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Caitlin Kennell Kim :
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Caitlin Kennell Kim is a full-time baby wrangler, writer, and ponderer of all things theological. She earned her Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry and Theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She currently lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband and their four small children.
October 17th, 2014
Learning to trust God when you realize that you are not in control

When you become ill, seriously ill, you might feel hopeless or angry or full of despair. One of life’s most terrifying realizations is that we are not in control — God is. This virtual retreat provides guidance for prayer and reflection during the times when we need to trust God and to feel God’s presence, even when the future seems unclear. (Click here for a printable pdf of this retreat.)

GETTING STARTED­…
Find a quiet, comfortable place to experience this retreat – at home, outside, or at a local place of worship. If you are confined to bed, consider having someone open the blinds or curtains to brighten your room. Imagine the love of God as bright, warm light. Picture that light coursing through your

September 11th, 2014

Try Busted Halo’s® Virtual Transitions Retreat and spend some time reflecting on the spiritual meaning of transitions in our lives. Download the retreat (if you print it — print on both sides of the paper!) by clicking the image below. Take a few minutes out of your day — at your desk, on your lunch break, between classes — and grow a deeper appreciation that God is with us in the midst of change.
Click image below to open or download the 3-page PDF.

Click an image to open or download the 3-page PDF.

Click an image to open or download the 3-page PDF.…

September 9th, 2014
Why young women are "lacing up" at Mass

The topic of women covering their heads (or not covering their heads) at Mass has made a big splash among twentysomething and thirtysomething Catholic bloggers across continents and cultures.
I have to admit that this practice has a certain appeal to me as well. Why are Catholic women bringing back this practice?
Here are some good reasons:

It’s countercultural.
Let’s face it, we live in a culture with profoundly warped ideas of female empowerment. Modern American culture would have us believe that a powerful woman is one who uses her sexuality in an exhibitionistic, amoral fashion. Her power is in her ability to incite lust — to exploit her own sexuality and the sexuality of others. The Catholic tradition…

September 8th, 2014

Here’s the history of this practice: The 1917 Code of Canon Law specifies that women are obligated to cover their heads when approaching the altar and whenever in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. This tradition (as evidenced by St. Paul’s treatment of the topic) was part of the Christian Tradition since the earliest days of the Church.
Now, here’s where it gets tricky. In 1983, the Code of Canon Law (which replaces the 1917 Code) doesn’t mention this practice. At all.
So, here are the facts: Catholic women are no longer obligated to observe this practice much like all Catholics are no longer obligated to abstain from meat on Fridays. The practice is not null, but it is no longer obligatory. Just as we…

August 13th, 2014

What the heck is the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven, you ask? Never fear! Your favorite convert here with the facts about this Holy Day of Obligation and some ideas about how to celebrate this wonderful feast!
All about the Assumption…
The Assumption (August 15) refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary being assumed — body and soul — into heaven at the end of her earthly life. “Assumption” is different than “ascension” because one is passive (i.e. one is assumed) and the other is active (i.e. one ascends). It is by the power of God Mary was assumed.
As evidenced by the writings of many early Church fathers, Christians have believed for more than a millennium that the Blessed Virgin

July 25th, 2014

Are you an Anne, Nancy, Anna, Hannah, Anita, Roseanne, or Lilian? Are you a Joachim, Joaquin, Akim, or Yachim? If so, happy Name Day! July 26 is the Feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is the first year the Kim family is throwing a proper feast for our heavenly grandparents, so come along with us as we get to know them!
Getting to know your Nana and Papa…
(or Grandma and Grandpa or Grammy and Poppy or Yiayia and Pappou, as the case may be)

Most of what we know about St. Anne and her husband St. Joachim comes from the Protoevangelium of James. This “gospel” is not part of the Bible, but it does detail some aspects of the early life of the Blessed Virgin Mary that are an important part of

