difficulties

Oh What a Treasure!

It might be a tough message to hear, but truthfully, it is often our very difficulties in this life that represent our greatest blessings. In fact, that is exactly what St. Paul tells us in his Second letter to the Corinthians. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not […]

Want To Save The World? Start With The People You See Everyday.

"Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary" (detail) by Edmund Blair Leighton

In June, I started a mother’s ministry at my 10,000 person parish and the response has been overwhelming. Though we began meeting over five weeks ago, every week I receive more requests from women who have heard about us and want to join the group. Here’s the thing I already knew, but my experience has confirmed: women are hungry for […]

When God picks your friends…

Our friends filled our bellies, but they what they really offered was friendship. Jesse and Dan’s ingenious modus operandi in securing our friendship was to feed us.  My husband, John, and I had moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for work, but we were lonely because our immediate family lived several states away.  We knew we needed community, but we didn’t […]

The Joy of Difficult People… Really

No sooner do I get my tendency to slip out with a word that I shouldn’t say under control than the Difficult People seem to crawl right out of the woodwork of my life. Now, I want to make one thing clear: I’m as difficult as any Difficult Person who comes my way. Thanks for asking, because I like my […]

The Good News About Imperfect Families

Do we have to go to church?” my five year old, Camille, whined as we readied for the Good Friday Stations of the Cross. “It’s boring and stupid,” she said, tears dripping down her cheeks and punctuating her overly dramatic sentiments. “I want to go to the Stations. Today is the day Jesus died. I want to comfort Him,” I […]

On Accepting Help

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

I was in desperate need of Confession recently. When I finally decided I couldn’t put off the spring-cleaning my soul so desperately needed any longer, I scoured the Internet looking for a local church and made plans to go.  I knew I would have to bring all six kids with me because my husband was working and I was dreading […]

13 Ways to Love Your Neighbor in a Socially-Isolated and Technologically-Overloaded Culture

"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants

When John and I were first married, we bought a starter home in a cute neighborhood where all the homes were piled on top of one another. One night, we were sitting in our living room when there was a knock on the door. It was the mother of Jane, the woman who lived across the street from us. Jane’s […]

How to Keep Your Kids Catholic

Photography Copyright © by Colleen Duggan

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 […]

Parents of Large Families: Ours is a Public Ministry

I went to the dentist last week and when it was my turn to have my teeth cleaned, the energetic 23-year-old hygienist made small talk as she prepped the room for x-rays. “Your husband was just in here and he told me you guys have six kids?” the young woman said. “Yes, we do,” I answered. I braced myself for […]