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Showing posts with the label Elena

My Top 8 Reactions to the SCOTUS decision on Same Sex Marriage

My Top 8 Reactions to the Supreme Court Gay-Marriage Ruling. After Friday's Supreme Court Ruling I got a number of Facebook messages and e-mails asking for my opinion or asking me to explain my opinion.

1. The hashtag #lovewins, was all over social media.  Did that mean that #hatelost?  Of course not.  This wasn't a love vs. hate conflict.   To frame it that way is really the logical fallacy of false dilemma.

I have known many wonderful gay and lesbian people in my life time. All of them have been gifted, talented, funny and really enjoyable folks to be around. I fully believe what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, that these people must be:

accepted with respectcompassion, and sensitivity. I believe that we are called to do all of those things for all of God's people, and that one can do that and still oppose so-called same sex marriage. In fact, to really love our fellow human beings, one MUST oppose SSM.
Read More Here.

The Catholic Vaccination Dilemma

The debate rears its ugly head even in the safest of places.

A mom posts in my local homeschool group that her family is going through pertussis - all of them - including her vaccinated husband and vaccinated public school child. First there are posts back showing support and advice on how to soldier through with a household of sick children. Then the accusation, "Weren't your children vaccinated?"

My finger hovers over my mouse, strategically positioned between the delete and the moderation button.  This is the type of discussion that can get heated quickly, and the relationships and camaraderie of this group of woman could be broken with one harsh word or a misinterpretation of intentions.

What breaks the camels back and causes me to hit delete and then quickly put us into moderation mode was a comment like this. "The Pope says that everyone should vaccinate their kids for the common good and it's a sin not to vaccinate."

Nothing is going to kill off a Ca…

Review - Something Other than God - 10 Reasons to Love Jennifer Fulwiler's New Book

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As I was reading Jennifer Fulwiler's new book, Something Other Than God, I kept having the strangest feeling of deja vu...the feelings of satisfaction and gratification as I finished each chapter were so familiar to me.

Then it hit me - the feelings I had from this book were very similar to the ones I experienced more than ten years ago when I read Scott and Kimberly Hahn's Rome Sweet Home.

In retrospect that seems very fitting, because in my opinion, Something Other Than God will probably bring as many conversions from atheists and agnostics looking for truth, as Rome Sweet Home did for Protestants in the 90s.

There are 10 reasons I really loved this book.   Continue reading here - spoiler alert!

A Small Sorrow- and a happy first communion day

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Some of the roles I see for myself as Mom is that of Memory Maker, Heritage Creator, and Event Planner! As such, I have tried to make each of my children's Baptisms, First Communions, and Confirmations memorable, meaningful and fun. I have been through six baptisms, and five first communions and confirmations and I think I have done pretty well with each one.

 But with Rosie's first communion I feel as if I haven't done enough or that it won't be as memorable as the ones for the other children. This time, the god parents won't be able to be here, and Calvin has another clinical to do before he finishes his program, my sister can't be there because she has to go to a graduation and grandma won't be there because she has been dead for four years.

 It might be that last one that is hurting me the most I guess - this child doesn't have a living grandparent, and my mother won't be here to see her youngest grandchild, her name sake, receive her first h…

The Last First Communion | CatholicMom.com

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My latest on Catholic.Mom.com


t the end of this month, my little girl will make her First Holy Communion.  She is my sixth child, born to me right after my 46th birthday.  It’s a bittersweet time in a way – it is her first – but it is one of my lasts – the last first communion of my children.  I’ve been having a lot of those lately as she grows up and moves through phases and events that her siblings have already passed through. Recently, when I was feeling a little melancholy, I re-read something I wrote shortly after she was born – and it is as true today as when I wrote it nearly 8 years ago. 
see the rest at:
The Last First Communion | CatholicMom.com

An example of how the gay marriage issue is already affecting our lives.

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The van pulled up to the candy factory, our very first homeschool field trip!! Calvin was dressed neatly in his pressed jeans and clean T-shirt, and Sam was secured in his stroller. I had just met this group of homeschooling ladies and I wanted to make a good first impression with all of them. It seemed that most of them knew each other and we were outsiders hoping to join. Just before we went in for our group tour of the factory, another young women hollered for us to wait! She was pushing a little girl in a umbrella stroller while wresting with the diaper bag and all that went with it. She flashed me a friendly smile and we soon started up a conversation.

 Robin was a new first-time mom, although she had been friends to most of the ladies in this group for many years.  She had waited and waited to become a mom and was now thrilled with her pretty little girl, Chloe. And although it would still be a few years before Chloe would be school aged, Robin wanted to be part of the homesc…

Lots O Lenten Links

Over the years I have collected links to Lenten readings and activities for young and old over on my blog.  I'll be adding to it this year as I find more goodies around the web!  Here is an excerpt with a link to the links at the end!




The penitential season of Lent is the period of forty week-days beginning on Ash Wednesday. It is a season of the Church year that commemorates the forty days Jesus fasted and prayed in the wilderness before He began His public ministry of preaching for repentance. Six Sundays are within the season; the last, Passion Sunday, marks the beginning of Holy Week. Holy Thursday begins the Triduum (three days) before Easter day, which includes Good Friday and Holy Saturday.



