Friday, April 26, 2013

In September 2008 I made a proposal on this blog about a Catholic Trade School for men. Nothing ever happened after that initial proposal except a few positive comments here and there. But the idea has never completely left my head. Every time I pass the abandoned motel on the outskirts of town I think, “That would make a good residence hall for the school”. And every time I pass the old high school down the street sitting on 20+ acres, I think, “That would make an ideal campus.”

So here is a re-cap of the problem and a possible solution for some.

Many Catholic young men either have no means and/or no desire to attend a 4 year degree program, yet these men still need more than a high school education in liberal arts and the Faith and need a skill or trade so they can provide for themselves, their family, and to live a life giving proper glory to God. It would also be beneficial for these young men to experience a Catholic cultural environment.

The solution could be a 2-year trade school for high school graduates which both teaches a trade and prepares young men with the knowledge and spiritual tools to be a Catholic man (and father) in today’s world.

The proposal: A 2-year school (post high school) for men which had a core-curriculum of theology, philosophy, history of western civ and classic literature, social teaching of the Catholic Church (i.e. Rerum Noverum) and a course in practical arts (cross-training the basics of the trades to follow). Majors would be in a trade: Electrician, Plumbing, Carpentry/Cabinet making (both with hand and power tools), Agriculture/animal husbandry, Butchering, Engine Repair (car and small engine), as well as a course in running a small trade/farm as a business.

I would envision the campus to have student housing and a permanent chaplain and chapel. The spiritual life of the school would include daily Mass, some of the hours prayed in chapel, community meals, and at least weekly adoration and rosary.

The school could have some income by selling services (student mechanics, electricians etc.) and produce/meat to the local area. A somewhat rural location with low property costs, but with some access to great population centers (possibly apprenticeships?) would be ideal.

Finally, while the students would board at the school, at the end of the course, men would be urged to return to their family and community of origin.

Besides start-up expenses for the physical campus, the equipment and tools needed for teaching each trade would be a barrier.

A number of men who also believe in this model need to be sought out to form a board of founders so work can be begin on establishing such a school.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

So our corn was up, but our roaming game chickens went and destroyed it. My fault! I like to have 1 or 2 gamecocks and about 8 hens at the beginning of Spring. These provide enough chicken for us as each hen will set and hatch twice or three times during the season (each clutch averaging about 8-12 chicks).Come February, if we have too many hens, we either put them in the freezer or sell them. This year we had some 25 hens and 7 or so roosters left. We whittled down the roosters some, but did nothing about the hens….yet.

Replanting the sweet corn today. But we did harvest our first broccoli yesterday for supper, and I notice flowers on the peas!

We have our small crop of peanuts in the ground and are in the process of plowing the leased acreage next door. Since my two oldest sons are working most of the time, I am taking my share of time behind the horse plow. Things are going well.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Corns up. Broccoli is making. Peas are looking great. Still cutting & splitting wood.  Fixing chainsaws, tillers, engines-business picking up a little bit. Will be planting peanuts by the end of this week. We start plowing for the sweet sorghum crop tomorrow.Had our spring square dance this past Saturday. Cooked 1/2 hog on the grill and danced and danced. (Actually I am the very amateur caller, but, being the caller, I don't dance much.) Mrs. Curley is laid up with bone spurs, so I had to Virginia Reel with my youngest daughter-but what a treat. (To see me VA reel with Mrs. Curley, see the cover picture on the song in the post below.Sold three of our sows 2 weeks ago, including our 8 litter old-timer Big Spot. We still have our best sow Harry and a gilt we will think about as the future sow. One sow provides us with all the pork we need plus a little extra. Scaling down a bit will give us more land to plant on.Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

a song

Here's a new song written and performed by my son Matt Curley. Hope you enjoy it. The picture is mrs curley and I doing the Virginia Reel at our square dance some years ago.

Oremus pro invicem!