December 23, 2019

  The lay arm of the Legionaries of Christ is called Regnum Christi, and the teenagers’ arm of Regnum Christi is called ECYD, a Spanish acronym: “Educación, Cultura y Deporte” or “education, culture and sports.” The arm for little children, which may or may not exist anymore, is called Catholic Kids’ Net. I used to go to ECYD meetings every Thursday, whether I wanted to or not. The bishop of Columbus, Ohio, had officially run the Legionaries and their lay… Read more

December 22, 2019

  The longest night has come to an end. Things will not be easy from here on. We’ve reached the dead of winter, in this hemisphere. Everything will be cold and dark for some time. We won’t begin to notice how the world is turning to spring for a month or so. But the longest night really is over. All that’s left is to believe until that promise is fulfilled. It takes great faith to believe in morning, when it… Read more

December 20, 2019

Today, my friends were sharing one of those “feel-good” stories that isn’t actually very good. I’m sure you know the type: a story about a person or a community that came together to help a suffering person who wouldn’t have been suffering in the first place if our culture were in any way what it ought to be. Last summer there was one all over the news about a family that bought an elderly man who mowed lawns all day… Read more

December 19, 2019

  What a day. This evening, Rosie and I sat on the sofa under blankets and my trusty heating pad, slurping soup. A dear friend sent me an instant pot for Christmas and we’ve been slurping delicious instant pot soups for the past few days; tonight’s was chicken and kale.  We were watching a three-year-old episode of MasterChef where irritating people cook potatoes for Wolfgang Puck. That’s going to her memory of where she was when Donald Trump was impeached…. Read more

December 17, 2019

The lady who gives us rides to church used to live in France. She came here to study more than a decade ago– about the same time I did. Now she lives nearby us, because she can’t afford to live back in France; Steubenville is the cheapest place to live in the world, or so she tells me. It certainly feels cheap. She is the one who once said, “When I came here, I missed beauty so much it physically… Read more

December 16, 2019

  I have been blessed with another huge, urgent work of mercy for all of my readers to help with– and just in time for Christmas! Through some local Catholic friends of mine, I’ve met a mother, a victim of domestic violence. She and her kids are away from the abuser in a safe house now, but for obvious reasons this woman is not earning a big income and doesn’t have cent to spare for the holidays. I’ll call her… Read more

December 15, 2019

  I have one more quick thing to say about the death of Alana Chen. Well, actually two things, and not so quick. First I want to remark that I’m absolutely shocked at the number of strange people with religious images for profile pictures and Latin in their screen names who have appeared in my comment boxes, and on Twitter and Facebook, to accuse me of slander detraction and of writing a hit piece and of hating the Church. Friends of… Read more

December 14, 2019

I tried to write an icon the other day. I used to do it all the time. At least, I don’t have any formal training, but I used to transfer a pattern onto wood and paint the images while meditating and praying. I have quite a cluttered icon corner from all of that. I hadn’t done any iconography or even ordinary painting, for years. But on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I tried to start on an icon… Read more

December 13, 2019

I need to comment again, at some length, on the horrific story of the life and death of my sister in Christ, Alana Chen. It’s been pointed out to me that Alana Chen’s death hasn’t been officially ruled a suicide yet, so I want to mention specifically that I’m calling it a suicide based on her mother’s public statement, which you can see in its entirety in my post. I am also calling it a suicide because someone saying she’s… Read more

December 13, 2019

Last night I was horrified to read the story of a beautiful young woman named Alana Chen, who was just found dead. Chen told the Denver Post in August that she was spiritually abused for years by a priest who put her through conversion therapy for her sexual orientation, and told her not to tell her family. She talked about how the “counseling” she received through Catholic Charities made her lose her faith entirely and feel that God didn’t love… Read more

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