How My Parish Youth Group Helped Me Leave the Catholic Faith

Every week at Mass, I see this really nice couple.  I think we first met in about 1990 or so, because their daughter was part of the crowd I ran with in high school.  She and I were in our Catholic parish's youth group together, and we had mutual friends at school.  I went to their house once for a post-dance party.  I met the parents again a few years ago -- we'd both long since moved from our old town, and now happened to run into each other at our current parish.  And the news was this: Their … [Read more...]

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Scantily Clad Teenage Dancer Friends on Facebook

From the inbox, a question re: Discussing Modesty from a friend who said he'd be willing to see it answered on the blog.  Here's the original question: Hi Jen,Being of a similar mindset on Faith and parenting (and having the common Family Honor reference point between us), I have a question for you (and your husband)? I have a Catholic friend who is a marginally-involved Catholic who has a daughter who is VERY into dance. She's 13, tours the country in various dance competitions, and all this … [Read more...]

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The Real Presence and My Reversion to the Catholic Faith

My reversion to the Catholic faith was in some ways launched in full force when I was on a trip to San Antonio, touring about, and failed to feel the presence of God upon entering a Catholic Church.  I tell the whole story here, and here's the bit about Texas:But I wasn’t really happy.  I spent several years trying this and that in the spiritual cafeteria.  We attended the local Unitarian Universalist congregation, but it never really took.  On a trip to San Antonio I discovered the depth of … [Read more...]

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Gay Marriage & Employment in the Archdiocese of Miami

Kathy Schiffer reports that the Archbishop of Miami has laid out his response to the recent legalization of gay marriage in Florida:Archbishop Thomas Wenski, archbishop of Miami, has warned archdiocesan employees that any action in support of Florida’s now-legal same-sex marriage could cost them their jobs. “Because of the Church’s particular function in society,” the archbishop wrote, “certain conduct, inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, could lead to disciplinary action … [Read more...]

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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...]

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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...]

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What to Do When Your Child is Denied Communion

Here's the story:  Christmas morning at Mass we were doing really good, not getting fussy that the church was a tiny bit crowded, not complaining about the hymns (which were good, so that was easy), even thinking about Jesus and stuff.  I received Communion.  As I was walking back to my seat, I sensed a disturbance in the force.  I glanced back, and there's my kid, standing before the Blessed Sacrament, and she looks like she's about to burst into tears.  Not in a way that would impress the hagio … [Read more...]

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