Catholics of the Year

Too much coffee this morning, already, and it’s only 10 am. I have no complete thoughts, but lots of little ones. I’ll lay em out.



A young guy drove up our driveway Saturday morning to bring us the latest good news from the Johovah chapel around the corner from us, and my husband let him know how on board we already are with the Good News by telling him, “No thanks. We’re Catholic.”

The man said, “Can I just leave you with…”

“How about if you get the hell off our property,” answered my husband.

This exchange was reported back to me when I came home from the grocery to find the kids circling the patio on their bikes snarling at each other: “We’re Catholic! Get the hell out of here!”

This is why a Protestant friend of mine came home from a mission trip to South America years ago, mourning for the poor Catholics down there who don’t know Jesus. Everyone she asked, “Are you Christian?” answered, “No, we’re Catholic.” I wonder how many of them also cussed her out.



I’d talked my husband into going to an art fair that afternoon. My parents were watching the kids for the duration, and since we had a fundraising event that night as well, I’d picked out an outfit that really did not match my husband’s when we met each other at the car.

I was overdressed. Arguably, he was underdressed. And after a quick and fruitless entreaty for him to upgrade his jeans, I decided to downgrade the lace skirt.

This almost always happens when we’re heading out somewhere. My idea of a great day off is getting dressed to go somewhere. His is getting undressed at home. I’ve envisioned how everything is going to look for days leading up to that moment of departure, and inevitably, at the last minute, it’s not as pretty as I’d hoped it would be.



So we were a little off balance from the get-go. Then we couldn’t find a parking space at the art fair, and words were exchanged between my husband and a man who wanted to charge for parking in the street in front of his house. And I was like, “Ok. This is fun. We’re fasting for world peace. Let’s see how many people we can cuss out today.”



Art fair cost twenty bucks a person to enter, plus parking, and it was already half over, so we decided to can it. It was about 4 o’clock and I knew there had to be Confession somewhere which I needed to do, so we found a church where there was both Confession and Adoration.

After that, splendidly, my husband and I were on the same page.



We linked arms, and grabbed our one meal of the day and headed to the fundraising event which was for Wine to Water. You bring a bottle of wine to share, and write a check to dig wells in areas that lack clean water.

So, just to add to my list of first world problems for the day: My fast went really well until I was drunk.

And that happened fast, because see, I’d been fasting, and was empathetic to the plight of all the thirsty people in the world. Honestly, I barely knew what hit me. Red wine on a hot day.

The holy spirits really opened up my wallet, at least. I suppose that’s a good thing.



So, you know, not the best Catholics in the world: Prayer, fasting, almsgiving, cussing, fighting, drinking. I don’t know. I just don’t know anything.



Might as well close with a bit of Phariseeism: At least I’m not as bad as these people.

Actually, I probably am.

Quick takes–for married people
Quick Takes
Quick Takes: Lose/ Lose Situations of the Day
Quick Takes: Fights, Flies, and the Sleep of all Sleeps
About Elizabeth Duffy
  • Kim Whelan

    Love this post! I often have days like this!

  • TheReluctantWidow

    Yes, cussing Catholic here. Such a poor witness. I need to remember when I have Protestant evangelizers on my doorstep to say, “Yes, we’re Catholic! Are you? Jesus loves you!” And re: #7, I am not sure I will post anything on FB again because when I see that post, it makes me seem petty about life. Sigh. So far to go in life!

  • joannekehoe

    Ha, this is fabulous! I love the image of your kids on the porch! We are all bad Catholics, and good Catholics too!

  • Matt

    I loved the story and fall into the same traps at times. Just saw your picture on the “about” page, and I was wondering… How long have you had that problem with your feet?

    • Elizabeth Duffy

      Makes it really hard to walk, I tell you, especially when I’m drunk.

      • Matt

        Given the position of the toes and knees, I’d assume you’d walk much better when intoxicated.

  • Sally Thomas

    Yeah, I ended my fast day by almost passing out on the elliptical machine at the Y and then having two beers, because I had fasted and worked out so hard and was so virtuous. I keep thinking that if we do go to war in Syria, it’s my fault.

    • Elizabeth Duffy

      Does make you wonder if the quality of one’s fast makes a difference, or just the intention.

  • Claire


  • MrsDBliss

    As one myself the thought that kept popping into my mind was – “surely your just an Irish Catholic?”

  • Sarah

    Smiling ear to ear Betty. I adore you!

  • Jacqueline Y.

    As a Catholic who used to be a Baptist, may I share what I do whenever door-to-door evangelists appear on my doorstep? After a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit, I smile and say, “Thank you very much, but I’m a Catholic, and I believe that the Catholic Church is the Church that Jesus founded.” I try to be courteous and confident and avoid long pointless discussions, but I often ask them “Were you raised as a (fill in the blank), or were you raised in the (xyz) faith? Often they were a poorly catechised or uncatechised Catholic, or the child of the same.
    I developed this approach after making many mistakes. I hope and pray that I’ve planted a few good seeds.