Remarks to Catholic Marketers, Shop Owners

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet and talk with members of the Catholic Marketing Network at their annual conference and trade show. The show is always delightful -- walking amidst a convention hall of Catholic wares, tsotskies and books is my idea of a very good time, indeed, and of course, I also got to photobomb the pope!And of course, there was the wine-and-cheese book-signing sponsored by Ave Maria Press, which was great fun and looked like this:The conference … [Read more...]

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In your raving idolatry I find a bit of peace…

Last night, I logged off fairly early and missed a big donnybrook on Facebook that had to do with people angry at me because of this piece from yesterday. Lots of namecalling and screaming in my direction, mostly because I dared to find anything worthwhile in Obama's speech, even as I identified it as a cynical move to divert attention away from his awful presidency.Apparently my near-constant criticisms of the man since 2007 were insufficient bona fides to allow me one instance of (mild) … [Read more...]

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A good day for this book: Voices of the Saints

I happened to be talking to Julie Davis -- who is the primo go-to person when pondering any book, because I do believe she may have read them all! -- about what collections of "lives of the saints" we would recommend. I have a few that I like a lot, and they're all well-known award winners: Father Jim Martin's My Life with the Saints, Colleen Carroll Campbell's My Sisters, the Saints and Robert Ellsberg's All Saints. And I've always liked Lisa Hendey's collection for Catholic Moms.Julie … [Read more...]

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Part II The Chanting Coffin-Maker: Mother Dolores & Agape

In Part I of my interview with Mother Dolores Hart, she shared an insight that struck me as being profoundly important to our understanding of the vagaries of love: "all love relationships don’t end at the altar".What is love but a means to an end, the end being to become for each other a model of God? Not an idol, nor an icon/image but a model that helps us to know more fully the depths the Creator's love for each of us.Ponder it: here were Dolores Hart, beautiful young actress and Don … [Read more...]

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“All love relationships don’t end at the altar!” – Part I

As a rule, when it comes to interviewing celebrities, Tony Rossi is our go-to guy, around here. Last week, though, he could not work into his schedule an opportunity to talk to Mother Dolores Hart, the actress-turned-Benedictine-nun who was the subject of last year's documentary, "God is the Bigger Elvis", and this year's best-seller, The Ear of the Heart. Mother Dolores is currently missing her cloister while she makes a major promotional tour in support of the book, and I had the opportunity … [Read more...]

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Last Minute Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Tony Rossi has a terrific post up, today revisiting a great film for Father's Day.My husband and I stopped exchanging gifts a long time ago, but he really loved Frequency, and he's been working hard and getting sick; vegging out before a favorite movie is one of his recouping methods, so I think I'll get it for him.If you're also looking for something "small" to give on Father's Day, you can't go wrong with one of these books -- all of them are true, and any of them might strike a … [Read more...]

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Men on Strike: Fathers, Family, Frank Talk and First Things

Two weeks ago at First Things, I wondered what it would be like if Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) had her way and women ruled the world.This week I'm continuing on the theme of men and women and families and faith:Family illiteracy, [author Mary Eberstadt] says, “breeds religious illiteracy.”In turn, increasing our scriptural literacy is one way for Christian communities to help their members understand and form families. Eberstadt’s book...has, in tandem with Helen Smith’s Men on Strike, … [Read more...]

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A Rave for “Save Send Delete”

"Outside of the subway, Catholic mass is the only place I have had that experience of diversity." -- Danusha Goska, Save Send DeleteSo, a month ago Julie Davis -- our dear, delightful bookworm, Jules, who is such a Happy Catholic -- made a kindle-gift to me of that book you see here, Save Send Delete, and I was caught somewhere between "thank you, that's so sweet" and "why are you sending me more to read, don't you know I have more reading than I can keep up with, already?"I … [Read more...]

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“You will set the world on fire…” Catherine echoed in Pope Francis

"If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire" - St. Catherine of SienaI've told this to my kids all their lives, even before I knew Catherine had said it: If you do the thing you're born to do, you will excel, you will excite, you will change things."But how do you know what you're born to do?" they would ask, "If you do lots of things well, how do you know what you are born to do?"Some of us might not be so blessed, of course, maybe some of us can only do one … [Read more...]

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The Francis Puzzle: Is he an agent of continuity or change? – UPDATED

We're still getting to know Pope Francis. To me he seems like the embodiment of Catholic universality, in that his words are thoughtful, reasoned and never kneejerk. Like his predecessor, Benedict XVI, he appears to be willing to discuss any idea, explore any topic because he knows that open dialogue and the ability to wonder about things allow reason to be fully deployed. And, again, like his predecessor, that indicates that Pope Francis is perfectly confident that such reasoning will always … [Read more...]

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