Several weeks ago, I read a question-and-answer column in our local Catholic newspaper (or newsletter as I believe Catholic newspapers should more accurately be called) that explained to a curious soul that taking Communion “signifies that the recipient is a member of the wider Catholic community, united with the bishop of the local church and with the pope.”     My initial response was incredulity and then loathing rejection of his answer.  In high school, I studied the Baltimore… Read more

  What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “Traditional Femininity”?   Maybe it’s Doris Day’s 1960’s thirty-year-old chic, innocent but not naive radiance in career sheaths and adorable pillbox hat and gloves? Maybe it’s the 1950’s serene Grace Kelly with her elegant Dior or Helene Rose full-skirted gowns, heels, pearls or diamonds, sunglasses, and driving gloves. Or maybe it’s earlier. Like the 1940’s luminous Donna Reed in the more structured, Spartan wartime dress. Or 1930’s Ginger Rogers’s… Read more

  As you may or may not have noticed, I was on a lengthy sabbatical over the past two weeks.   Well, to quote an eloquent British man, “I’m not dead yet!”   This past Saturday I graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with my Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in writing and a Spanish minor. I completed the Honors Great Books Program, I was inducted into Alpha Chi (national college honor society), Sigma Tau Delta… Read more

The Washington Examiner recently published a piece on the recent controversy over the failure of administrators at conservative Catholic colleges to respond to victims of sexual assault.   The main contention of its author Jeremiah Poff (a current student at Franciscan University of Steubenville) is that such “devoutly Catholic institutions” have not neglected to address the problem of sexual assault, but are rather “on the front lines of preventing such behaviors.”   In abstract, his argument is rather straightforward: P1… Read more

  I’ve been recently privileged to grow close to Franciscan University alumna Theresa Williams. She wrote a stunning guest contribution for The Shoeless Banshee a few weeks ago, and we have bonded over our mutual love of our Faith and of writing. A few days ago, Theresa informed me that she and her co-authors of the “Concerned Alumnae Letter regarding the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life” (which I signed and endorsed) were writing a statement to clarify recent… Read more

Trust me when I say there is no satisfaction in revealing your abuser.   It doesn’t matter if it’s a stranger, a boyfriend, a friend, a parent, a relative… it doesn’t matter what kind of abuse.  No one believes you.   That’s hyperbolic.  There are some who believe.  Mostly, the group of believers is made up of other abuse victims, relieved to find out they aren’t the only ones who are haunted by these experiences.  But there’s a lot of… Read more

  Conservative Franciscan graduate shares his concern and disillusionment I have debated how to speak about the recent controversies involving Franciscan University and sexual misconduct for some time now, owing to the complexity of my relationship with the University. For a few years, I worked in local government in Jefferson County, and my position made it inappropriate for me to publicly delve into the issue. Nor am I someone who has any level of expertise in the fields that deal… Read more

  A child-victim of sexual assault opens up about the recent Title IX controversy at FUS   As a student at Franciscan University, it’s impossible for me to ignore what is going on, especially because the conversation is centered around sexual assault which is something I have been subjected to in my past. When I met Marie, months ago, I could have never imagined that she would be the person who would allow me to share my story with whoever… Read more

    This post is hard to write. I’m not exactly sure how to write it, because doing so is sure to hurt someone, and I don’t want that to happen. And someone will tell me I am committing detraction, and I don’t want that on my conscience, either. And I shouldn’t be writing this right now anyway since I have two-thirds a semester worth of Spanish homework waiting for me.   But I just read Maria Mochow’s piece “Advice… Read more

As y’all know, I’ve been pretty silent these last few weeks.     I certainly haven’t forgotten this dialogue space, and I’ve missed it. But Life and Adulting and Reality are making a valiant effort to kill me, I’m convinced of it. (Whom does one contact when these entities are making violent attempts against one’s life? Why isn’t that covered in Adulting 101? Actually, why isn’t there an Adulting 101?)     In the midst of this attempt on my… Read more

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