Why I Love St. John XXIII

Happy canonization day!


With all the hype around JPII’s canonization I couldn’t help but feel bad for John XXIII. I mean, he became a saint too and if it wasn’t on the same day as one of the most beloved popes in very recent memory well…he would probably get more attention.

I have seen a few things on John XXIII and I’ve been doing my own research too to incorporate facts and quotes about him in the Sunday bulletin I edit for campus ministry. And you know, the more quotes I read, the more stories I hear, the more I love him.

So, I’ve compiled some of my favorite quotes, stories, and pictures from around the web all about the brand-new St. John XXIII.

First, check out some short bios on the new saint. Though he was only pope for a few years, John XXIII had a major impact on the church. This man saved thousands of Jews during anti-semitism in the 1930’s and 40’s. He served as an army chaplain during World War I.

Oh, and he opened Vatican II….


See everything, overlook a great deal, correct a little.”

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”

“If God created shadows it was to better emphasize the light.”

“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.”

“It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the Pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the Pope.”

“The council now beginning rises in the Church like the daybreak, a forerunner of most splendid light.”

Memes and Pictures

Man of the Year 1962
Man of the Year


John XXIII Beard


My favorite….

One of the first things I came across was John XXIII’s decalogue or “Only for Today”.

     Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

     Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be       courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

     Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

     Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

     Only for today, I will devote ten minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

     Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

     Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.

     Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

     Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

    Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for twelve hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.

For Your Further Enjoyment

John XXIII’s humor and wit

Lifteen article on “Good Pope John”

Also, a quick video on how awesome St. John XXII is

Yep, this is one of the saints whose canonization Mass I stayed up until 5am this morning watching. #worthit



#ThankYouFrancis –One Year as Our Pope

Tomorrow, March 13th marks one year since Cardinal Bergoglio became our Pope Francis. It’s amazing to think what he has done in just 365 days. Though he’s often misunderstood, like really often, he has helped the church to become more present in the secular world and led us through tough times, while always remaining faithful to the teachings of the church. He is humble, kind, and, as anyone who has studied catholic doctrine can tell you, orthodox.

Francis is our pope and while others have embraced him for “changing” doctrine we have embraced him for continuing to speak truth and reaffirming doctrine in his own, kind, humble way. Francis has reminded us of our duty to the poor, the hungry, and all social justice issues rather than just a few. He has shown us how to accept people and love them unconditionally as a Christian should without accepting their sin.

He has become a celebrity, even being named Time’s Person of the Year, yet has retained the humility of the cardinal who cooked for himself and the newly elected Pope who rode the bus with his brother cardinals.

To commemorate his first year as Pope a group of youth has launched a worldwide initiative to thank Pope Francis. Visit Grazie Francesco to see the messages from people around the globe grateful for our pope. Share your own message by posting on Facebook or Tweeting using the hashtag #ThankYouFrancis or visit their website to send a direct message. It’s such a cool idea and just goes to show how much of an impact Pope Francis, the Church, and Jesus Christ can have on us young people.

For the person you are, for your commitment to the truths of the faith, for your words of wisdom, for your humility #ThankYouFrancis

I Think I Want a Chapel Veil…

I’ve been something of a traditionalist for a while. I mean in high school I raised my hands and listened to praise and worship music as much as the next girl whose youth minister graduated from Franciscan. But my traditionalist ways have been a part of me for a long time. Still these ways generally only extend so far as the occasional Latin Mass (but only within the last few years). And they certainly don’t include chapel veils.

Well, not yet.

No offense to anyone who wears them, but frankly I don’t get chapel veils. Ok sure, there’s the passage in the Bible about women covering their heads before God and so forth…but, honestly these veils we wear today seem more like adornments than coverings: a pretty thing with rose-patterned lace to put on your head. I admit my perception is probably skewed and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of projecting my own jealousy. But even setting that aside…what’s the point exactly of the veil?

Since being home I’ve gone to two Latin Masses including the Midnight Mass at my home parish which was a high Latin Mass this year. Additionally I’m falling in love with the liturgy of the hours. I’ve just been caught up in a wave of devout sentiment. By extension, my interest in veiling has resurfaced.

