#Synod14 – Prostitute Nation and a Jar of Perfume

If you want to understand the clerical food fight portion of this month's Synod on the Family, what you need to know about is sexting.Not the Catholic kind, the other kind.Your must-read article for this month is The Atlantic's feature Why Kids Sext.  It's long, and you should read the whole thing.Points to ponder as you do so:Louisa County is normal America.  There's nothing "different" that explains why there was suddenly a website full of students' naked images running on I … [Read more...]

The Go-to Guide for New and Struggling Catechists Now Out in Kindle

Something fun: I was putting together my author bio for the 2015 CatholicMom.com Gospel Reflections e-book, and discovered my catechist book is now out in Kindle.  Woohoo! Pretty cool, huh?  That makes me high-tech and stuff, right?If you know a religious education teacher who's floundering big time, this book is your answer.  It's short, readable, and gives you step-by-step methods that anyone can use to put together a passable Sunday school class.Yes! Even at your cra … [Read more...]

#Synod14 – In Which Justice & Mercy Try Dating for a Bit

The overall theme of this month's Extraordinary Synod on the Family seems to be this: Catholics stink at being Catholic.  No, really, we're terrible at it.  Now what?The specific topic is everything that has to do with family life, marriage residing at the heart of that.  It turns out Catholics, like the rest of the world, aren't any better at marrying than we are at, say, remembering to read the parish bulletin.  And yet, weirdly, we still long for a deep, lasting, soul-rousing relationship … [Read more...]

BREAKING: St. Paul Comments on the Synod for the Family

For those who are curious about the 2014 Synod of the Family, today's first reading gives you a preview of what to expect: Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians 1:6-12Brothers and sisters:I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other tha … [Read more...]

If You Have to Ask, “Is that the Church?” It’s Time to Call an Architect

Last month I had the chance to visit Fr. Dwight Longenecker's parish, Our Lady of the Rosary in Greenville, SC.   Google Maps was mostly-faithful, and I found the parish school without too much trouble.  I was a little early for Mass, but figured I'd park where the other people were parking, then wander around until I found the church.What was I looking for?  The school buildings were a classic collection done in the style of Low-Slung Mid-Century Frugal Southerner, complete with outdoor wal … [Read more...]

Be Catholic: Fight the Tyranny of “Fitting In”

My latest at New Evangelizers is up: Catholicism is for People Who Don't Fit In.Funny story: The other week at confirmation class, my kid won a gift card to Zaxby's for being able to define and explain the word "Catholic."  Important concept for a group of 9th graders thinking they might want to commit to this Jesus thing after all.  It's not a club.  It's not a lunch table you get to sit at. It is understandable that we might seek out a place where we fit in.  Who doesn’t want to find “our” … [Read more...]

In the Face of Such Evil, the Only Thing Left is Hope

For those who know what such a thing is, the theme around my corner of the Catholic world over the past few weeks has been Spiritual Warfare 101.  I don't have any particular talent for that fight, so it ends up about as unlovely as any other battlefield.You may be finding yourself on similarly unlovely territory just now.Despairing.  What is the point? How to continue in the face of this latest news, that latest turn of events? *** Meanwhile, my monthly Gospel reflection ran earlier t … [Read more...]