The Church has devoted a period of time to prayer and fasting as a preparation for the liturgical commemoration of the Passion of Christ and the celebrations of the feast of the Resurrection, Easter Day, since very early times. In 604 Pope Gregory I defined Lent as "The spiritual ti…

The Humble Resignation of Pope Benedict

If you live long enough, you'll see just about everything.

 Today I saw something that none of my most recent ancestors saw - the resignation of a Pope.
 I think most of us remember the end of John Paul II's pontificate and the images of the once active pope bowing to the ravages of old age and illness. It was hard to watch but at the same time taught a lesson in its own right - that life is precious even to the very end, and that God can indeed use our lives regardless of our age and physical condition and that all of it is truly a gift if we choose to see it that way.

 But now Pope Benedict XVI is teaching us another lesson. The Holy Father's decision to resign has as much dignity and courage as the decision of all of his predecessors to die in office. I think the lesson is that sometimes we have to recognize our own limitations and weaknesses, and step aside for the good of others and also for our the sanctification of our own souls.

 It seems that Pope Benedict has lo…

A quick look at Venerable Margaret Bosco

Happy Feast of John Bosco!

Since I am a mom of four boys I was particularly interested in St. John's mother,Venerable Margaret Bosco. Since she was so successful in raising a saint (and in becoming one herself) I think it is important to see how she did it. I thought this piece was illuminating.


Catholic Culture : Library : Don Bosco, Seeker of Souls: "When he consulted his mother, always his wise adviser, she demurred and said, 'The only thing I want of you is the salvation of your soul. Follow God's will.' After praying over the matter John resolved to enter the Franciscans. At this point he was advised to consult Don Cafasso, a saintly young priest who had the gift of guiding souls. His adviser did not hesitate: John should enter the secular priesthood. 'Go on studying,' he said, 'then to the seminary, and there hold yourself in readiness to follow the guidance of God's grace.' John made his final decision in response to this advice of a holy …

Grief, loss and change through the Holidays - making new memories and traditions

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One of the hardest things about Thanksgiving Day, and then of course the Christmas holidays, is dealing with loss and grief. It's just difficult to be in the holiday season when you are still dealing with sadness over the death of a loved one, loss of a marriage or other changes in life that take us away from our traditions and ties to the past. But there are ways to make the holidays bearable and even pleasant.  Here are some things that have worked for me in the past.

 1. Grieve. Take the time to be sad, angry, quiet or talkative about the lost loved one. I really think we do grief badly in this country. It's almost as if the day after the funeral, life should be back to normal, but for someone who has lost a dear friend or a loved one, that "normal" life is over and it takes time to find out what the new normal is.

 2.  The same will be true for families after a divorce, or a serious illness, or for family with loved ones not able to be with them for the holidays.…

10 Things I'd Like the Mother of a Stillborn or Miscarried Child to Know

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On November 1 of this year, Mr. Pete and I will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the short life and death of our sixth child, Raphael. I can't believe how quickly the time has passed or how much things have changed since then. Since that time, I have tried to reach out to other women going through similar situations. The church knows that if a baby has died they can call me and I'll be very willing to come to the funeral or the calling hours. I try to bring a copy of Mothers' Manual with me to give to the grieving mother so that she can have it, with the hopes that it will bring her comfort.  There are some beautiful prayers in there specifically for the loss of a child and the resignation to accept that loss.
 I bought five of them about two years ago, and have given every single one of them away. Yesterday I went to the brief calling hours and funeral for a little baby that just never breathed on his own. His parents  were there, all sad and numb with grief.  …

Growing with Mary

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One of the most beautiful aspects of my Catholic faith has been devotion to Mary, the Blessed Mother. I was thinking about this post today before mass as I was waiting for PSR to get out so that I could go to church with my family, chasing my toddler down to brush her hair, and struggling with a pecular stinging sensation in my lower back, and asking Mary to pray for me! And then it occurred to me that my understanding and devotion to Mary has grown and changed as I have grown and changed. I didn't need a degree in Marionology to understand a relationship with Jesus's mother. She has always met me where I am.

When I was little Mary seemed like the elegant lady, the untouchable, unreachable, princess-like figure of the beautiful pictures and statues we had of her. And although I felt so small compared to Mary, her presence as Queen filled me with awe and respect.



As a teenager I wondered how Mary, a shy and quiet teen herself, managed to deal with the momentous task that had be…

Why the American Way of Birth is also a Catholic Issue

I first wrote about this on my blog a few years ago.

