Why the Male Priesthood Always Made Sense to Me

06/06/2011 Comments (75)

When I got to the part in Catholicism for Dummies about the male priesthood, you’d think I would have recoiled. I had heard something about gender and the Catholic clergy in popular culture, but I didn’t know until I started researching it that the Catholic Church really doesn’t allow women to be priests. As a lifelong atheist and self-proclaimed feminist, it seems like I would have been outraged. Yet when I tried to work up some good righteous indignation, it wouldn’t come. In fact, something about this policy felt really right. Surprised at my own stance, I spent a long time pondering why I felt no urge to denounce this controversial stance as oppressive and unfair. Here’s what I came up...READ MORE

Filed under priest, priestesses, priesthood, priests, women priests, women's equality, women's ordination

The Socially Awkward Person's Guide to the Sign of Peace

06/03/2011 Comments (141)

The first time I went to a Catholic Mass, there were a lot of things that seemed crazy to me. The kneeling, the incense, the parts with everyone saying the same prayers at the same time—most of it was baffling. But none of it startled me more than when the priest suddenly said, “Let us offer one another a sign of peace.” With no warning other than that simple phrase, there was eye contact! And hand-shaking! And verbal interaction! People I didn’t even know were looking at me and addressing me!

For those of us who are both extremely introverted and socially awkward, this sort of rampant interaction with other human beings isn’t the sort of thing you just rush into. It requires practice,...READ MORE

Filed under liturgy, mass

Does it Ever Make Sense to Baptize Your Baby Yourself?

06/01/2011 Comments (99)

Taylor Marshall recently wrote a post on the topic of infant baptism that made my blood pressure skyrocket. What bothered me wasn’t any problem with what he said; in fact, I was troubled because I agreed with him. Quoting Blessed Pope John Paul II, other popes, The Council of Trent and various Church documents, Marshall hit home the importance of not delaying baptism for our children. In addition to all the material Marshall cites in his post, Canon 867 specifically states that “parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptized within the first few weeks.” There’s no question where the Church stands on this subject.

So what, then, should parents do who aren’t able to secure a...READ MORE

Filed under baptism, canon law, infant deaths, sacraments

7 Easy Activities to Help Children Understand Memorial Day

05/30/2011 Comments (3)

Summer is here! Well, technically we have a few more weeks until the summer solstice, and those of us who live on the surface of Venus—err, I mean, Texas—have been experiencing summer weather for a few months now, but Memorial Day marks the cultural beginning of summer. In the midst of all the fun of the three-day weekend it’s easy for kids to come to think of this holiday as representing nothing more than the end of school and the beginning of barbecue and pool party season, so I scoured the internet to find the best ideas for simple and fun family crafts that gently introduce children to the deeper meaning of Memorial Day.

1. Create a memorial flower boat
This is an easy but beautiful...READ MORE

Filed under memorial day, veterans

Do Housewives Waste Their Educations?

05/27/2011 Comments (37)

The other day I ran into an old coworker from my career days, and when it came up that I’ve permanently ditched cubicle life to stay home and raise my gazillion kids, he asked bluntly, “Don’t you feel like you’re wasting your education?”

I think we were both surprised when my answer was: “Actually ... yes.”

I had been prepared to launch into a lecture about how my roles as homeschooler and household manager challenge me intellectually, but when I considered whether I ever use the knowledge I gained in my four (okay, four and a half) years in college, I realized that the answer was no. But the problem isn’t with my vocation; it’s with my education.

My degree is in Advertising, with a...READ MORE

Filed under education, motherhood, universities, university, wives

Raising Genderless Children

05/25/2011 Comments (38)

Every now and then an issue comes up that puts a magnifying glass on just how deeply confused our collective cultural psyche has become, and this story about parents raising their child without gender is just such an occasion. For those of you whose internet connections have been broken for the past few days, here’s a summary of this story that’s making the rounds through the blog world: A Canadian couple named Kathy Witterick and David Stocker have decided to raise their child without gender. Witterick explains: “In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?’” The couple...READ MORE

Filed under gender, gender confusion, gender roles, sexuality

A Day Without "Overpopulation"

05/23/2011 Comments (301)

A friend of mine who is an immigrant from Mexico was recently telling me about a movie called A Day Without a Mexican. The film takes a humorous look at what would happen if all the Mexicans in California were to suddenly disappear back to their home country, showing scenes of rich people having to do their own gardening, farmers unable to afford laborers, etc. Though I haven’t seen it, it sounds like an amusing conversation starter on the topic of immigration.

I keep thinking I’d love to see some enterprising Catholic filmmakers create a similar short film about overpopulation. I have the storyboard all worked out: A guy named Bob, wearing a Greenpeace t-shirt and a hemp necklace, wishes...READ MORE

Filed under overpopulation, population, population control

Faith in Fear

05/20/2011 Comments (27)

The Daily Mail has two articles out this week that caught my attention. The first one is by a mother, writing under the pseudonym Sara Carpenter, who chronicles the heartbreaking story of her unborn son’s diagnosis with spina bifida. She assumed she’d have the child, but then started imagining what his life would be like:

I pictured him watching from the sofa, frustrated and immobile, as his sisters turned cartwheels and somersaults in the living room. I envisaged trips to the park, where he would sit on the sidelines as other children clambered over climbing frames and kicked footballs ... I tried to shake away the image I conjured in my head of a little boy, lonely and friendless, robbed...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, culture of death

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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, ConversionDiary.com. 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.