What it Means for me to be a *Catholic* Writer


Yesterday, I wrote in praise of Dominicans, and today I have an interview to share with you that I did with a Jesuit.  Sean Salai, S.J. sent me eleven questions about my conversion and my current spiritual life, and you can read my answers in America.  Here's a preview: How does Catholicism influence your approach to being a writer?It makes it a lot easier to resist weighing in on every hot button or controversial issue/news story to come along. I didn’t write anything on the Synod on the Fa … [Read more...]

Settling Into Our Sociable Third Places

(cc Nick Allen)

I've been reading (and loving!) sociologist's Ray Oldenburg's The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community, and, today, I'm over at Ethika Politika talking about how to rebuild some of the "Third Places" that Oldenburg praises--places outside of work or home where we come to share our lives with others.Here's an excerpt from my piece, "Learning to Linger in Leisure Spaces" We seem to need excuses to inhabit communal … [Read more...]

Beginning as I’ll Go On in 2015

cc aussiegal

Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha Trilogy (and cause of my Halloween costume) is running a series of creativity sprints, starting at noon today.  The goal is to "Begin as You Mean to Go On" in the new year (she has a FAQ here).This doesn't necessarily mean, if you plan to clean your garage this year, that you'll go out and clean the whole thing, or even spend two hours on it, to really make a good start today.  Even spending five minutes counts.Why?  Because now cleaning your garage is … [Read more...]

Tell Your College Women Friends About Arete!


The Arete Seminar has opened applications for it's Summer 2015 program, and it seems pretty likely to me that I've either got readers who are interested or who know people who would be interested.  Here's the basics: The Arete Seminar provides an educational program for college-aged women that emphasizes democratic participation and leadership, sustainability, personal and communal responsibility, and intellectual excellence. It combines a top-tier liberal arts academic programming with a p … [Read more...]

A Rosary App from One of Our Regulars

rosary app

Following right on the heels of my guest post for Beeminder (on using that website's commitment contracts in spiritual life), Pedro Paulo Oliveira Jr., a frequent commenter here has taken a turn guest posting there, too.  He's outlining a Rosary app he's built, and the way he integrated it with Beeminder, so it can update your tally of prayers automatically, to keep you on the straight and narrow.  Here's how his project got started: Our popular Electronic Rosary app helps people to pray the … [Read more...]

The Last 5 Years is totally our next Symposium topic


Eeeeee!  EEEEEEEE! Eeeeee!For folks who aren't familiar with Jason Robert Brown's The Last 5 Years, it's a musical that covers the five year relationship between Cathy and Jamie, from the moment they meet, through their engagement and marriage, till the morning after Jamie leaves.The two leads alternate numbers, which respectively tell the story of their relationship in opposite directions.  That means Cathy's first song (also the first song of the trailer) is the one she sings when s … [Read more...]

Is Your Christianity Ever Mistaken for Criminality? [Pope Francis Bookclub]


In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's reading, Pope Francis points out that Christ was stripped of more than his clothes when he was executed on the cross: Jesus does not die in Jerusalem, nor is he stoned to death.  He dies as one accursed, "hung on a tr … [Read more...]