Notre Dame Professor Demonstrates What’s Wrong with Catholic Education – UPDATED

(Scroll down to the bottom for updates.)Apparently you can be a professor in the theology department at Notre Dame, and think that: The religious teaching of complementarity holds that men and women have very different roles in life and in marriage, with men outranking women in most areas. No.  Just no.To get you started, a few notes from the Catechism on the dignity of the human person: Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds … [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...]

From Butler’s Lives: If the Lion Won’t Behave, It Will Have to Live Elsewhere

PEG suggested I share some examples of why I think the old Butler's Lives is the best thing going.  Here's an excerpt from today, December 5th, from the life of St. Sabas: Among the stories told of St. Sabas is that he once lay down to sleep in a cave that happened to be the den of a lion.  When the beast came in it clawed hold of the monk's clothes and dragged him outside.  Nothing perturbed, Sabas returned to the cave and eventually reduced the lion to a considerable degree of friendliness.  B … [Read more...]

Which Saint Book Do You Want for Christmas? This One.

Leah Libresco asks, "So, where should a gal go to meet some saints?" I replied in her combox, but others might have the same question.  What you want, my brave and geeky friend, is the old 1956 edition of Butler's Lives of Saints.  As I told Leah: You do not want the updated (sanitized) bazillion-volume paperback thing, which is desperately bland.The 1956, in contrast, combines piety with deadpan academic wit in a way you just won't find anywhere. Plus: Hundreds upon hundreds of obscure ea … [Read more...]

World Finance Executives Warn Vatican: Don’t Change a Thing – UPDATED

UPDATED 12/12/2014 - Though I tagged this as "Satire" apparently it was mistaken for actual news.  My apologies.  One of the officials I originally "cited" requested I pull his name, as apparently the article was generating concerns from readers who thought the poor guy had in fact contacted the Holy Father.  I gamely substituted a different randomly-chosen character to fill the slot. I assure you, even if world financial leaders are urging the Pope to reconsider this "financial transparency" 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...]