BALTIMORE, September 14, 2011 ( – At a Mass celebrated for home schooling families held in the Lady Chapel inside the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, praised families who choose to homeschool their children.

“I’ve seen this over and over again across the country. It’s in home schooling that you have every opportunity to share the values that really matter: respect for one another, respect for the church and the sacraments and the ability to sacrifice for others and to see how best we can serve,” he said, according to a report in the diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Review.

Since arriving to serve as archbishop of Baltimore in October 2007, Archbishop O’Brien has ordained seven new priests for the Archdiocese and over 120 men have entered the program for priestly formation.

He told the homeschooling families gathered: “There’s no greater feeder for the vocations than the home-schoolers.”

The archbishop stressed the role of parents in teaching the faith to their children, whether they are home schooled or attending parochial school. He added that homeschoolers are a reminder to Catholic parents of children in Catholic and other schools, that “theirs is the principle obligation for forming the consciences of their youngsters in Gospel values.”

“In a time when our government schools are forming, are dictating, the direction of moral values in many cases, home schooling reminds our public educators in the secular field that the final responsibility belongs to parents,” he added.

At the conclusion of Mass the archbishop reiterated his support for home schooling, and noted that while he understood the difficulties parents face in deciding to teach their children at home, he urged them to persevere, saying home school families have become “exceedingly important to the church.”

Archbishop O’Brien has celebrated Mass for home school families many times during his four-year tenure, telling home school families he believes his support is very important.

“Home-school educators are very persevering in their admirable efforts to educate their children at home,” Archbishop O’Brien told the Catholic Review.

“Sometimes it can be a lonely endeavor and getting together like this with one another, with the encouragement of their archbishop, is a very important contribution to their perseverance.”