About Kate Ward

I'm a first year in the Ph.D. program in theological ethics at Boston College.

Bearing Fruit (Welcome NCR Readers!)

It’s been a big year for the Young Adult Catholics blog, and I’m remiss in taking this long to celebrate some of our community’s achievements. As some of you know, September 2012 saw the publication of Hungering and Thirsting for Justice: Real-Life Stories by Young Adult Catholics.This compilation of real-life stories by young Catholics about their lives and their struggles to live justly is the fruit of this blog in many ways. Many of the contributing authors are or have been writers for this blog, and others found our call for stories through the blog. Most notably, we got the opportunity to do the book when Greg Pierce, publisher of ACTA Publications, came across a post by our awesome writer Justin Sengstock. As rewarding it’s been to share our stories online as one of the web’s oldest young adult Catholic communities, it’s especially exciting to get thoughtful, faithful, justice-seeking voices out there in the print medium, especially since the book also raises up the voices of some writers new to the Young Adult Catholics community. I urge you all to check it out and consider offering a copy to a young Catholic in your life who may be engaged in his or her own search for justice and purpose. If you’d like to learn more about the book and our journey to publication, Lacey and I talked about it on the Dating God podcast (thanks Dan!) and I spoke about the book on the Matthew Filipowicz Show, whose host also happens to be my husband.Blog founder Mike Sweitzer-Beckman also gave the book a nice mention in his NCR column.

Another exciting milestone happened more recently: we were named one of the Best Resources for Young Catholics by the National Catholic Reporter! We’re honored to share this recognition with great resources like Dating God, Millennial Journal and NCR’s own Young Voices. If you’re visiting here for the first time from NCR, welcome. We hope you will stick around and join in the high-quality conversations that take place here every day.

As long as we are celebrating this great community, I wanted to add an interesting note: I believe Young Adult Catholics was the first Catholic space on the Web to forbid questioning another’s Catholic faith as part of our comment policy (we have been here since 2008!) Lately I have noticed the same policy in place on excellent blogs like Catholic Moral Theology and Women in Theology. It is great to see that other online communities recognize it’s hurtful and not helpful to challenge the fundamental claim that brings all of us to these online spaces. Our comment policy, and this guideline in particular, have a lot to do with what we believe Young Adult Catholics is and it’s rewarding to see other communities sharing the same commitment.

Thank you to our longtime readers, commenters and writers for your support and thoughtful dialogue, and if you’re new to this community, we hope you will return often.

The Vatican Note on Financial Reform

This piece is cross-posted from Theology Salon, a new Internet space for theology in response to Occupy Wall Street. 

On Monday [October 24], the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace published a “Note on the reform of the international financial and monetary systems in the context of global public authority” (official version only in Italian so far; I am referencing the unofficial English translation at Radio Vaticana). Although the Note was almost certainly not in response to Occupy Wall Street, it reflects many of the same concerns and even suggests some of the same solutions as the global protest movement. As theologians and supporters of Occupy Wall Street, how can we engage this document in our theological work and in support of the movement?


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Call for Essays on the single life

Spirituality author Beth Knobbe has released a call for essays for a new book on “living a full and abundant single life.” (Click through for more info about what she’s looking for.) I think anyone, partnered or single, will agree that this book would be a great step to filling a major gap in Catholic spiritual literature! Hope many of our talented writers and thoughtful commenters consider submitting.

Muppet Spirituality

So I saw The Muppet Movie for the first time last week. (What? I know, clearly a sign of a misspent youth.) Last week was also the first time I had encountered the song below. Is it me, or is this a perfect evocation of the Christian longing for God, which is our version of the human longing for some place or state of being where we feel safe and everything makes more sense?

Gonzo’s simple statement of faith: “I’ve never been there, but I know the way. I’m going to go back there someday.”

And for those who prefer their Advent reflections on the lighter side: Continue reading

“We heard her scream”: the consequences of speech

It feels wrong to drop a sad and sobering post in the midst of these joyful celebrations of our blog and its one-year anniversary. Look at it this way: many of us have taken the time to acknowledge the positive results of your words online, creating a space for dialogue, community, support and Church. I have to say something about a tragic event this week that showed us how online speech can be used to diminish life and place others in danger.

A doctor who performed abortions was killed this week at his church. (His wife was summoned to the foyer, a fellow parishioner said, “and then we heard her scream.”) I can’t stop thinking about Dr. George Tiller’s wife and family, who must have spent years under the weight of knowledge that their loved one had survived one assassination attempt and a bombing and would almost certainly be the victim of further violence. Why was this private citizen in so much danger for doing something that is, while validly controversial, permissible under the law of the land?

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