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Showing posts with the label Giussani

Contemplating Teens and Tchiakovsky

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Contemplating Teens and Tchaikovsky Helping teens navigate adolescence is not for the faint of heart. I teach teens. My husband and I are raising one, and soon, two, teens. The adolescent years are as tumultuous, as full of questioning and confusion, as the toddler years.

Sometimes, I find out things I would rather not know.

Sometimes, I have to remind myself that the Mystery is imbedded in all reality and that all of us, even teens who make poor decisions, are redeemable miracles.
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Back to School: God's Mercy and My Anxiety

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It's easy to let ourselves become anxious. But 
when we consider our lives in the light of God's 
overwhelming love and mercy for us, anxiety 
has a way of dissipating.

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Reflections of a Catholic in Amish Country

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On a visit to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania last week, my husband and our younger son bought  combo passes to ride the historic Strasburg Railroad and visit the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania next door. From the train, the views of the verdant farmland were spectacular.(Above is one I took with my iPad.)  Still, the two most powerful moments of the visit came when I least expected them.



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The Why of the Wow of the New York Encounter

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As I rode the train home from the New York Encounter last night (yes, that is our son's upright bass in the foreground; I agreed to carry the behemoth home so G. he could enjoy dinner in New York with friends unencumbered) I thought about why it had been such a good experience.

I was delighted the chamber music orchestra our son plays in had the chance to perform Friday night in the Hammerstein Ballroom.  I found the talk on the Hubble Telescope interesting. I thought it was incredibly cool that Polish film director Krzysztof  Zanussi spoke and then was walking around wearing those fashion-forward glasses. But in the end, what awes me most about the New York Encounter are not the performances or presentations. After all, I have had two decades of interesting experiences as a journalist. What moves me most and stays with me now are the people who attend the New York Encounter

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Feeling the Financial Pinch? Read the Wife of Bath's Tale for Wisdom about Poverty

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My husband and I are by no means economically poor. We own a home. We both are professionals employed full time. We are not worried about being laid off. We have health insurance. We do not use credit cards. We do not worry about making our mortgage payments or paying for groceries. And yet, like so many Americans, we are pinched. Right now, we need to replace our oven, our washing machine and, we just found out today, the engine on our used minivan. (That will cost us $2,100. Yikes.)

It's easy for both of us to feel burdened by the bills, to focus on how we are getting by instead of ahead financially. It can feel suffocating when I start to define myself by the bills we owe.

Thank God for the gift of literature. My high school juniors are reading Geoffrey Chaucer's  Canterbury Tales, the medieval story about 29 pilgrims on their way to Canterbury Cathedral to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. He paints a portrait of life in 14th century England and directs …

Paying Bills, Supporting a Family and Considering Our Value

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Deep in the night, while most of us are asleep in our beds, the mother of a teenager I know begins her 10-hour shift stocking shelves at a discount store. She starts at 2 a.m. At noon, while many of us are taking a lunch break, she is leaving work and driving to other people's homes to make extra money cleaning them. She's usually asleep when daughter returns home from high school.

The daughter has about three hours between returning home from school and heading to a store, where she works four hours every weeknight. Her father's workday begins at 7:30 a.m. and he is home by 6 - after she has left for her job. Her older sister, with whom she shares a bedroom in the family's apartment, works 40 hours a week at the same discount store as the mom and takes one class a semester at a community college. The family rarely is awake at the same time, and seldom eats meals together.
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Facing a Charism At a Teen Birthday Party

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By Allison Salerno Last night, when I walked into a house with our teen in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York City, I saw something I've never witnessed: a living room with 30, no maybe 40 happy teenagers, playing guitars and singing.

This was a 17th birthday party for a young man in GS (Gioventù Studentesca), the youth group of CL (Communion and Liberation. ) The happy birthday boy was at the electric piano, with his father by his side on the guitar. Where does all this beauty come from? To me, it is a sign of the Holy Spirit moving among us.

Unexpected Birth

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By Allison Salerno


During my eighth period hall-walking duty, I heard a commotion in the downstairs hallway by the high school's gym. The school nurse, who was standing with the school's security officer and a local police officer, told me a deer had given birth to two fawns in an outside alcove. Staff and students had watched while the new mom hustled into the woods with one of her newborns, leaving the other fawn in the shade of our concrete building. Worry filled the air: what would happen to the new fawn?