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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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 […]

Fish for breakfast and the practicality of love

Today’s Gospel story is one of my favorites (John 21:1-14). The Apostles have returned to Galilee and decide to go fishing. I’ve heard some homilists criticize them for returning to their former way of life, but it seems to me that they’re just getting some food to eat. These guys didn’t have congregations to support them yet, so they needed […]

"The Crucifixion" (detail) by Leon Bonnat

The Day We Call “Good”

We have committed the greatest sin imaginable. Deicide. The creatures have killed their Creator. The mysteries of today abound. We never could have killed our God if He hadn’t allowed it. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again” (John […]

The realness of Christ

“From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road, to bypass the land of Edom…” began the first reading at Mass one day this week. Years ago, perhaps I would have pictured a brightly-colored cartoon derived from a picture Bible of my youth, or maybe an aging Charlton Heston would walk across my mental image […]

Traps & Tips for Spiritual Workouts

As part of our health insurance, they bribe, er, encourage us to stay healthy and active.  So the other day (in order to earn “points” for the program) I was reading an article about beginning a workout regimen.  The advice given was good—things like how to make your exercise a habit so that you can stick with it when life gets busy, […]

Lost sabbaths and the sin of sloth

An intriguing phrase caught my attention while looking over the Mass readings for the fourth Sunday of Lent (Year B). The first reading comes from the end of 2 Chronicles, as it recaps the story of the Babylonian captivity and subsequent restoration of Jerusalem. It clearly teaches that God allowed the Israelites to be taken into captivity because of their […]

Why your Lenten plan won’t save you

Every time Lent rolls around, I know it’s my chance to start over. Whether it’s strengthening my prayer life, stripping my daily routine of clutter and distraction, eradicating a bad habit, or building new good habits, Lent is the time to transform things. I make a plan. I make intentional decisions that will get me holy. And then I fail. […]

Learn from Andrew

Unlike some of the other hills featured in Jesus’ public ministry, Mount Tabor is truly a mountain. As our bus climbed the windy roads and I looked down at the countryside, I thought back to the line of Scripture which will open this Sunday’s Gospel: “Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up to a high mountain apart […]

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 […]