And how was I going to feel as it came time to go to midnight Mass but as if I needed a chapel veil? I felt a little better once I saw there were other women there without them. But in that moment, even when I didn’t understand them, I wanted one. Most likely this is simply because I didn’t want to be the odd one out. Even my mom and 15 year old sister had something on their heads. But…yesterday I found an etsy shop of chapel veils and was, well, browsing. I decided I wanted one that fell on my shoulders instead of always being tied back, and I also saw that they were a little expensive, but you know some weren’t so bad. And, yeah, I maybe got a little caught up. *guilty smile*The Veil

So, this whole rant is simply to say…maybe my mind is/has been slowly changing. As I think of the women I personally know who wear veils and a particular blog post about one woman’s foray into veil-wearing I can’t help feeling interested. I’m not up for it right now. I’m not convinced about veil-wearing. And yet…

There’s something about veils that attracts me to them. I can’t necessarily identify it because any attempt to do so my mind refutes with a counterexample. I’d say it’s humble but I struggle to reconcile that with the beautiful appearance of a veil. I’d say it helps people be less distracted but I feel as though I’d always be adjusting it.

I guess the only real solution would be to try a veil. As I said, though, I’m not there yet. Maybe it’s a phase, maybe I am just caught up in sentiment. But it’s not completely ridiculous to think that I might at some point start wearing a veil…at least to Latin Mass. 😉

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 17)

— 1 —

Its Friday! And I remembered that I’m supposed to not eat meat! Yes! Catholic win! Have no idea what I’m talking about? I used to think, as many Catholics still do, that the whole thing about not eating meat on Fridays was thrown out the window years ago (except during Lent of course). But that’s not entirely true. In England, for example, meatless Fridays were revived by their bishops a couple years ago. In the US, Catholics are still supposed to do some kind of penance on every Friday of the year and abstaining from red meat is encouraged.

On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. bishops conference obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the US to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of their own choosing. They must do some penitential/charitable practice on these Fridays. For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere.”

— 2 —

I’ve had a string of happiness the last couple days. (Don’t read this unless you’re a woman please.) Sometimes my body treats me bad but then sometimes hormones align and I feel great: I’m happy, I want to sing, I’m positive, things are going great in my life. It’s great! It’s funny how hormones have such control over our mood and energy levels. Sometimes it’s downright annoying. But somedays you think “this is really nice!”. And hormones cause both days. If you want to read more on how our minds are effected by our cycles check out this article.

— 3 —

Now, was that awkward? Tell me honestly. You see, I’ve been considering writing on the topic of cycles but I shy away from the idea as well. I don’t want to be a source of scandal or anything. Charting my cycle is something I’ve been considering because of issues I’ve noted. But even if I do start charting that doesn’t mean I have to blog about it. What do you think?
To ask you officially here’s my very first poll. Feedback please!

— 4 —

Moving on, I found a great site for pictures! It’s called MorgueFile and apparently they have pictures available for free that you use, modify, etc even commercially. This means I no longer have an excuse for not including pictures with my blog posts and I can do it with my conscience clear. 🙂

Here’s a sampling of pictures available through MorgueFile. Check them out!

individual images via MorgueFile
individual images via MorgueFile

— 5 —

Waitresses have interesting paychecks I learned. At least at my restaurant. You see we report all our tips and they are taxable. Taxes are taken out for all sorts of stuff including federal and state withholding. The way it wound up for me yesterday is that more money was taken out for taxes than the check itself wound up being worth.

— 6 —

Regarding my July Goals… there’s a couple that I plan to do simply to avoid the consequences I assigned myself. Dang it! Why do I have to know myself so well! I must have realized that the consequences would motivate my procrastinating self in the end.

— 7 —

Lastly, today is one of my brother’s birthdays. He’s 11 today. Happy Birthday bro!

birthday candles


For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary and check out the link-up!

The Awesomeness of Church Festivals

In my town, most of the Catholic churches put on their own summer festivals complete with food, music, and fun. My own parish had its festival this last weekend celebrating the feast of our patroness Our Lady of Mount Carmel (which is today!). And it was great!

