Life

Five Reasons to Wear a Veil (and Five Not to…)
Whilst veiling is becoming an increasingly popular decision among young Catholic women, my journey to the mantilla has been far from easy. Everyone, it seems, has their own opinion on whether or not I should cover my head, what it signifies, whether it improves my relationship with God. The post Five Reasons to Wear a Veil (and Five Not to…) appeared first on Catholic Sistas. Catholic Sistas - perspective from the neck
Looking forward into the mystery
Horizons - It's normal to hold out hope that things will go back to what we once knew, what made sense to us. Yet, I also struggle with the longing for things to be as they once were. What if God is changing the way things work right in front of us, and we're not paying attention? 
Mea Culpa: Correcting Misunderstood Mariology
Father Dave Nix, known as Padre Peregrino, featured noted convert and die-hard Thomist, Dr. Taylor Marshall on his recent Podcast series “RadTrad”.  During the interview one of the topics discussed was traditional Mariology; covering topics from the Immaculate Conception to Mary’s perpetual virginity. The post Mea Culpa: Correcting Misunderstood Mariology appeared first on Catholic Sistas. Catholic Sistas - perspective from the neck
Looking forward into the mystery
It's normal to hold out hope that things will go back to what we once knew, what made sense to us. Yet, I also struggle with the longing for things to be as they once were. What if God is changing the way things work right in front of us, and we're not paying attention? 
10 Angry and Cranky Saints to Call Upon When Rage Creeps In
Even on my most “ragiest” of rage days, there was always something in the back of my mind - calming, soothing, logical - reminding me that the emotions I was sucked into were damaging. The post 10 Angry and Cranky Saints to Call Upon When Rage Creeps In appeared first on Catholic Sistas. Catholic Sistas - perspective from the neck
Gathering with my brother priests
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Looking forward
It's normal to hold out hope that things will go back to what we once knew, what made sense to us. Yet, I also struggle with the longing for things to be as they once were. What if God is changing the way things work right in front of us, and we're not paying attention? 
How do congregation founders inspire their sisters today?
From A Nun's Life podcasts - In this Random Nun Clip, Sr. Mindy Welding of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The Flight Home and the Beauty of the Kindness of Strangers
When the boys and I finally got settled into our seats on our final flight, I exhaled for what felt like the first time all day. It had taken a village of people to get us on that airplane headed home... The post The Flight Home and the Beauty of the Kindness of Strangers appeared first on Catholic Sistas. Catholic Sistas - perspective from the neck
Where Does My Help Come From?
There is a trend that I’ve watched come to light in my journey through life after separation divorce, and in speaking with other woman who are going through this experience. Life seems  unfair for women after separation and divorce. The facts speak to this truth. The post Where Does My Help Come From? appeared first on Catholic Sistas. Catholic Sistas - perspective from the neck
Grumbling Mass Goer
Welcome to the next installment of The Ask – a series devoted to taking your questions rooted in Catholic living and providing solid, orthodox advice you can use in your everyday. How does it work? We take questions from you, our readers, and Krista marries the spiritual and practical to give you ways to apply the […] The post Grumbling Mass Goer appeared first on Catholic Sistas. Catholic Sistas - perspective from the neck
A Name Most Powerful: Mary
Yet, we see in the Gospels that she also kept all things in her heart. The difficult moments in teaching a toddler-Jesus to not tantrum, or to not talk during a prayer service? Mary kept those in her heart. The post A Name Most Powerful: Mary appeared first on Catholic Sistas. Catholic Sistas - perspective from the neck
Celebrating confirmations
Hello and welcome, I want to begin this week by sharing with you a statement I issued on Thursday regarding the Holy Father’s motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi: Following the international summit in Rome this past February, Pope Francis pledged “concrete measures” to respond to the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Church. Vos estis lux mundi is one means of fulfilling that pledge, establishing specific mandatory protocols and reporting systems for matters concerning such abuse. This document directly addresses needed improvements to the Church’s response by requiring all dioceses in every country around the globe, within one year’s time, to establish a public, accessible and reliable system for reporting crimes of clergy sexual abuse and any cover up of abuse. It also requires the establishment of new procedural norms for investigating crimes by bishops and supreme moderators of religious institutes, including both allegations of sexual abuse and any cover up by way of actions or omissions intended to conceal information or to interfere with investigations. These new norms address the sexual abuse of minors and they also expand the definition of the “vulnerable persons” who suffer abuse. But it is also quite significant that Vos estis lux mundi includes adults who suffer sexual offenses through violence or intimidation or the abuse of authority.  People who suffer abuse from those in positions of authority can include, for example, seminarians and religious. It is notable and of great importance that the new provisions require that information be given to the victim of an alleged offense regarding investigations and, further, that the Holy Father places particular emphasis on lay persons participating in the investigations. During the past year it has become far more clear that the people of the Church and our wider society rightfully demand substantive action for disclosure, transparency and accountability with regard to any occurrence of sexual abuse, or intimidation, or cover up in the life of the Church and that that all Church personnel, regardless of office, be subject to the same policies, procedures and sanctions. Vos estis lux mundi is an important and substantive response to that demand.  