"Everyone who belongs to the Truth hears my voice…" (John 18:37)

Straight From the Pew rss


A Confession Primer for Cradle Catholics (and the rest of us!)

September 3, 2015

I’ve come to love and appreciate the Sacrament of Reconciliation over the years, but it wasn’t always that way. For a long time, I suffered from “confession avoidance” and had all the accompanying excuses: I don’t really need to go… I’ll feel embarrassed… I forget how this works… Confession? Who has time?… What do I… Read More ›


Parenthood: Lessons in Diplomacy from the Cold War

On a long car trip recently, I was listening to a book on the life of Saint John Paul II called The End and the Beginning.1 In it, the author describes the Pope’s role in helping to bring down communism and dismantle the Soviet Union. Because I was just a kid in 1978 when Karol Wojtyla was… Read More ›


Five Qualities Catholic Girls Find Irresistible

I still remember the day I felt sure my daughter had found the “right” guy. She texted me one morning, saying that her boyfriend had broken his scapular and she needed my help. For a minute, my mind raced as I tried to quickly think back to 9th grade Biology class to remember what part… Read More ›


An open letter to those who have left the Catholic Church…

I read on Facebook recently that a friend of a friend had left the Catholic Church. Now, I don’t even really know the guy, so I can’t say I understand his situation, but it made me sad that anyone – especially a young person – would have come to such a decision. I realize that… Read More ›


7 Sneaky Ways to Evangelize

If there’s one word that strikes fear into the hearts of Catholics, it’s this: evangelization. And if not “fear,” it’s at least good for a little eye rolling. For the idea of knocking on doors, handing out pamphlets, and discussing our faith with total strangers is both intimidating and unappealing to most of us –… Read More ›


The Easter Vigil for Beginners

The first Easter Vigil I ever attended was in 1986 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in College Station, Texas. That year, a dozen or so men and women entered into full communion with the Church, and thanks be to God, I was one of them. Though I’d spent nearly a year in RCIA1 – in… Read More ›


The Hidden Power of the Will

Usually about this time during Lent, one of my kids comes up to me with a long face and asks if they can change their Lenten resolution. I’ve got to admit, I know exactly how they feel. Fasting and other kinds of sacrifice don’t come easy. We have good intentions but quickly grow tired and… Read More ›


Of purging and all things purgatorial…

For the first 10 years or so of married life, my husband and I hauled around at least three huge boxes of textbooks. Every time we moved, we’d pack them up and take them to the next house, and there they would sit in our attic or storage room…until the next move. I finally somehow… Read More ›


Wasting Time on your Kids

A few years ago, Frommer’s came out with a book called 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up. I was intrigued by the title and bought it because it combined two things that I enjoy and are important to me: travel and spending time with my kids. The book focuses on making… Read More ›


Till Death Do Us Part…

In the early years, when my husband and I were first married, it seemed we enjoyed being together 24/7. Even mundane chores, like doing the dishes or making a trip to the laundromat, weren’t so bad if we were together. We commonly hear this period of time referred to as the “honeymoon phase,” that stage… Read More ›


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