Protecting Your Child from the Dangers of College Life

A church friend of mine has a daughter going off to college in the fall. When I ran into him recently, I asked how the summertime preparations were going. I expected him to tell me they’d spent an afternoon trying to help her register for classes or a day at Target looking at tiny fridges … Read more

Tattooing Meaning

The girl in the red blouse has a tattoo. A little one—a rose, I think, high on her hip. It shows when her blouse rides up as she bends over to find a newspaper in the crumpled pile at the coffee shop. Maybe fifteen, sixteen years old, she looks to be, and well dressed. Or, … Read more

Two Cheers for Hollywood

When it comes to corporate social responsibility Hollywood occasionally gives us cause to cheer. For example, the 2006 film Blood Diamond successfully drew attention to modern day slavery and exploitation in Africa, which is usually funded by blood diamonds – diamonds mined in conflict countries and often used to finance brutal wars and dictatorships. Or … Read more

Child Sacrifice in 21st Century America

The Hebrew Bible is not for the squeamish. And its harshest maledictions are called down upon those who practiced the abomination of child-sacrifice. Thus the Psalmist: They sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons/they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and … Read more

No ‘Glee’ About Virginity

  In Hollywood, the only truly serious sexual disease is virginity. It’s a dire and embarrassing condition, desperately in need of elimination. Teenagers that still have “it” are woefully immature. They might as well consider themselves to be walking the school hallways in diapers. Along comes Fox Entertainment to enlighten us. Get ready. It’s sick. … Read more

More of You

A mom recently emailed me a complaint. “You never share stories anymore! I always loved your stories.” It’s true that I regularly used to share stories from my real-life experience as a Catholic mom of many children. It turns out that misery really does love company, and the woes of nighttime teething and tantruming toddlers … Read more

Misleading Research on Teen Sex

  “Young people are having sex for the first time at younger and younger ages.” “The average age at which American (British, Swedish, Australian…) adolescents begin sexual activity is 15 (16, 17…).” “HIV/AIDS education needs to take place at correspondingly young ages.” How many times do we read statements like this in news stories and studies? And how … Read more

Twenty and Engaged

With my 21st birthday just a few weeks away, it is expected that I plan a blowout party with copious amounts of alcohol, as my friends compile a list of 21 dares for me to complete while downtown — you know, kiss 21 guys, dance on a table, take a birthday shot, etc. Instead, I’m … Read more

The Best Years of My Life?

Shortly after entering the Utopia of all-you-can-eat dining halls and come-as-you-please elective courses, I found myself singled out as “the girl who hates college.” My peers concluded that this distaste for paradise stemmed from my apparently deficient education at a small, intimate Catholic high school. Maybe I was too sheltered, naïve, homesick, close-minded, and judgmental … Read more

One mom’s experiment to reclaim her kids

The Independent has a story about one mom’s decision to bar the use of technology in her family’s house for six months. Susan Maushart was becoming anxious about the amount of her time her three children spent transfixed by technology. Her son was hooked on his gaming console, one daughter was addicted to social networking … Read more

Theology of the Boy

Who is to blame for the suicides of teenage boys “struggling with sexual identity” that have been so highly publicized in the last two months? If we are to believe many media sources, primary blame rests on bullying peers. But I wonder: Is the homosexual community — and the Catholic Church — ignoring the darker, … Read more

The old folks are coming

Yesterday, I read a blog post about how rapidly the world is aging and what it means for the future. Stephany Anne Golberg in Smart Set writes: The number of people who are 60 and older is set to triple in the next 40 years. By 2050, there will be more people aged 65 and … Read more

The New Sexual Predator

Just as Catholic parishes and schools sigh with relief that the sex-abuse crisis appears to be under control, a new sexual predator is emerging, preying on Catholic teenage boys in schools across the country. This new predator is younger, gentler in appearance, nearer in size and age to the young male victims, and enjoys an … Read more

How do you solve a problem like teenage bullying?

Because IC went offline last Friday while we worked on the redesign, I wasn’t able to post my usual Friday morning link round-up. (I know, it was hard for me, too.) One of the articles I had lined up that I didn’t want to go unmentioned was this excellent series from Emily Bazelon at Slate … Read more

Chesterton Was Fat

There is much talk of the possible canonization of one of Catholicism’s favorite “secular saints,” G. K. Chesterton. Inevitably, people point to one thing that doesn’t sit well in the American consciousness: Chesterton was fat.   I hear little buzzings about it all over, and the subject of gluttony vs. abstemiousness comes up repeatedly as … Read more

So Now They’re Teens

“Mo-om!” If the rolling of eyes could make a noise, my oldest daughter’s facial expression would have been deafening.   We were headed to her orthodontist appointment. It was early, but I had brushed my teeth, put on make up, and was wearing my new hat. I thought I might even look a little bit … Read more

Nothing under the Skin

When I was a boy, I used to walk a mile or so into the woods behind my house, with only the family dog and my thoughts for company. I was lonely in those days, and still that loneliness is a mystery to me, even a source of some bittersweet nostalgia. I can almost remember … Read more

No Freaking Way

As the holiday season comes upon us, and Catholic teenagers everywhere prepare for their high school dances — searching for the perfect gowns, tuxedos, and corsages, and pondering how, whether, and when to find a date — the subject of freak dancing will not likely come up. While some high schools have implemented policies that … Read more

Dr. Oz and the Fountain of Youth

The melancholy truth of the matter is that history has now taken us all quite beyond the tranquil days of fountain pen and writing paper and quiet hours at one’s desk. One has to have that gray machine, with all of its ancillary machines, dominating one’s study. I have managed to limit things to a … Read more

What Lies Beneath

I had a fleeting desire to see the newish movie Watchmen, until I heard that it was yet another in the genre of “let’s peel off the facade of the world and get down to the truthiest truth underneath, which is, of course, stench and corruption.”  This must be an awfully old theme. Older even … Read more

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