New app helps track best times to conceive

NFP on your smartphone? Sounds like it:  Glow, the fertility tracking iOS app co-founded by Max Levchin, is making its debut in the app store today. The app was first introduced earlier this summer by Levchin to a surprised audience at the D11 conference, where the crowd was likely not expecting to hear the co-founder of PayPal and [Read More...]

Quote of the day

From Catholic comedian Jim Gaffigan:  “I watch the faces of single people in their twenties after I bring up that I ‘have children.’ I imagine them taking a small step backward as if to avoid contagion, with a look of ‘Sorry to hear that’ on their face. Like I naively volunteered to contract leprosy, forever [Read More...]

Panel to Explore ““Children’s Privacy Rights Against Their Parents”

This flitted by on my Twitter feed, and really gave me pause, from the Association of American Law Schools:  The AALS Section on Defamation and Privacy invites papers for its program on “Children’s Privacy Rights Against their Parents” for the Annual Meeting, to be held on January 2-5, 2014. Topic Description: Electronic surveillance technology and [Read More...]

Study Finds Record Number of “Breadwinner Moms”

Details:  A record 40% of households with children include “breadwinner moms,” according to a report out today. These moms are the sole or primary source of income for households with children younger than 18, a Pew Research Center analysis finds. Theanalysis looked at data from the U.S. Census Bureau. “The share of households with children where there is [Read More...]

One Woman Writes About Her “Uneasy Catholic Motherhood”

Here’s a snapshot of one kind of American Catholic mother, writer Mary Elizabeth Williams. From Salon:  It’s probably a lot easier if you’re certain. If you’re a firm atheist or a devout evangelical. But when you’re living a faith you love in an institution that regularly outrages you, it’s a little tougher. Especially when you’ve got [Read More...]

“Dear Parents With Young Children in Church…”

This popped up on my Facebook feed and I thought it too good to pass up — especially, since it touches on issues that have ignited passions here at The Bench. A snip: You are doing something really, really important. I know it’s not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came [Read More...]

Most States Report Big Drop in Teen Birth Rates

From AP: The nation’s record-low teen birth rate stems from robust declines in nearly every state, but most dramatically in several Mountain States and among Hispanics, according to a new government report. All states but West Virginia and North Dakota showed significant drops over five years. But the Mountain States of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada [Read More...]

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a three-year-old saying Mass—UPDATED

A friend in Florida sent this my way, with an explanation: Samuel Jaramillo from Medellin, Colombia; 3 yrs. old, orphan of both parents. Being raised by his grandmother, who attends daily Mass with him since he was a baby. On his wish list last Christmas – a Mass kit. And look what happened next.  And [Read More...]

PK: The challenges of being a preacher’s kid

I’m sure there are children of deacons and priests who can relate to this, too. From Religion News Service: The day Franklin Graham was born, he received a telegram. “Welcome to this sin-sick world,” the Western Union message said, “and to the challenge you have to walk in your daddy’s footsteps.” It didn’t take long [Read More...]

Screaming babies II: “The comments really saddened me…”—UPDATED

The reader who started it all, and wrote to ask why people don’t take crying babies out of church, dropped me a line yesterday: Thank you for posting my questions; I really do appreciate it, as do a few of my priest-friends who are also wondering what more they have to do to get parents [Read More...]


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