That viral video of the interrupted professor? I don’t think it’s funny.

It crowded my newsfeed on Friday, accompanied by many “LOLs” and my favorite “laughing to the point of tears” emoji.Robert E. Kelly, a political science professor based in South Korea, was being interviewed live on BBC from his home office when his toddler opened the door and bounded in, followed by a baby sibling in a walker.The professor reaches back with one arm and attempts to push the toddler away, while continuing to look into the camera and attempts to answer the questio … [Read more...]

Road Trip Homilies: Wounded Knee and the Snake Givers

As I walked along a sandy path in Badlands National Park, I noticed a sign warning me to "Beware of Rattlesnakes." The wind stinging my cheeks reminded that even if the snakes decided to brave the cold, they'd be sluggish and unlikely to bite.  Still, as I walked, I listened for the tell tale "rattttttttttetattatt" and prepared myself to leap out of the way.For some reason, I couldn't get snakes out of my mind as I drove to the Pine Ridge Reservation located south of Badlands. I'd taken this … [Read more...]

Why Are We So Afraid of Mercy and Our Own Heretical Little Hearts?

As I sort through the events of the past few months, I've tried to figure out what bothers me the most about the Trump presidency and what it's revealed about Catholics and Christians in America. Every time I think I've pinpointed the problem, it vanishes into the air. Sure, I'm bothered by the misogyny, the myopic views of pro-birthers, and the barely disguised hatred of Muslims. But, every time I pick up my computer to write about these things, something stops me, prompting me to go … [Read more...]

The Grand Canyon by Wheelchair

Maybe I missed out on a fundamental aspect of being a Cajun. Maybe my ancestors roll over in their graves when I admit this.I’m not a big fan of Mardi Gras.I can pretend it’s because of a noble reason - that the modern celebration of Mardi Gras has little to do with the authentic celebration of feasting before the long Lenten fast preceding Easter.The truth though is that Mardi Gras brings out two of my worst enemies as an awkward introvert - large crowds and loud inebriation - all fo … [Read more...]

Advent: The Catholic Church IS the Rebellion

A few days ago, I was talking about the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One (which I loved) when someone asked, rather sarcastically, if Jess and I see Sick Pilgrim as our own "little rebellion" against the Catholic Church. I responded, without thinking too deeply about my answer, "Why would I want to rebel against the very thing I gave up everything, and I mean everything, to join three years ago? That would be insane."Later, I thought about her question and I understood it a little better. … [Read more...]

Adventures of an Agnostic in the Weird World of Catholicism

 When my roommates first told me that they were going to get time off their Purgatory sentence by going to confession, praying for the Pope’s intentions, and walking through a holy door in a church downtown, I didn’t know what to do with my face. I asked a lot of questions that night.I’m a volunteer in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and I often feel like a fraud because I don’t believe in God. I want to, but I don’t. With my Gideon bible and plastic rosary hanging as decoration on my mir … [Read more...]

“Thanks” Keeping Us Alive – November

This month...this year...has been a trying time for many of us us. And we at Sick Pilgrim are well-acquainted with shadows and loss.Yet, we are not a people of despair. Sick Pilgrim knows the reality of struggling against the dark - and we are not afraid to tackle despair, loneliness, brokenness, anger. We do so because these are realities of life too often brushed under the rug.But we are people of hope. Sometimes we need a nudge to remind ourselves; sometimes we are in danger of being … [Read more...]

Looking for the Feast

Our family had an unusual Thanksgiving this year. Burnt out from a busy autumn, and trying to bounce back from weeks spent fighting colds, my husband and I decided to keep things simple: no houseguests, no turkey. I was seriously considering just crashing in front of the TV with ham sandwiches when our neighbors asked us to go with them to Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant. Good company, no hosting, and a turkey dinner with no cooking sounded good to us, so we accepted their invitation, and at … [Read more...]

The Broken Body of Christ at the Border

Last month, I attended Mass at the border; I was part of a community of believers uniting around bread and wine miraculously made into flesh and blood.I was on the Mexican side, sitting on a concrete street curb next to another Catholic sister. Together we were a color pop in the assembly: we stuck out in our bright turquoise T-shirts declaring “Catholic Sisters for Compassionate Immigration Reform.” Nearby sat our friend, Br. David, a Franciscan Capuchin, bearing witness in his dusty brown h … [Read more...]

Hot Mess Hospitality: Against the Art-Directed Life

There are two truths I must tell you.I have to tell you that I have wept with laughter over #PinterestFails and things of this kind. I simply adore them. They are one of the best, most concrete examples of “real world meets fantasy world” that I know of.Putting cellphone shots of failed Pinterest projects alongside the professional-quality images that inspired their creation is like taking a random male model and putting him next to one of the dads from the bus stop. It reminds me of Bil … [Read more...]