What do I do with my kids now that I've left RC?


This is a question several parents - who are shying away from RC and its derivatives - have asked me over the past month. Where does one find a program that teaches kids self-discipline, self-respect, loyalty, faith and patriotism? A program that allows kids to socialize with other good kids, and that is at the same time easy on the budget and open to large families - both homeschooling and non-homeschooling?

In Canada, the answer is simple: the cadet program is very popular. My wife and I recently enrolled our oldest in the Newman Navy League (ages 9 to 12), now that the oldest is of age, and she loves it! Once she turns 12 she will have her choice between the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets (click here and here).

As far as fellow British Commonwealth countries are concerned, Australian teens also have a choice between an Army cadet program (click here), an Air cadet program (click here), and a Navy cadet program (click here). New Zealand teens seeking a new challenge can also find out more about Army, Air and Sea cadets by clicking here.

What surprises me - given its military culture - is that more American parents are not aware of the cadet program for teens in the U.S. I'm guessing this may have something to do with the popularity of Boy Scouts, which is also an excellent program. But if your 12-to-17-year-old is seeking a new challenge, all four branches are represented in the cadet program: Army, Sea, Air, Marine. There is also a Navy League cadet program for kids ages 11 to 14 (click here), although Michigan takes them as young at 10 (click here) and other states may do so as well.

Please note: In Canada, cadets are not required to join the military at any time or upon becoming adults. I believe it to be the same in the U.S.


I know a program: Family!

Absolutely, Nick.

There is a fantastic article by Pete on Medium Vs. Message, if you don't know it, look for it.
There are other articles by Pete on how to build good bonding between parents and their children, recently he suggested private retreats in monasteries. Often religious orders welcome private retreatants; the idea is that a parent takes their child(ren) on such a weekend, and creates memories in addition to seeking healthy (!!) spiritual nourishment. He has his priorities all right.

And LC/RC have actively and successfully undermined family life and the Sacrament of Marriage. A return to the proper understanding of this Sacrament as the path to holiness is urgently needed - we know about sanctifying grace, sacramental grace - and a sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Our Lord to give grace. LC/RC is NOT!!!!

Thank you, Pete for your untiring education and great suggestions. Proper education, the workings of the Holy Spirit and time will SHUT.IT.DOWN. Evil always falls in under itself. Such a house cannot stand.

I for one will look into those cadet programs here in the US and discern if this is something my children could participate in. I am grateful for those links as I have not been able to find them in the past.

Until then it is bonding time.

Blessings to you and yours.

Is there anything wrong with parish youth programs?? Most parishes have a youth minister and a youth program. And if not, or if the program is weak, why not volunteer to help create one or liven up a weak one?

There are many, many good Catholic youth programs that parishes are using that can form the base of a parish youth program.

It seems to me, by the nature of this question, that RC families have outsourced basic family management, family life, parish life, etc. to the LC. So, exploring other options and taking responsibility as the primary educators of your child is a good thing.

Youth ministry in the parishes have improved dramatically over the last 5 years. Most of the young people that are Catholic have had to make some tough choices that were counter culture to remain in the faith. There are a number of evangelization programs and Catholic colleges that have been forming youth for the last 10-15 years that are beginning to have an impact. In another 5 years most of the very liberal pastors will be retired. I believe parish life is going to look dramatically different in the near future.

I'm with Nick; my reaction at reading the question was "raise them!". Especially if you've all been involved with the Legion, the family has likely been damaged. I like to take my children with me when I volunteer for the parish's turn serving at the diocesan soup kitchen, and our family is also involved with Panera's "Dough-Nation" program. The best way to teach the Catholic faith to your kids is to demonstrate it.

(After the Challenge debacle at our parish, we decided to stick with GS after all, although you have to be really careful about who the leader is of course. I know a lot of Really Catholic People sniff their noses at us for staying in, but I think it's important for my kids to be able to encounter other opinions, and the religious medal programs are very good. Also, with our area, the parish gs are more involved in community service to the surrounding low-income neighborhoods.) By the time they're teens, you really want to have raised them well enough so that they can be around non-Catholics without losing their faith. My oldest is 19 so I guess there's plenty of time for this to all fall apart but so far, my kids have been able to defend their faith in their public high school (and the oldest had a Unitarian kid asking for a Bible!) Buy some books (Amy Welborn, Augustine, Chesterton, Frank Sheed, CS Lewis, papal encyclicals, Flannery O'Connor?) and read and discuss them. But of course there's no one good answer-you're the expert on your children so stop thinking like you're in Regnum Christi, and just be a mom.

Jeanetter-- with respect to GSA, my main problem is that at the national/international level the organization supports a lot of questionable things.

So I don't want to support the larger mission by having my daughters involved... (BSA, on the other hand, seems really good.)

On the other hand, I'm not sure GSA is necessary when you've got things liek 4-H, YMCA, etc. I mean, except for the cookies......

No prob, Deirdre;
It's funny, when we were warning parishioners about Challenge, the vicar and pastor were saying "What about GS!!?" and we pointed out that since a lot of people are morally opposed to gs, we wouldn't dream of trying to recruit girls without disclosure! (Tell ya what though; it was kind of fun to get the St Anne's award from the diocese in the midst of the parish Regnum nastiness)

Kids don't need programs like Challenge, ECYD, Conquest, etc. Kids learn their faith best through their family -by living out a Catholic life with their family- saying grace before meals, going to Stations of the Cross together, family rosary before bed, etc. It has been my observation that adults who did not grow up in a very Catholic home are more likely to think that their kids need these programs to learn Catholicism, self discipline, etc. These things are all taught best in the home.

Thanks for the post. I think that there is a real need to raise young men in an authentic Catholic way and that is one reason why I am involved with Kepha, the Brotherhood of the Iron Will.

You can see our web site at www.kepharocks.org. We have chapters in 3 states and are expanding.

We cover topics like apologetics and are developing a culture of life and theology of the body curriculums so that they can defend their faith. Where else can a young man received such training? At a school or local parish?

Boys especially need to belong to something that is bigger than themselves, where they can be challenged to live out their Faith, and to experience it in a way that is orthodox and joyful. Kepha does all of that.


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This page contains a single entry by Pete Vere published on April 16, 2010 1:14 AM.

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UPDATE: Finding Christ outside LC/RC is the next entry in this blog.

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