I am grateful to the Holy Father for his recognition of the critical need for these new policies and procedures and his actions to as best possible assure the protection of all the people we serve throughout the world. We were very sad to learn this week of the death of Jean Vanier after a long battle with cancer. His spirituality and his service to the developmentally disabled made such an impact, not just in our Church, but throughout the world through the L’Arche movement that he began. It was my privilege to have met him on a number of different occasions, and he was someone whom I admired very, very much. He was from a very prominent Canadian family and his father had been Governor General. As a young man, he embarked on a military career but came to discover his vocation in serving the developmentally disabled and forming communities in which they could live with dignity. One of those who was very much impacted by him was Henri Nouwen, the spiritual writer from Holland, who went also to live with the L’Arche community. His life and ministry have made such an impact on the world, and his passing is a great loss for the Church. He underscored the preciousness of life in a world where women are encouraged to abort children with Down syndrome and other developmental problems. Yet, he saw these people as his brothers and sisters, made in the image and likeness of God. That testimony is so valuable in today’s world. The Holy Father was able to speak with him by phone before he died, which I am sure was a great blessing for him. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy goes on, and his work at L’Arche is a great tribute to his humanity and to his Catholic faith. This week, I also want to note the passing of Kay McAvoy. Kay was an extraordinary laywoman and a person of deep Catholic faith. She was so dedicated to the Church and in so many different ways supported Catholic causes, particularly the St. James Society and Maryknoll. Bishop Hennessey celebrated her funeral on Saturday at St. Camillus Church in Arlington. I understand there was a very large group of family and friends there to bid her farewell, as well as more than a dozen priests who concelebrated the funeral Mass. She will be sorely missed. Last Saturday, I celebrated confirmations in two parishes in the archdiocese – St. John the Evangelist in Canton and Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Originally, I was scheduled only to celebrate the confirmations at St. John’s in the morning, but in order to allow Bishop Hennessey to celebrate the funeral of Kay McAvoy, I took his confirmation at Corpus Christi in the afternoon. The Easter season is such a wonderful time of year when so many sacraments are celebrated, particularly baptisms, confirmations and ordinations. With Father Tom Rafferty and the servers at St. John’s in Canton With Father Frank Mawn and the altar servers at Corpus Christi. Also with us is Father Patrick Armano, whose niece was being confirmed. I took this photo of the altar of the “Three Saints,” Sts. Alfio, Filadelfo and Cirino, in Corpus Christi because, of course, the parish is very famous for the Three Saints Festival they hold each year. It is so fitting that we celebrate the Easter sacraments in our parishes, and confirmations are such an important event, not just in the life of the individual young people who are being confirmed, but also in the life of the parish and the Church. It is a time to call people to a deeper commitment to their faith and a sense of mission and vocation, and I am always very happy for the opportunity to address these themes with the young people. I often talk to them about vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, but most especially to marriage, to which most of them are being called. I like to tell them how the gifts of the Holy Spirit can help to prepare them for their vocation in life. So, it was a great joy to be able to celebrate the confirmations at these two parishes. Sunday, I went to St. Anne Parish in Readville to celebrate a Mass for their centennial anniversary. Father Ron Coyne is the pastor there, and we were so happy to have a number of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth also with us. The sisters had run the school there for over 90 years. The parish is very vibrant, with many different groups and activities, and I was very happy to be able to celebrate this important milestone with them. Monday, I celebrated the funeral for Father Ned Carroll at St. Barbara in Woburn. Father Carroll would have celebrated his 52nd anniversary of ordination next month. In his many years in ministry, he served in parishes in Lowell, Plymouth, Quincy, Needham and Everett, with his last assignment before retirement being at St. Barbara’s. In the last several years he had been living at Regina Cleri. Many of his friends, family and classmates were there with us for the celebration. Father Joe Fagan, who was one of his classmates, delivered the homily. It was a wonderful send-off for a wonderful priest. Until next week, Cardinal Seán
Does self-denial make you a better Christian?
From A Nun's Life podcasts - In this Random Nun Clip with the Benedictine Sisters of Cullman, Alabama, a listener asks if denying himself of things he wants will help him grow closer to God.  
Intersection of Faith and Mental Illness
In my mental health talks to youth groups, I share how there are two parallel lines running through my life. As my spiritual journey improves, so does my mental health. The more I learn about God, the better I understand myself, the better I appreciate all of His creation. The post Intersection of Faith and Mental Illness appeared first on Catholic Sistas. Catholic Sistas - perspective from the neck
The puzzlement of the empty tomb
Horizons: Every winter yields to spring. It happens in due time, slower in some places than in others, but always and everywhere eventually. This is the promise of the spring; this is the promise of the empty tomb. This is the puzzlement, but this is also the joy.
