Category Archives: Featured

The Catholic Community of the United States Series Complete


What a story we have to tell. As I researched and discovered our Catholic journey in the United States, I met phenomenal people who stood strong in the face of discrimination, hardships and challenges. As I glimpsed backward to the past, the people I found and the events I encountered helped me feel more determined to create my journey forward. Our students in middle school need to be introduced to our Catholic past so they will want to create a Catholic future for themselves and our country.

The Catholic Community of the United States, a three-part series, is now complete with the availability of Part III, the Catholic community of the 20th century. What made the research on this third part so interesting was that I recalled so many of the events and Catholic practices from the second half of the 20th century.

The American Catholic experience has drastically changed since the mid-twentieth century. The Catholic culture I grew up in has become something of the past and rarely experienced by students of today.

Like all big cultural change, some aspects are good, while others leave us wanting.

I hope the lessons found in The Catholic Community of the United States provide teachers and students learning experiences which create encounters with who we have been as American Catholics.

Click the sample sheet below for more details about the series.



The Prince-Priest Died 175 Years Ago


One hundred seventy five years ago, on May 6th, a remarkable missionary priest died. His story is one of contrasts – royalty and poverty, well-loved and disinherited, injured and always on the move.  Fr. Demetrius Gallitzin, aka Augustine Smith, was born in Holland in 1770. His father was a Russian prince and Augustine lived a life of ease. After arriving in America at the age of 22, Augustine entered the first class at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore.  For forty-one years, Fr. Gallitzin was as a missionary priest in the wilderness of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Fr. Gallitzin started a Catholic colony called Loretto, in Pennsylvania. He has been given the title “Servant of God” on his way to sainthood. Visit the website to view a 1945 comic book about this “Apostle of the Alleghenies.” Fr. Gallitzin is also featured in our PA Catholic community resource. His story is inspiring. His story makes me proud to be a Catholic. His story needs to be told to our young people so that they can catch his passion for the Catholic faith.

Take Students on a Catholic Journey


What a journey through time as I wrote the lessons for The Catholic Community of the United States: Highlights from the Colonial Period through the Early Republic. I had a goal for my journey – a finished product in mind, but truly it was the journey that mattered most of all. The Catholic people of the past that I met, the events I experienced through their writings, the awe inspiring faith they shared with me made me a better person. I am prouder to be Catholic than I was before I began this journey. I realize now that I go forward in faith stronger and more passionate because of this journey – because I have met them.

Our children need to take this journey. If there ever was a time when our children need the fortitude and the zeal for their faith, it is now. This journey through time will be what inspires them to journey into the future with God at their side. These Catholics of the past can be examples of how to live, love and sacrifice well.  This book is my gift to students, but they need to be led. Within the few moments that teachers have in history class, during math instruction, while reading in Language Arts, or after prayer in Religion class, these lessons can be integrated into the school day. The children may not thank their teacher for the journey, but they will be blessed and, I dare say, so will the teacher.

Kim Lytle

Featured in Faith Magazine


Author and Owner of History of the Catholic Community, Kimberly Lytle, and The Catholic Community of Pennsylvania: Past and Present were featured in Faith, the magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania.


View Article

View March-April Issue of Faith Magazine


A post-print correction was made by Faith magazine changing
13 dioceses to 8 dioceses.


Topic of Special Interest – St. Anthony Chapel


What a story – a man, a saint and a lot of bones! A phenomenal place that has quite a history and many inspiring stories from those who have visited. This chapel is the focus of one of the lessons in The Catholic Community of Pennsylvania: Past and Present.


As with many of our lessons, the one about Saint Anthony Chapel is included on our Resources page.  Here you will find links to useful websites and source documents – such as newspaper articles and photos – that will assist in the teaching of the lesson.


If you are a teacher or parent using our resources, please contribute to the From the Field page of best practices.  We hope this will be a spot where additional resources utilized in the field can be shared.


Let History Inspire


The teaching of history in Catholic schools – whether it is the history of the larger community or, more specifically, Catholic history – must develop the mind, heart and soul of the student. It is through the stories of people who have gone before us that we can accomplish this awesome task. Facts and dates, although important, do not inspire. When students interact with stories of Catholics who have lived well, served well and loved well, they will want to do the same. Resources from HCC bring students in contact with those Catholics that have such a story. The Pennsylvania resources share stories of a WWII prisoner, an orphan and a missionary priest to name a few.


Pictured above is Msgr. John Carter at his ordination in 1949.  He is featured in The Catholic Community of Pennsylvania: Past and Present in A Letter from an Orphan lesson.  He was raised at St. Joseph’s Orphanage from the age of two.  He later served as chaplain there.


Fr Carter Article


Meet the Author


Kimberly Lytle has been in Catholic education in Pennsylvania for over 25 years as a teacher, principal and Director of Curriculum. She holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Mathematics and Religious Education and Master’s Degrees in School Administration and Religious Education. She is passionate about teaching and sharing the Catholic faith with young people.