When my firstborn was a new baby, I went to a La Leche League meeting to make some new friends and to get some support for my breastfeeding adventure. Within an hour or so I had made friends with another new mom of a baby boy. As we chatted I discovered that her birth experience was almost identical to mine. She had entered the hospital, had her membranes ruptured, pitocin started, and an epidural. The baby was shortly thereafter in fetal distress and an "emergency" C-section (that took an hour before they could get her into an operating room) ensued with delivery of a robust and healthy infant with great APGARs. It was wonderful to find someone else who would speak openly about her experience. She confirmed for me that I was not a terrible, crazy person for not being "just grateful" that I had a healthy baby, and that wishing for a better atraumatic birth experience experience didn't make me neurotic! This …

A Catholics response to the HHS mandates

A few days ago a friend asked me to rebut this argument that she received in an e-mail loop discussion.  - I was happy to comply!  The comments in yellow are from a member of the loop who supports the Obama administration mandates.   My reply follows.
While I respect your right to have an opinion, belief and even a faith with regard to your religious beliefs - I think it is important to remember that this mandate, by the Health and Human Services Department, does absolutely nothing to force you or any other religious person to do anything against their will - to themselves. What it does do is guarantee that people who CHOOSE to use such medications, whether for birth control, at the advice of their medical doctor or in the event of a rape etc. will have the same access - independent of whether their community is served by a Catholic hospital or a public hospital. It makes sure that Catholic's have the choice to access such services through their employer"s health insurance - …

Holy Innocents - 4th Day of Christmas

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The Liturgical Year by Adolf Adam:

Even the oldest liturgical calendars already have a series of saints' feasts directly following on Christmas. The Middle Ages saw these saints as a crotege of honor accompanying the Christ-child, and gave them the name Comites Christi ("Companions of Christ"). In the Roman liturgy these companions are Stephen the first martyr on December 26, John the Apostle and Evangelist on December 27, and the children whom Herod slew in Bethlehem on December 28 (cf. Mt 2.13-18). These three were regarded as representing the three possible forms of martyrdom: voluntary and executed (Stephen), voluntary but not executed (John), and executed but not voluntary (Holy Innocents).

HT Jenn of Feast and Feria









Today is the commemoration of the Holy Innocents


When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi,he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under,in accordance with the time he ha…

The Marian Candle

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Inspired by the blogger at Feast of the Immaculate Conception : Family in Feast and Feria as well as this thread,my daughter Izzy and I made our own candle for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception back in 2009. Two years later, it's still holding up!

I bought a simple white candle at Walmart. Izzy found a picture of Mary to color on line. Then we glued it to the candle and to set it- we melted wax and rolled our candle in the wax to give it a coating and protect it to the candle. I think it turned out pretty well for a first effort! We will light it tonight for dinner!





Feast of St. Nicholas

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Last Sunday's  advent readings were about John the Baptist and today is the Feast of St. Nicholas! So with that in mind here is a picture from a few years ago - a good friend of ours portraying good St. Nick and Mr. Pete as the voice in the wilderness, John the Baptist!
This is one of my favorite Advent feasts!

Be sure to visit the St. Nicholas Center today.
Also the Bounty of St. Nicholas Fair
My links for St. Nicholas on Diigo
and also my mega Advent links page!

A few years ago we made a  St. Nicholas Spoon Saint!





Our assorted St. Nicholas statues come out today.  Here is one that Rosie and I made yesterday.






More Feast Day Fun with St. Nicholas here...
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Tomorrow is the feast of St. Andrew, apostle, and martyr.

St. Andrew was St. Peter's brother. St. Andrew actually heard of Jesus first and took his brother to meet him. What a wonderful example of the importance of Godly siblings in our lives and the positive influence they can have on us!

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles scattered all over the known world to spread the Gospel message. Andrew went to Greece where he was eventually martyred. Andrew felt that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as our Lord, so his cross was set up diagonally like a big X. This type of cross is called "St. Andrew's Cross." (Andrew's brother Peter also felt unworthy to be baptized as Jesus was and was consequently crucified upside down.)

St. Andrew is to the Scottish what St. Patrick is to the Irish, although as far as we know, the saint never set a foot on the isle! There are two legends explaining this. The first is that St. Regulus had a dream that w…
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St. Martin shared his heavy cloak with the beggar in need of some warmth. And thus was born the tradition of children and Christians carrying beggars' lanterns around on the feast of the saint in honor of this noble deed.

Most of the web sites I looked at for this make paper lanterns, but I wanted something that I could put outside this evening that wouldn't get easily blown about in the Ohio wind.  So we opted for autumn lanterns made from glass Ball jars.

We started with fall colored tissue paper torn into different sizes and shapes.




Then we used Mod Podge to glue the papers to the jars.
I used rafia to tie around the tops of the jars in a decorative bow. Twine was tied on each side of the jar to the rafia for a handle.



A votive candle is fastened inside the jar with a bit of wax - and voila! Lanterns suitable for hanging, setting on the table or placed outside.

Celebrating All Saints Day

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All of my previous posts and pictures about All Saints Day/Halloween can be found via my del.icio.us links here.

Some Christian blogs and even some Catholic forums have been vacillating about whether or not it is right to celebrate Halloween. My answer to that is absolutely it's okay to celebrate! as long as you understand exactly what it is that you are celebrating! There is really no historical connection between the setting of this feast to November 1 (naturally placing the Eve to October 31), and the Pagan Celebration of Samhain other than Pope Boniface moved the feast to the same time of year when Samhain is celebrated. But I like to look at it another way. The change of seasons and the harvest are gifts from God, even if the ancient Celts didn't quite see it that way, and as the scriptures say, "Test everything. Hold on to the good," and Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever…