“Do you really believe God loves you?” If you’ve ever heard this question internally (or been asked it directly), then chances are you’re very familiar with that half-second sinking feeling in your gut that follows. The feeling when you doubt, even if for just a split second, and don’t know the answer. Or how about… [Read More]
The Priest Shuffle
June is a very active time of year for dioceses all over. A majority of priests celebrate their anniversaries and some get shuffled. For those of you who hadn’t been checking the Diocese website obsessively the past month or so (like me), the Bishop has announced the priests’ reassignments for this year for our diocese…. [Read More]
Why Spiritual Dryness is a GREAT Thing!
You read that right. Spiritual dryness is wonderful! Now, before you all cart me off to the nearest priest for an exorcism or something, let me explain. Never in all of recent memory did I ever think I’d be grateful for the agonizing desolation that is The Dark Night of the Soul. However, I’m known… [Read More]
Prayer before Coffee
As I’ve written before, I am not a morning person. I am however a faithful Catholic and sometimes my love for Jesus requires me to do things I don’t want to do. One of these is wake up with enough time to do a morning prayer. It was the First Sunday of Lent and the… [Read More]
Calling all the Single Ladies!
Girls, if you’re not married and between the ages of 16 and 45, let’s have a chat. Have you considered spending the rest of your life with Jesus as your spouse? The King of Heaven on Earth who knows your heart’s every desire and loves you more than you can possibly imagine? (Or did I… [Read More]
Youth Ministry Lasts a Lifetime
I’m pretty sure the youth ministry small groups I lead are sick of hearing it, but if it weren’t for kids like them, I wouldn’t be Catholic today. I didn’t grow up in a practicing Catholic family, although I was baptised as an infant. Growing up, material things were all that mattered to me. Especially in high school… [Read More]
Pope Benedict XVI adopts another name: @Pontifex
Worldwide yesterday, news outlets announced the welcoming of Pope Benedict XVI to Twitter. Yes, the 85 year-old Holy Father has a personal twitter account: @Pontifex. Well, actually he has eight. One in English and seven in other languages (to start). Combined, the Pope gained over 500,000 followers in a single day and that’s before he’s even sent out… [Read More]
What’s Wrong with the Year of Faith?
Sometimes I think in memes. I catch myself thinking “McKayla is not impressed” (disapproval) or of the fist pump baby (approval) in various situations throughout the day. (See Rita’s previous post for some ideas on where to find some funny Catholic ones.) I’m so not sure what that says about me, but that’s okay. The… [Read More]
Confessions of a Journaling Addict
I think I’ve acquired a journaling addiction. I’ve got three I’m working on right now, simultaneously! When I was younger, I hated the idea of journaling. I would get a pretty book, get maybe three pages into it and my hand would cramp up even though I still had many more thoughts to get through. I… [Read More]
10 Ways Catholics Can Live the Year of Faith
Today starts the Year of Faith that was decreed by Pope Benedict XVI. It is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta Fidei 6). As Catholics, we are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism so that they… [Read More]
Taking a Spiritual Sick Day
It doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while I desire nothing more than totally collapsing onto my bed and leaving the world for no less than eight hours – no matter what time of day. I would worry that maybe I was turning away from God in those moments, by turning to escape rather… [Read More]
People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect. But actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey …stuff. -The Doctor It is not exactly a statement that would make one’s heart melt, but it did for me. Actually, many of my friends are surprised… [Read More]
A Guide Through Rough Times
When you go through a rough patch in life and someone tries to console you with the words, “All in God’s timing,” or “God’s will be done,” and similar derivatives, do you find yourself sighing? Rolling your eyes? Or feeling spiteful? Well then go to confession honey, because I’ve been there, that’s one parasite of… [Read More]
Pinterest: Welcome to the New Internet
Something has happened to the Internet realm this year that has altered what were once thought to be the norms. It’s called Pinterest. Launched a little over a year ago, it has since exploded into the social media market. Well, we here are at ACNM are in the business of New Evangelization and that includes utilizing new… [Read More]
Hey you. Stop. Just stop, and pray. And especially listen. If you didn’t read the rest of this article, got off the computer, and went and just prayed, even for thirty seconds, I would praise God with great thanksgiving. But, nevertheless, I’ll keep writing, just in case you need more convincing. You see, I’ve… [Read More]
There’s a new website going around in Catholic circles that promotes chastity before marriage, natural family planning during marriage, and more. It’s called 1Flesh.org. It’s not exclusively Catholic though, as it seeks the very broad audience of those who use contraception, regardless of faith. The catch? It’s edgy. Refreshingly edgy for some, uncomfortably so for… [Read More]
The Value of Being a Morning Person
There used to be a time when I would see mass schedules for various parishes and gawk at the 6:30 AM daily mass times. “6:30?? That would mean I would have to wake up at 5, maybe earlier! That’s still nighttime!” (I wish I could say I said that when I was a kid, but… [Read More]
Unplug and save your prayer life!
