7 Quick Takes



Write On Edge told us to share our writing goals this week. Since I can treat that succinctly, I’m using this as my first “quick take”  this morning.

Publish short fiction.

Finish the current novel and start submitting again

Attend conferences (this one involves some pretty heavy-duty logistical planning to figure out the family care, so who knows)

Do excellent work on the magazine front, not just enough to get by

Do some promotion for my books on Advent, Lent and the forthcoming Beatitudes books

Most importantly, keep in balance with family life (a lesson I’ve had to learn this year)


I’m attending a class on the development, background and history of the Church’s social teaching, taught by a Dominican brother at our local Newman Center. It has been really interesting, and down the line I think I’ll share some of the tidbits I’ve found striking or challenging.


Yesterday at class, a discussion came up about how best to serve the poor when you are getting dozens of calls and begging letters. He said, first, you can give $5 to everyone, or you can target. The saints who have been most effective in helping the poor, he noted, did so strategically. He also brought up something I’ve never heard of before: http://www.kiva.org/. You choose someone who needs a loan and donate toward it, and then they pay it back incrementally into your “account,” at which point you can pull it back out, or loan it again. Here’s more detailed information by way of an interview with the founder.


Now I have questions for you, (especially the Catholic readers). I’ve been tasked with answering this question:

So you’re done with the wedding planning, now how do you be a Catholic married couple? How do you get/stay involved in the Church? We’re looking for social, service, ministry, faith formation–if you had it to do again, how would you use the newlywed years?


Second question: I’m making a list of “7 old, standby Catholic movies to cozy up to during your first year of marriage.” In doing prep work for this, I’m finding that the golden age of Hollywood had lots, and I mean LOTS, of Catholic-friendly movies. As such, I’m inclined to steer clear of the obvious things like the Ten Commandments and go for the less obvious gems. So here’s my short list. I want you to vote (you can choose up to 7), and to make it easy for you, here is a poll! If you think I’m missing something, leave a comment.


Look what landed in my mailbox recently!

(Hint: you can find them here and here.)


Just because you needed a laugh

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 189)

17 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes

  1. I guess for us, the way we dealt with being newlywed Catholics and single Catholics was one and the same. As a matter of fact, we’ve been married 17 years and continue to do the same stuff, we just drag our 5 children along now. We continued to cantor, EM, work with Habitat for Humanity, serve meals @ Catholic Worker House, and volunteer to help in any manor that is needed. Chris is now in Pastoral Council and has applied for the Deaconate along with the Men’s group. I have gone through the MOMS group and helped on Liturgy Committee, though that has become a logistical nightmare with all of our other committments, so I usually miss those meetings. Much of what I do now is at home so that Chris can do what he needs to do.

    Before kids, we also taught CCD and worked on TECs.

  2. Have not yet see ‘The Way’ so could not comment but otherwise like your list, would add ‘Life with Father’ and ‘Undercover Blues’.

    After we were married we continued as EM/acolyte (me) and music ministry (him); after we had been married for a couple of years we joined the Pre-Cana team as a presenters.

  3. Another online charity I like is modestneeds.org. People can give money to families and individuals who are one crisis away from poverty. Their stories are heartbreaking and demonstrate that one concerted effort to alleviate a specific hardship can make a huge difference.

  4. I, too, love how your goals build off of one another. While I’m not catholic, I have been married for 11 years now. I think one of the big things for staying involved in the church (whatever the denomination/faith) is to make sure both people continue to keep faith and worship as a top priority in life regardless of whatever else happens. Not sure, though, how to get people to ACTUALLY do so.

  5. My husband and I met in a Catholic singles group, as did about a dozen or so other couples who got married within a couple of years of us. We went to each others showers, weddings, and the baby showers. What started as an informal “gather the gang” ended up being a formal monthly pot-luck lunch until the kids got old enough that scheduling became a real problem. That group was pretty much strictly social.

    When I was pregnant with my twenty year old (about three years after we married) several of us from that singles group (single man, single woman, married woman w/out her husband and three couples) started getting together to pray the rosary and something else once a month. We’d pray and the kids would play. The single woman dropped out quickly, the single man eventually married and brought his wife, and the married woman w/out husband (who started the group) moved after a year or so. The four remaining couples met until the kids were in high school and finding good dates just got too hard.

    I think the young adult years are hard for involvement in church, whether you are single or married. Everyone seems older than you. If you are single and in a new place then you are by yourself in a pew in a church full of strangers. If you don’t want to work with teens it seems there is no place you fit.

    The trouble with singles ministries or even “young adult” groups is that it is hard to keep them going once the initial enthusiastic leader-type group leaves the group due to age or change of status. The people who end up leading the group at that point are often those who have been there the longest, and often that group, well, let’s be charitable and say that there was a reason they didn’t move on. When the next generation of singles/young adults sees this somewhat older,somewhat less ….group, they are less apt to want to join, and then that group gets smaller and filled with more people who are older and stuck at that stage of life, and then dies, or sticks around as a group of misfits.

    I guess what I’m saying is that most couples would be better off trying to find another couple with whom the could share prayers and faith and fun.

    • That’s a really good perspective, Ruth, and it echoes my own limited observations. We never had a young adult ministry. I just got involved in the choir, and yes, those were all ppl who were older than me, except Christian. But I was always an old soul anyway. In some ways I think I’m younger now. LOL–my kids have “young-ed” me even as they age me!

    • Thanks, all, for all the suggestions! I have to narrow it down to 7, so a lot will have to be put by the wayside, but if nothing else this gives me lots of movies to watch. 🙂

  6. Moonshadow

    “Gentleman’s Agreement,” with Catholic actors Gregory Peck and Dorothy McGuire, deals with religious bigotry. “Friendly Persuasion,” with Catholic-convert Gary Cooper and McGuire again, shows what it’s like to live the gospel and to be counter-cultural. Of course, Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” stresses the importance of the social gospel in America.

  7. Kathleen, your advent and lent books look terrific. What an accomplishment. I’ve been plugging away at my own non-fiction work and it’s slow going. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway. Good luck!

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