Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

All are invited to attend the 10th Annual Minnesota Catholic Home Education Conference and Curriculum Fair on May 30-31 on the campus of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. I've attended for nine of those ten years and have always found it to be a great source of information for my upcoming school year, inspiration to see 1,000-1,200 other Catholics who are called to find holiness on this path, and a little foretaste of heaven to be surrounded by an entire field house of new and used books to help us along the way.

I know of some church ladies who are called to home educate their children, and some who were home educated themselves, but I can't think of any who wouldn't appreciate the great speakers (Fr. Mitch Pacwa is the keynote this year) and the shopping fun!

You can register online until May 15 or at the door for a slightly higher charge.

And of course, all Pious Men are welcome too!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy feast of St. Gianna Molla! This address by her son at the 1999 dedication of a Newman Center to St. Gianna, describes many things that Catholic women should strive for (emphasis mine):

First, the witness of my mother was a hymn to life, to a love for life, and the beautiful things of life; it was a hymn to a faith lived with joy and nourished by the Eucharist and by prayer. Even in her medical profession, she knew how to see Jesus in her neighbour whom she loved and served with such great generosity.

Second, my mother knew how to live her earthly, daily existence with simplicity, balance, and constant service, all in a beautiful harmony, first as a young student and professional person, as a woman, then as wife and mother. Her generous commitment to and involvement in the Catholic Action and to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, along with her joie de vivre, was crowned with her love of piano, painting, tennis, mountain climbing, skiing, the symphony, theatre, and traveling.

Third, even in her earliest youth, my mother fully accepted the gift of faith and an explicitly Christian education received from her excellent parents who, in their vigilant wisdom, knew how to accompany her in her human and Christian growth. Whether it was in her youth, in primary school, in her secondary education, or in her university courses in medical school, Gianna received from exemplary priests, religious, and from wise professors, a pedagogical formation that was clearly in harmony with Cardinal John Henry Newman's idea of a university in which theology, the arts, and sciences would be taught in dialogue with one another.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What a lovely idea!

Help ensure sweet dreams and holy habits with a pillowcase from Rest on His Word.

From their site: When you and your children go to bed at night, our antique holy card images and prayers will help you place your cares, hopes and needs with God. These special pillow cases are gentle teachers for young children to learn their prayers and for the whole family to practice their faith.

My favorite? The Act of Contrition with this very sweet image of a young Church Lady receiving absolution.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pious Men

Of course, one of the chief joys of Pious Women is to spot signs of piety in the men they meet. Perhaps that's why I find these holy cards so charming. I came across them in a box of give-away stuff at our church along with several other old prayer cards and holy cards and I'm pretty sure a new collection has begun!
(The actual cards have more green tones - they look a lot more yellow on my screen.)

They were made in Belgium and are labeled "Alleluia N' 240" and "Alleluia N' 237." Both copyrighted by A. M. Ermeton S/Biert, and apparently for an English-speaking audience judging from the inscription "I Engage Myself" on the right one.

I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about them. Was the intended audience American Boy Scouts? Did American Boy Scouts ever really engage in activities like this? Do the two different colored uniforms denote different levels of scouts, or something else? The numbering hints that there are more in the series and I'd love to see more!

I found something similar here (an impressive collection of holy cards, btw) which looks like the same artist, but the text is in French. Any enlightenment on the topic would be welcome.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New heresy

(Not to be confused with old heresy known as

Donutism is the propensity for some Catholics to leave their parish and join a denomination based on the quality of the donuts and coffee that that is served before, after, and during Sunday services.

Mantilla tip to my fello Church Lady, Christi

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Everyone I'm interested in ends up discerning the priesthood!

Today's "must read" for Church Ladies comes from the Seraphic Single, sharing very wise advice (with more than a bit of humor) about dating and discernment.

Nobody should waste their youth dreaming of men who have no interest in them. Thus, we Catholic girls should hear "I'm discerning a vocation to the priesthood" and translate it into "I'm just not that into you." And at this point, we should drop the discerner like a hot potato. After all, he is thinking of foreswearing the greatest sweets of human love, so we should give him a hint of that loss pronto. Once he's actually in the seminary, we can be nice to him again. But not too nice. And if he doesn't go into the seminary (for so few of them do) we should cold-shoulder him until he shows up, weeping, with flowers, at our door.

Now guys, we realize the permanence of this all makes it a very serious choice but, don't let your discernment stretch on for years, and don't bore everyone around you with your internal struggles. In fact, if it's such a struggle, the religious life/priesthood is probably not for you.

I'm reminded of the angst-filled words of a little-known literary character, Snydert:

Who am I? Can I discern and date concurrently?
Pursue both [women] and the OP?
This choice, so difficult to make,
I must end, for my quadmates’ sake;
Who am I? Can I be celibate forevermore?
And never be the man I was before?
And must my life forever be
Confusion deep inside of me?
What to be? To be an ordered Priest? Or married man?
How can I ever face myself again?
My soul belongs to God, I know,
I made that bargain long ago;
He gave me hope when hope was gone;
He gave me strength to journey on;
Who am I? Who am I?
So with vocations, this is true:
It’s hard to pick between the two!