Last weekend, my sister graduated from her master’s program at Marquette University, and I insisted on coming down to Milwaukee for the celebration. As I guess is common at large universities, the ceremony took place in two parts: part one, held at the Bradley Center in the morning, was a ceremony for everyone, while part two, held after a break for lunch, was where the University split into its various colleges and did the actual reading of the names. “Most of my classmates are only going to the afternoon part,” my sister told me, “but I want to go to the morning part because they’ve got a graduation speaker that sounds really interesting.” She didn’t have to do much convincing to get me to come along. Since both my sister and I studied abroad in separate South American countries, and both of us were aware of the works of the School of the Americas, just knowing that Sister Margaret “Peggy” O’Neill, S.C. had worked for years in El Salvador was enough to get me interested, too.
Author’s Note: A copy of this letter is being mailed to the Vatican; I plan to post any response I receive.
Last month, you called Catholics to “responsible parenthood,” reminding us that we need not breed “like rabbits” in order to be good Catholics. I am a young Catholic woman, married and raising a child. I was glad to hear the Church acknowledge that humans can – and must – enter parenthood with great intention and care! This gift of forethought is what sets humans apart from animals. A rabbit in the woods does not stop to consider when might be the best time to have a litter of kits, or whether there might be adequate food and shelter for them when they arrive; the rabbit’s body simply knows that it is breeding season, and breeds. Humans have the capacity to consider our decisions, using our reason and conscience, and we have a responsibility to do so. We are called to be fruitful and multiply, not simply to multiply!
You followed this call to responsible parenthood by affirming the Church’s teaching that Catholic couples should only use “natural” methods of family planning. At this I was dismayed, because these methods do not work for all women. I would know; I am one of them. There are a range of “natural” family planning methods, and I researched them all, in search of one that would suit my body. Unfortunately, I learned that none would work. I’d like to share what I learned with you, Pope Francis, because I know that I am not the only Catholic woman who faces this challenge. Continue reading
This labor day, I want to reflect on the Dignity of Work, one of the core principles of Catholic Social Teaching. When people talk about employment justice, I notice a lot of talk about the rights to earn just wages and to form unions. While these are certainly critical pieces to Dignity of Work, there are more pieces to the puzzle. Our employers are not the only ones who are responsible; we as workers should also strive to find dignity in our jobs.
How do you find dignity in your work? When working in a minimum wage job, I sometimes feel undignified—not because I am earning just above minimum wage, but because I feel like the work is meaningless in the big picture. But I am wrong to see any job as meaningless. I can find meaning in any work I do. It’s all about my attitude. Continue reading
I was inspired to start the group by the Spirit during the fall 2013 Call To Action conference in Milwaukee. There I met tons of young adults passionate about Catholic social justice, particularly about LGBTQIA equality in the Church. Most of the people I met were out of college already. I realized still being a student at Catholic college gave me a critical advantage to reach out to other progressive young adult Catholics. Continue reading
This post is adapted from the welcome post at the blog site of newly established Pax Christi Southwest Florida.
Some time ago, I was walking around the various military monuments at the Four Mile Cove Ecological Park in Cape Coral,Fla., site of a famous Iwo Jima statue (one of the originals, I’m told). At the end closest to the flags stands an army monument displaying a larger-than-life soldier saluting the nearby U.S. flag while holding his M16.
This year’s anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision has a zero at the end of it, so the pro-life universe has been operating at a fever pitch to make some noise. Novena cards have been printed. Volunteers are picketing with signs displaying gruesome scenes of mangled fetuses. Politicians are giving their speeches.
But has anybody tried to figure out why Roe v. Wade has been able to stand all this time?
Abortion is the law of the land (at varying levels, depending on which state you live in), and it appears that it will be for the duration. Since the usual methods have not really changed anything, it’s time for a reevaluation.
Wednesday was the feast of St. Stephen, a man who could arguably be considered the patron saint of rhetoric, an activity which ultimately gave him a title of greater reverence: the first martyr. In today’s society, his life is particularly relevant.