(Traditions of Roman Catholic Homes) T.O.R.C.H. San Antonio is an association of lay faithful established to support Catholic homeschooling families in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas.
Believing that Catholic homeschooling is a central part of our vocation as parents, we rely upon the teachings of the Church and grace through the sacraments to educate our children in a foundation of Truth.
We seek to enhance our homeschooling experience through an exchange of ideas and support and fellowship with other Catholic homeschool families in a variety of fun, educational, spiritual and cultural activities.
The monthly Mass is our opportunity for sharing faith, food, and fellowship. Mass is held on the first Friday of the month at 12:10 PM at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 8134 Blanco Road, followed by fellowship at 1:00 PM for TORCH members. Confession is available from 7am - 7pm. TORCH members can invite prospective members to attend the October, December, and March fellowship gatherings.
Every third Friday at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church on Wurzbach, from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., children of all ages and their parents are encouraged to attend and offer an hour of Glory and Praise to our Lord! This is a beautiful devotion, which is truly meant for all of our children, no matter how young. We offer a Teen adoration for teens and their families every other month at St. Matthew’s.
Throughout the year we plan activities which aim to gather our families for celebrations such as our Blessed Mother’s Birthday in September, All Saints’ Day in November, as well as parties in honor of St. Philomena, an Epiphany Party and a “Two Hearts” celebration dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Little Flowers is an organization under the patronage of St. Therese of Lisieux with the goal to provide young Catholic girls, from ages 5-11, with an opportunity to gather and learn about their Catholic heritage, faith, and traditions as well as other “womanly” traditions that may have faded from view. It is hoped Little Flowers would learn what it means to be a Catholic girl and eventually a Catholic woman. During Little Flowers the girls will hear, read, share and learn about our role model— the Blessed Virgin Mary, our patroness—St. Therese of Lisieux, saints of the Church, women in the religious life, and their own mothers. A craft project follows the lesson. To earn their badges, follow up activities are completed at home.
The Blue Knights is a Catholic catechetical program for young boys from the ages of 5-11 years. The program is designed to provide an opportunity for them to learn about their faith in the company of other Catholic boys. The Blue Knights program is based on developing a devotion to St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church. Using the concept of Knighthood based on virtue, the seeds are sown so that the boys can understand St. Joseph’s role as guardian of Jesus and Mary. The martial aspect of Knighthood is also used as a springboard to develop the obedience of faith. Each meeting will include a discussion of one Christian virtue and a saint through a combination of lecture, craft and game.
TORCH teens gather monthly for fellowship and fun! Past events include: pool parties, trampoline park, hockey games, potluck and game night, river boat cruise, and a Shakespeare party. Who is a TORCH teen? Registered members of TORCH ages 13 and up for the full year. Members who are not 13 but whose birthdays are before January 1st can participate for the full year. Individuals who turn 13 on or after January 1st can join for the second half of the school year and participate in all remaining events.
Families are invited to participate in volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Past events include helping organize donations at the Allied Women’s Center, assembling care packages for seminarians during Christmas, providing food for people in need through the SA Food Bank, and participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign.
At some of our TORCH events we help a charitable group through contributions of goods. When announced, there will be a designated collection area where members may deposit items for the ministries for which we are collecting. Some of these ministries may be: Allied Women’s Center, Catholic Worker House, Guadalupe Home, Seton Home and St. Peter-St. Joseph Children’s Home.
Throughout the year field trips are arranged in order to provide educational, religious, and fun experiences for our children. We have been to the planetarium, museums, a working dairy, fire stations, the zoo, basketball games, and businesses. We always welcome new ideas and volunteers who are willing to set up a field trip for the group.
Couples in our TORCH group get together for a fun date night. TORCH Moms’ opportunity to share in a very relaxed and open forum. These occasions can be centered around a theme or have a specific objective. Opportunities for the men to relax and share their thoughts with other fathers within the home schooling community.
"Since parents have conferred life on their children they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it."
“Parents, who have the primary and inalienable right and duty to educate their children, must enjoy true liberty in their choice of schools.”
“...Religious submission of will and mind must be shown in a special way to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra. That is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgment made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.”
To promote and encourage Catholic family life, by providing a support group for families who choose to educate their children at home through our activities, Yahoo group, and Facebook.
To gather monthly as a group for the holy sacrifice of the Mass as we further teach the traditions and history of our Holy Catholic Church.
To foster the 3 vocations of married, single, or religious life through our activities and experiences, as we encourage to be open to God’s calling and discernment.
To provide opportunities for field trips relating to Art, Music, History, and Science allowing Catholic friendships to flourish among our children. We also promote parent Faith Formation among our parents in social and spiritual events.
We believe in helping one another to develop and sustain an intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as individuals and within our families.
We are called to honor and emulate our perfect Blessed Mother, as we ask for intercession in our families, our homeschool, our lives, and our community. We strive for true devotion imitating all of her virtues.
TORCH honors and teaches from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Therefore, we follow the teachings that have been promulgated by the authority of the Pope and the Bishops of Rome.
TORCH membership is open to all persons, single or married, regardless of religious affiliation. Non-homeschooling families may join TORCH and participate in any of our activities, as their schedule permits.
Homeschooling is a vibrant, positive and challenging educational option. We are given an amazing opportunity to teach our children our Catholic Faith, virtues, academics, social skills, and customized learning in a loving atmosphere.
TORCH respects family and home life. As a result, we strongly endorse the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on sexuality and bioethics (e.g., fornication, adultery, in-vitro fertilization, contraception, abortion, et. al.), since it is in direct violation of the family as created by God.
TORCH welcomes all new ideas and activities from our members, so that we can grow in faith, love, and charity in the Body of Christ.
It has been a long accepted fact that the Catholic Church finds order in the principle of subsidiarity, according to which "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its function, but should rather support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with the view of the common good" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1883). The principle of subsidiarity dictates that parents receive proper assistance from the Church in this, their task of education.
TORCH has its foundation and as the guiding principle of all its functions and activities, fidelity to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, particularly to the Pope, who, as successor to St. Peter, is the universal teacher in matters of faith and morals, and to the diocesan bishop teaching in communion with him.