The Theology of Suffering Questions the Benedict Option

Allow me to tell you a story. A few years ago, I went through the worst period of my life so far, a time of personal suffering that I pray to God I never will have to through again. A painful divorce resulted in a move away from my children so that I could get a job that would cover their insurance. I gave up friends and a sixteen year career as a Presbyterian minister to enter the Catholic Church.Needless to say, I didn't enter the church with a shout of triumph, profound theological … [Read more...]

Introducing Brian Jocks, Sick Pilgrim’s Illustrator

Louisiana artist Brian Jocks will be contributing original illustrations to the Dark Devotional, Sick Pilgrim's weekly meditations on the Mass readings.Sick Pilgrim ("a decidedly dark and offbeat, yet stubbornly hopeful blog founded by misfit Catholic writers") is meant to be a platform for artists. As a blog, most of the artists we've gathered are writers, and we’ve been excited to feature so many (with more than 60 guest posts in our first year online), each with a unique voi … [Read more...]

And The Title For The Sick Pilgrim Book Is….

  Jess: What do you think we should name our book? Jonathan: I dunno, what do you think we can get away with? Jess: Hmm, how about, Strange Journey: How Two Homesick Pilgrims Stumbled Back Into the Catholic Church? Jonathan: Jess, they'll never go for it. Jess: ... Loyola Press: Hey, we actually came up with the subtitle, so we love it! All: (Much Rejoicing) Fin Coming Fall 2017  in book outlets everywhere from Loyola Press  … [Read more...]

Spooky Pilgrim Ghost Stories: Julia’s Tale

Sick Pilgrim reader Julia Kriz Dzierma sent in today's totally true ghost story. If you want to submit your own, email Jonathan at authorjryan@gmail.comIn October 2011, my mom and I went to a family gathering. My mom’s favorite cousin, Carol, related to my mom and me a story that happened that past summer. I'd never heard anything like this before from what I would consider to be a likely legitimate source.Carol had a cousin on the other side of her family named Dennis, who went by De … [Read more...]

Why Are Your Kids Leaving the Church? They’re Materialist Magicians

As someone who watches Catholic media for a living, it's hard to ignore the mass panic among various outlets about young people leaving the church. A recent article in OSV illustrates the point. In response to those surveys, people try to come up with different answers for how to address the problem.  A variety of solutions have been proposed. Many people think making the church more "relevant" is the answer. In an article for U.S. Catholic, Jess vehemently disagreed. I'm not against that ide … [Read more...]

Resistance is our Charism: Why Sick Pilgrims are Catholic rebels with a cause

People are always asking what Sick Pilgrim is about and what we want to accomplish. It would be great to say we had all this planned out and a vision for how it would go. We didn't. Not really. We just knew we were different--square pegs--and we wanted to find the others who were like us. But in the months following, we've stepped back and looked at what we are, what we want Sick Pilgrim to be about and where want it to go.Vision statements aren't very Catholic, to be honest. Neither are … [Read more...]