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Defy definitions, trust your own story

Everyone has his or her own story. Our history, family, faith, environment—all of it combines to create a background story that runs through our entire life, for better or worse. Through the ups and downs, the surprise plot twists, the losses and accomplishments, we write a new chapter day by day.

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Still time for a little Easter inspiration!

Folks are asking if they can still get my book of reflections for the Easter season, Rejoice and Be Glad 2020: Daily Reflections for Easter to Pentecost from Liturgical Press. The short answer is YES! Here’s how to get yours in time for Easter…

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The gift of community, the joy of the tribe

The older I get, the more I like to tackle things I probably have no business tackling. In the course of the past 10 years, I’ve done everything from tennis lessons (I was never much of an athlete) to dance classes (hip hop and belly dancing, of all things), from pottery and mixed media (I was always known for being “bad” at art) to Italian lessons (Spanish was always my second language of choice). And for the pièce de résistance, I am nearing the completion of 200-hour yoga teacher training, where I am, by far, one of the oldest in the class.

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New book of reflections available now!

My Easter season book of reflections, Rejoice and Be Glad 2020: Daily Reflection for Easter to Pentecost from Liturgical Press is available for sale now. They sell out quickly so don’t wait to order.

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12 years and counting…

Today is the 12th 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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Finding God in the land of the ‘Nones’

I traveled to Seattle a few weeks ago to give a parish retreat at St. Monica’s Church on Mercer Island. Long before I boarded the plane for my first visit to the Pacific Northwest, friends on both coasts warned me that I was headed to the land of the “Nones,” where people are spiritual but not religious, and maybe not even all that spiritual. What could I possibly offer out there in a city where God seems to be dead, or, at the very least, in hibernation?

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Seattle snapshot: Advent 101

A very brief invitation to my Seattle Advent retreat. My first time in the Pacific Northwest. I loved it, and I found a spiritual vibe everywhere — at Pike Place Market, in the Ubers I called, at the vendor where I bought local wine. It may be the land of the “nones,” but the Force is strong with this one. Loved my visit. Can’t wait to go back again someday when I have more time to island hop. Thank you to St. Monica Church on Mercer Island and to the very welcoming folks of Seattle. (You have to sit through one minute of an empty ambo while they announce me. Never fear, I do eventually show up there.)

Don’t wait. Say yes.

I first got to know Sister Johanne McCarthy, C.S.J., about 18 months ago when she wrote to complain that our Albany diocesan newspaper wasn’t giving religious sisters the same treatment priests and deacons received on the obituary pages. I had to agree with her. It certainly seemed that the sisters were getting short-changed. So I joined her in advocating for equality in the obits, and that was the beginning of a beautiful-but-too-brief friendship.

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The Things We Save

I returned home from work one day recently to see a For Sale sign on the lawn of our elderly neighbors, a retired Army doctor and nurse. They’ve been living on our street since the houses were first built in the 1960s and have been a fixture throughout our almost 20-year life two houses down. He would walk several times a day, always with a walking stick. She would keep tabs on the neighborhood happenings and report back at our occasional potluck picnics. So it was with no small amount of sadness that I learned they had both been moved to nursing home care and their children had listed the house on the market.

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Angels and Saints

The feasts and celebrations that surround us at this time in the liturgical year can do a soul some much-needed good. It’s hard to feel like a solitary seeker when we are basking in the glow of angels and saints on all sides. We Catholics keep good company, and the nice part is that we’re not outsiders waiting to be let into the club. We’re part of the communion, one of the gang, albeit on this side of the divide.

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