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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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Join the Tribe: Now you can make it official

Our Cravings Tribe is growing, and fast. Thank you for making that happen. Many of you are asking how to sign up and make your membership official. Now there’s an easy way to do that.

Just fill out the very brief form at the link below. This will not only allow me to send you occasional emails with updates or information on any Cravings Tribe events that might be coming up, but it will also give me an idea of where everyone is located. I can already see that we’ve got a large number of folks in the New York Capital Region. There may be other hot spots out there. This will let us know if some real-life meet-ups might be possible down the road. Read more

On building tribes and learning not to fly too low…

You know how sometimes you start reading about something and talking about something and suddenly that word or topic starts showing up all around you. Well, that synchronicity or movement of the Spirit was swirling around me yesterday when we officially kicked off the Cravings Tribe. Read more

I look at my students and see our future ex-Catholics

My post over at Aleteia today:

When it comes to teenagers, you expect a certain amount of eye rolling and apathy, but put those same kids in a faith formation class for an hour and fifteen minutes at the end of a long school day and right at the dinner hour and you’ll see a level of teenage disinterest that could make you wither on the spot. That’s what my husband and I faced when we stood before the 21 high school sophomores we teach at our upstate New York parish. Read more

A Moveable Feast: finding family far from home

It’s been almost three weeks since I returned from Italy, and I still haven’t managed to write any posts about the experience or trade my Euro for U.S. currency. That changes today. Well, the writing part does, at least. I’m holding onto the Euro as seed money for the next pilgrimage.  I’ll try to serve up several Moveable Feast posts in days to come about various cities and favorite moments from our fabulous pilgrimage. To get us started, here’s my latest Life Lines column…

It’s interesting how, even when we’re far from our loved ones and friends, we often find ways to create family right where we are, without blood connections, without a shared history. Whether we’re students living in a college dormitory, workers temporarily assigned to a far-off location, or pilgrims traveling in a strange land, we tend to seek out community, a place where we feel accepted and protected, or at least a little less alone. Read more

Sometimes being a “talker” has nothing to do with talking

I walked into Zumba class at our local Y last night and found my spot on the studio floor. Just in front of me was a woman I’d never seen before, but I smiled, said hello, and asked if this was, in fact, a Zumba class since it was normally not in this  particular time slot. And then the floodgates of a one-sided conversation opened. Read more

Apostle to the Misfits

About five years ago, around the time my Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism came out, a national Catholic newspaper ran a story on it — and me — with the headline, “Apostle to the Idiots.” That snarky label was clearly meant to convey a certain attitude toward those of us who write and read Idiot’s Guides on topics any more serious than, say, camping or jazz music or Microsoft Word. But, guess what? I wore that title as a badge of honor because what that newspaper didn’t get was the fact that the folks who read my books and follow my blog and others like it are a breed apart, not “idiots” but something outside the norm, something unusual and original and wonderful: misfits, in a sense. So today I am declaring myself to be Apostle to the Misfits, those people who color outside the lines, who are quirky and eccentric and true to themselves and their beliefs in the most glorious ways. We are misfits; hear us roar. Read more

‘Take and eat.’ The food-faith connection and Jesus

Today’s reader question is one I had hoped to address during the CNN interview, but we ran out of time. So I’m happy to address it now. Here’s the question:

“Someone told me that every time Jesus had an important teaching, food was present. Do you think He was just getting people to listen or is there something special about eating together when we pray?” Read more

Get a free hug to start your weekend

Here’s a great video (with awesome music) to send you into the weekend with a smile. Give someone an unexpected free hug today.