When Will My Work as a Catechist Bear Fruit?

The following letter regarding religious education recently came to the Patheos inbox: Dear Anchoress,I was asked to teach CCD to third graders making their First Reconciliation and First Communion. I am not a teacher. . .but having coached CYO (10-12-year-olds), and also having children (now adults), I agreed.I have been trying since September to “get into it.” I prepare each week, sometimes for over a few hours. There are eleven kids in the class. They mostly show up, [but] if there is … [Read more...]

Don’t Bury Us Alive!– How the Priest Shortage and Parish Closures Affect Religious Education

Our small-ish rural parish recently lost its resident priest. We now have a Parish Life Coordinator (PLC) who is a Sister from a nearby convent, and we share a priest with another nearby parish.Many fear that these measures are just the first step in the ultimate closure of our parish. The Archdiocese asked us to combine as many programs as possible with our sister parish, and to look at further means of cutting expenditures. One of the first things our PLC did** was fire our Director of … [Read more...]

Becoming More Human


With special thanks to Jen at Conversion Diary for recalling this old post from 2009, I'm giving it another run.   Celebrity cellist, Yo-Yo Ma performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra this week. Tickets sold out many months in advance, so sitting at home rather than in concert finery, I’ve been inclined to read the reviews. Raving positive, they can only be, or Indianapolis may never see such a headliner again, but our local classical music reviewer (I’ll … [Read more...]

Choosing to Serve One Master


I decided to quit writing in my current journal because I didn't like the way it felt under hand. I was avoiding writing due to an inadequate tool. It felt indulgent to leave half the pages blank and call it finished, but there was a liberation there too. If something really is not working, you've got to start fresh. I've often forced myself to write in tiny print, often doubling up per line, filling all pages front and back so as not to waste paper, but I've given myself permission to double … [Read more...]

SoulCore: A Mary-led, Spirit-led Workout

About a month ago, a dear friend of mine had a birthday. To celebrate with her we went to the SoulCore studio on the Northside of Indianapolis and experienced the SoulCore workout, which pairs core strengthening exercises with meditation on the Rosary.I was so captivated by the project--which got me back into the habit of saying the daily Rosary--and also with the story of how it came to fruition, I wrote it up. The story is in the Washington Post, On Faith blog today: Natural light streams … [Read more...]

Living Faith, Daily Catholic Devotions


Just a quick note to let you know I've written a few short meditations for Living Faith/ Daily Catholic Devotions, which is both a print and online periodical featuring the daily Mass readings and related prayer.Here's one from yesterday, March 4, 2014: God Working in Me, and there are more to come. You may enjoy checking out their devotions online each day, which feature the meditations of writers far more thoughtful than I. It could be a nice addition to any Lenten observance.Wishing y … [Read more...]

“You Have No Idea What Your Life Will Be Like Tomorrow…”


...You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.--(Letter of Saint James 4:13-17)  I had another near-death water experience in California. I'm trying to be circumspect about it, because this time, I was the one who needed help--and it was very difficult for me to assess exactly how much danger I was really in.One minute I was zooming into shore on the boogie board, the next I was in a current I couldn't get out of. A man on the beach whistled at … [Read more...]