A Vindication of the Rites of Whores: Rumer Godden’s “Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy”

When I asked people to recommend books about life in religious communities, this (as well as Godden's In This House of Brede) was one of the most frequent responses. It's a story set among the Dominican Sisters of Bethany, whose charism involves prison ministry--and so many of the sisters are themselves former criminals, what we'd call "ex-offenders" or "returning citizens." These are I think the same nuns you see in Robert Bresson's terrific nun-noir The Angels of Sin. (This is the Bresson for … [Read more...]

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A Survey of “Missionary Kids”–Fascinating Even if You’re NOT a Parent

but maybe especially interesting for parents seeking to raise their kids as disciples. Missionaries' children aren't the only ones facing some of these pressures. Just some really powerful words here about faith and its challenges: You may wonder why I ran this survey. I am an adult MK and, like so many others, “wouldn’t give it up for the world.” In my full-time work, I teach and mentor MKs of all ages and, perhaps most importantly, advocate for them with the missions that send them … [Read more...]

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“The Surprising History of the Catholic Church’s Circus Priests”: The Washington Post

although really, every Catholic priest is a circus, yes? Before I left the center ring of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’s Blue Unit traveling troupe, Father Frank Cancro handed me a postcard. On the front was Mary, her arms outstretched, with a multicolored shawl draping down from her hands like a circus tent. A lion, a tiger and a dancing dog were at her feet, with a clown, an acrobat, a juggler and others contained within the safety of her tent. They all stood on a star, at … [Read more...]

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Justin Lee’s Final Post in Our Dialogue on Relationships for Gay Christians

is up:...Of course, respect does not mean agreement. Eve and I still disagree on several things. Eve believes the church needs to do more to recognize non-romantic forms of love, and I agree with that. It’s important for all of us, and especially for those who are celibate—by choice or by circumstance. But I don’t think that’s a sufficient answer to the challenges gay Christians face. As I argued in my original article, I believe romantic love is also a critically important part of the puzzl … [Read more...]

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My Final Post in Dialogue w/Justin Lee About Relationships for Gay Christians

here you go:I've greatly appreciated Justin's contributions to this dialogue. I don't expect this to be “the final word”—and I'm sorry these posts have been so long!—but let me try to give a bit more of a sense of where I'm coming from. Here are five things. What we long for. I generally write about the paths of love that are open to gay or same-sex attracted Catholics. That's because they are so much more varied and more fruitful than I realized when I became Catholic. I wish people had tol … [Read more...]

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Wesley Hill on Unchosen Sacrifice

and being gay and Christian: ...Julie and I both know that Christian churches and communities are often toxic places for LGBT people. Drawing only from my own small circle of gay friends, I could share stories of jobs denied, friendships lost, promotions refused and hospitality qualified — all because of what Julie describes, rightly, as “straight up homophobia.”And yet I’m not sure that such tragedies are the result of the traditional Christian teaching on marriage and sex in and of itself. … [Read more...]

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“Religious and Gay: A Catholic-Mormon Dialogue, Part 4″

lol someday I'll post about something else: What have you found interesting about each others’ answers? What was unexpected, enlightening? How might you try to apply things you have learned in your life and/or faith community?EVE: I really want to hear more about the extended family and ritual adoption in Mormonism! Is there a movement to bring back ritual adoption? What obstacles might that face, what new problems might arise, how is Mormon ritual adoption different from adelphopoeisis a … [Read more...]

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