Mathcounts Reinstates Homeschool Teams

August 23, 2010

PURCELLVILLE, Va. (MetroCatholic) — Last Friday, Mathcounts, a prestigious foundation dedicated to advancing math skills among middle school students, partially reversed its August 17th ban on homeschool teams.

For the upcoming 2010-11 school year homeschool teams who participated in last year’s Mathcounts competition will be grandfathered in and allowed to compete this year. “We appreciate Mathcounts making this change,” said Michael Smith, president of HSLDA. “Many homeschoolers were already hard at work preparing for this year’s competition,” he added.

The initial ban on homeschool teams stemmed from Mathcounts’ difficulties identifying homeschool competitors and ensuring that students from public, private, and homeschools are treated equally.

In order to make sure all options were being considered representatives from HSLDA and Mathcounts met on Friday, August 20th. The policy change was the result of the meeting as well as a commitment to find a long-term solution which would allow homeschoolers to compete as teams.

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 27-year-old, 85,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.

Rev. Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA, Testifies Before House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight

July 20, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (MetroCatholic) — Rev. Larry Snyder, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, in testimony today before Congressman John Lewis and the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight hearing on the Gulf Coast oil disaster called for a national disaster declaration, a new program of disaster unemployment assistance, and congressional approval of a coordinated regional plan to develop a long-term recovery.


“This ’silent’ disaster has not only impacted families financially, but it has dramatically increased the emotional and mental health burden on families and individuals throughout the Gulf region,” said Fr. Snyder.  ”Many of the people are the same who were impacted by Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike-and now once again, they are worried about what their futures will hold.”

“While our Catholic Charities agencies have served 20,000 people in the region to date, and are continuing to provide services daily, it is important to recognize that funding for these disaster relief services is being provided out of standard operating budgets,” Fr. Snyder continued.  ”There is a dire need to access greater funding that can be used to serve the immediate and long-term needs of the growing vulnerable population.”

Fr. Snyder made the following policy recommendations:

1. Declare a national disaster in the Gulf region to significantly improve the delivery of service to impacted families.

2. Urge Congress to develop a new program of unemployment assistance.

3. Work with local governments to approve a coordinated plan to develop a long-term recovery.

4. Improve coordination between FEMA and other federal agencies.

5. Develop a disaster response fund.
6. Provide tax relief for people directly impacted by the disaster.

7. Provide a bridge loan program to help non-profits and small businesses meet the current and increasing demands.

8. Pass legislation to ensure proper monitoring of the long-term health impact of the disaster.

Fr. Snyder’s complete testimony and policy recommendations can be downloaded at

Catholic Charities USA’s members-more than 1,700 local Catholic Charities agencies and institutions nationwide-provide help and create hope for more than 9 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from health care and job training to food and housing. In 2010, Catholic Charities USA celebrates its centennial anniversary. For more information, visit

Photo:  AP Archive:
PRN Photo Desk [email protected]
Source: Catholic Charities USA

CONTACT:  Roger Conner, Sr. Director of Communications, Catholic
Charities USA , +1-703-236-6218, [email protected]

Web Site: - Make a Donation to Donation

Vatican Could Boost Right of Self-Defense, says Gun Saint Society

July 6, 2010

ARLINGTON, Va. (MetroCatholic) — “With the recent removal of Archbishop Celestine Migliore as its permanent observer to the United Nations, the Vatican can demonstrate support for the right of self-defense and strengthen its endorsement of the right to life,” John M. Snyder, Chairman of the St. Gabriel Possenti Society (, said here today.

“By endorsing a proposed UN treaty mandating member countries’ adherence to international small arms control,” Snyder explained, “Migliore undercut the ability of individuals throughout the world to obtain firearms for defending their lives and the lives of their loved ones from those, including government officials, who illegitimately deprive innocents of their God-given right to life.

“This was a grievous error on the part of the Holy See’s diplomatic corps. By undermining the ability of the individual to obtain the means necessary for defending life, Migliore and his ilk render hypocritical the Catholic Church support for the right to life itself. When will these people realize that governments are the worst mass murderers in history and that denial of the rights of individuals serves only to increase the power of these leviathans?”

Snyder said that, “While the promotion of peace is a most desirable undertaking, the attempt to do this by torpedoing the rights of individuals is abhorrent.

“The church now is experiencing the exposure of church officials’ complicity in clerical scandals throughout the world. Church officials only add insult to injury when, after shelling out billions of dollars to comply with legal judgments rendered against them because of these scandals, they seek more contributions from churchgoers under various rubrics. They only make matters worse for the church by supporting far-out proposals like international gun-grabbing agreements.”

The Vatican, noted Snyder, “should rectify its error, drop its support for this UN proposal, and heed the example of St. Gabriel Possenti, who demonstrated that people sometimes must have access to and use guns against evil. As Our Lord Himself stated, according to Luke 22:36, ‘The man without a sword must sell his cloak and buy one.’”

In 1860, Possenti used handguns to rescue villagers of Isola, Italy from a gang of marauders. ( He was canonized in 1920. The Society seeks his official Vatican designation as Patron of Handgunners. It highlights historical, philosophical and theological perspectives of the right of self-defense.

Pope Benedict Acknowledges Spiritual Bouquet from Christendom College

June 18, 2010

Front Royal, Va. (MetroCatholicThis week Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged the reception of a spiritual bouquet from the Christendom College community. College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell received a letter from the Vatican’s Office of the Secretary of State, which imparted the Pope’s Apostolic Blessing on all who participated in the bouquet.

The letter stated, “His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gratefully acknowledges the spiritual bouquet sent for his intentions.  He very much appreciates the prayerful support given to him in his ministry to the universal Church.  Upon all who have remembered him in their prayers the Holy Father invokes joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ and cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing.”

While in Rome this spring, O’Donnell presented the spiritual bouquet to Frances Cardinal Arinze. During a meal with the students of Christendom’s Junior Semester in Rome, Cardinal Arinze accepted the bouquet on the Pope’s behalf and promised to personally deliver it.

O’Donnell says that members of the Christendom community have a special devotion and charism for the person of the Holy Father.  “Especially since recently he has been attacked and vilified by the press in a number of ways, it is crucial that we as Catholics express our loyalty and support for him as a priest and as the supreme teacher.”

The bouquet was given as an act of thanksgiving and solidarity during the Year of the Priest. Contributions were collected over an eight-month period on campus and on Christendom’s website. The bouquet enumerated 1,343 Masses, 556 Holy Hours, 2,225 Rosaries, 637 visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and 1,202 Chaplets of Divine Mercy.

“I do hope that this gave him some consolation as he continues to shepherd the church with such courage and fidelity,” O’Donnell says.

Contact: Niall O’Donnell
Title: Assistant Director of Public Relations
Email: nodonnell[email protected]
Phone: 800.877.5456 ext. 1217
Mobile: 540.692.0186

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