About Jennifer Fitz

Jennifer Fitz is the homeschooling mother of four fantabulous children, and author of Classroom Management for Catechists. When she isn't blogging, teaching, or complaining about something, she likes to play outside.

Understanding the Catholic Blogosphere 101

In response to a private conversation lamenting some of the unrelenting negativity that can infect the Catholic internet, my response: Everything is so, so local. If you live in one of the black holes of the Church, you think everything is a black hole. If you live in one of the hopeful areas, you think things are hopeful.So what happens is that everyone living in the holes finds each other on the internet, and says, "Yes! That's what I'm seeing too!"Add into that the variations of … [Read more...]

The Antidote to both Clericalism and Nostalgia . . .

. . . is a thorough reading of the lives of the saints.  Don't pick up one of those sweet-tart packets of platitudes people try to pass off as hagiography.  What you want, if you wish to understand the Church and understand the nature of the Faith, is Butler's Lives, the big version.  Here are excerpts from the life St. Beatus of Liebana, who died circa 798, and whose feast came around just recently: . . . there was at Toledo an aged archbishop called Elipandus, who had been infected by that su … [Read more...]

Christian Community and the Loss of Penance

In a private forum, someone asked why Catholics don't talk about acts of penance so much anymore.  Why so little discussion of fasting, self-denial, self-mortification, and the like?  It's out of vogue.I floated a thought or two (summary: I'm Exhibit A for Poor Penitential Performance), and someone came back with the observation that penance is something we're expected to do all on our own. It's not communal.I replied: I think that's true. We have all kinds of self-chosen suffering tha … [Read more...]

Understanding Low-Literacy Cultures: My Living History Tea Experiment

I'm home sick today with something normal for a change, sore throat, which means I have to get into the box of Korean teas a friend of mine keeps me supplied in, because I have awesome friends this way.So here's something: I never really understoood low-literacy cultures.  I'd read about kings who could barely read, or not at all, and I'd scratch my head and think, "Um, how does that work?  I mean, what did he do with his library card?"  When I'd think about people going through life not read … [Read more...]

What Makes a Good Penance? 3 Tips for Mid-Lent Adjustments

Good news: If your Lent needs some improvement, there's no law that you can't adjust your personal penance mid-stream. Here are a few things I've found helpful for ordinary Catholics to consider when figuring out whether a chosen penance is realistic or not: 1.  Is it consistent with my state in life? A lot of spiritual writing is done by people who aren't, say, on call 24/7 caring for young children.  While it is good to examine your responsibilities and ask whether you need to adjust your pr … [Read more...]

Five Reasons I Love Ashtags. Actually Six. And a Youtube Video.

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I know these people who don't love ashtags.  People like Monique Ocampo, who is even giving up selfies for Lent.  I get it, but I am not these people.  Five reasons, six for the intrepid, and the first one will shock you:Reason #1: I like people.I particularly like the people I'm friends with on social media.  So I like to see photos of them.  It makes me happy to be able to see you with your cat, or your birthday cake, or your brand new, freshly-repentant ashes.  It's like getting Christ … [Read more...]

Atheism, Beauty, and the Loss of Penance

My young daughter, whose cuteness makes her look even younger, sat on the stool at the jewelry store, stone still, waiting for the two gloved salesladies to punch holes through her earlobes on the count of three.  Stoic child, but if you can read her you knew she was nervous.  This was something she wanted, very much wanted.  She knew it would hurt, because we all reminded her of that fact, repeatedly.  She also knew two other things: Her older sister had done it and she was just fine now, and th … [Read more...]


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