REVIEW: The Island of Two Trees
The Island of Two Trees is a story born through the authors creative play with his children, and based off of an actual model island he created with his children. The post REVIEW: The Island of Two Trees appeared first on Catholic Sistas. Catholic Sistas - perspective from the neck
“Off the Charts:” an NFP community
I’ve been working on a little idea lately. Something that’s been percolating for a few years now, in the back of my mind where it mostly remained filed under “I wish this existed” but sometimes, in sharper moments, popped up under the tags of “why doesn’t somebody do something?” or “I should do something.” But, you know, life moves quickly, time marches on, kids sleep longer stretches at night but make up for it by capturing more of your waking hours. That nagging urge though? That prickling sense of “I should do something about this;” it just hasn’t abated. Even into this 6th pregnancy, I’ve still been nudged and prodded by the sense that there is something more I can do here, something I’m supposed to do. As God often does, He kept nudging. Prodding. Waited until life was moving along at such a clip that I’d be out of my own way, so to speak, and then said: “Go.” Last fall on the Blessed is She writer’s retreat we all received beautiful hand-lettered cards with different Scriptures; no two were the same. The one I got was two words, plucked from the highly neglected (by me, anyway) Old Testament Book of Amos: “Rise up.” I was alarmed. I was exhilarated. I knew God was on the move. And He is. He has been. From this baby to this project and a hundred smaller things in between, the past 6 months have felt like drinking from a fire hydrant. But it has been a steady (overwhelming) stream of grace. So here I am, opening myself up to maybe the craziest thing I’ve done lately (apart from that 6th baby), and inviting you guys along for the ride. What is Off the Charts, exactly? It’s a membership community, a platform for interaction and continuing education and accompaniment for people who are living the NFP lifestyle according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and trying to grow, stretch, and be stretched by His grace and mercy. The vision for Off the Charts is beyond NFP instruction and catechesis: I want to help walk you from overwhelmed, under served, and isolated to supported, informed, and thriving along your NFP journey. Over and over again, the most frequent thing I hear from my readers is this: a call for community, for support, and for practical resources to live the NFP lifestyle successfully. This won’t be for everybody, just like NFP is not for everybody. But if you are someone who is wrestling with NFP and how it fits into your marriage, someone who is struggling under the weight of it all, then Off the Charts for you. For the woman who feels alone and misunderstood in her medical provider’s office, but practices NFP anyway. For couples who stick out like a 12-passenger van in their family or their parish community, but persevere in NFP anyway. For pastors and catechists and NFP instructors who are trying to equip their couples with the why of NFP, not just the how, who are laboring to create a culture of life and love in their communities against long odds and small budgets, For new moms – and old moms – who feel overwhelmed and confused by the different seasons and stages of fertility, who can’t seem to find a method that works from season to season and baby to baby, but who press on with NFP anyway, For newlyweds, the newly engaged, or anyone who is striving to learn and grow in NFP knowledge and best practices; the stuff that goes beyond methods and apps and biology, the stuff that nobody really talks about, and that nobody thought to give you a heads up about… This community is for you. The accompaniment, the ongoing formation in the practical, spiritual, relational, financial, and emotional aspects of Natural Family Planning – not just the stuff of specific methods and charts and apps, but resources for the rest of your life, all of which is touched by NFP…this is for you. I’ve got to warn you, you’re going to see a lot of vulnerability, a lot of transparency, a whole lot of honesty, and probably a good bit of construction dust because this thing is brand new. But here’s the thing: I want to make this for you. And I want your help bringing it to life. What can you expect? Digital and written content including live and streaming workshops covering topics like: communication between spouses, building trust + intimacy outside the bedroom, finding help, hiring the right provider, breaking up with a “bad” method, setting your NFP budget, helping your parish become NFP-friendly, studying the Church’s teachings on sex and marriage, seasons of fertility in marriage, discerning openness to life, and more. Ongoing education in NFP in all its facets: biological, spiritual, emotional, relational, financial — NFP is about more than just a chart or an app. Content that will be delivered digitally, including streaming in-person live events, so you’ll never need to find a sitter, book a flight, or carve time out of your workday or away from your family or parish. All content will be in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church. The door is enthusiastically open to all NFP users and seekers of goodwill, but Off the Charts will be operating from a Catholic worldview and in continual reference to Catholic morality and beliefs. If you’re ready for more than survival mode, if you’re searching for your community, if you’re wondering where to begin – or where to begin again – Off the Charts is for you. With all my heart, welcome. You are welcome here. To register as a monthly member click here, For annual registration at a discounted rate, click here. Or, drop a comment or shoot me an email and I’ll send you more info! Beta member registration will be open until Friday May 10th at midnight EST. Can’t decide if this is gallows humor or juuuuust right, but know that of the many stock images perused to fill this slot, this is my top contender.
He Calls Us to Journey with Him
Jesus wants us to know Him. He desires our hearts. He desperately calls us to Him. He calls us near, always present, always working behind the scenes in our lives. The post He Calls Us to Journey with Him appeared first on Catholic Sistas. Catholic Sistas - perspective from the neck
Like Small Children, Run to Jesus
One Sunday at Mass when he was around seven years old, Peter slid out of the pew and, before Jay even realized what was happening, he ran right up onto the altar and grabbed our Pastor's vestments IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CONSECRATION! The post Like Small Children, Run to Jesus appeared first on Catholic Sistas. Catholic Sistas - perspective from the neck