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. 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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"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Balestra

This beloved Christmas song has Mary all wrong

I love Christmas music so much, it’s hard to force myself to wait to listen to it. I make myself wait until at least halfway through Advent, but after that you’ll find me listening to it into January. Of course, there are several Christmas songs that I could do without, and a few that make me want to turn the […]

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

I will give you shepherds

My diocese was given a unique Thanksgiving present this year by Pope Francis. After our bishop died in June, we entered that uncertain time of vacancy in the diocese, that time of transition while waiting for a new bishop. We all had much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving when the Pope gave us our new shepherd the Tuesday before […]

"The Maccabees" by Wojciech Stattler [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Capitulation, Complacency, and the Courage of the Maccabees

This week in the first readings at Mass, we have been hearing the story of the Maccabean revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes. If you haven’t had the chance to hear the readings at Mass, it is worth reading them for a good overview of this important event in the history of the Jewish people. The first and second books of Maccabees […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

Holiness: Not one size fits all

Have you ever noticed that things marked “one size fits all” rarely do? “One size fits all” is simply not the way humanity works. We’re all quite different, whether it’s the length of our arms and the girth of our waists or the extravertedness of our temperament and the sensitivity of our emotions. We will all follow different paths, while […]

"The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins by Ernest Karlovich Lipgart" (detail) via Wikimedia Commons

Are you ready to meet Him today?

This Sunday, we will hear the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. Like Jesus’ other parables, He’s using a scenario that would be familiar to his audience. To understand this parable, it’s helpful to know something about Jewish weddings. While we don’t know a lot of specifics regarding weddings at the time of Jesus, we do know that there […]

Reminders in the Cemetery

I told a colleague the other day that I loved to visit cemeteries, and they looked at me like I was a little off my rocker.  I know that part of it is the history major in me, which is fascinated by the people and dates that you encounter wandering in the peaceful silence amongst forgotten headstones. Who would ever […]

Confessionals

The Fight against Concupiscence

In the first reading today at daily Mass, Paul reminds us of that pesky thing we call concupiscence.  While baptism both forgives original sin and personal sins and removes the eternal consequences for those sins, we are left with certain temporal consequences of sin.  These include suffering and death, along with “frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and […]

The Best Way to Combat Catholic Stereotypes

I know we’ve all run across them, whether in person or in the media, from friends and family members or from strangers on social media. How often have you heard those tired but sometimes convincing Catholic stereotypes?  Whether it’s about our ignorance of Scripture on one side or our anti-science beliefs on the other, they are almost too numerous to […]

"Our Lady of Fatima" (detail) by Chambers

Fatima, Marian Consecration, and the quiet faithfulness of God

In the midst of autumn homecomings, with high schools and colleges celebrating alumni with reunions and football games, I had a different homecoming this past weekend. I returned to the parish in which I grew up to give their annual women’s retreat.  It was at the parish I attended throughout middle school and high school, received the Sacrament of Confirmation, […]

"Saint Peter's Basilica, Sant'Angelo bridge, by night, Rome, Italy" by Jebulon [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

On Pilgrimage

This time last week, I was on pilgrimage in Italy. One of my favorite parts of my job is leading trips to places in important to our Catholic faith. While you might assume it’s my favorite because it means traveling to Europe, seeing the Pope, and eating good food, it’s actually my favorite for a different reason. I get to […]