Labor of Pain, Labor of Love

I grew up Catholic. Not an Easter-and-Christmas Catholic. But an every-week-we-went-to-mass-and-my-great-grandmother-taught-us-the-rosary Catholic. We were Irish, loud, played bingo, had the priest over for dinner and I just assumed that everyone else lived the same way we did. I went to Catholic schools, wore the plaid skirts and knew the Stations of the Cross before I […]

Why We Gather

There were no ceramic pumpkins on the table this year to mark the occasion. We didn’t eat off Grandma’s white plates with the brown flower pattern around the edges that were just retro enough to be cool again. There was no playing in the yard after dinner, the crunching of autumn leaves under our feet. […]

Sisters in Mental Illness: Mental Health and Church

“I used to think everybody was OK except for people with mental illness. However we’re all struggling, whether it is visible or not. That’s why the church needs to be instrumental [in this conversation] and be the messiest place you can find.” Last month Shaley talked to Lalainia Lindbjerg Strelau about her battle with anorexia […]

The Gift of Gathering

We sat around the campfire laughing. We had camped together every year at a festival and this year we tried to be a little more organized. I was in charge of organizing, but organizing isn’t my strength. We talked about next year, and I let them know I was aware that I should maybe not […]

The Gift of Charismatic Tears

Here’s the truth—I cry way too easily. Whenever I am emotionally invested in anything, the tears are never far away. This has been true for me as long as I can remember and it has taken me a long lifetime to learn that these tears are a gift. In truth, they are among the most […]