July 21st, 2014

In 2011, Feng Jianmei had clothes wrapped around her head as government officials abducted her from her home. She and her husband Deng Jiyuan were expecting their second child in eight short weeks. When local officials found out that the couple had violated China’s one-child policy, they sent them a notice demanding the couple pay a $6,000 fine. Feng and Deng could not pay. Feng was abducted and given an injection, which killed her baby and induced her to deliver her stillborn while in the custody of family planning officials. The heartbroken and outraged couple took to social media to shed light on this practice. They have been denounced as traitors for speaking to foreign media.
This April, roughly 275 schoolgirls…

June 27th, 2014

“Come, follow me.”
These are the words of Jesus to Peter, a fisherman casting his net into the Sea of Galilee.
“Get up and go.”
These are the words of Jesus to Saul (soon to be Paul), a zealous persecutor of the earliest Christian community.
On the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, we are reminded of the kinetic nature of discipleship. To encounter Jesus is to be set into motion. To have our plans altered (read: obliterated). To serve and encourage and comfort and teach. To be willing to empty ourselves in order to be filled with Christ.
Fr. Kenneth Walker was a priest. A young priest. He was assigned to Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission. He served the homeless who came to the mission, was a passionate…

June 23rd, 2014

My children — The Dude, The Princess, The Puppy, Reepicheep — and I travel down the highway on our way home from a playdate a few towns away. The windows are cracked to let in the breeze. The gentle whirring of our minivan’s wheels on the pavement has lulled them into a late afternoon nap. Well, almost …
From the middle seat comes a voice. A quiet voice. A voice just barely discernable over the sound of wind whistling through the windows. It’s The Puppy. She is 95% asleep, her eyes nearly closed. She is fighting sleep the way 3-year-old people are wont to do. I watch from the rearview mirror as her long, fine hair blows across her face. She is singing in her almost-sleep, “Your grace is enough, your…

April 15th, 2014
Using Disney’s Frozen to talk with kids about the Passion

Here at Casa Kim we have Frozen on the brain. We have the dresses. We have the dolls. We have the entire soundtrack committed to memory and at the ready for a spontaneous all ages, flash mob-style, no holds barred, highly choreographed musical extravaganza. Now that Holy Week is upon us and now that the Pickles Kim are big enough to have serious questions about what this journey from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday is all about, I wanted to find a way to talk with them about the Passion that was 1) age appropriate, 2) would capture their imaginations, and 3) would help them to grow in love for Christ and for each other. This is where Frozen… comes in.
Frozen is not, of course, meant to be an exposition on the saving power of the cross.

April 11th, 2014
A companion for the Stations of the Cross if you are struggling with your health

Busted Halo Family,
I write this companion for the Stations of the Cross as I begin my wait for a kidney transplant. I am blessed to feel healthy, energetic and very optimistic. Meditating on the Stations has been especially fruitful for me this Lent. I wanted to write a version for those going through a difficult time with their health. If your way of sorrow does not include illness, I hope these Stations will help you find your own words to draw nearer to Jesus in a time of uncertainty.
Have a blessed Lent and Godspeed to you on your journey,
Caitlin
Opening Prayer
Jesus, today I accompany you on your Via Dolorosa — your way of sorrow. You walked this way of sorrow for me. Out of boundless love for all humankind you…

March 25th, 2014

Last Wednesday was the Feast of St. Joseph. Truth be told, St. Joseph is a favorite of mine. As the priest who lovingly shepherded me into the Church is fond of saying, “St. Joseph’s wife was conceived without sin, his adopted son was, well, God … and then there’s good ‘ol Joe.” In the light of the aforementioned company, he seems terribly ordinary. Even unimportant. And this is why I love him.
St. Joseph gets zero spoken lines in the entire Gospel. Zippo. We never hear his voice. He does not get a Magnificat. He is a manual laborer — an “average Joe” with an extraordinary family. He is visited by angelic messengers but only in his dreams and only to receive marching orders from on high. His death…

March 3rd, 2014

Your favorite convert comes to the rescue with the basics for Lenten newbies and some words of comfort for the journey.

