A Musical Rosary: New Series–The Annunciation

Hey y'all. I decided to start this new series of very brief reflections on the mysteries of the rosary, linked to songs, so you end up with a kind of rosary playlist. We'll begin at the beginning, with the Annunciation. In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was gre … [Read more...]

The Pope and the Pregnancy Center

Last night I put in my two hours at the pro-life pregnancy center where I volunteer, and it was a real mixed bag. I know I did some good work, but I can't stop thinking about my first client, who needed something very different from what I initially tried to give her.Obviously I can't use any identifying details, but she was in her teens (and in fact explicitly called herself "a teen parent," as a shorthand for saying, "so you know that my life is kind of chaotic right now") and she was … [Read more...]

Let’s play You Should Be Grateful

When Wilde extended a hand, he made no move to take it. "Prayer is the only thing that can console you in this place, prisoner. I trust you understand that. Prayer and a true spirit of repentance." --Robert Reilly, The God of Mirrors (of which more later)There's a way of saying true things so that they become false, and a couple recent posts by Catholic women bloggers have drawn attention to one of those ways. First, here's Calah Alexander sharpening her fangs on a self-righteous article … [Read more...]

In which I look at ten years at a crisis pregnancy center (with extra links!)

First, my new article: For the past 10 years I’ve volunteered at the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, a pro-life Christian ministry in the troubled heart of Washington, D.C. Over this decade of listening to women in crisis, talking with them, helping them find the resources they need, praying with them, hugging them, sometimes inviting them into my home when they had no safe place to go, I’ve seen shifts in the culture of poor D.C. women. My own perspective has shifted as well. I wrote about my ea … [Read more...]

“The Death-Haunted Art of Friendship: Part III”

in a continuing series for Catholic Lane. Here I talk about friendship-as-kinship. I think the ending gets a little muddled--actually the whole piece could use some carding. What I want to say is both that the fragmentation of the family makes friendship and other forms of kinship all the more necessary and that friendship should support marriage rather than replacing it. … [Read more...]

“What does American ‘religiosity’ mean in practice?”

I ask, at AmCon. … [Read more...]

Kathryn Edin has a new book coming out!

about unwed fathers. This is my opportunity to tell you guys that 2008's Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage, by Edin and Maria Kefalas, is probably the best book I've read on contemporary marriage and family life. It's been incredibly illuminating for my work at the pregnancy center. It's also very moving, and you can really tell that Edin and Kefalas lived with the women they write about, shared the same neighborhoods and built relationships there. … [Read more...]


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