I love technology blogs. I’ve been following Engadget and Gizmodo for over 6 years now. It’s to the point that I have difficulty buying anything of the electronic persuasion that’s currently for sale, because I’m already vaguely aware of what the next generation will bring. And with E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) going on this week,… [Read More]
Vocational Training Wheels
Cousins make really good mirrors. I suppose sisters do, too, but I don’t have any so I’m just going to stick to what I know. Anywho, I have an older cousin who has a really good knack for putting me back into perspective when I seem to get a little lost or overwhelmed. That tends… [Read More]
The Year of Faith is 5 Months Away!
If you’re like me, you’ve heard snippets of conversations since last October about the upcoming “Year of Faith” that starts this October. You might have even heard that it was Pope Benedict XVI who announced it. But if you’re also like me, you’ve probably wondered what exactly we’ll have to do to live up to… [Read More]
Why Youtube* is Good for the Church
*And Facebook and Twitter and …well, all social media. But I’m going to stick with video sharing for this post because of an interesting conversation I had with a wonderful priest and friend of mine. You see, this particular gentleman is camera-shy. Try as I might convince him otherwise, he doesn’t like the idea of… [Read More]
Diocese of Austin Chrism Mass 2012
Yesterday, Bishop Joe Vásquez lead the Diocese of Austin in this year’s Chrism Mass at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock. The church was filled to its 1,700 person capacity for this once-a-year liturgy, including approximately 500 catholic school students. For the past few weeks I’ve been surprised by how many practicing Catholics are unaware of this jewel of… [Read More]
Mass Times for SXSW Goers
Our Austin Page has a lot of great links and info about the Austin area if you’re new here or just visiting. If you’re looking for just mass and confession times, here’s a compilation of the three nearest churches, as well as directions. Staying somewhere further than downtown? Visit The Catholic Directory to look up a nearby parish with mass and… [Read More]
Light at the End of the Lenten Tunnel
If I said Lent this year was easy, I’d be lying. Lent this year has been ridiculously difficult. Despair, acedia, and doubt have all flooded my Lenten journey. I won’t go into the detail of what exactly my plight has been, but rather, where it’s brought me and what I hope the next 27 days will… [Read More]
Giving Something Up? Or Giving Something Freely?
