"In fact, woman has a genius all her own,
which is vitally essential to both society and the Church." --John Paul II

Saturday, January 7, 2012

On a critical women's issue...

Facebook dropped the ball and issued an apology:

photo courtesy of lifenews.com


Monday, September 12, 2011

Holy Name of Mary

In today's Gospel we hear about the centurion who's slave is very ill. The slave is important to the Roman officer, and upon hearing that Jesus was in the region, he sends Jewish elders to implore Him to come and heal the slave. But, there's a moment of discernment, a turning point on the part of the centurion -- he sends friends out to beg Jesus not to bother to come. The centurion has a second thought -- I AM NOT WORTHY -- but, he trusts and with hope, begs a favor -- ONLY SAY THE WORD, AND MY SLAVE SHALL BE HEALED. (Lk 7:1-10)

This is the Gospel on the Memorial of the Holy Name of Mary.


I pondered it during the homily. And as the priest expounded on the wonders of Mary's intercession and her protection, I realized that I am like the slave and Mary is the one with great trust who will bring my need to the Lord, her Son. I am weak, sick, subject to sin and temptation, but I am of great value to Our Lady. I am her child. She will run to the Lord and intercede for me -- heal my child, she is sick and I need her to be well.

Ah, the comfort of Mary, my Mother. She is the Mother of God, and by Divine command, she is my Mother, too. Her name is indeed holy, and I am her humble servant.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Aggie Catholics: Top 10 Reasons Women Should Dress Modestly

This is a great list with lots to think about this summer season. But, with fashion the way it is, and our culture so sexualized, it's worth reading for all seasons.

You might also like reading:  Body Art the New Beach Wear

Keep it covered people! It's not only modest, it's good for your health, too.  #11?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Poor Mrs. Weiner, Or Maybe Not

Mrs. Weiner has a humiliating burden to bear right now. Mr. Weiner's been a very bad boy. But has Mrs. Weiner been a very bad girl?

Weinergate gets weirder by the moment.

Now the scandalous chatter is about an alleged hidden lewd relationship between Mrs. Weiner and Hillary Clinton.

It's all in the company you keep, isn't it? Maybe you shouldn't have had the ex-Pres. officiate at the wedding -- bad juju.

Really, can we all just grow up? You folks condone these behaviors when other people do them, why the big secrets when you decide to participate? Choose a higher moral standard, for goodness sakes, and none of this would be looming over either of you or your spouses right now.

Feminine Genius FAIL!

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Mean Girls in the Nursing Home"

Dining room drama.... 
“What happens to mean girls? Some of them go on to become mean old ladies,” said Marsha Frankel, clinical director of senior services at Jewish Family and Children’s Services in Boston, who has led workshops (innocuously called “Creating a Caring Community”) for staff and residents.
What sort of behavior are we talking about? Ms. Frankel and Robin Bonifas, an assistant professor of social work at Arizona State who has begun research on senior bullying, described various situations:
  • Attempts to turn public spaces into private fiefdoms. “There’s a TV lounge meant to be used by everyone, but one person tries to monopolize it — what show is on, whether the blinds are open or shut, who can sit where,” said Dr. Bonifas.
  • Exclusion. “Dining room issues are ubiquitous,” said Ms. Frankel. When there’s no assigned seating, a resident may loudly announce that she’s saving a seat, even if no one else is expected, to avoid someone she dislikes....
  • General nastiness. “People loudly and publicly say insulting things. ‘You’re stupid.’ ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.’” Ms. Frankel said. In a Newton, Mass., facility she observed, a resident actually discouraged her daughter from visiting, because the daughter was obese and her mother didn’t want her subjected to disparaging gossip.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Review -- Slippery Willie's Stupid Ugly Shoes

Click here to order book at Amazon.com

Willie is different. He has slippery feet that require him to have special shoes. He's a special kid. Yet, he's worried about how others will perceive him in his new, corrective shoes. This is a window into the mind of a child with differences: physical, psychological and/or intellectual.

Author, Larry Peterson, takes a look at the world of a boy named Willie who is different, not necessarily disabled, but different. Willie's difference is enough to make him feel anxiety over what will help him "fit in". And that is what I think makes this book special. Slippery Willie's Stupid Ugly Shoes exposes a defect in society -- instead of focusing on what makes us alike, the fact that we are all made in the image and likeness of God, we tend to focus on what makes us different. And, when we do that, we become anxious about what people think, how they will react or behave toward us, and how we will fit in.

