Remembering 9/12

09/09/2011 Comments (18)

Wow, 10 years on Sunday. Can you believe it’s been that long?

This weekend we will take time to relive the moment we first heard the news, when we got the call saying, “Turn on the TV,” or the email reporting that something horrible was happening in New York. I doubt any of us will ever forget seeing the the towers fall.

There will undoubtedly be a lot of media coverage of this 10th anniversary as well, showing the heartbreaking footage from that terrible day. Then, as the new week begins, the footage of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon will be replaced by current events, and our feelings about the attacks will once again become buried under the details of daily life. Everything will go...READ MORE

Filed under 9-11, 911 memorial, september 11

In Contraceptive Culture, Women Can Never Rest

09/07/2011 Comments (127)

A recent study showed that one of the fastest-growing markets for plastic surgery is women who are over 65. According American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, over 85,000 people in that age group had cosmetic surgery last year; one 83-year-old woman recently made the news for getting breast implants.

This isn’t a surprising turn of events, considering that our culture now tells women that if they are not sexy, they are not valuable. This idea is everywhere. Women’s magazines and websites are filled with well-meaning messages assuring women of all ages that they too can achieve this all-important status. For example, Joan Collins wrote an article in the Daily Mail on this topic...READ MORE

Filed under contraception, culture of death, plastic surgery, sexuality, women

Building Catholic Communities, the Online Way

09/05/2011 Comments (17)

In light of some of our discussions about the isolation that comes with modern life, especially for people outside the workforce, I thought it would be interesting to highlight some folks who are doing something about it.

One great example is that of the website Faith and Family Live!, the online arm of Faith & Family magazine. For those of you who aren’t already regular readers, it’s a website for Catholic women with the specific goal of building up a sense of community among the readers. Many sites offer helpful information, but Faith and Family Live! takes it step further by encouraging readers to get to know both the authors and one another on a personal level. I’ve been in the web...READ MORE

Filed under community, faith & family live, faith & family magazine, faith and family, internet, web, websites

In Praise of Imperfect Reverence

09/02/2011 Comments (57)

A few months ago when I was out of town visiting another church, I saw a sight that I won’t soon forget. I had just settled into the pew a few minutes before Mass when something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I looked over to see a voluptuous woman in an orange dress that was one of the shortest, most low cut outfits I’ve ever seen anyone wear in public. She had a passel of kids with her, and when she leaned forward to help one of them tie his shoe, I had to look away for fear of learning more than I wanted to know about this lady’s taste in undergarments. She and her rowdy crew walked in front of me, with her hissing at the kids to be quiet, one of the boys wearing a...READ MORE

Filed under head coverings, mass, modesty, piety

An Undercover Look at Crisis Pregnancy Centers

08/31/2011 Comments (33)

A British journalist named Jenny Stocks recently went undercover, pretending to be a woman in a crisis pregnancy, in order to investigate the practices of six pregnancy resource centers—some with pro-choice leanings, some with pro-life leanings. Her article about her experience is thorough and balanced, and is a must-read for anyone involved in the pro-life movement. Here were my top takeaways from the thought-provoking piece:

1. Women feel uncomfortable when counselors push for too much personal information. I can see how a counselor could do this in an effort to be friendly, but it’s easy for a woman in such an emotionally stressful situation to feel like her privacy is being invaded....READ MORE

Filed under abortion, pregnancy center, pregnancy centers, pregnancy-resource centers, pro-choice, pro-life, pro-life movement

The Difference Between Christian Service and Secular Service

08/29/2011 Comments (157)

One day last year I was dropping some of my kids off at our parish’s Mother’s Day Out program, and a woman approached me in the hall. “I need help,” she said.

I wasn’t sure what she meant. “The registration office is down that way,” I said, pointing to the Mother’s Day Out coordinator’s office.

A gaggle of moms and toddlers walked between us, pausing our conversation, and I noticed that she looked tired. Her body language was tense. It dawned on me that when she’d said she needed help, she probably wasn’t referring to Mother’s Day Out. “No, I’ve been out of work for a while…” she said. She glanced over her shoulder. “This is a church, right?”

I finally got it. I ushered my kids into...READ MORE

Filed under atheism, charity, christianity, community, secular society

Remember, You Don't Have Suffering ESP

08/26/2011 Comments (22)

Well, this is one of the most inspiring things I’ve read in a long time—maybe ever. Jon Morrow, an editor at the crazy-popular site Copyblogger, tells the story of how he left his job after getting in a catastrophic car accident, learned to make a ton of money doing something he loves, and now lives a resort lifestyle on a beach in Mexico (he notes watching dolphins jumping in the ocean as he drafted the post). And then, toward the end of the post, he says, Oh, by the way, I can’t move from the neck down because I have the fatal disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Morrow has another must-read post about the moment his mother got the devastating diagnosis, the doctor suggesting that her son...READ MORE

Filed under culture of death, suffering

Why Living in a Walkable Area Matters

08/24/2011 Comments (27)

The website Walk Score has released their 2011 list of the country’s most “walkable” cities, i.e. the places where it’s easiest to live without a car. The top of the list was pretty predictable, with cities like New York, San Francisco and Boston ranking highest, but I was surprised to see Minneapolis at #9, Omaha at #21, and Houston at #23.

I think this is good information to consider in light of our discussion about isolation and stay-at-home parents from last week. It’s hard to overstate the benefits to living in a walkable area, especially for someone who is outside the workforce. You save a ton of money on gas, and even more if you can get by with one car. You save money on groceries...READ MORE

Filed under community, families, family

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About Jennifer Fulwiler

Jennifer Fulwiler
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Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer and speaker who converted to Catholicism after a life of atheism. She's a contributor to the books The Church and New Media and Atheist to Catholic: 11 Stories of Conversion, and is writing a book based on her personal blog, She and her husband live in Austin, TX with their five young children, and were featured in the nationally televised reality show Minor Revisions. You can follow her on Twitter at @conversiondiary.