February 24th, 2014

Well, I did it. I deactivated my Facebook account.
Before I launch into my reasons for leaving, I want to make a few things clear. First, I begrudge no one their enjoyment of Facebook. In fact, for the first two years I was home with our gaggle of pickles, and my superhero husband was slaving away at three jobs while working on his comps and dissertation, Facebook allowed me to intellectually engage with other adults in a way that kept me from going, if you’ll pardon the expression, bat crap crazy. Second, I am not now nor will I ever be holier than thou. This is laughable. A real knee-slapper. Third, I don’t think technology is “evil.” I think technology is (for the most part) morally neutral. It can be used for grave…

February 4th, 2014

December 11, 1979, a diminutive nun in a blue and white habit assumed a grand stage in Oslo, Norway. With a quiet and steady voice, she delivered the following message:
There is so much suffering, so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice are beginning at home. Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do. It is to God Almighty — how much we do it does not matter, because He is infinite, but how much love we put in that action. How much we do to Him in the person that we are serving.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta spoke these words — to her Norwegian audience and to all the world — in her Nobel Lecture following her acceptance of the…

January 28th, 2014
Thoughts on sexual violence for the Feasts of Saints Agnes and Agatha

People of God, we need to pray. Hard.
With the joyous signs of Christmas packed away, we find ourselves again in the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. Today we find ourselves between the feasts of two significant early Christian martyrs, St. Agnes (January 21) and St. Agatha (February 5). These young women possessed heroic virtue. These young women laid down their lives for their faith. These young women were survivors of sexual violence.
People of God, in honor of these women, we need to pray.
St. Agnes is a 13-year-old girl born to Christian parents in Rome during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian. Agnes is much sought after by suitors of noble stock. When she refuses their advances because she has promised…

January 13th, 2014

Today, January 13, marks the Feast of St. Hilary of Poitiers. (Go ahead and say “Poitiers” a couple of times. It’s delicious. I’ll wait.) St. Hilary was born sometime around the end of the third century in the city of Poitiers in what is now France. The son of pagan parents, he possessed a profound longing to understand the meaning and purpose of human existence. Hilary had an unquenchable desire to contemplate life as a gift and to discover its Giver. His lifelong spiritual journey took him to the great philosophers and he became a Neo-Platonist. By what St. Hilary described as chance, he stumbled upon Sacred Scripture. Within those divinely inspired words, he encountered the Gift-Giver he had been seeking.…

December 9th, 2013

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12) is my favorite Marian feast day of the year! (I’m doing my happy dance. While typing. I don’t want to brag but that takes serious skills.) Who is Our Lady of Guadalupe? What does she have to do with Advent? What are some ways to honor her feast day? Your favorite convert and self-proclaimed Marian nerd here with some thoughts on how to grow in faith, make a difference, and have a fiesta worthy of Our Queen!
The Story…
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the name of a Church-approved apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which took place in Mexico in December 1531. She appeared on the hill of Tepeyac to Juan Diego, an Aztec convert to Christianity. Juan Diego was on his way to Mass when

December 2nd, 2013

Having emerged from your tryptophan-induced stupor, you awoke on Friday to the triumphant proclamation that it is Christmas. The TV says so. Every big box retailer in your neighborhood says so. The lights and wreathes and inflatable Santas that appeared like magic overnight say so. To this I say, bah. Humbug!
Ok, here’s the deal: I love Christmas. I love everything about Christmas. But it’s not Christmas yet! It’s Advent. Advent is the liturgical season of preparation that proceeds Christmas. New to observing Advent? Your favorite convert gives you the basics to this beautiful season of hope.
A — Advent wreath:… Every Catholic church and many Catholic homes display an Advent wreath. This wreath

November 19th, 2013

Picture a 22-year-old Catholic college student. She is studying electrical and mechanical engineering. She has a loving family and many friends. She is pretty and full of life. She wonders hopefully about her future. She is like your friends, classmates, sisters, cousins. She is like you.
Can you see her?
Now picture her forced to hide in a three-by-four-foot bathroom with seven other women. Picture her healthy 115 pound frame whither to a skeletal 65 pounds. Picture her cringe in silent agony and terror as she hears her family, friends, and neighbors brutally murdered outside the bathroom’s thin walls. Picture her breathlessly cling to a rosary as she hears her name called over and over again by the same machete-wielding…

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