Bad at NFP and Proud!

07/15/2011 Comments (164)

I need to be careful with the posts I write now that I have five kids, because any time I make a joke about being bad at NFP my inbox is flooded with concerned emails. The gist of the feedback is usually something like, “Shhh! Don’t say that! Now everyone is going to use contraception and reject the beauty of natural family planning!” I see where these folks are coming from, and always appreciate a defender of the culture of life, but I disagree that these kind of jokes turn anyone off to natural methods of birth control. In fact, as a convert to Catholicism who didn’t always understand the Church’s teaching on openness to life, I think that these kinds of comments are not only not harmful,...READ MORE

Filed under culture of death, culture of life, natural family planning, nfp

Do You Pray in Public?

07/13/2011 Comments (126)

A while back my husband and I were at a dinner party where most of the other people in attendance were not religious. When the food was served, we faced an awkward moment: Do we say our usual prayer?

I don’t know whether it’s because both of us spent so much time living secular lifestyles or because of all our taciturn English and German genes, but public displays of faith don’t come naturally to us. At all. (The other day I crossed myself after saying a silent prayer when I was out for a walk. When I noticed that one of my neighbors had seen me do it, I briefly felt the urge to rush up and apologize to him for my overbearing holy rolling antics.) And so at the dinner party, my husband...READ MORE

Filed under evangelization, faith, prayer, prayers, public displays

Babies and Blessings

07/11/2011 Comments (21)

Well, the baby is here! Our fifth child in six years, our fourth girl in a row, arrived on June 22 sometime in the afternoon, weighing seven pounds and something-something ounces (I missed some of the details, as I was focused on tracking down the anesthesiologist to give him a little constructive criticism about epidurals and misset expectations). She’s as cute as she can be, with a full head of dark brown hair, and you know she’s going to be awesome because her middle name is Scholastica.

I have to admit, I’ve been surprised by how great everything has been these past few weeks. I have this tendency, which I think is pretty common in our culture, to think about the potential difficulties...READ MORE

Filed under culture of life, family, family planning, open to life, parenting

Top 10 Things I'll Do on Maternity Leave

06/17/2011 Comments (33)

I’m having a baby next week! This will be our fifth child (our oldest is six) and our fourth girl in a row. I’ll be taking a few weeks off from writing here, though you can count on some gratuitous baby pictures over at my personal blog. What will I do with my extra time when I’m not writing for the Register? Glad you asked.

10. Have a t-shirt made that says YES, THEY’RE ALL MINE. While I’m at it, I’ll print up handy business-card-sized answers to frequently asked questions, so that I can make it through the grocery store without having to stop to tell each person whether we’re done having kids, if we wanted this many kids, and if we know how that happens. (Hopefully Simcha will give me...READ MORE

Filed under babies, baby girls, parenting

Why the Internet Will Make the World More Pro-Life

06/15/2011 Comments (13)

There have been a lot of fascinating discussions about how the digital revolution will impact everything from prayer to marriages to the Church as a whole, but one of the areas that I find most interesting is how it has impacted the fight for the dignity of human life. Based on my own conversion to the pro-life position and what I’ve observed in society at large, I think that new media will play a key role in turning the tide against the culture of death, specifically on the issue of abortion. Here’s why:

1. Pregnant women feel less alone

When I was in high school, an acquaintance of mine found out she was pregnant. She felt like she was the only 17-year-old girl on the face of the...READ MORE

Filed under culture of death, internet, pro-choice, pro-life

Dear Teens: Fun Is Overrated

06/13/2011 Comments (15)

I came across an online discussion the other day in which moms were agonizing about how to make sure their teens had fun during the summer. In reading the back-and-forths with suggestions of all the things kids could do to maximize their amusement while out of school, it occurred to me: I don’t think I’m going to be very concerned about this when my kids are teens.

Don’t get me wrong: I want them to enjoy life and be peaceful, joyful people—it’s just that I don’t think that specifically aiming to “have fun” is the way to do it.

The dominant worldview in the culture where I grew up was that kids should have as much fun as possible. Moms and dads encouraged their kids to strive academically...READ MORE

Filed under parenting, teenagers, teens, youth, youth ministry

QUIZ: Does St. Francis Think You're an Internet Jerk?

06/10/2011 Comments (15)

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I recently came across an excerpt in Finding God’s Will for You by St. Francis de Sales that is startlingly appropriate to modern life. He warns the reader of those who think they’re doing God’s work but are actually listening to inspiration that is not of God at all:

God’s servants who have had the highest and most exalted inspirations have been the gentlest and most peaceable men in all the world. Such were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Moses is called “a man exceedingly meek above all men.” David is praised for his mildness.

On the contrary, the evil spirit is turbulent, bitter, and restless. Those who follow his hellish suggestions in the belief that they are heavenly inspirations can...READ MORE

Filed under blog, bloggers, blogging, facebook, internet, twitter

No Exceptions With Contraception - Thank God!

06/08/2011 Comments (58)

In response to my piece about adopting HIV-positive children, I got some emails from readers wondering how a Catholic could raise a child with this condition, knowing what the Church teaches about condom use. One reader wrote:

I’m generally at peace with the Church’s teachings, but this situation troubles me. How could I tell my child that she could never use condoms? Does that mean she could never get married? Or her future husband would have to accept getting HIV? This is the first time I’ve thought that this teaching seems unfair.

I’ve received similar questions in other situations, as well. One reader confided to me:

I recently recovered from severe PPD [postpartum depression]. It...READ MORE

Filed under birth control, condoms, condoms and aids, contraception

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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.