Something Useful: Cursive Worksheet Generator – You Specify the Text

What I'm thinking about today is . . . cursive.  This site rescued a child of mine this morning: Cursive Handwriting Practice Worksheet Generator.  You can make your own custom sheets with whatever letters, words, or sentences you like.  It's free to use for your private, educational use. … [Read more...]

Doing Something Right, Episode 2: Church Music

At my house tonight . . . Middle Schooler: What Mass are we going to tomorrow? Spouse: 9AM. Me: Are you singing both Masses then? Spouse: I dunno. Middle Schooler: Are we singing the Whitbourn? Spouse: Yes. Middle Schooler: Then I want to sing both Masses. And people say kids don't dig contemporary church music like the adults credit: Wikimedia … [Read more...]

The Immaculate Conception: More Good News than Your Enemies Want to Admit

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, is a holy day of obligation in the United States, which means you need to go Mass.  Answering some common questions:Dr. Ed Peters, Canon Lawyer, explains that no, you mustn't try to kill two birds with one stone by counting a Sunday evening Mass as both your Sunday Mass and your Vigil of the Immaculate Conception Mass. But he adds, any two masses (on the appropriate dates / times) will do, even if the Mass you assisted at wasn't … [Read more...]

To Make Things Beautiful is to Make Yourself Human


In time for the Advent Wreath link-up at, my daughter put together this for us:She had to use boiling water to clean out the votive holders of the old crusted-on wax, left over after salvaging the burned-out candles and melting them down with a splash of vanilla extract to make herself a scented candle.Then she painted the inside bottom of each newly-cleaned votive glass either purple or pink, and put in a tea light.  She found a copper plate from my parents' circa-1970 … [Read more...]

Well Hello, Advent. We Meet Again.

Someone reminded me it was Advent this Sunday.  Yikes.But it doesn't have to be that bad, and indeed it should not be, as Simcha reminds us.  Here are our plans for 2014, thrown out there not as an example to emulate, but so that you can have that sordid Catholic reality-show experience without needing cable. 1. The Great Advent vs. Christmas Debate Left to my own devices, I'd cover my house in a giant purple tarp and not come out until midnight on the 24th/25th.  Which is why I have to be … [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...]

#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...]