I’d been having a rough time and getting to see my big ol’ Italian, Catholic parish together like that boosted my spirits. I’ve been going to the festival for as long as I can remember. My family always volunteers. The last few years we’ve run the Bozo buckets children’s game and helped out at other games where we’re needed and so forth.

A highlight from the weekend is the procession. We gather together in front of the church and walk a loop around the neighborhood. Banners are carried representing different organizations at the church, some of the little girls spread fabric flowers at the front, statues of St. Michael, Padre Pio, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel (our church’s patroness) are carried, and speakers play reciting the rosary. Our priests added something new a year or two ago. For the last stretch of the procession our priests bring out Jesus present in the Holy Sacrament and we have a Eucharistic procession from the front of the church to behind it at the park that, for the weekend, serves as our festival grounds. Father does benediction and then reposes the Host in the church. And that’s how the Sunday of the festival begins.

Then you can eat and drink and play games. You can stock up on Sister’s famous recipe egg rolls; chow down on canolli, Italian doughnuts (yum!) or cream puffs; have a hotdog, pizza, or corn on the cob.  You can spend far too much money rolling dice and tossing rings for fabulous prizes as well as the pride and joy of winning. Sip lemonade or eat gelato while listening to a band on the stage. And of course, enter the raffle hoping to win the monetary grand prize or the wheel barrel of wine and treats. And do it all with the knowledge that you’re doing something good for the parish.

So go out and find yourself a Catholic parish festival to enjoy! ‘Cause there ain’t no party like a Catholic party!

Evangelization…I’m Not Good at It

I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation like this before. At work, I’m around people who’s religious affiliation I either don’t know or know to be nothing. One girl in particular, nice person, is ok with calling herself a heathen. I’ve been working with her a lot and she’s asked me some questions about my faith.

One time she had a table of Christian ladies. They seemed like evangelicals to me and were the type to talk about God every few minutes and in regards to everything i.e. “God blessed me yesterday when I found a tea set.” This led to a couple small conversations on religion between us. She said “I don’t know if your religious at all”. I responded “a little” which was probably the understatement of the week.

You see, I am by nature a quiet person and this got me flustered. I’ve never really talked about my religion with anyone like this. It’s uncharted territory and it’s awkward. Religion is one of those no-no subjects, right? It shouldn’t be, but it can make people uncomfortable.

Today, the same girl saw my scapular (it’s been fussy lately since I’ve been wearing shirts that aren’t crew neck) and asked about it. I threw back an awkward “I’m Catholic. It’s a scapular.” response but she was curious. So I showed her, told her it was a bit of cloth, when she asked I told her it had Jesus and Mary on it, and finished off by saying it was a devotional thing.

I guess that’s an improvement from before. But really, this makes me flustered. I’ve never really talked to someone who wasn’t Catholic of fallen away Catholic or Christian about my religion. This is new. And it’s scary. Honestly, I’ve been thinking more about alleviating awkwardness (or something) than sharing my faith. The only thing I can think of is to rehearse in my head what I’d say if a similar situation presented itself again.

Does anyone have any advice? How do you share your faith without it being awkward or without being afraid? How do you share without coming off as a zealot?

Fortnight for Freedom starts Tomorrow (June 21)!

Fortnight for Freedom 2013 starts June 21st, (that’s tomorrow!) and will last two weeks until July 4th. During this time the US Bishops have called upon Catholics to pray and act regarding religious liberty in our country. Many threats exist to traditional values and religious freedom in America. The USCCB has compiled a list that you can find here. Other countries also face threats to religious liberty, for more on their stories check out these articles.

Religious liberty is not just an American issue, nor is it just a Catholic issue. All people of faith should be concerned about these developments. If issues such as abortion, the legalization of gay marriage, and discrimination against Christians concern you then please join with us during the Fortnight for Freedom. Pray and act. Pray formally, pray informally, get others to pray with you. Just pray. If you don’t know how to act, ask God to show you what you can do to stand up for religious liberty. Look over this list of 14 ideas to get involved. While the list is meant for parishes, it might give you some ideas.

