September 24, 2019
by Guetty Pérez Colín
From July 5th – 7th, 2019, the 2nd annual “Pillars of Education” Catholic Homeschool Conference was held in Guadalajara, Mexico. The event was organized by Sedes Sapientiae, the homeschool cooperative of the parish of San Pedro en Cadenas of the FSSP in Guadalajara. This year, the title of the event was “Classical Education and Catholic Tradition.”
In total 166 people, 88 adults and 78 children, participated in the event from 10 different cities across Mexico. It was very inspiring to see so many large families gathered because of their commitment to give the best possible Catholic education to their children.
Unlike last year when the talks were directed primarily to those who already educate their children at home, this year the conference took a slightly different approach. Recognizing that parents must always be the primary educators of their children (whether they attend school or are educated at home), the organizers wanted to create an event of interest to all Catholic families. Therefore, this year’s conference sought to expound upon the rudiments of classical educational philosophy.
The classical method has been used for centuries, from the days of ancient Greek thinkers, through great saints such as Saint Thomas Aquinas, to the present day. The methodology helps teach the child to express, think, analyze and, finally, to communicate their ideas with well-developed arguments. It seeks to form human beings who do not just go with the flow, but rather who love and seek truth and beauty. And where there is real truth and beauty, there one always finds God.
The event also made clear that Catholic tradition goes hand in hand with classical education. Both seek to instill reverence and an appreciation for truth and beauty. Both also have a long and proven track record. Knowing and living the tradition of the Church helps us to yearn for our own holiness and that of our children. Many participants in the conference experienced the traditional liturgy for the first time during these three days.
Some of this year’s conferences given by the priests and other guest presenters included:
“The Richness of Liturgical Tradition”
“What is a True Teacher?”
“The Essential Role of Art in the Formation of a Christian”
“Anthropology of Classical Education”
“How to Live According to a Rule of Life”
For the children there were also activities and themes during the event. There was an opportunity for them to receive formation, and also make new friends and play among themselves. Something very valuable for many families was the participation of the seminarians who were in Guadalajara participating in the Saint Junipero Serra Summer Spanish Institute. How important it is for the young to see their example! We hope some might be inspired to ask themselves if they too might have a vocation to give their lives to Christ for the salvation of souls.
This year also included a day-long family retreat prior to the beginning of the conference, especially for those who came from outside the metropolitan area and do not have access to the Holy Mass in the traditional form. The families heard talks from Father Daniel Heenan, FSSP, pastor of the parish in Guadalajara. The theme was “Jesus, Eternal Wisdom.” There was time for meditation, prayer, confession and of course the Holy Mass.
Next year the conference will run from August 2nd – 9th. The duration is being extended to one week since, in the first two years, the meeting has proven useful for families who educate at home, but also to promote the traditional Holy Mass, which is still very little known across Mexico and Latin America. The event will include a Gregorian chant and sacred art workshop, a pilgrimage for young adults, a theological colloquium and a day of recollection. Thanks be to God, families from Guadalajara have become members of the parish as a result of the conference and many who live elsewhere have gone home determined to work to bring the Latin Mass to their cities.