Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!

I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An affirmation of parenthood

This week is NFP awareness week. My fellow writer for HLI American, Gerri Laird, offers a beautiful testimonial to the gift NFP can be to a marriage. Take a look:

“My children are going to pay for your Social Security!” That was my response to one of my husband’s co-workers when he approached me at a company picnic and loudly criticized my pregnancy with child #5. My husband and I were pregnant by choice. He didn’t have a response – he and his wife were childless by choice.

But, child #5 must have heard this conversation while in utero. When he was old enough to talk, he came running down the stairs one day and asked if we loved him and his brothers and sisters. Our “Of course,” was met with, “Then, why aren’t there more babies around here? You love each other, right? Well, when mommies and daddies love each other, babies come…so why aren’t there more babies around here?” From the mouths of babes, we learn Natural Family Planning (NFP) and responsible parenthood 101! And as this has been designated “Natural Family Planning Awareness Week” by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, it may be time to reflect on how our innate love of siblings and children can be better understood by embracing Church teaching on fertility and sexuality.

Continue reading here

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A response to a critic

Normally I delete anonymous hostile comments. However, I decided this comment (which is indented and in bold print) which was submitted to this post might be instructive.

OR....Artificial contraception is an elective medical therapy

Ok. We agree on something. Artificial contraception is elective medical therapy. It is not essential health care. It is optional. That is what elective means. It is a lifestyle choice.

For those desiring to enable the totally normal and healthy physical condition of NOT being pregnant while engaging in sexual relations.

On the contrary. Fertility is not a disease. It is a normal, physiological condition. It is not normal and physiological to engage in sexual relations without the possibility of pregnancy unless you are prepubescent—and in that case the sexual relations are sexual abuse--, you are already pregnant, or you are post-menopausal. Otherwise, you suffer from the non-physiological condition of infertility. The purpose of oral contraceptives is to induce this non-physiological condition of infertility.

Your counter argument is pretty weak from a medical stand-point. However, if you want to play the "Conservation Catholic" card and argue about "God's will" goooo ahead. I wonder how far an argument of God's Will regarding female reproductive rights would go in the courts?

No one is trying to outlaw contraception. If you want to choose this lifestyle, in your words, “goooo ahead”! All I am saying is that elective medical therapy should not be mandated for insurance coverage. We don’t force insurance companies to pay for Botox injections. Why should we force them to pay for this elective medical therapy?

Catholic conservative theology and medicine are two different topics, and just because you have a[sic] educated grasp of both, doesn't mean that what you are preaching isn't erroneous, ridiculous, and contradictory.

Tell me again what I have said that is erroneous or contradictory? Ridiculous is a subjective judgment and you are certainly entitled to your opinion as to what is ridiculous.

It's probably a good thing you don't practice medicine anymore. I can't imagine if I sent my daughter to you at a clinic and you starting to council[sic] her about your specific religious beliefs regarding female contraceptive practices when she was there to see an unbiased medical professional in obtaining a valid and legal prescription.

Ah, yes. Nothing persuades like a good ad hominem attack. Never fear. If you were to bring your daughter to my office in order to enable her fornication there would be no surprises. I would be very upfront that I run a medical practice that is pro-life and consistent with Catholic medical ethics before you ever set foot in the door.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I love belonging to Groupon. I find good deals on car washes, restaurants, and yes, manicures and pedicures. Yesterday's deal, however, was not my cup of tea. Anyone out there ever tried the fish foot treatment?

Yvonne’s Day Spa's welcoming aesthetes soothe weary feet with the invigorating fish foot therapy before primping and pampering hands and feet with traditional mani-pedi techniques. As toes wiggle into a small trough of warm, relaxing water, a cabal of tiny fish, armed with a natural predacious appetite for coarse, dead skin, nibble off rough patches with the aquatic excitement of Jacques Cousteau on a jet ski. The finned factions leave feet thoroughly exfoliated, smooth, and relaxed for a human-led pedicure, during which hooves are further massaged and nails are transformed into paradoxes of beauty and strength. A member of Yvonne’s staff then turns attention to clients’ hands, filing down rough epidermic outgrowths, sweeping out digital disrepair, and kneading out stress and stiffness

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Contraception is Not Preventive Medicine

My latest piece as an HLI America Fellow:

In a July 18 New York Times op-ed , Dr. Vanessa Collins, a physician and vice-president of medical affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America offers an interesting but erroneous argument for mandating insurance coverage of contraceptives as preventive medicine. First of all, preventive medicine implies the prevention of a pathological condition. Pregnancy is anything but pathological. Artificial contraception is an elective medical therapy for those desiring to block a totally normal and healthy physical condition

Continue reading here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What's So "Natural" about Natural Family Planning?

I am so excited! I have just begun working as a fellow for Human Life International--America. I hope to be posting over there on a regular basis. My first piece is up now.

In the last week, articles on Natural Family Planning (NFP) appeared in both secular and Catholic media. In the New York Times, David Oppenheimer chronicles the views of Sam and Bethany Torode, two conservative Protestants. In 2000 the young married couple co-wrote the book Open Embrace: a Protestant Couple Rethinks Contraception. They advocated for NFP, a method of fertility regulation in keeping with the Catholic Church’s teaching. However, by 2006 both rejected NFP as a recommended method of birth control. They divorced in 2009. Both have joined liberal Christian communities. Mr. Oppenheimer offers their story as a testimony to how maturity and enlightenment lead to the rejection of NFP.

Then Danielle Bean, a solidly Catholic author, offers what she calls a “reality check” on NFP. She writes in Crisis magazine of “Five Ways I don’t Love Natural Family Planning.” She discovered that NFP is less precise for her when she is breastfeeding. Her reaction is disappointment.

Continue reading at HLI America