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Celebrating lucky 13 here at NSS

Today is the 13th anniversary of this blog. I launched it back in 2008 on the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers, not really knowing what would happen. Back then, I was able to be here daily, sometimes multiple times per day, a luxury I no longer have. I miss being here with you regularly and I do continually hope that I can increase my presence in the future, but I want to thank all of you who continue to visit. Thank you for being patient, for staying with me, and for lifting me up with your comments and emails when I do get around to posting something here.

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We’re celebrating 10 years at NSS!

It was 10 years ago today that I decided to launch this blog on the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of communicators. Where has the time gone? Back in those early days, I was blogging every day, sometimes more than once a day. That was before social media had become the norm, and so what today would be a Facebook post was a full-blown blog post back then. Originally, I started the blog as a way to get out there ahead of my 2008 book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism (Yes, that’s just about 10 years old as well!). But very quickly this blog became a place to explore my spiritual life, share recipes and travel stories, commiserate over my struggles, and post photos and anecdotes from my life as a mom. The blog truly lived up to its name back then. It was NOT strictly spiritual. One day I might post a survey that showed which Disney princess I was or what punctuation mark best suited me. The next day I’d be posting about Thomas Merton. You never knew what you’d get, and that’s what I loved about this space. What I still love about this space. And there were fan favorites as well: Foodie Friday, Manic Monday, Wisdom Wednesday. Read more

Honored, grateful to make top-25 list of bloggers

I opened my Twitter feed yesterday to find this message posted by The Clearing, a spiritual wellness website:

“Read why @MaryDTP is one of our top 25 blogs on #spiritual wellness.”

And I was like, wait, what? So I clicked on the link that took me to a list of the “top 25 spiritual wellness bloggers,” and there I was, slipped in among some of the most wonderful and inspiring contemporary spiritual wellness/wholeness writers and thinkers: Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Danielle LaPorte, Krista Tippett. And me?!? How did that happen? I’m still not sure. I just know I am beyond overwhelmed and grateful that anyone, anywhere would include me and my blog — this blog! — on that list. I’m not worthy. And I’m especially honored to be the Catholic writer representing on that list. Preach.
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Spreading Good News with a small and capital “g”

I was featured as a Faces of Faith interview by Rob Brill in today’s Albany Times Union. I’m honored. Here’s the story:

MARY DeTURRIS POUST

Background: Born and raised in Pearl River in Rockland County. She graduated from Pace University. Her husband, Dennis, and their children, Noah, 19, a freshman at Le Moyne College, and daughters Olivia, 15, and Chiara, 10, who attend Bethlehem public schools, live in Delmar where they are parishioners at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. She’s director of communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.

Your resume includes reporter, editor, columnist, author and blogger. You’ve switched hats in your new job.

It’s the culmination of everything I’ve done professionally over the past 32 years, not only as a writer but as a public speaker, retreat leader and commentator of Catholic issues. Dealing with the media is my favorite part of my job, because I’ll always be a journalist at heart. I love to find an interesting story in the diocese and get it out there in the secular press: Good news with a capital g and a lower case g. I do sometimes miss being a full-time writer.

Continue reading HERE.

New job, new office, new chapter

Big news on the work front for me. On Friday, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of Albany appointed me Director of Communications for the Diocese of Albany. I am so honored — and so thrilled. It’s funny how things come to us when we are ready for them, when we need them or want them but don’t necessarily expect them. If you had told me last year at this time that I would be here today, I would have looked at you funny, and yet here I am and it all seems to make perfect sense. It’s as though my entire career was training for this particular job. I couldn’t imagine a better fit. Over the 30 past years I have served in diocesan communications offices, as a reporter and editor at diocesan and national Catholic newspapers, as a guest and host on Catholic radio and TV shows. I have immersed myself in writing books about spirituality, Church teaching and all things Catholic. And now it all comes together in one job. Read more

Note to my younger self: Don’t pack the Dante books

A former editor, current friend, and perpetually great writer posted an essay — What Fresh Hell Is This? — about the advice he’d give to his 22-year-old self knowing what he knows now. It’s a wonderful weaving of Dante, disappointment, and discovery that will make you think and probably make you nod your head in recognition at least once or twice, regardless of what you and your 22-year-old self have experienced over the course of a lifetime. Read more

Some advice never gets old

Whenever I give my retreat talk titled “Broken, Beautiful, and Beloved: Learning to See Ourselves through God’s Eyes” (last weekend, for example), I quote St. Francis de Sales twice. Actually, I quote St. Francis de Sales a lot in my life — in posts, in books, in columns, in workshops, but in this particular talk I quote him twice. This 17th century bishop had so much to say that remains incredibly relevant to our 21st century lives. Read more

Six years and counting here at Not Strictly Spiritual

Happy Feast of St. Francis de Sales and Happy Anniversary to Not Strictly Spiritual. It was six years ago today that I decided to launch this blog, choosing the feast of the patron saint of journalists and one of my personal favorites as the perfect day to jump into the wild and wacky world of blogging. Read more

Well played, Facebook, well played

It was hard enough staying off Facebook for two days when I had multiple people emailing, texting and calling to ask why I had disappeared. Apparently when you deactivate, even when you tell Facebook it’s just temporary, your entire page vanishes, like you’ve been sucked into some black hole, like you never existed in the first place, which is a whole other existential blog post I’m not up for writing today. I heard from a few friends and relatives who wondered if I’d unfriended them or if they’d accidentally unfriended or “erased” me after they tried unsuccessfully to send me a message or write on my wall. Oh, the tangled worldwide webs we weave. Read more

Facebook, we have a problem

I’ve been off Facebook for only 36 hours and already I can see a monumental difference in the way I’m working, thinking, living. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but it’s true. I feel more like my old self, much more efficient, focused, forward-moving. Read more