Rosario Rodriguez on forgiving her attackers

Rosario Rodriguez

I recently interviewed Rosario Rodriguez, a Los Angeles-based Catholic speaker who survived an attempted rape at age 14 and also a shooting at age 31 that nearly killed her. The bullet from the shooting (a gang initiation) is still lodged in her body and she has to be careful about what she eats, but Rosario now speaks around the country about her experience of healing and forgiveness following her experiences of these violent crimes. Her path to healing from these crimes has … [Read more...]

Leah Darrow: From America’s Next Top Model to Catholic inspirational speaker

Leah Darrow photo

Today I have an interview with former professional model Leah Darrow up at America magazine.As a 24-year old model from Oklahoma City, Leah was one of 14 finalists on Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model in 2004. She was eliminated in episode two when judge Tyra Banks said she looked like a "soccer mom" in her photo shoot. Ironically, she is now a wife, the mother of two young children, and a professional Catholic speaker.In the interview, Leah talks about a conversion moment she … [Read more...]

What could a celibate know about dating?

sisters flickercc

Being a celibate is about being in relationships and not about avoiding them. I work hard to define my celibacy in terms of availability to those who are in need. It is common for monks, nuns, priests, or lay religious to be asked what they have against marriage. The answer is, of course, that we love and revere marriage. God has simply called us to express our human love in a different way. If that's the case, though, then what could we possibly know about romantic relationships?To show … [Read more...]

The Tree of Life Revisited

We are nearing the fourth anniversary of the 64th Cannes Film Festival of 2011, where a metaphysically probing and visually dazzling film won the Palme d’Or, the highest prize at the premiere international film competition. The Tree of Life was only the fifth film from American director Terrence Malick in a forty-year career, and the film has remained something of an enigma. It has been lauded as a masterpiece and dismissed as an indulgent artiste-project. What is undeniable, however, is that it … [Read more...]

Being Polite about the Resurrection


Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. –Shakespeare This past Easter Friday the University of British Columbia Symphony Orchestra, together with two university choirs, performed Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, usually called the Resurrection Symphony. An immense work of music, clocking in at almost an hour and a half, it is about death, the meaning of suffering and ultimately—as the title suggests—the hope of the resurrection.Jonathan Girard, the director of the UBC symphony, likes ta … [Read more...]

Jesus, the Whip, and Justifying Violence

Cleansing of the Temple Meme

In a recent exchange on a Facebook feed about possible responses to the ISIS beheadings of Coptic Christians, it was suggested to me that, as a result of a deficiency in a particular part of my anatomy, I didn’t have the courage to do what really needed to be done.  My attention was then brought to the fact that Jesus was no wimp. No sir, he knew how to take care of business.  The typical proof text was then trotted out, the Gospel for the upcoming Third Sunday of Lent, John 2:14-16, which rea … [Read more...]