Ash Wednesday is only two weeks away! Unlike last year, I’m trying to figure out what to “give up” ahead of time. The only requirements for Lent is fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstinence on Fridays throughout Lent. The practice of giving something up is what I grew up with though, so… [Read More]
Figuring God into Weight Loss
Obesity is a pandemic in the US. I know from firsthand experience. But, not until recently had I thought God could help me with this problem. After all, my lack of exercise and love for chocolate are all my doing. God is strictly for prayer. Right? Wrong. Too long have I compartmentalized societal expectations from… [Read More]
I am a social media addict, but not in a bad way. It’s just that when I want to know what’s going on in the world, I don’t turn on the TV, I pull up Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. At 800 million users, if Facebook were a country, it’d have the third largest population in… [Read More]
Joseph: Carpenter, Saint, Daddy
I don’t know if it’s all the Nativity scenes that are around or that really vivid dream I had a few days ago about getting married, but St. Joseph has been on my mind a lot. I love St. Joseph like I love my own father and during the Christmas season especially I like to… [Read More]
The “O” Antiphons 101
“The ‘O’ What-iphons?” If you’re like me, that was your response to the above title. If you already knew what they are, then consider this your reminder for this year. I only learned about the “O” Antiphons last October when I was scouring the web for Advent craft ideas. They’re a procrastinator’s dream Advent devotion,… [Read More]
Be a New You: Advent and Renewal
Here at ACNM, we’re quite excited about Advent. And we all should be! I love Advent because it is a promise, and similtaneously a promise fulfilled. Christ is coming. Christ has come, and Christ will come again, and we’re so grateful of that fact that the Church celebrates it every year with joy and anticipation. Rita’s… [Read More]
What is the Sacrament of the Sick?
You see it depicted in Hollywood all the time – a priest praying “the last rites” over a dead/dying person. However, as many of us know, “last rites” is a misnomer. It is a combination of the Sacrament of the Sick and Viaticum (the Eucharist received at the time of death). However, the Sacrament of… [Read More]
Nationwide Catholic Commercials to Air in December and How We Must Help
Television airtime is going to be a little bit more sparse for politicians this fall. An article on the National Catholic Register’s website has announced that Catholics Come Home has successfully acquired over 400 prime time commercial spots over three weeks starting December 16 on several national networks. (Just in time for Christmas!) NCR reports this campaign will… [Read More]
A Wandering Journey (Review: “The Way” film)
October has been a good month for Catholics in film. Not just one, but two films that were made by Catholics and about Catholics have made it to wide release. “The Way” is one of these films and is currently showing at three Austin area theaters. About the Film The main character in the movie… [Read More]
Broke open (Review: Matt Maher’s “The Love in Between”)
I’ve been dancing since Sunday. Not physical, hip-swinging, arm flailing kind of dancing. The heart-fluttering, non-stop humming, whistling-in-the-halls dancing. All because of a contemporary Christian music album. Five years ago, I would not have believed it. I guess my heart had to be a certain place before it was open to being moved by the… [Read More]
A while back, I wrote an article about Microevangalization: that is, sharing the Good News in small ways as often as possible. So, imagine my surprise when I read this part of a Yahoo article called “What Does Your Desk Say About You?” listing different items and their impressions: Rosary or hamsa:Third-rail alert! Religious icons can be the fastest… [Read More]
Tonight’s Family Movie Night!
This holiday weekend, I pray you and your families are getting everything done that you hoped to. I know the weather here in Austin is being a little forgiving. (It’s not over a 100 degrees for once!) But, if later this evening you find yourselves back indoors (immensely thank for somewhere soft to sit as… [Read More]
Angel of God, my Guardian Dear.
How much do you know about your guardian angel? Everyone has one. (Priests have two!) Learning about angels is part of every religious formation curriculum. Their feast day is October 2. But, do you two have a relationship? Earlier this month I was driving to my parents’ for the weekend to celebrate my dad’s birthday. My favorite… [Read More]
My prayer journal is made of iPhone apps.
I pray that anyone who got a succinct email from me today, will forgive any offense; I was tired. It’s entirely my fault and I apologize. But, staying up till 1 AM to find the perfect app to fit my prayer need was well worth it. It probably wouldn’t have taken so long if the… [Read More]
Ladies in Lace: Catholic Women and Veiling
I have to admit that I’ve got a little bit of a Christmas in July, complete with eager anticipation of the package to come. I just ordered a lovely brown lace chapel veil (mantilla) from veilsbylily.com and I can’t wait for it to get here! I’ve been looking for a modest veil for a while. I bought… [Read More]
Tattoos & the Church
All about tattoos…kind of. Over some time now I’ve come to gather a series of resources regarding the morality of modern-day tattoos from the teachings of the Catholic Church. This is by no means extensive though. Regardless, I’d like to share what I’ve found in hopes that it will provide the insight you need (or at least… [Read More]