Integrated Catholic Life

Here's What You May Have Missed

Not through any fault of your own, mind you. I write for other online spaces and had a few come up in such rapid succession that I couldn't get them out to you without tripping over a kid, homeschool workbooks, and a pew.

What You May Have Missed by Colleen Duggan A roundup of Catholic posts written by me as guest posts around the web for Integrated Catholic Life and Aleteia

Compared to these priests, I expend very little effort bringing Jesus Christ to anyone...and with a start like that? Head over to Aleteia to read: Imagine waiting for hours, in stifling heat, for the possibility of Mass and the Eucharist

It’s Not Enough To Tell Mothers To Stop Whining And Learn To Love Motherhood, We Have To Cultivate Community To Help Them…on Integrated Catholic Life, read Cultivating Community to Support Mothers

A few weeks ago, I sat with my grandfather, Rex Roy Lloyd, in his assisted-living facility room, while the California sun streamed through the window and the birds, perched outside, chirped a song. My grandmother, as she’d done for the last 64 years, sat next to Grandpa holding his hand.

It was one week before he died. Read A tribute to Grandpa, who always did small things with great love on Aleteia.

I've also taken to microblogging on Facebook.  What's that mean, you ask? It's where I share my heart on Facebook, so there are no links, SEO, super perfect images, or any of the other blogging specifics to adhere to. I would love for you to join me in the discussion there. I will share my latest one with you here:

I hope you are having a very blessed Lent. 

When God Picks Your Friends

Jesse and Dan’s ingenious modus operandi in securing our friendship was to feed us.  My husband, John, and I had moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for work, but we were lonely because our immediate family lived several states away.  We knew we needed community, but we didn’t know where to look.  John and I decided to pray for some friends and a few weeks later, we met the Richey family one Saturday afternoon after a Vigil Mass.

Dan, a former Louisiana senator and a recovering attorney, knows more about politics and history than anyone I know.  When my father, a retired Marine Colonel and history enthusiast himself, met Dan for the first time, my dad asked me later, “Do you suppose he has a photographic memory?”

Dan’s brain is tack sharp.

And Dan’s wife, Jesse?  She is all heart.

If Jesse sees a book she thinks you might like, you’ll find it tucked in your mailbox before the day is out.  If you get sick and can’t cook for your brood, Jesse will prepare a casserole the size of Istanbul and put it in your oven.  If it’s two a.m. and you’re in labor, you can call Jesse and she’ll come sit with your other children while you go to the hospital (even if she has to work the next day).

When I had three children under the age of three and was overwhelmed with life, Jesse came to my house every Thursday afternoon so I could go to Adoration and the grocery store, sans children. I would leave for an hour or two and come home, to calm children, dinner in the oven and several loads of laundry washed and folded.

I still don’t know how she did it.

Read the rest at Integrated Catholic Life.

Want To Save The World? Start With The People You See Everday.

In June, I started a mother’s ministry at my 10,000 person parish and the response has been overwhelming. Though we began meeting over five weeks ago, every week I receive more requests from women who have heard about us and want to join the group.

Here’s the thing I already knew, but my experience has confirmed: women are hungry for community, for support, and for friendship. Women feel isolated and alone.

At the end of almost every session, someone approaches me and confesses a private pain. There are marital issues, parenting challenges, the death of children and spouses. I pray to hold back my tears as these women tell me their stories.

I’m ashamed to admit this, but these women I’m befriending? I’ve been sitting next to them in the pews for years. Until recently, I didn’t even know their names, let alone their sufferings. Though I’ve seen them almost weekly for the last six years, my efforts to get to know them have not exceeded a polite nod and a weak smile as we file into and out of Sunday Mass.

Isn’t it strange I would never forget to leave my iPhone at home but I can’t be bothered to ask the woman sitting next to me at Mass every Sunday her name?

Isn’t it strange that I live in a über technologically connected society, but I remain so emotionally disconnected from the people around me?

Read the rest at ICL.

My Number One Parenting Tip

A friend of mine came to visit last week with her small army of young children. We chatted while I slathered peanut butter and jelly on slices of wheat bread and threw them at the masses. Every five minutes, we filled requests for cups of water and changed diapers and broke up scuffles over broken toys.

In between the commotion she asked, “How do you discipline your kids?”

I paused because her question, while excellent, was a rather weighty one that I wasn’t sure I was prepared to answer.

I am not a parenting expert.

I always joke that God gave me all these kids because he knows how stupid I am.

Some people learn important parenting lessons after one or two children, but God knew it would take me six to get even the basics down!

On top of being a slower learner, I also tend to be a reactor, which is a nice way of saying I’m a hot head. I have a temper and I sometimes yell.

And my kids? 

Read the rest at Integrated Catholic Life.