Dear Simcha, Vol. 2

11/27/2014 Comments (2)

My last Thanksgiving advice column was such a success* that I’ve decided to resurrect it this year. Of your kindness, please keep in mind that our power went out last night around 8:30, and we just now got it back – and it keeps flickering, threatening to go out again.

Is this life in a refugee camp, the streets of Calcutta, or the end of the world? No, not quite. But a situation like this, when there is a half-defrosted turkey that was supposed to go into the oven three hours ago, and when the toilets won’t flush and the coffee won’t brew and the milk’s going bad and the pipes are fixing to freeze and the dog simply can’t understand what his happening, but he thinks maybe he will help...READ MORE

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Fostering Our Most Important Job as Mothers

11/26/2014 Comment

What’s the most important work of a mother?

We don’t need to look farther than Mary for our inspiration. We’re told in the Catechism (#965) that

After her Son's Ascension, Mary "aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers." In her association with the apostles and several women, "we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation."

Our most important work isn’t wiping bottoms, making lunches, or managing laundry. It’s not juggling schedules or mealtimes or finances. We can keep ourselves busy to the point of exhaustion very easily, and it’s all too easy to forget, avoid, or just plain neglect our most important...READ MORE

Filed under book review, books for moms, jenny klement, prayers, resource

This Post Is Not About Bill Cosby

11/25/2014 Comments (68)

If you want to talk about Bill Cosby (or Bill Clinton, or Woody Allen, or Roman Polanski) please find a conversation somewhere else. This post is about what you are supposed to do if you've been raped. What's the next step?

Reading comments by self-identified Catholic conservatives in the last few days, this is what I have learned:

  • If you tell the police you've been raped, it's because you're looking for attention. You should file a civil suit, instead.
  • If you file a civil suit, it's because you're looking for money, and are not telling the truth.
  • If you don't file a civil suit, that shows you don't have a case, and are not telling the truth.
  • If you tell someone right away, that...READ MORE

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The Dangers of Secondhand Christmas

11/25/2014 Comments (43)

A PTA of a public school in the Boston area apparently worked behind closed doors to prevent elementary school students from being exposed to the eeeeevil dangers of a...Christmas tree!!! (Cue the impending doom music.)

It's gotten so bad that one news report says that one board member may step down over the controversy over the fear of exposing children to secondhand Christmas.Sheesh. The Butler Elementary School PTA made a decision to cancel the annual field trip to see "The Nutcracker" ballet because supposedly some parents complained about the Christmas tree on stage in some scenes. Maybe they should've taken the kids to see Rent.

Hey, I could see kids objecting to seeing any ballet...READ MORE

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Pope Francis' Addresses to EU Parliament, Council of Europe

11/25/2014 Comments (5)

On arrival at Strasbourg/Entzheim international airport at around 10.00 am today, Pope Francis travelled by car to the headquarters of the European Parliament where he was welcomed by the chamber's president, Martin Schulz. There he met 14 members of the Bureau of the Parliament and the eight presidents of political groups of the assembly. After signing the "Golden Book" and exchanging gifts, Francis met with political and ecclesiastical authorities.

At 11.15, after an introduction from President Schultz, Pope Francis delivered the following address in the hemicycle of the parliament. 


Mr President and Vice Presidents,
Members of the European Parliament,
All associated with the work...READ MORE

Filed under europe, european parliament, european union, human dignity, secularism

An Affinity for Obscenity?

11/24/2014 Comments (21)

Its seems no matter where I turn these days obscenities are flung about without reserve. 

There are cuss words spewing from my television set (and we don’t even have cable), bleeped over in the voices of hip young rappers every time I let my high schooler control the car radio (although, truth be told, country music can no longer feign innocence), keyed with offending fingers using every abbreviation in the book throughout social media and often just hanging out in black-and-white for anyone to see.  There is no end to exposure in movies, news, billboards, advertisements and - of course - typical everyday conversation. 

Story after story lately has mentioned senior white house officials...READ MORE

Filed under obscenity, profanity, vicki burbach

Herding Cats

11/23/2014 Comments (20)

Truly Reformed[TM] Protestantism suits a particular personality type: the sort of person who likes diagrams, neat hand-writing, little lists of facts, mathematical formulae, and a certain kind of precision. In its own limited sphere, Truly Reformed Christianity is handy because its love of diagrams, rigorous logic and TRVTH tends to breed apologists who are fit foils for the mad men who have lost everything except their reason, such as the New Atheists. The intense focus on either/or thinking that so dominates the binary logic gates of the Truly Reformed brain can be very helpful in answering truly either/or questions such as “Does God exist or not?” So Reformed folk can be lethal in debate...READ MORE

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Pope Canonizes Six New Saints

11/23/2014 Comments (2)

Pope Francis canonized six new saints this morning in St. Peter's Square on Christ the King Sunday. Those raised to the altars were:

* Kuriakose Elias Chavara, a priest whose leadership saved the Church in Kerala from a schism and who founded the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate;

* Mother Eufrasia Eluvathingal of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Mother of Carmel;

* Amato Ronconi, Third Order Franciscan and the founder of the hospital known as the “Blessed Amato Ronconi Nursing Home”;

* Giovanni Antonio Farina, the bishop of Vicenza and the founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy,

* Daughters of the Sacred Heart. Nicola da Longobardi, a professed...READ MORE

Filed under canonization, christ the king, homilies, pope francis

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