Right now, one of the most prominent threats to religious freedom in our country is the HHS mandate. On August 1st almost every health plan will be legally required to cover services such as contraception, sterilization, and drugs that can cause abortions. Many religious organizations and institutions will not be exempt from compliance with this mandate, neither will private companies who may morally object to such services.

If the mandate comes into effect without any sort of additional exception for conscientious objectors, then, as my pastor noted, civil disobedience would be necessary. I know that may sound extreme, but we must recognize what is at stake. Catholic institutions, such as hospitals and universities, can not morally provide for contraception, sterilization and abortifacients. Any law that requires that is unjust. To obey it would be to tolerate injustice, violate our consciences, and provide morally objectionable services which could (if not would) lead to the deaths of more unborn children. When it comes to unjust laws the catechism says this:

“If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience.” (CCC 1903)

Moreover, what this comes down to is: will we as a church obey God or the government? If this is the question, the answer is, of course, obvious. We must put God first. At the same time, let us pray, especially during this Fortnight for Freedom, that this mandate may be overturned, that our conscience rights may be respected.

There is a bill in Congress right now that promises to do just that. The USCCB’s Fortnight for Freedom pages talk about HR 940 the Health Care Conscience Rights Act. Congress.gov’s page for the bill can be found here. According the records the bill has been in committee since early March. That’s almost 4 months! Meanwhile, HR 1797 The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was introduced and passed in less than 2 months!

We must spread the news about this bill: tell your friends, call your representative, shout it from the rooftops. Passing this bill will make all the difference.

Perhaps things don’t have to be extreme. Perhaps civil disobedience will be unnecessary. But we must be ready to stand up for our beliefs wherever and whenever. Saturday is the feast of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher. Both were martyred for standing up for what they believed in the face of an unjust government. Their feast is a great way to begin the Fortnight. You can read more about them here.

Visit Fortnight4Freedom.org or religiousliberties.org to learn more, download prayers, or get inspiration of ways to get involved. You can also check back here for more on the Fortnight in the coming days.

Pray. Act. Spread the news.


7 Quick Takes (Vol. 11)


— 1 —

Adventures in roofing! This week, I haven’t had as much time on my hands for blogging because my family has been busy redoing our roof. I did go up on the roof, though I didn’t think I would before. It was…not good, at first. It’s not that I’m afraid of heights it’s that I’m afraid of falling. But I got used to it and even survived getting on and off the ladder and onto the roof. A couple of my uncles came up to help and they and members of my family made up the work crew. We worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday a bit, then took Thursday off (it was wet that day). We worked Friday (which is when I first went up). And Saturday we finished. Now there’s a new roof above my head that supposed to last for 40 years. To celebrate a job well done we had homemade milkshakes. Yum!  Chocolate! 🙂

— 2 —

I knew this week would inspire me to get more scheduled. All this work and productivity was a proverbial kickstart. Now I just have to follow through. Writing this post actually reminds me that I intended to make up a schedule. So that’s certainly on my to do list this evening. There’s a number of things I want to include: exercise, prayer, math practice, tutoring my brother, job searching perhaps. And of course, I should include time for blogging.

— 3 —

What companies can I support? As a Catholic, I believe that there are certain things I can not support, maybe not even indirectly. This is something that’s come up again for me since I got home. What companies can I support? When does guilt become guilt by association? Does money have to be getting back to Planned Parenthood before we boycott a company? What if we’re just supporting a company that has ties to an organization that gives to Planned Parenthood or a similar organization? Or what if there aren’t any alternatives? I’ve been told that we shouldn’t be too zealous about this. But at the same time, we should be wise stewards of our money. So where’s the line? 

— 4 —

Patience is a virtue. A friend reminded me recently of this old saying. My mom used it on us as kids and I’ve heard it plenty. As I’m living at home, in this tightly-packed house with my parents and my 7 siblings, sharing my room with my sisters, and having to work with my mom’s schedule–it seems very appropriate.

