Christian Community Renewal for Ordinary Moms

This story is for Melanie Bettinelli, who is far more thoughtful than I am, and her house is in better order.So just before Thanksgiving this year, me and another mom got an invitation.  We had a new friend who we'd met because our daughters played sports together and liked each other.  And she said, "I'd like to have you over to do a Thanksgiving craft with us."We said yes, even though we were not really looking for Thanksgiving crafts, but we knew that friendship and community life is i … [Read more...]

How Do You Build a Community of Disciples Who Observe Catholic Liturgical Culture Together?

Earlier, I answered Melanie Bettinelli's post on the challenge of communal feast day observances with a calendar: Here's what we do to observe the liturgical year at our house.  If you read through my litany, you'll see that we enjoy a combination of private celebrations, parish-centered celebrations, and many observances involving a small community of Catholic (and other) friends.  We are, in all, quite blessed.  I didn't answer her deeper question, which is, "How do we get there?"She wr … [Read more...]

Liturgical Living: What Does It Look Like At Your House? – Updated

UPDATED with the bit about Fridays and Solemnities.Melanie Bettinelli writes about the awkwardness of trying to observe the Catholic holidays throughout the year when you have no community and no traditions for doing so.  Interestingly, I knew right away what the story was with the tangerines, though I was scandalized to learn there are people who don't love them. More for us, I suppose.Prompted by Melanie's post, I thought I'd run through what our typical year of feasting looks like. … [Read more...]

Just Came Home from a Fabulous Epiphany Party

Wishing you many happy returns of the day, and I have to report we had a lovely one, organized by a brave friend.  What we did:About a half-dozen families, meaning a couple dozen kids, turned out at the parish gym (event sponsored by a parish group). We decorated a bit on the theme, just enough to make it festive. Kids played soccer until we were mostly gathered and ready to start. Quick grace and then potluck lunch. A few more families trickled in during lunch. We had a King Cake, but … [Read more...]

So, Jennifer, How Do You, Ahem, Pray?

Over at Tom McDonald's blog today, you can find out all kinds of things about how I pray.Something I mention but don't elaborate on there, because I didn't want to overwhelm a perfectly good blog:The reason writing is so bad for praying is that there's always a story or an argument in my head, and it can absolutely own me.  Arguments aren't too terribly bad, in that you can get away with sort of "bringing them to the Lord," which is part prayerful reflection and part excuse to keep … [Read more...]

Friends in High Places: Get Yourself a Saint for 2015

Matchmaking time.  Jen Fulwiler's Patron Saint Generator is up and running. If you haven't done so already, go get yourself an assigned saint for 2015.I did this in 2014, and got Don Bosco on my case.  We had started out with a rocky relationship some years ago, so I was a tad nervous when we were paired last winter.  But we've come to an understanding and we're friends now.Still, I had to hold my breath when I clicked the button this year, because I'm always secretly afraid I'll get so … [Read more...]

10 Reasons It’s Safe to Come to Mass this Christmas

You've no doubt seen Saturday Night Live's chillingly (hilariously) accurate tour of what you can expect at Mass this Christmas, but you might still be thinking, Hmmn.  Is it really a good idea for someone like me to go to place like that?  With Jesus in it and stuff?The answer is yes.  Here are my top ten reasons why:10. It really is the Church for anybody at all.  There might be other religions where you're expected to have your act together from day one.  Catholics, on the other hand, … [Read more...]