Joannie Watson

About the Author

Joannie Watson

Joan Watson was born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana, but college and graduate school took her to Virginia, Ohio, and Rome. After graduating from Christendom College with a B.A. in History and Franciscan University with a M.A. in Theology, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to be part of the explosion of Catholic culture in the middle of the Bible Belt.

She has been blessed to work for Dr. Scott Hahn at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia at Aquinas College. She is presently the Director of Adult Formation for the Diocese of Nashville. She also serves as the Associate Editor of Integrated Catholic Life.

When she’s not testing the culinary exploits of new restaurants or catching up on the latest BBC miniseries, she’s FaceTiming with her eight nephews and nieces and enjoying her role as coolest aunt. She likes gelato, bourbon, and the color orange.

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Photo by Nicola Anderson on Unsplash

What a flooded creek reminded me about the Church

We had steady rainfall here last week, resulting in our little creeks and streams flooding their banks. I took advantage of one warm afternoon, despite the rain, to head to my favorite walking path that follows a medium-sized creek to check out the impact of the non-stop precipitation. I would describe the rain as “drizzle” more than “pouring,” so I […]

The witness of Scholastica: Ask!

If you have ever felt overshadowed by a sibling, you can find a patroness in the woman whose feast we celebrate on February 10, St. Scholastica. You might be a little more familiar with her twin brother, St. Benedict. The most famous story about St. Scholastica is found in the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, which contains a series […]

The Preparation of Simeon

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which recalls the first time the Messiah entered the Temple. In Luke 2:22-40, we hear of the Holy Family traveling to Jerusalem for Mary’s purification (see Leviticus 12:2-8). Even though Mary, free from sin, did not require purification, she submitted to the Law, just as the Son of God […]

Is Tardiness a Vice?

I am trying to finish this post, well after my deadline, and just emailed Deacon Mike an apology about not having it finished yet. I am submitting a post about being late… late. The irony of this is not lost on me. There is an increased tendency in my life to run late, and it’s not something of which I […]

What the Pro-Life Movement Needs to Remember

Today, hundreds of thousands of people will converge on Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life. The crowds will be larger and younger than the media will portray, and the atmosphere will be like that of a family reunion. I remember my first (of many) Marches when I was in high school. I was shocked by the joy I […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Writer’s Block, Ordinary Time, and Grace

During the first weeks of Ordinary Time, whether it is after Christmas or Easter, I generally find myself faced with writer’s block.  Is it the mental overload of Christmas or Easter? Is it the busyness of work as we get back into the routine? Is it the weather? This week there aren’t even any large feast days on the liturgical […]

"The Adoration of the Magi" (detail) by Jan de Bray

Four Ways to Keep Christmas With You

After the calendar turns over its last page and the New Year’s celebrations have come and gone, I’m the one stubbornly still telling people “Merry Christmas!,” no matter what crazy looks I get. I’m listening to Christmas music as I type this, and the Magi of my Nativity scene are still over on a bookcase, making their way to their […]

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Murillo

Witness of the Shepherds

As we continue to ponder the familiar stories of the infancy narratives throughout the Christmas season, we imitate our Blessed Mother, who “kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51). The first time we see that phrase in Luke’s Gospel (our indication of where he gathered source material for his infancy account) occurs during the visit of the shepherds […]

"Appearance of Christ on the Mountain in Galilee" (detail) by Duccio di Buoninsegna [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What we have seen with our own eyes

As we approach the mystery of Christmas, it is important to not become jaded to the shocking reality of what we profess.  During Advent, we have journeyed with the Blessed Mother, who kept the mystery of the Incarnation within her for nine months. As we now prepare to recount the story of that night in Bethlehem, we can’t allow ourselves […]

What Bethlehem reminded me about Christmas

When I was preparing to go to the Holy Land this summer, everyone who had been there before had the same message for me: You’ll never read the Scriptures the same again. As a Catholic, I should have realized this also meant something else: you’ll never celebrate the liturgical calendar the same again. As we prepare for Christmas, my thoughts […]