A Wee and Angry Word of Thanks to the Bishops? UPDATED

In my column at First Things today, I recount a bit of personal family history:My mother—let’s call her Alice—was born during the Depression to a couple who could neither hear nor speak, and were rather famous around Coney Island for their ability to initiate spontaneous parties and sustain them for whole weekends.They were the polar opposite of today’s “helicopter parents.” For them, parenting was not half as interesting as playing the ponies, their factory-shift work, or partying with t … [Read more...]

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Mothers of the Church

In the mail comes, Mothers of the Church: The Witness of Early Christian Women, by Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey. It's the follow-up to Aquilina's hugely popular book, The Fathers of the Church.A book of martyrs, mothers, abbesses, desert solitaries and (believe it or not) entrepreneurs who "left their mark on sacred history by responding to God's call. Included are some of my favorite women: Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Saint Thecla, Saint Agnes of Rome, Saint Monica, Saint Macrina, … [Read more...]

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Having it all: Liz Lemon Can’t Do It Either – UPDATE

"Sandwich Day" is one of my favorite episodes of 30 Rock. On the set of The Girlie Show, "sandwich day" is "the most magical day of the year," says the slovenly writer, Frank. It's the day when the Teamsters treat the staff to sandwiches purchased from a Brooklyn deli whose location is kept a strict secret. When the greedy staff eats Liz Lemon's sandwich, she flips out:The writers beat the Teamsters in a drinking contest, get a new sandwich for Liz, and she tries to bring it past TSA … [Read more...]

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Nuns and Bishops and Popes, Oh My! – UPDATES

The sisters are all Joan of Arc and the Bishops are all Don Giovanni!Allow me to clear my tabbar of these numerous links touching on the Sr. Margaret Farley story, the LCWR leadership meeting with Rome story and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad menfolk -- offering "the contorted thinking of celibate men" -- who just don't appreciate the linear and perfect thinking of the celibate women.I guess female celibacy is superior to male celibacy and therefore confers credibility on … [Read more...]

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Style, Sex, Substance:Frank Talk from Catholic Women – UPDATED

The first time I head the title of Hallie Lord's new book, I was intrigued:Then I saw the list of formidable female writers Hallie had assembled to write ten frank, strong, funny, thoughtful and wrenching essays on the challenges of living an authentically Catholic life in a world where women are expected to take their cues from Kim Kardashian and Reality Wives (no thinking required) or Hillarys-Clinton-or-Rosen (the thinking is settled). I was hooked.What writers? Besides Hallie … [Read more...]

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Hilary Rosen, Ann Romney and the Credentialists – UPDATES

Although I use it during the day mostly to promote Patheos writers, after hours I consider Twitter to be something of a virtual pub; it's a place to wind down, engage in some casual conversation, yell about baseball and then say goodnight.Last evening, I tootled in to find the tweets flying fast and um, furiously. "Wha'd I miss?" I asked someone.It seems lobbyist and Dem operative Hilary Rosen had gone on CNN last night and spoken unwisely not once, but twice, first declaring that the … [Read more...]

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Manna, Music and Men

Marcia Morrissey has a really inspiring piece up at Patheos this week as she writes of volunteering with her granddaughter at Feed My Starving Children:This past week I brought my oldest granddaughter with me to volunteer as a food-packer at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), an organization committed to feeding the hungry in places as disparate as Belarus, Mexico, Niger and North Korea. [...]We heard the story of a 14-year-old girl who came to an orphanage and was first thought to be … [Read more...]

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Dowd's Yips Derail Even Her Praise – UPDATED

Seems yesterday was my day for writing about female journalists. Last night I was late to the Anthony Weiner/Andrew Breitbart story, barely having time to observe Barbara Walters diminish herself by allowing her hate to overrule her sense. Before that, I was filing my latest column for First Things, which looks at how Maureen Dowd -- whose whole career, latterly, has been about stone-throwing and filtering hate through pop-references -- has so ruined her pitching mechanics that even when she … [Read more...]

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Is Society Purposely Messing with Boys' Heads?

A very thoughtful and surprisingly moving piece by Anthony Esolen, at Inside Catholic:Why, I wonder, do boys these days get no love? What have they done to deserve their treatment at our hands?Recently, a boy competing for his high school in the Iowa state wrestling tournament chose to forfeit his initial match rather than wrestle against a girl. He spoke about his decision with an admirable reserve and good sense, saying that wrestling could be a violent sport, and that in this case he … [Read more...]

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Women's History: Drexel, Connelly, Addiss?

March is Women's History Month, and a good time to introduce you to the sorts of formidable women who made (or are making) enormous differences to the lives of many, but who frequently go unmentioned in the mainstream. Today I am going to introduce you to three of them. Interestingly enough, the first two hail from the affluent Philadelphia Society of the 19th century -- one was heiress to a fortune -- and the other is a modern woman of boundless energy, imagination and great warmth.Because … [Read more...]

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