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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"The Prophet Elias" (detail) by Daniele da Volterra

Recognizing the Lord when He Comes

Today’s first reading might be a familiar one. This week we’ve been following glimpses of the story of Elijah, and today we find him having fled the murderous designs of Jezebel. He is taking shelter in a cave when the Lord passes by. There is wind, there is an earthquake and there is fire – but the Lord is not […]

The Messiah’s Human Heart

I stood on the Mount of Olives and looked across at Jerusalem, the skyline a mix of old and new. The light blue dome of the Holy Sepulchre seemed to almost touch the dominant gold Dome of the Rock, and the Western Wall was invisible to my eye but present in my thoughts. I saw a crowded Mount Moriah that […]

Renewing Our Faith in the Eucharist

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Although it would take several decades for the feast to be universally celebrated, the development of the feast begins with a young woman named Juliana, who had a great devotion to the Eucharist. She began seeing a vision of a full moon with a dark […]

St. James’ Practical Advice

Well, we’re back in Ordinary Time. While it might seem a little sad to return to green vestments, say good bye to the Regina Coeli, and put the Easter candle aside until the next baptism, I love Ordinary Time. I suppose when pressed I would admit I love all the liturgical seasons, just like I love all the meteorological seasons. […]

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost) by Jean II Restout

Mary and the Early Church

There are many unknowns about Mary’s life during the public ministry of Christ and especially after His death and resurrection. We know that she was present at the Cross, that John the Apostle took her into his home, and that she was present in the Upper Room during the time of the prayer preceding Pentecost. But other than that, answers […]

A Work in Progress

Several of our Christian beliefs can be debated, fine arguments can be made, and opposing views can be discussed. But I think one of the most self-evident beliefs is that of original sin and concupiscence. As Christians, Catholics in particular, we recognize that mankind is a work in progress. The struggle against concupiscence is real, and we can see evidence […]

Change and Original Sin

While reading about the restructuring in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, I stopped to say a prayer for everyone involved – everyone from Bishop Zubik to the priests and parish staff to the people in the pew. Change always brings great opportunities and great challenges. As I’ve written before, priest changes can be quite disruptive and difficult for a parish. Change […]

Promises God Didn’t Make

There’s a danger in the Sunday readings this weekend. In both the second reading and the Gospel, we hear the promise that we will be given whatever we ask. If we read the verses out of context, however, we end up with a dangerous concept of God that can be compared to a vending machine. I was recently looking over […]

By Dint of Little Things

I want to be holy. I want to be a saint. That’s all that matters in this life… that someday we all get to heaven. I know that it’s only possible with God’s grace, and I know I have to cooperate with that grace to grow in holiness. But often those thoughts become detached from my every day experience. Priests […]

Pope St. Martin, Martyr for the Truth

Today is the feast of Pope St. Martin I, the last Pope to be venerated as a martyr in the Catholic Church. If you don’t know the story of Pope Martin I, you’re probably not alone. And if you’re assuming right now that he was killed during a persecution by a pagan Roman emperor or by invading barbarians, you’re probably […]