$30 to $100 [per specimen] – The going rate for a human life.

In 2007, Michael Vick was implicated, and later pleaded guilty, to federal felony charges which included an illegal interstate dog fighting ring. The public was devastated to learn that Vick had engaged in the hanging and drowning of dogs that did not perform well in bouts. Fans were rightfully OUTRAGED. Vick’s jersey was pulled from sale, he lost his NFL salary and all endorsements. He served 21 months in prison and 2 months of home confinement. The public rebuke was swift and punishment serious. Continue reading

When acting upon our desires becomes sinful

Gods Will

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I was a child pondering this question in the 80’s. This was a time when little girls were encouraged to pursue professions traditionally held by men. Most of my girlfriends proudly boasted their plans to be doctors, attorneys, research scientists and even pilots. Our mothers were starting to work outside of the home which expanded our ideas.

What did I want to be when I grew up? I had a clear answer to this question from the time I was five years old; I wanted to be a mother. Some of my best friends were surprised by my desire for motherhood partly because it was not fashionable and partly because my demeanor was not sensitive or sentimental. I was happy for my friends who were going to pursue their glamorous professions, but my desire never changed. I wanted to be a mother a 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 18, 21 and even today at the ripe old age of 41. I think my desire to mother a child has been the only constant in my life. Continue reading

Tolerance

Sometimes I troll social media to see what is going on in my two stepson’s (S & C) lives. Eric, my husband, and I have been unable to obtain transparency from S & C or their mother through the years. It’s not the kids’ fault; they have learned by example. Their mother has taught them to keep many secrets from us. When S & C are stressed, run down, or acting out I check out the internet to see what sort of chaos is going on in their lives. I’m unapologetic about it. When we know what is going on in my stepsons’ lives, we are able to deploy our prayer, time and resources to help them cope.

Recently, on one such mission, I reported to my husband that the boys were just hanging out with their cousin Mike.  Eric informed me that the boys do not have a cousin named Mike. “Well, there sure are a lot of photos with S & C and their cousin Mike on Facebook,” I replied. My husband was annoyed. He came to the computer to take a look. In shock and disbelief, he informed me that the male Mike in the photos was actually the boys’ female cousin Michelle.

Upon discussing this with S & C we learned that Michelle identified as trans-gendered and had started the process of transitioning from female to male about two years prior when our sons were 13 & 9. We asked the kids how this was presented to them and were saddened to learn that they were simply told to start calling Michelle by her chosen name of Mike and to start referring to her in the masculine. We asked the boys how they were feeling about this new reality (which they had been dealing with for almost two years before we found out). Our oldest expressed being uncomfortable with having to share the boys’ bedroom with Michelle while on family vacations (especially while she still had breasts). Our youngest asked Eric and me how they removed Michelle’s breasts. These were difficult conversations to have.

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Put on Your Mom Jeans!

  1. What famous person would your friends say you are most like?
  2. What would you be doing professionally if you had it to do it all over again?

These were the two impromptu questions I was asked when being introduced to my new colleagues on a conference call. Fran Drescher is the famous person my friends would proclaim as my doppelganger. We share an ethnic look and a nasal voice. Question one – done and easy.

Question two – not so much. I was in a minor panic as my mind searched for an acceptable answer. I blurted out, “If I had to do it all over again I would be college professor.” This was a perfectly acceptable answer. It was also a complete lie. I could never tell the truth. If I really had a “do over,” I would use it to be a mom. Motherhood would be more than my profession; it would be my vocation I would have a whole house full of kiddos. I instantly hated my lie, but I knew to tell the truth would be career suicide.

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The TEN COMMANDMENTS (according to 10 year olds)

I’m a Catechist for the Right of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). I lead the RCIA for Children class at my old home Parish. We provide catechesis (religious Ed) for the children of Catholic converts who are entering the church during the Easter Vigil. One of the things I find the most challenging about leading this group is that the children are of various ages (8-17) and have such diverse religious backgrounds. Some are just learning about Jesus for the first time; while others already have an intimate relationship with Him through their Protestant background.

We have recently been studying God’s Ten Commandments. Children, much like adults, don’t care for rules. Teaching others about God’s commandments is challenging because as a society we don’t like being told what to do; not even from God and especially not from His Church. I understand why children feel this way as they have yet to form their consciences. I admit to becoming a bit more frustrated with adults, who like me, struggle with pride and often neglect God’s laws. Continue reading

A DYNAMIC Prayer Life

During the Christmas Vigil Mass, St. Brendan gifted one copy of The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, by Matthew Kelly to each household. It was a pleasant surprise and reminded me once again how awesome my home parish is!

Matthew Kelly studied parishioner’s church engagement and summarizes the following in his book:FB_IMG_1423155109916

  • 4% of registered parishioners contribute 80% of the volunteer hours in a parish. 6.8% of the registered parishioners donate 80% of the financial contributions. There is an 84% overlap between these two groups.
  • The aforementioned stats mean that 7% of Catholics are accomplishing more than 80% of what the Catholic Church is doing in America today. The Catholic Church is already the largest charitable organization in the world; imagine how engaging just another 1% of Catholics could change the world. Wow, chew on that for a bit.
  • Highly engaged Catholics (the 7% who are accomplishing 80% of the Church’s work in America) are aptly named Dynamic Catholics and have four things in common. The four signs of a Dynamic Catholic are:
    • Prayer: Daily prayer routine.
    • Study: Students of Jesus who spend on average 14 minutes daily learning about Christ, His teachings and His Church.
    • Generosity: Generous with their time, talent, & money. Generous with love in their daily lives.
    • Evangelization: Invite others to grow spiritually by sharing your love of God with others.

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