Something Beautiful for Christmas: Marriage, Faith & Alzheimer’s by Larry Peterson

Up at Catholic Writers Guild today, Larry Peterson is stealing the show with his beautiful essay on his first Christmas with Alzheimer's under the tree: The past ten years of her life seem to have literally vanished from her brain. She does not remember us getting married. (We were both widowed and married eight years ago. She has no clue.) So she asks me if we are really married. I show her our marriage license and pictures from our wedding. She is shocked. “I can’t believe it, ” she says. We r … [Read more...]

Are You Smarter than a Notre Dame Theologian? Episode 2, IVF Edition

Tom McDonald pointed me to this article, co-authored by Joel Baden and Candida Moss -- the latter being a professor in the Theology Department at Notre Dame University.  Who doesn't know Catholic moral theology.  Let's walk through the article and compare Notre Dame vs. The Catholic Church. In 2011, Emily Herx was teaching English at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She was also having trouble getting pregnant, so she began in vitro fertilization treatments. When she i … [Read more...]

PSA: 100% of Condom Failures Occur During those “Fertile Days”

 The Atlantic reports on the increased use of fertility-awareness methods of family planning, especially among us educated-types.  Quick caution if you read the article, take a look at this quote and put on your thinking cap: Every morning when she wakes up, Becca, a college student in Pennsylvania, puts a teardrop-shaped thermometer called the Daysy under her tongue. If it lights up green, she knows that day she and her boyfriend can have sex without a condom. If it’s red or yellow, th … [Read more...]

Finding Modest Clothes for Hard-to-Fit Teens and Tweens + my Compendium of Modesty Chat

At this week, we continue the conversation about modesty by getting into the ugly part: How exactly do you find modest clothes for kids who were never that easy to shop for anyway?  My big three tips, summarized:Consider size a starting point, not a constraint. Shop everywhere anyone sells clothes, and then some. Don't be afraid to wield a safety pin in due season.I flesh it out and give you a little pep talk, including a bit about how to avoid mortifying your … [Read more...]

Gay and Catholic: What’s Not to Love?

Eve Tushnet's new book Gay and Catholic is this month's Patheos book club book, so you can see a pile of reviews and comments here.  I give it a nearly-unqualified Buy recommend. What is this book? Gay and Catholic is a combination memoir, meditation, and how-to manual for both Catholics who experience same-sex attraction and the people who love them (or ought to).  Think Catholic Nerd Girl's heart-to-heart about life, the Church, and everything.  It's funny, it's literary, and there's som … [Read more...]

Adultery is Not the Only Option: Five Things You Can Do to Keep Your Vows Intact

Deacon Greg Kandra writes about a recent NY Times piece on priests who forsake their vows, and the women who help them do it.  You would think from the way people talk that there's something about a man in holy orders that just makes him irresistible. It's as if there's a force field emanating from that Roman collar that disables free will: Don't get too close, ladies, or you might have no choice but to fall in love! Well, the don't get too close part may be true, anyway.  But that's not bec … [Read more...]

You know you’ve done *something* right when . . .

. . . We're in the truck, and the middle-schooler makes some remark to me mentioning birth control -- comment on the news, an advertisement, something a friend said, I can't remember what.  Eight-year-old eavesdropper in the back seat asks, "What's birth control?"I avoid choking and give a low-key answer, along the lines of, "It's a drug or device used to make it so your body can't have babies, or has a hard time having babies."End of discussion, we move on, middle-schooler picks up with … [Read more...]