The Vocation of Dusting (+ a birthday giveaway!)

The Vocation of Dusting

“Dusting is important for saving the world.” ~ Leila Lawler & Elizabeth Foss Dusting? Dusting. That was the quote from the Chapter 3 Summer in the Little Oratory podcast that most caught my attention. And it also brought back to mind a story filed away in my to-blog-about-one-day folder. Finally, a reason to talk about DUSTING! The story […]

What Every Catholic Marriage Prep Program Ought to Include

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How would you answer this question … Outline a marriage preparation program for your parish. Explain what components you would like to include and why. Joel had to answer this very question for his sacramental theology course, and we thought it made good blog post material, too. It’s the topic of our latest column at Catholic […]

Welcoming the Immigrant Among Us

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Some political issues remain simply political until they visibly impact the lives of those around us. Then suddenly we recognize them as issues of human dignity. My latest column for CatholicMom, a “World View Wednesday” post, revisits one such situation: immigration reform.

Truth be told, immigration reform was once just a bunch of talking points that affected a group of people. But then something happened to shake that up. Immigration reform became no longer just about “those people,” but rather, a topic that deeply affected people I knew — fellow parishioners and community members.

Take 5 with Devin Rose

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A few years ago, Lisa and I went to the 2011 Catholic New Media Celebration in Kansas City. During the conference, a number of us went out to dinner together one evening. Purely by chance, Devin Rose and I ended up sitting next to each other. Upon discovering that we were both converts, we shared our conversion stories and generally chatted each other’s ears off. He mentioned that he had written a self-published apologetics book, which had caught the attention of Catholic Answers. Devin’s book, The Protestant’s Dilemma, is finally available.

Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry (Part 2)

Pray, Hope Don't Worry - St. Padre Pio

Back on September 23, the feast of St. Padre Pio, I issued a “worry list” challenge and invited readers to join along.

The challenge consisted of writing out a worry list. I came up with five big things that were, so to speak, keeping me awake at night. I placed that worry list in the back of my Bible, a symbol for placing my worries in God’s hands. I marked my calendar three months forward, December 23, with a note to check back on my worry list. I also promised to check back here.

I did indeed check back on my worry list on December 23. But I did not check back here. Please allow me to close the loop here and now.

What “I Know My Limits” Really Means

Lisa at Lucy's Baptism

My social media feeds blew up several days ago with friends near and far sharing their disgust over words an Iowa lawmaker spoke on the floor of the Iowa House. The lawmaker at the center of the kerfuffle is Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell who stands in opposition to a bill here in Iowa banning telemed or webcam abortions. In response, many prolife media outlets naturally issued stories with headlines reading, “Lawmaker says crying baby is reason for abortion!” Or, “Democrat Legislator: A Colic, Crying Baby is a Good Reason for an Abortion.” And while I agree they were right to call out Wessel-Kroeschell on the colic comment, it was another word that caught my attention. What was that word? Limits.

Even Papa’s Peace Doves Get Pecked Sometimes

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“Christians who are afraid to build bridges and prefer to build walls are Christians who are not sure of their faith, not sure of Jesus Christ,” Pope Francis.

Bridge building can be hazardous, huh? Just take a look at what happened to the peace doves Pope Francis released while, ironically, praying for peace in the Ukraine where violent protests have raged since late November.

The moment provided a bit of inspiration for my latest piece at CatholicMom.com.

The Lost Art of a Handwritten Note

Handwritten Notes

A couple of weeks ago I received a beautiful Christmas card in the mail. Its loveliness was outmatched only by the thoughtful handwritten two-page plus letter found inside. It read, in part, “This year I’ve vowed to send a handwritten note to special people in my life to let them know how I feel about […]