Written by Marianna Bartold for presentation to Vatican officials in Rome, November 1995, the following document includes direct quotes from Church writings. Hailed as exactly describing the beliefs and sentiments of Catholic parents who homeschool (both by two national homeschool associations, as well as many local groups), we include the document here.


The Catholic Family


Catholic Home Education

Following the canons and traditions of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, together with the encyclicals and allocutions of the popes, we homeschooling parents are those who teach our own children every branch of study within our own homes, which Pope John Paul II calls the “domestic church.” We accept and respond, in a special manner, to Holy Mother Church’s admonition to “beget and teach children physically, socially, culturally, academically, morally and religiously” and do so “according to the teaching handed on by the Church.” (Canon 226.2)

We heed the Holy Father who, in his Letter to Families, expressed the Church’s teachings to us most succinctly when he said, “You are educators because you are parents.”

Because we understand that “Christian education takes in the whole of human life, physical and spiritual, intellectual and moral, individual, domestic and social,” as stated in Christian Education of Youth, and because we obey the Church Who tells us that parents are, indeed, the primary educators of their own children, we personally educate our children in the following ways:

Spiritually - By strengthening our families in the Faith, homeschooling parents transmit its truths by personally catechizing our children by word and example and by preparing them for the reception of the sacraments. Because the Faith is “the foundation and crown of our youth’s entire training,” as expressed in Christian Education of Youth, homeschooling parents emphasize that growth in the Faith is a life-long, personal task, one that begins with the reception of the sacraments.


Academically - “Religion must permeate and direct every branch of knowledge,” as taught in Militantis Ecclesia. With a deep respect for Catholic tradition, which has set the standard for educational excellence, Catholic homeschooling parents strive for the highest academic achievements by our children. We instruct them in every field of knowledge -- history, mathematics, science, literature and culture -- within the context of the truths of the Catholic faith.


Socially - We take special heed of the words of the Declaration on Christian Education of the Second Vatican Council: “The family is, therefore, the principal school of the social virtues which are necessary to every society.” Through God’s help, we educate our children to grow “in wisdom, age, and grace” so they may take their places in society, ideally prepared for their future lives as Catholic adults.


We thank God Who, through the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, gives parents every grace necessary to joyfully accept, educate and raise the children He gives us. In this way, we take heart and are “strengthened, sanctified and, in a manner, consecrated.” (On Christian Marriage)


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