Finding My Way Back to Fatima, and Down the Road

“Tell everybody that God gives His graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask graces from her, . . . for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her.” ~ A message from the Lady of Fatima, according to Lucia Tomorrow is the optional Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, the 99th anniversary of the Lady’s first appearance to three children minding their sheep in a bowl-like vale on a dusty Portuguese afternoon. The children,… Read more

Depressed and Catholic: Learning It’s OK to Live

If you “live with major depression,” you understand what a paradoxical phrase that is. The disease of depression may not ever express itself in completed suicide, or even in attempts, plans, or ideation. But the voice of this disease is anti-life. And it is insidious as hell. Undiagnosed or untreated, we try to silence that YouWantToDieYouKnowYouDo brain elevator music with the people’s pharmacopeia of numbing agents: alcohol, sex, food, rock n roll, self-injury, drugs. The problem is they’re all little… Read more

No Good Guys, No Bad Guys: Fr Greg Boyle on the Policing We Need

I don’t know anybody who’s said this better. Whoever you are, whatever your politics or race or social status or experience with the competing forces of order and disorder in this broken world, please read Fr Greg Boyle SJ’s op-ed in yesterday’s LA Times. If we think crime is the vocabulary of the bad guy, then we deploy special troops to round up a bunch of them. Our default assessment of Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore, or the shooting of… Read more

5 Reasons Why Catholics (of All People!) Should Make Earth Day Holy

Today, Earth Day, should be a holy day of obligation for Catholics. That’s not exactly a majority opinion, I know. To look around the blogosphere this week, you’d get the notion that many Catholics consider Earth Day—and anything even vaguely approaching concern for non-human creation—to be a communist Hollywood pagan plot, a form of idolatry perpetrated by no less an antichrist than That Guy in the Vatican (cf. Maureen Mullarkey’s, um, malarkey at First Things). At the very least, it’s… Read more

What’s Really Wrong with Catholic Religious Education? Everything. UPDATED

[UPDATE: A year later, on the way to LA RE/Congress 2015, I’m still asking these questions. You don’t need to comment with last year’s arguments, many of which were convincing, once y’all realized I wasn’t serious about wiping children’s catechesis off the map. But I will be in Anaheim this year looking for signs that lifelong catechesis of adults is A Thing deserving of even half the energy we put into supplying training, resources, and networking support for making kids… Read more

The Cleaning Crew: 3 Advent Allies for Spiritual Warriors

So here I am, sitting in the clean and light-filled kitchen of my new apartment in Southern California, basking in the blessing of engaging in the simplest of pleasures that I had denied myself the worst of the hoarding. Making breakfast. Doing dishes. Taking a shower. Doing laundry, and hanging the clean clothes in an empty closet. Sleeping stretched out on a bed with clean sheets. Sweeping the floor. Seeing the floor. This week has been a glimpse of heaven,… Read more

The Meaning of Marriage: A Question of Standing

What, if anything, the Supreme Court decides on the marriage cases being argued today and tomorrow Read more

Cardinal Dolan: Neither Hypocrite nor Traitor, But Witness

Predictably, there’s been vehement reaction to the NY Times Sunday report that Catholic institutions in the Archdiocese of New York have had long-standing health care contracts that cover contraceptives and abortions for employees, in spite of Cardinal Dolan’s vigorous leadership of the fight against implementing the HHS Mandate. Read more

Lord, Make Me an Amateur Catholic

“Really?”  That’s my grandson’s new response to any parental pronouncement. It’s time for your bath. Let’s put away your toys. We’re out of tortillas. That ink doesn’t wash off. “Really?” Many of the big names in Catholic media—including my blogparents, The Anchoress and Deacon Greg Kandra—are gathering in Colorado this week to confer, converse, and otherwise hobnob with their fellow wizards at the Catholic Media Association gathering. Read more

Praying for St Lucy’s . . . and Mr B

What does it mean to provide a Catholic education? What are the challenges that commitment poses when Catholic teaching runs counter to societal norms and civil laws? Some young women in Glendora, CA, are getting a lesson in those challenges this month. And they’re not alone. I’m closely following the local news story about a Catholic school’s firing of a long-time, very popular teacher following the publicity surrounding his recent marriage to his same-sex partner. Media coverage is, predictably, heavily… Read more