Coping Through the Holidays

A friend of mine shared the story of her recent trip to the grocery store. She was dutifully checking bananas for brown spots when she became aware that “I’ll be Home for Christmas” was blasting over sound system. “It was so overwhelming. It felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was suddenly ugly-crying in the middleContinue reading “Coping Through the Holidays”

Understanding Día de Muertos

Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is primarily a Mexican tradition of celebrating the Catholic feasts of All Souls Day and All Saints Day. Although the celebration incorporates pre-Columbian indigenous elements, the modern Día de los Muertos is a reverent way to celebrate the Church’s teaching on the communion of saints andContinue reading “Understanding Día de Muertos”

How a Year of Service Broke Me Open

When a gruff nun called from Los Angeles to offer me a position teaching at a low-income high school for the year after I graduated college, I said yes. While I was raised in Silicon Valley and the Catholic and public schools I attended were all fairly affluent, how different could it be to teachContinue reading “How a Year of Service Broke Me Open”

Why I Stay

In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, I wrote a letter that was impulsively posted on my social media accounts. “Dear White Christians, We have failed Jesus Christ.”   The letter proceeded to lambaste the Hallmark-card-wrapped-in-a-platitude response that many white Christian leaders preferred to acknowledging the consequences of police brutality.  Although I mentioned several prominentContinue reading “Why I Stay”

Chasing Childhood Review

The new feature documentary, Chasing Childhood, explores the unintended consequences of helicopter parenting.  Several well-respected parenting authors, researchers and activists contributed to this production all championing an approach that allows children to have greater freedom and less dependence on their parents. Journalist Lenore Skenazy allowed her then 9-year-old son to ride the New York subwayContinue reading “Chasing Childhood Review”

History and Current Status of the Death Penalty in the United States

There are definite perks to working at a Catholic Diocese.  A couple weeks ago, I walked downstairs to the staff lounge and found myself drawn into a conversation with our Director of the Life, Peace & Justice Office and a Franciscan intern regarding the criminal justice system.  Granted maybe not everyone’s idea of a goodContinue reading “History and Current Status of the Death Penalty in the United States”

Palette Cleansers (aka Beach Reads)

What others may know as beach reads, I think of palette cleansers.  These are the lighthearted, romantic, typically feminine novels that dull the ache of that last round of dystopian chaos that was read foolheartedly into the wee hours of the morning.  Palette cleansers are gentle escapism – significantly less likely to give one aContinue reading “Palette Cleansers (aka Beach Reads)”