their peers.  But either or case scenario also does not apply to the other homeschoolers  who are neutral & just enjoy what they are doing.”
      Why do homeschoolers hate common core?
      @FaithHope&Love “I don’t know. For me because not all curriculum is good to learn the most with.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ”
      @Chessroofer: “Common core? is that that roundabout way of doing your math to make it twice as hard than it really is? I think that solves the question in itself.”
      @Campion: “Why does anyone like it?”
      @Arx: “Common Core does not offer any means to master the blade.”
      @Artemis: “Again, this is another generalization on homeschoolers, a large & diverse group of people. I think a lot of people are opposed to Common Core because Common Core education is measured by standardized tests.  Students who do not meet the requirements for the standardized tests may have to repeat their grade level or be required to attend summer school. Common Core education is typically a cookie cutter approach that suggests that there is one way to teach kids, by rigid standards.  Each child is so vastly different that it is a disservice to think that general standards will cover what kids need (& want) to learn. Also some kids are not good at standardized testing but still get the material, so it gives people inaccurate data on the child's academic abilities.”
      What do homeschoolers miss out on?
      @FaithHope&Love: “We don’t miss out on that much. Maybe sometimes just sports since public schools sometimes only allow public schoolers to do the sports. 😤”
      @Chessroofer: “Lots of things. Many homeschooling families are actually out in the boonies so getting
      together with anyone is hard.”
      @Campion: “Cafeteria food.”
      @Arx: “Homeschoolers don't miss out on anything. The only thing they care about is studying and mastering the blade. Anything else is optional to them.”
      @Artemis: “The stereotypical "high school experience." Personally, I am fine with that for myself.”
      What do homeschoolers do all day?
      @FaithHope&Love: “Sleep and eat and come on CH. We most definitely don’t do school. xD”
      @Chessroofer: “Um, we play computer games and eat sugar. Of course.”
      @Campion: “Homeschool…?”
      @Arx: “Procrastinate and study the blade.”
      @Artemis: “Contrary to popular belief, school.”
      Why are homeschoolers socially awkward?
      @FaithHope&Love: “Are you socially awkward? XD No we aren’t. Homeschoolers are usually more outgoing than public schoolers honestly.”
      @Chessroofer: “We are socially awkward because we are not politically correct. You might want to jump off that boat by the way.”
      @Campion: “err . . . what . . .um . . you mean me? Well, uh . . . because people who we don’t know are scary.”
      @Arx: “Too much time spent studying the blade; not enough time spent developing social skills.”
      @Artemis: “Not all homeschoolers are socially awkward. I see the same amount of awkward public & private schoolers as the amount of awkward homeschoolers I run into.”
      Why are homeschoolers so smart?
      @FaithHope&Love: “Because we are the smartest people on the planet. And because we homeschool.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  “
      @Chessroofer: “Because we are more one on one taught than those who are behind brick walls.”
      @Campion’s brother: “Because our teachers are the best ever.”
      @Arx: “Because they spend so much time mastering the blade.”
      @Artemis: “Since many homeschoolers use such a diversity of programs, it entirely depends. But a common factor is that you have free time to seek knowledge & learn beyond the text book with research.”
      A big thank you to @FaithHope&Love, @Chessroofer, @Campion, (and his brother), @Arx, and @Artemis! And also to you, the reader.
      Thank you so much everyone for this fantastic issue! (I cannot help but agree with @Arx however...)
      See you all next month!
      God bless!
      Matthew Hogan
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