Taking a leap of faith on Leap Day

I’ve been in the business of the Catholic press for a long time, so long that sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that I’m not just writing about any old news. I’m writing about The News, the Good News. This morning, however, I’m feeling the blessings of this work. I received an email from a radio listener who heard me on Gus Lloyd’s show on The Catholic Channel, Sirius Radio 159 129, earlier this week. It’s the kind of email that makes me realize that even if only one person reads my stories or buys my books, it’s enough if it makes a difference.

My morning emailer did not go to church as a child and her husband, who had been raised Catholic, wasn’t practicing either. The two of them tried out an evangelical church, but, after some discord, left and ended up cut off from God completely. Here’s the rest of her story in her words: (more…)

Preschoolers, pedicures & paparazzi

I had my first-ever pedicure when I was in my early 40s. It was a Mother’s Day gift from Dennis and the kids and, although it was pleasant enough, I never went back for another. I did make an appointment for one, but I called up and cancelled because I simply couldn’t justify that kind of money for red toe nails — or whatever color is in vogue these days. That’s not to say other women shouldn’t enjoy this indulgence; I’d just rather spend my “mad” money on books or music or red wine or a really great suede coat (one of my real weaknesses).

But that has nothing to do with the preschoolers and paparazzi promised in today’s headline, does it? Well, there is a connection; bear with me. In today’s New York Times, the Thursday Styles section featured an article (read it HERE) on a disturbing new trend. Girls, some of them as young as 3 years old, are apparently becoming regulars on the spa circuit. They get pedicures and manicures and make-overs. What they’re making over at the age of 6 or 7 is beyond me, but one of the experts explained the phenomenon like this:

“Our little girls now grow up thinking they need to be ready for their close-up, lest the paparazzi arrive.” (more…)

News flash! I’m excitable!

If you could be any punctuation mark at all, what would you be? Well, it turns out that I am an exclamation point, just like my blog friend Julie D. over at Happy Catholic. (You can see what punctuation mark you are by clicking the link at the end of this post and taking the quiz.)

Actually, if I had my choice, I would be a semicolon — just because I love semicolons. But I blew it with the whole elegance, grace, understated thing that is required of those who represent this beloved punctuation mark. If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s understated. So I guess there’s nothing left to do but revel in my newfound position as one of life’s exclamation points, even though there’s nothing that irritates me more than an email full of !!!!!!! (more…)

Kids say the darndest things

Conversation at the family breakfast table this morning turned to adultery. Yes, that’s right, adultery. Imagine the days when kids were seen and not heard? We’ve come a long way, baby.

It seems that Noah’s Catholic school fifth-grade teacher, who is known for bringing up interesting and/or unusual current or personal events at the start of the day, decided to tell the kids about the New York Times’ story on John McCain and his possible, maybe, we-heard-through-the-grapevine “affair.” You know, the story where the alleged paper of record attempted to trash McCain’s personal life using nothing more than innuendo and some well-crafted sentences. (For a really funny take on the Times debacle, read Michael Kinsley’s article at Slate HERE.) (more…)

Anniversary celebrations, Brooklyn-style

Dennis and I were lucky enough to spend the afternoon in Brooklyn today, celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Tablet, the weekly diocesan newspaper, but, even more impressive, the 50th anniversary of Frank DeRosa, director of public information, with the Brooklyn Diocese. I cannot even imagine working in one place for 50 years, but if you know Frank — and I feel privileged to know him in even the most minimal way — you know that he is a gem of a man and exactly the kind of person who makes a commitment and stays with it for half a century. And, as he said today, “I’m not hanging up my cleats,” which is good news for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

The anniversary Mass was beautiful and the celebratory luncheon was a feast, which is to be expected of the Brooklyn crowd. Dennis is used to their fine hospitality since he is frequently in the diocese for work reasons. I, on the other hand, have had the opportunity to travel to the borough on official business on only two occasions. Still, my DeTurris and Picarelli relatives hail from — and many of them still live in — Brooklyn, so I am definitely no stranger to that go-all-out Brooklyn-style star treatment that is shown to any and every visitor. Great food, great people, great borough. (more…)

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