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November 2017

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    Catholics: Don’t be afraid of the word “Feminist”

    Catholics: Don't be afraid of the word "Feminist" -- FemCatholic.com

    Don’t worry: nothing that follows will be anti-Catholic, un-orthodox, or contrary to Church teaching.

    In fact, I’m going to use only support from Pope’s, Saints, or official Church documents to make my point. Promise. 🙂

    The question is though – why should I have to include that disclaimer?

    Because Catholics, for some reason, we’re really afraid of feminism.

    Really, it’s going to be ok.

    To be fair – I understand why “Feminist” is a frightening word to most Catholics.

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    Dear Edith

    Starving at Church Response #2 – Kyla

    Dear Edith Starving but wanting to stay Response 2 Kyla -- FemCatholic.com

    Read the original question here.

    Dear Starving,

    I saw your letter a few weeks ago. I wasn’t exactly planning on responding to it, but it’s been sitting in the back of my mind ever since and this feels like something that I should write back to.

    The reason why I wasn’t planning on responding is that I don’t exactly see what the problem is. I don’t want to say that in a dismissive way – I am not in your shoes, in your parish. I am sure that the culture surrounding the church is different than what you have grown in. I do not see all the things that the priest is or isn’t doing. So please, do not think that I am trying to minimize your feelings.

    You can go to a church anywhere in the world and experience the same mass in community.

    The word “Catholic” means universal. Its one of the things I love most about our faith. You can go to a church anywhere in the world and experience the same mass in community. Now, that community is very important. We are a part of the body of Christ – one body, universal, one in love and one in community. I can imagine that that becomes even more important in places where Catholics are a minority, such as this bible belt region you are speaking of. So gathering together to, say, sing Happy Birthday and celebrate life as a community… I think that’s a joyful, wonderful thing. The parish in my parents hometown, the one I grew up in – we would sing Happy Birthdays. We would also have people come up for blessings depending on the occasion – students for the beginning of school, couples celebrating anniversaries, and others – and we would bless them as a community. I thought it was awesome as a teenager – I was participating in sharing the bounty of God’s Grace with others.

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    Dear Edith

    Dear Edith: Modesty & Being Desirable

    Dear Edith Modesty and being desirable question -- FemCatholic.comDear Edith Modesty and being desirable question -- FemCatholic.com

    Dear Edith,

    I’ve always been been a thicker girl, between sizes 14-18. My husband loves that about me and he definitely likes when I flaunt my curves a little more. It’s not that he wants me walking down the street in my underwear; but he’d prefer a bikini at the beach/pool, a form hugging dress for a night out, no maxi skirts, and clothes that show off my curves in general.

    What wife doesn’t want their husband to find them desirable?

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    Modern Catholic Women

    Not Just Pretty Men: An Appeal for Distinctively Female Characters

    Not just pretty men: An appeal for distinctively female characters -- FemCatholic.com

    Outrage rang loudly through the internet with the announcement that the classic film “Ghostbusters” would be remade with all-female leads. While many of those complaints could be dismissed as sexist, there is a valid reason to complain when remakes put women in roles formerly held by men: it’s lazy writing at best, and more concerning, it is a huge disservice to women.

    As Catholics, we know that men and women are distinct – and in certain ways, that makes us different. When we take a well-known movie and just switch out a man for a woman, we are acting like men and women are merely interchangeable. Rather than developing a strong female character based on the unique traits of women, we are acting as though there is nothing distinctive about being a woman. Though equal in dignity, men and women have different strengths, weaknesses, and traits that make them uniquely masculine or feminine.  A strong female character should emphasize these gifts; she shouldn’t just be a pretty man.

    When we take a well-known movie and just switch out a man for a woman, we are acting like men and women are merely interchangeable.

    Though many movies fail to even pass the infamous feminist “Bechdel test” -let alone present strong female leads- there are also movies that present strong women who draw their strength from their femininity, not in spite of it. What do specifically feminine strengths look like? Inspired by these four Feminine Gifts scholars say were identified by Pope Saint John Paul II, I sought out movies that presented strong women – as women. Here’s what I found.

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    Discussions on Divorce: What We’re Leaving Out

    Divorce & What we're leaving out -- FemCatholic.com

    Discussions on divorce in Catholic circles tend to focus on two points: 1) pastoral care for divorced persons in the Church and 2) the question of (not) permitting divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion. As members of the body of Christ, we need to ask these questions and properly care for divorced Catholics. At the same time, there is a sobering void in our discussions. We are quick to state how deeply divorce hurts children, but we are largely silent when it comes to how we can help them.

    We are quick to state how deeply divorce hurts children, but we are largely silent when it comes to how we can help them.

    The truly efficacious grace given to me during the sacrament of Confirmation is, I am convinced, what kept me in the Church. One year after my Confirmation, my parents told me they were getting divorced. I sought comfort and healing in the Church, spent more time at my parish than before their divorce, and never missed Mass on Sundays. How I wish my situation were the rule and not the exception.

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    Dear Edith

    Starving at Church Response #1 – Jacque

    When Parish life leaves you feeling dry -- FemCatholic.com

    Read the original question here.

    Dear Starving but Wanting to Stay,

    There is a letter by J.R.R. Tolkien written to his son, to which I refer frequently because of Tolkien’s eminent reverence for the Eucharist; but Tolkien also gives his son a piece of advice that I think about often and find appropriate to share here:

    “I can recommend this as an exercise (alas! only too easy to find opportunity for): make your communion in circumstances that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children – from those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle is opened sit back and yawn – open necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to communion with them (and pray for them). It will be just the same (or better than that) as a mass said beautifully by a visibly holy man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people. It could not be worse than the mess of the feeding of the Five Thousand – after which our Lord propounded the feeding that was to come.”

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    Modern Catholic Women

    Stronger than darkness: The call to respond to racism

    The Call to Respond to Racism -- FemCatholic.com

    I could not believe my eyes when I sat on my bed, on a typical Saturday morning in Charlottesville, scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook.

    All that I saw were videos of protesters, carrying torches and marching in a line, down the lawn of the University of Virginia, my university, in the dead of night.

    I knew that the Unite the Right white supremacist rally was going to take place in Emancipation Park later in the day, but I had no idea that this evil would be marching less than one mile away from my apartment in the dead of night.  

    I had no idea that this evil would be marching less than one mile away from my apartment in the dead of night.

    The next twenty-four hours were spent on lockdown alone in my apartment, with my eyes glued to a livestream of the news on my laptop while all of Virginia was in a state of emergency. A white supremacy rally had turned into large scale riots, violence had out-broken between the supremacists and protesters, policemen were struggling to clear the crowd, and a car was driven by a white supremacist down a crowded street, killing a woman and injuring others. The places where I had the past three years laughing with my friends was full of carnage, evil, and terrorism.

    The following day I walked straight into my university parish and asked the chaplain, “What happened and what now?”

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