Women of Faith


A Mother’s Serenity Prayer

When the heat goes out and the temperature is minus-two degrees outside and I wonder when the oil company will arrive to save us from this dangerous situation, —Lord, help me to accept hardship as a pathway to peace, to take as Jesus did the sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. When we are on day […]


A Reflection on the Desire to Feel Superior

On a rainy afternoon not too long ago, I took the kids to grab a bite to eat at the large food warehouse near our house.  We were all a bit stir crazy from being cooped up, so the seven of us braved the hellish weather with nary a yellow slicker or umbrella. (In our family, slickers, rain boots, and […]


On Lenten Failures and Easter Resurrections

This year, I didn’t pull out the Lenten decorations I use as visual aids to help my children during the forty days in the desert.  My crown of thorns wreath, the purple cloth, the sacrifice jar and the other small devotional items I implement as best Lenten practices stayed housed in their Rubbermaid containers in the garage. I suppose this is […]


Try Hard, Love Much

“She tried hard and loved much.” Not to be morbid, but I hope that can be truthfully put on my tombstone. I’m not planning on dying any time soon, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Over the years I have come to realize that a great way to live is to really consider my own death. What is […]


Why Pornography is Not Good For Married Couples

February is for Lovers. It is the reason that the movie, Fifty Shades of Grey is opening in theaters on Valentine’s Day. The producers hope that sweethearts will celebrate by watching sadomasochistic pornography together on the big screen. But pornography and love do not go together; one is selfish and the other is selfless. Even the non-religious world is coming […]


Mass without My Kids: Not All It’s Cracked up to Be

Every so often, I find myself at Mass without my kids. And it never fails to shock me that…I’m just as distracted without them as I am when they’re with me! I wrote this piece back in 2007, when I only had one toddler to my name and was the full-time parish secretary. This toddler came to work with me every […]

Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail)
Artwork © by Jef MurrayBlessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

Did Mary Have Days Like This?

I didn’t have a good excuse. No sudden death, news of great tragedy, or personal fall-through. The clock just met 4:00, the kid of choice started with the customary late afternoon ranting, and it all unraveled from there. Somehow, the everyday things – the weight of my worries, the onslaught of my duties, the trial of just getting through the […]


I Should Have Said No

I should have said no. But when I said yes, I felt POWERFUL. I felt NEEDED. I felt SOUGHT AFTER. I felt DESIRED. Now, I just feel TIRED. I tend to bite off more than I can chew. That’s something my mother told me long ago when I was a teenager. Constantly trying to get me to cut back on […]

Photography Copyright © by Colleen DugganPhotography Copyright © by Colleen Duggan

How to Keep Your Kids Catholic

I don’t remember much of the arithmetic or history my fifth grade teacher, Sister Matthew Marie, a religious with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, taught us. But I do remember that when she needed our attention, instead of yelling, she whispered. She sometimes played soccer with us on the playground during recess, and watching Sister run — with her […]

“St. Mary of Egypt” (detail) – Sketch © by Judith Costello“St. Mary of Egypt” (detail) – Sketch © by Judith Costello

Mother Mary and the Other Marys — Saints for Today’s Girls

Imagine living the life of a prostitute from age 12 to 29! Prostitution leaves a woman hardened and scarred. It must surely turn the heart into a stone because sex, which is a God-ordained gift of vulnerable union, has been turned into a crass money-making abuse of the body. So who is the 17-year-prostitute and why should we care? Mary […]