I really enjoyed this book and only had a couple of little quirky issues with it. Without telling them that I didn't enjoy the use of the words stupid and hate, I read this book to my girls. Here are some of their comments and my responses to them:

Meggie (age 13) -- "I liked the book, but I wish that the author didn't use the word stupid. This is one of those things that kids say to other kids to make them feel bad. He should have used a different word. Plus, I know you don't like that word. You probably wouldn't ever buy this book or take it out of the library for us. But, I still think it's cute and helpful."

Mom -- You're right, Meg. I didn't like the use of the word stupid. It is something I don't encourage you kids to say...also the word hate. They are strong words that spark strong emotions and tend to be used against people. So, you're more than likely right; if I had not received this book from Larry with a request to review it, I probably wouldn't have selected it off the shelf myself. And then we wouldn't have read this really nice story.

Annie (age 10) -- "I remember when Grace had to go to open house in the wheel chair. People showed her a lot of attention. It wasn't all good. I guess that would make you worry."

Mom -- In the story, Willie didn't even have the shoes on yet and he was worried. I don't remember if Grace was anxious before the open house, but that would be a similar experience if she was. You're right.

Grace (age 9) -- I liked the story and I thought that when everyone was laughing at Willie it was sad that his shoes were so ugly. But, it really didn't matter because they were what he needed and they helped him a lot. It was really mean to laugh at him, though, because he was finally able to do what they did. They should be happy for him.

Mom -- That's right. Lots of people, even your brother Eddie, use equipment and devices that help them access the world in ways similar to the rest of us. It doesn't feel good at all when people stare at your brother or whisper about him. But, we know that it is due to ignorance, and if we simply introduce them to him and the way he is different and the same, it makes everyone more comfortable.

The overall impression of this book was VERY GOOD. The kids liked the story and I liked it, too. It's a great way to introduce children to the fact that kids with differences or disabilities can feel a little anxious about how others with perceive them and accept them. If you can tolerate the words stupid and hate in the story, or substitute other words for pre-readers, you'll enjoy using this book as a conduit to talking to your children about people who are different.

Slippery Willie's Stupid Ugly Shoes, by Larry Peterson, has also received the Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval.

Read more about Slippery Willie at:  http://www.slipperywillie.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Second Chance -- A Review For Tribute Books

I was looking forward to reading this little book: Second Chance by, Sandra J. Gerencher. Because I have a child with significant special needs (some autistic like tendencies), I was intrigued by the premise of the book -- both a child with autism and a dog being saved by adoption. I am a huge fan of adoption; I believe that more people should explore the option to adopt children, especially children with special needs. But, I didn't quite see the similarities between adopting a child with special needs and a pup.

So, I began to read the book. Immediately, I was concerned. Knowing it was a book meant for children, I tried to swallow hard and work my way through Chance, the adopted dog, narrating the story. I just have a problem with issues as important as those raised in this book being reasoned through by a dog, considering dog's can't reason. (Reminder to self: Children's book, remember children's book...)

I also had a moment of pause when the author suggested that her adopted son, Ryan, a child with autism, could speak DOG. The child was actually able to carry out a conversation with the pooch.  Now, I don't have a child with autism, but I also don't believe children with autism are akin to Dr. Doolittle. I am not sure that this image is appropriate to present to curious children reading the book. It was a stretch and a bit too contrived, again, for the importance of the message the author was trying to present.

I did appreciate the attempt to appeal to children and teach them about topics such as special needs, adoption and caring for animals that are destined for euthanasia. This book was written by a mother who obviously loves her child and her pets. Unfortunately, the way in which she presented the content just didn't do it for me.

Below are links to information regarding this Second Chance. Read it, and if you have an opinion you'd like to share, come back and leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

PBS Kids Recommended title

Book web site:
Sandra J. Gerencher Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1579236662
Tribute Books website:http://www.tribute-books.com

Tribute Books Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/ Archbald-PA/Tribute-Books/ 171628704176

Tribute Books Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/ TributeBooks

Sandra J. Gerencher Bio:
          Sandra J. Gerencher is a special education teacher in the Bangor     Area public school system. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked     at Lehigh University in a school-based program, as a Program     Specialist for adults with disabilities. Over the past 20 years she     has worked with children and adults with special needs in such areas     as counseling, Behavior Specialist Consultation, behavioral     research, crisis intervention and abuse therapy. Sandra graduated     from Lehigh University with a M.Ed. in Special Education (2004) and     from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia with an M.S. in     Counseling Psychology (1999).

YouTube video book trailer embed html code:
"http://www.youtube.com/v/DemT2iYYgM8?fs=1&hl=en_US">"http://www.youtube.com/v/DemT2iYYgM8?fs=1&hl=en_US"     type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always"     allowfullscreen="true" width="425"     height="344">

Buy links:

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