July 7, 2020

  Independence Day weekend was hot in Steubenville: breathtakingly hot. The grass was brown, it was hard to breathe, it was too hot to fill the kiddie pool for Rose,  I couldn’t get out our tiny semicircle of a charcoal grill to cook dinner until well after dark. My menacing neighbor seems to have believed my reference to a security camera. She hasn’t touched the property or let the dog out to threaten me with its chain so long that… Read more

July 6, 2020

  I thought it would make bigger news this weekend, when pro-life icon Abby Johnson said that her son isn’t Black after all. In case you just joined us: the Johnsons had an open adoption several years ago. They adopted a baby named Jude whom they’ve spoken and blogged publicly about and posted several photos online. Jude is said to be biracial, and happens to have light brown skin. Abby has several times said on social media that she has… Read more

July 6, 2020

  I woke up to find that it was the feast of Saint Maria Goretti once more. I can’t stand this feast day, for reasons I’ve been open about. I am a survivor of a rape. I have many friends who were raped. And the story of Maria Goretti has been exploited to shame us in alarming ways. In case you’ve never heard the story, Saint Marie Goretti was an eleven-year-old girl. She wasn’t a young woman or a teenager,… Read more

July 5, 2020

  Hey folks, This isn’t a real post, this is just the monthly reminder that Steel Magnificat, and my family, run almost entirely on gratuities. I get a small paycheck from Patheos for clicks in the United States, sometimes as large as three figures, and the rest of my income is in tips to my online tip jar from satisfied readers. Sometimes readers sign up to tip me a few dollars once a month like a Patreon, and sometimes they… Read more

July 1, 2020

I want to take a moment today to draw attention to my friend Leslye Colvin, who has written an insightful response to a scary situation I watched happening on Facebook and Twitter the other day. In case you missed it, the situation she’s reacting to is that a young white Catholic priest posted a selfie holding a large firearm, as well as some facetious comments about potentially having to defend his church property against “Pagans” that might deface it. He… Read more

July 1, 2020

  I remember a line from a kitschy poem I’ve seen carved in plaster paving stones for sale at gift shops: One is nearer to God in a garden, than anywhere else on Earth.  I’ve often thought this must be true. God used to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in a garden, after all. Gardens seem to be where He likes to be. I’ve been doing my gardening in the cool of the day…. Read more

June 29, 2020

  I want to say a little more today, here in the evening of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, about the destruction or vandalization of Catholic religious statues, shrines and places of worship we’ve been seeing on the news just now, and all the people clamoring for more destruction. As a Catholic myself, I want to talk about how I think a Catholic ought to respond. I see congregations getting together to clean up the damage, and that’s… Read more

June 28, 2020

  Have you ever built a wire fence by hand? I’m not going to tell you how to do it, because I’m sure I didn’t do it right. But I found what I did do deeply satisfying, like sewing on a grand scale. I dug holes and sunk my big long branches deep in the mud, and wove the chicken wire over the branches as if the branches were giant needles and the wire was cloth being basted. The fence… Read more

June 25, 2020

I apologize ahead of time for the length of this post; as you’ll see, a good half of it is just quotes from a transcript of a sickening video that was posted publicly to YouTube and Twitter then quickly made private this evening. The video, entitled “My Biracial Boy,”  is a fifteen-minute diatribe by none other than Abby Johnson, the darling of the pro-life movement, a former abortion clinic worker whose conversion story has been questioned by investigative reporters. Johnson… Read more

June 23, 2020

  I want to say a few more words about all the destruction and removal of municipal statues that we’re seeing in the news lately– especially since talk has now turned to religious art. First of all, art is important. Art is very, very important. Art is language. The fine arts are how we humans communicate, understand, heal, accuse, confess. Art is informed by culture but it also informs and moves cultures. It’s hard to place too much importance on… Read more




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