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The Chicago Cubs and the mystery of faith

I often joke that I came out of the womb wearing a Cubs hat. I was born in New Hampshire into a family of Chicago Cubs fans on November 9, 1992. Three months later, I was baptized.

I chose neither of these things. But before I could walk, talk, or seek a rational alternative, both were part of my temporal and eternal destiny. Cradle Catholic. Cradle Cubs fan. My ancestral birthrights. 

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Eight gift ideas for first communion

Last fall, our son and the rest of his second grade class at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Fort Wayne, Indiana started preparing for their first communion. First communion prep began with a meeting where he and his friends created prayer dice. The two cardboard die have prayers printed on each side. At night, we rolled the dice on his bed and said whichever prayers landed face up. It was a fun way to get him started on the road toward deeper initiation into the church.

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How shall I pray?

How do you pray? The way I pray changes often. Sometimes it’s intentional, quiet, in front of a candle even. At other times, it’s simply sitting quietly on my commute to work, purposefully avoiding my email and social media while I mindfully observe my surroundings. For a while there in the summer, after putting my son to bed, I would sit on my back porch and attempt watercolor paintings of the scenery around me.

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I am pro-woman and pro-life

These are the times that try women’s souls, or at least, this woman’s soul. A few weeks back on an unseasonably warm Saturday, women across the country met in Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and hundreds of other locations to support women’s rights and protest what many of us recognize as reprehensible behavior and forthcoming policies from our new President.

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Just the facts

Remember FOCA cards? Catholic officialdom greeted President Obama’s 2009 inauguration by printing cards to be distributed in every pew across the country, warning Mass goers against a purported Obama intention to pass the radically pro-choice Freedom of Choice Act. (In fact President Obama never sought to initiate such legislation and it never progressed on Capitol Hill.)

The idea of the church putting cards in our pews is an interesting one to revisit as Trump assumes the presidency and the GOP has control of both houses of Congress.  What might these Trump cards warn about?

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Fidelity and forgiveness in pop culture

The year 2016 gets no love. The close of last year brought cheers from a diverse cross-section of American society, and yet, some great things happened during this ominous year of a difficult presidential election and an onslaught of celebrity deaths. And no, I’m not referring to Pokemon Go. I’m talking about the emergence of Forgiveness with a capital F, particularly after infidelity in marriage.

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Where are our bishops? The racism of ‘alt-right’ nationalism

It is long past time for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to speak out against the evil of today’s racism. The “alt-right” white nationalist racism that surged alongside the political campaigns of 2016 is an evil that the church in America cannot ignore.  

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When to talk politics with your kids

“It’s a good thing we’re white,” our 7-year-old son Atticus said, prompting my husband to almost leap out of his chair in pausing the movie we were in the middle of watching. The movie was The Help from Kathyrn Stockett’s novel by the same name, which exposes the continued slave treatment of “the help” in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962. The scene responsible for our son’s precocious observation of his white privilege involves the violent arrest of maid Yule May.

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The good and the bad of the ‘Gilmore Girls' revival

In the spirit of Rory Gilmore’s love of the pro/con list, this review of the long-awaited return of our favorite mother and daughter duo will take the same form. While I’ll refrain from quoting the final four words, references to it will take place as I assume most readers will have pulled a Lorelai and Rory and binged all four episodes over the weekend while eating pizza and Pop-Tarts.

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Seasons of defeat: Lent and March Madness

For most Catholics, the month of March signifies the liturgical season of Lent, the 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving where we take the time to reflect on and renew our relationship with God. While I engage in Lent during the month of March, there’s another ritual that I practice during this same time each year: March Madness (not to be confused with Lent Madness).

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