Week in review

Although it began with Pentecost Sunday Mass and afterwards, kids having fun with sparklers in the backyard, this was a sombre week both on the local and world news front. And most significantly for us, a death in our extended family on Wednesday night. Every morning there was news from the US to share with…

New Year’s resolution!

My column in last week’s Catholic Weekly. Click here for more like it. One day in the week before Christmas I decide to get back to praying Morning Prayer from the Divine Office. I go to a quiet room, pull up the Universalis website on my computer and get two verses into the invitatory psalm…

How to keep busy when you’re on retreat

When I was at the mothers’ retreat at the Mt Carmel retreat centre the other week I gave them a one-page ‘to do’ list of things that I suggested they try to complete by the end of the retreat at Sunday lunchtime. When I wrote this list I just thought it was a cute idea…

What Mother Teresa taught me about sowing world peace

As the canonisation of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta approaches I’m reminded of one of her oft-repeated themes; the need for peace in the home. She said, often, that world peace begins within the family, that home is where we sow peace, and that love begins not with the doing of great charitable works in…

It’s nice to be missed

I’ve had a few people ask me what’s happened to my Catholic Weekly column. I took a break for several weeks when I was feeling overwhelmed with general life stuff, but wrote one last week which will probably be in this Sunday’s issue of May 15. It’s on gift ideas for First Holy Communicants or…

St Margaret Mary’s letters, Amoris Laetitia, and other reading

In the last month someone sent me to read the letters of St Margaret Mary Alacoque to her mother superior, novices, relatives and priests. This French 17th century nun was largely responsible for the spread of the Sacred Heart devotion. Until recently it was very common for Catholic households to have up somewhere one of…

The Insane Expectations of Married Love

From my column published recently in The Catholic Weekly. One line has really stuck with me from Pope Francis’ wonderful opening speech to the Synod on the Family which closes on this Sunday. It’s the one about the folly of the gratuitious nature of marriage. He said: “Indeed, only in the light of the folly…

Parenting fails and God’s mercy

My column published last week in The Catholic Weekly. Photo by Schlomit Wolf. I’ve had my fair share of ‘parenting fails’, as all parents probably do. I’ve left children at school until late in the afternoon, only realising I had to pick them up when they rang me from the office to ask where I…

I’m doing a humility experiment this October – want to join me?

I know we’re not there yet, but let me sing October’s praises for a sec. It is just the BEST, firstly because it’s mid-spring in Sydney, which is always glorious and a little taster of heaven. I also have a significant birthday this October (yes, that’s code for ‘I’m turning 40’), my husband and I…

Refugees at the dinner table

I often check for news on my phone as I prepare dinner of an evening. Recently, after all the children had sat at the table, jumped up at hearing their Daddy come home, hugged and chattered to him, and sat back down again; after grace was said and water poured into cups, and the plates…

What and How I Get to Read

Do people still read books these days? I’ve been reading Elizabeth Scalia’s book Strange Gods, two letters from readers of my column, Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), numerous blog posts and newspaper articles, and cake recipes from the free supermarket magazine I picked up at the checkout when doing the milk, bread,…

The changing meaning of family

One time I was reading an article by a writer whose work I enjoy reading occasionally when she referred to a book her young son was reading as picturing “one of those vanilla mummy/daddy families”. That is, it showed a married mum and dad, and the couple’s biological children. It was clear by the context…