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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Author Archive Page

The Pernicious Sins of Calumny and Detraction

“Instead of sharing the news you heard about someone, why not stop and pray for them instead?” In this age of the internet, it is shocking how easy it is to sin against the eighth commandment. Even good-intentioned people seem to think nothing of retweeting or reposting without stopping to think, “Is this true? Is this beneficial? Is this necessary?”  […]

Dealing with the Wheat and the Weeds

“We falsely give ourselves the prerogative that is only God’s: to judge hearts and decide who is worthy of our time, our love, and our mercy.” The Kingdom of heaven is like… This Sunday’s Gospel continues Jesus’ Kingdom discourse. The three shorter parables we hear in this week’s Gospel fall immediately after the parable of the sower that we heard last […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Need Some Good News?

“In a world that seems to have lost its grounding, I have some good news for you today.” I think we all need some good news in our lives. I am tired of writing about the corona virus or the situations in the Church. If you’re like me, you’re weary of making and changing plans and trying to predict the […]

"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" (detail) by Caravaggio

The Faith of “Doubting” Thomas

“God is patient with our questions, our weakness, and our struggles, just as he was patient with Thomas.” It is tradition that St. Thomas was the only Apostle to leave the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, traveling to Syria and Persia and then to India, as far south as the southwest region of Kerala. He was eventually martyred, fulfilling […]

Lessons from the “hidden” Japanese Catholics

“We need the priesthood. We need the Eucharist. But what happens if those things are taken away?” The history of the Catholic Church in Japan is complex. For various reasons, the first missionaries had difficulty preaching the Gospel to the Japanese people. Their time in Japan was short – only a little more than forty years after Francis Xavier arrived […]

DETAIL OF “FLEVIT SUPER ILLAM” BY ENRIQUE SIMONET

The Messiah’s Human Heart

“To love with a human heart is to accept the possibility of a broken 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 […]

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Gratitude for the Eucharist

“May we never receive the Eucharist again in a distracted manner, bring Him into lukewarm hearts, or take Him for granted.” What he did at supper seated,Christ ordained to be repeated,His memorial ne’er to cease: And his rule for guidance taking,Bread and wine we hallow, makingThus our sacrifice of peace. This the truth each Christian learns,Bread into his flesh he […]

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Will they come back?

“The situation surrounding coronavirus didn’t cause this. It may have accelerated it.” While parishes are busy sanitizing and taping off every other pew, I find myself wondering… will they come back? It is not a question I raise because people fear the virus. I’m not referring to whether people may be weighing whether next month is safer to return. I […]

"Pentecost (detail) by Josef Ignaz Mildorfer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Holy Spirit and the Old Testament

“The readings at the Vigil introduce us to the Holy Spirit and His mission through Old Testament typology and prophecy.” The Extended Vigil for Pentecost Many years ago while studying in Rome, I was able to attend an extended Vigil Mass for Pentecost. While not many parishes take advantage of the option, the current Roman Missal has brought back an extended option […]

Life After the Ascension

“God does not call us to a mission without giving us what we need to accomplish it.” Right before the Ascension in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says something intriguing before leaving:  I am with you always. An interesting way to say goodbye. I am with you always. Seems a big contradictory, doesn’t it? Jesus has spent three years with these men, […]