— 5 —

Homeschooling enrollment is up according to this article. The article also debunks some of the myths around homeschooling, including that homeschoolers don’t get enough socialization for their own good. The article quotes from a report saying that homeschooled kids have “‘healthy social, psychological, and emotional development, and success into adulthood'”. As someone who was homeschooled I love to here positive things about that method of education and those who were educated that way. If you’d like to learn more about homeschooling myths (and potentially laugh) check out this video from Blimeycow:

— 6 —

I just read a great article about Sedevacantist nuns who returned to full communion with the Church. The article gives a depiction of Sedevacantism too and tells an engaging story. I guess I never realized that there’s a whole network of Sedevacantists. It’s intriguing to note that the article makes the Sedevacantists out to be an extreme form of Traditionalists. The so called “cult-like” practice of the organization are also mentioned. It’s great to hear stories of people recognizing the truth of the faith, these sisters were quite brave to leave all they had known for so long. Welcome home sisters!

— 7 —

I’ve been thinking about the direction of my blogging. Honestly, I haven’t determined anything. But one topic that interests me (so much that I recently gave it it’s own Pinterest board) is femininity. Alternately I could write on Catholicism, teaching, discernment, being a college student…or all of the above. I’m a Catholic, a woman, a college student, a future teacher, an on-and-off discerner, a sister, daughter…I guess there’s a few things to go off of. I’m thinking something with Catholicism and/or femininity probably. I guess I just need to figure out where exactly I should go. Any thoughts?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Pray for Catholics in China

I honestly don’t know a lot about the situation of the Catholic Church in China. This article, however, offers some insight into new regulations put forth by the Communist government in China regarding the appointment of bishops. The author explains how the Pope is not allowed to appoint the Catholic bishops in China. Appointing bishops is one of Pope Francis’ duties as Pope. Without appointment by the Successor of Peter these bishops are not and can not be recognized as legitimate Catholic bishops.

The article goes on to quotes Pope Francis.

“At the end of his general audience on May 22, Pope Francis called all Christians to pray on May 24 for the suffering Church in China: ‘I urge all Catholics around the world to join in prayer with our brothers and sisters who are in China, to implore from God the grace to proclaim with humility and joy Christ, who died and rose again; to be faithful to His Church and the Successor of Peter and to live everyday life in service to their country and their fellow citizens in a way that is consistent with the faith they profess.’

And then the Holy Father recited the prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan, China, written by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI: ‘Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love. May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus.'”

Today is May 24th. Please take a moment to pray for China, for the Catholics in China, and for religious liberty in China.

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 5) I’m Back!


— 1 —

I’m back!! The last month or so I’ve neglected these 7 quick takes posts as well as this blog generally speaking. But now I’m back. And as the school year end and summer begins I’ll hopefully have more time to blog away. On to my life.

— 2 —

I gave blood this week! On Thursday my college was hosting a blood drive so I went in and gave blood. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It wasn’t very hard at all. I did feel some side effects afterwards, but I also skipped breakfast the next day.

— 3 —

 I love my college. This week at Benedictine we saw the biannual Jam for Lamb musical talent show (some acts of which were hilarious) as well as the first annual Color Run and the 30th year of Springfest. A Color Run, if you don’t know (which is ok because I didn’t at first), is a 5k during which people throw colorful powder all over you. A couple of my friends did it and enjoyed it. At Jam for the Lamb we had an awesome performance by the 4 guys who will be joining seminaries this fall. It was their send-off. So proud that my school has *4* future-seminarians.

— 4 —

Finals are coming! *cue scary music*  I actually have my first this Tuesday. It’s a biology lab practical, and well, we’ll see how that goes. After that I’ve got 3 tests, a take home project (in addition to the test for that class), and 3 papers (one of which is in addition to a traditional test). There will be lots of popcorn and chocolate these next 10 days.

— 5 —

Summer is coming! *cue fun music* In two weeks I’ll be home with my family. I’ll hopefully find a job and spend my summer working, hanging out with friends, and doing lots of reading. (I actually have a potential nannying job, so please keep that in your prayers.)

— 6 —

College Ministry. This fall I’ll be working with my college’s ministry team as the editor of the Sunday bulletin. I’m really excited! I’ve been shadowing the person who has it now and getting to know the position. As part of it I also write the petitions and help out at Sunday Mass, as well as schedule people who volunteer for Eucharistic Adoration slots.

— 7 —

Time for the Catholic meme of the day from catholicmemes.com


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!