Simple Papal Study

I thought I would write down some of the ways we've been and will be learning about the papacy and the conclave.  You're more than welcome to stick around but just know that there are plenty of other much more comprehensive posts out there if you're looking for inspiration.  I'm going simple this time around.  Honestly, most of what we're doing is just talking about everything going on.  I find that we do most of our best learning around here that way and it's way less labor intensive.  But I've slowly gathered a few resources to have at the ready in case we're feeling ultra ambitious.

And then I threw them on the floor so that I could take a picture for you.  I aim to please.

Books and Visual Resources:

Joseph and Chico - I picked this up at our little parish library (which is fancy speak for the bookshelf in the narthex of the church).  It's a sweet story told from a cat's point of view of the life of Benedict XVI.  I didn't know that the Pope Emeritus had a love of cats.  And now I do.

Benedict XVI - A thirty minute DVD also from the parish library (love when God provides like this) that is a simple biography of his life.  We watched this after reading Benedict and Chico and looked to see how much we would recognize from the story.

Papal History poster - I had a friend of mine buy this for me in Rome back when I was in college.  It's an awesome visual of the apostolic succession of the papacy and the Petrine ministry.  We have yet to do anything fancier than just admire it and learn a few of the popes, making observations about names and number, etc.

Good Ole Fashioned Homemade Videos of the coverage of the death and funeral Mass of Blessed John Paul and the election of Pope Benedict XVI - I don't know if the boys will be interested in watching them but I think I'll just have them out and if the moment strikes and they'd like to watch, we'll do just that.

Passing the Keys - A book from college days that's been waiting on our shelves.  John Paul has been reading a bit of it and maybe I should take a peek myself.  (Dreaming? Yes.)

The Shoes of the Fisherman - I'm hoping Brian and I will have a spare few non exhausted hours some night and we can watch this one again.

The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, Popes Through the Ages, and The Papacy all pulled from their dusty slumber on the shelves to make me look uber diligent.  We probably won't even touch these but I may assign John Paul a mini research project and have him write a short essay on one of the popes.

Online Resources:

Jessica and Elizabeth have both provided a goldmine of resources to tap into during this time.  I know I won't be doing things exactly as they do (I'm pretty sure both of these ladies have some sort of agreement with God giving them 37 hours in a day.  I should try to get in on that.) but I do very much appreciate the compilation of resources they've put together!

I already mentioned that we're adopting a cardinal.  (You should, too, if you haven't already!) helped us see Benedict's departure live and I'm sure will be very helpful during the conclave.  So grateful that they have live streaming since we don't have cable.

Electing the Pope is the brainchild of Dorian Speed and it contains a wealth of information on the conclave as well as the ability to ask questions.  I've been letting John Paul click around a bit there and teach us some papal election facts.

Other Learning:

Our homeschool co-op the other day focused on the papacy and the upcoming conclave.  Michael and David came home with paper bag pope puppets.  I helped with the older kids while my sister (this month's wonderful coordinator) read We Have a Pope! and then they played a "Papal Journey" homemade trivia game.  It was neat seeing all the kids excited and informed about it all.

I am just so excited to get this conclave on!  The boys are obsessed with the smoke signals and I just feel like this is such an amazing moment for us all to be a part of.  We've been praying every day for all the cardinals and the future pope and I'm sure you have been as well.  May God bless His Church and the world abundantly during this time!


  1. I do not want to homeschool my children for a variety of reasons, but every.single.time I read your posts it makes me wanna :) What good ideas

  2. Can you come teach my children, please?

    1. Only if you come teach mine? Or something? Or you fly me out to visit and I'll do something 'schooly' with your kids. Sounds like a plan :)

  3. Do you know where online we can watch the smoke during conclave? We don't have tv but I really want to stay on top of it, and we'd all love to watch that!

    1. EWTN has live streaming of their broadcasts and is advertising complete Rome coverage so I *think* they'll switch over any time there's smoke. I'm assuming I'll hear something on the radio news (which I listen to a lot in the kitchen) when something starts to happen and we can go to the EWTN site. I don't think they give notice of when a vote is going to happen so I guess I'll just hope that it goes that way!


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