AMHEA Homeschool Students Graduate
St. Jude parish (Bridgetown, OH) hosted the graduation ceremony for 32 homeschooled students — 12 high school seniors, and 20 eight-graders. Fr. Eric Bowman, pastor of St. Jude and spiritual director for their homeschooling association, celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass.
All graduates are members of the Alice of Montbar Home Education Association (AMHEA), a homeschool support group of about 120 families (and more than 325 children), most of them from the west side of Cincinnati.
AMHEA was founded in 1994 and is named after 21th century French noblewoman Bl. Alice of Montbar, who homeschooled her seven children: St. Bernard of Clairvaux (a Doctor of the Church), Bl. Guy, Bl. Gerard, Bl. Andrew, Bl. Humbeline, Bl. Bartholomew and Bl. Nivard.
AMHEA sponsors support group meetings, family picnics, field trips, First Communion celebrations, vocation awareness programs, new homeschooler programs, family baseball, skating and soccer, a monthly newsletter, and a “very active” Yahoo group, according to member Mary Theiman Hennessy, whose son Tim was one of the eighth-grade graduates.
Theology of the Body speaker Emily Bissonette of Ruah Woods, herself an AMHEA graduate, gave the commencement address.
“Our identity – at its absolute core – is a gift from God,” she told the graduates. “He loved you into existence. He didn’t have to create you, He wanted to create you. Whether you become a doctor or a janitor, a stay at home mother or a priest, nothing can change the fact that your life is a pure gift from a God who loves.
“Walking to receive your diplomas in a few minutes, as monumental as it may be, is not going to change your identity. God has been working in your lives – perhaps in ways that are perceptible, perhaps in ways that are hidden. But He has been working and He will continue to work, to love, to form, to guide.” (Read the whole address here.)
For information about joining AMHEA or getting started homeschooling, see the web site above or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Joe Kemper, courtesy the Alice of Montbar Home Education Association.