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 30, 2014

Catching up

I am still here. We have been doing far more traveling this summer than usual. In what seemed like a blink of an eye after we returned from Italy we were back on a plane flying to Alaska to visit our kids and grandkids. I have been writing but the words just haven't shown up here so I thought I would provide a few links to catch you up on my recent thoughts.

The Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision caused a stir so I have a couple of pieces over at the Truth & Charity Forum:

Abortion and advocates including the Guttmacher Institute went nuts after the decision so I thought I should offer A Reasoned Response to Guttmacher Hysteria.

While the decision is certainly something to applaud, it is not the end of the fight. This was One Victory, but Many Battles Remain.

As an HLI fellow, I still pen a monthly column for

My July column looked at the scourge of human trafficking as a pro-life issue. We need to heed the call of Pope Francis and do what we can to combat this assault on human dignity.

Religious persecution is rearing its ugly head all over the world, especially for Christians in the Middle East and Africa. In addition to condemning this, we need to recognize that the same thought process that motivates Boko Haram motivates anyone who claims to be able to place a value judgment on the life of another and support abortion and euthanasia. They are all assaults on the sanctity of human life.

I also have a new writing gig over at Catholic Stand. What I love about this site is the diversity of the voices who are all faithful to the Magisterium. There is also a respectful tone to the writing that doesn't include the sniping and snark that seems to be infiltrating much of the Catholic blogosphere. So far I have contributed two articles:

It is important to remember that Jesus called us to make disciples and not to win debates so we must always strive to make our words charitable and persuasive instead of divisive. It is not about winning for "our side" but uniting all in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

My second article expanded on some thoughts I had originally published here at Kitchen Table Chats. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from Sam-I-Am when we seek to evangelize.

I have some writing deadlines looming and classes will begin in just a few short weeks, so I am not sure how soon I will get back to the blog. I really have a lot to say but I have to live life and not just blog about it. Until then, I hope you enjoy these articles!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

What exactly is a wedding

I am not a regular reader of advice columnist Carolyn Hax but when the column ends up on the same page as the daily crossword puzzle I often give it a quick scan. Today's column deals with a bride and groom's decision to make their wedding a no-kids affair. They included this stipulation on their save-the-date announcements and are already getting feedback that this restriction will keep some of their friends from attending. Carolyn Hax states that the friends are out of line.

I am not sure if I would say the friends are out of line. The bride and groom have their priorities and the friends have theirs. This is the big day for the bride and groom and they have decided it is very important that their wedding be an elegant adult affair with no distractions from crying babies or fidgety children. However, they are inviting guests, not commanding guests to attend. If the invitees prefer not to attend if their children are not welcome then that is their prerogative as well. No harm, no foul on either party.

The more stipulations you put on wedding attendance, then the more people will opt not to attend. A destination wedding may be a dream come true for the bride and groom, but they have to accept that there will be some people for whom the trip is a deal breaker. Maybe it is too expensive or too time consuming. Or maybe the thought of packing and traveling to a beach destination is just too overwhelming for some invitees to even entertain. The same applies to the required dress. If you make your wedding a black-tie event, some people will opt out. That does not mean you should necessarily not have a destination wedding, a no-kids wedding, or a black-tie wedding. It just means that you need to understand that the more requirements you place on your guests, the more guests will opt out of attending. So what is more important to you: the picture perfect day of your dreams or sharing the day with as many family and friends as possible.

I am guessing that the friends who are staying home instead of attending this bride and groom's wedding think of a wedding as a celebration of the beginning of a new married life. The important thing is to share in the joy and the unscripted antics of children are part of the moment. That does not mean a mother with a screaming baby should sit in the church as her child howls and drowns out the exchange of vows, but it also doesn't mean that any sight or sound from children is detrimental to the wedding.

I am not criticizing the bride and groom who choose to have a no-kids wedding. I am just saying that by placing this stipulation on guests, they are sending the message that guests are only welcome if they positively contribute to the ambience of the wedding. If someone perceives that their presence is merely part of the staging of the ultimate Kodak moment they may very well say, "Why bother?"