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Caitlin Kennell Kim :
67 article(s)

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.
July 16th, 2013

When we look at the genealogy of Jesus provided in the Gospel of Matthew, we find that it traces the lineage of Jesus from Abraham to Joseph…not Mary. Nowhere in the Gospels are we given an explicit account of Mary’s family tree. This being said, there are several issues to be taken into consideration. First, it was the usual custom that marriages take place within tribes so it is possible (though by no means certain) that Mary also belonged to the House of David.
Second, Luke’s Gospel describes Elizabeth, a relative of Mary, as belonging to the daughters of Aaron (the priestly tribe of Levi) so one could easily assume that Mary was of Levite heritage. Third, Joseph’s decision (with a little divine encouragement)…

July 11th, 2013

Question: If priests stand “in persona Christi” does this mean that nuns stand “in persona Maria”? Or in English…do Nuns represent Mary as Priests represent Christ?

Not necessarily. Many women religious consider the imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary an integral part of their spiritualty… but the same could be said of lay women and men, religious brothers, priests, bishops, and even our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Because the vows consecrated women take at their profession describe them as “brides of Christ,” it might be most accurate to imagine them as representing the intimate relationship between Christ and the Church. Scripture and tradition overflow with…

July 8th, 2013

Have you ever seen the movie Cast Away? When Tom Hanks’ character finally escapes the deserted island and is on a plane travelling home, he discovers that his friends and family — sure after so many years that he must have died at sea — have held his funeral and buried an empty casket to say goodbye to him. It’s kind of the same with the Tomb of the Blessed Virgin in Jerusalem. It’s a symbol of Our Lady’s passing from earthly life to heavenly life. We can visit it to show our gratitude for her life and our joy for her Assumption. No one is buried there. Orthodox Christians believe that Mary died (or “fell asleep”) and was assumed into heaven on the third day. They venerate the tomb in Jerusalem as the…

July 2nd, 2013
Four Ways to Freedom this Fourth of July

Hamburgers, hot dogs, sparklers, fireworks, fun with family and friends … that’s what the Fourth of July is all about, right? Well … kind of.
July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. This document declared the independence of a fledgling democracy from imperial rule. It declared that the people living on this continent were claiming the freedom to forge their own destiny as a sovereign nation. Every year Americans gather in backyards, national parks, and other places throughout the country to barbecue, watch fireworks, and celebrate this freedom anew.
In the Catholic Church we have a pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world called…

June 24th, 2013
Thoughts on bodies and liberation this swimsuit season

This summer marks a Kim Family first. We have a pool membership. So we go to the pool. A LOT.
All of this lathering sunblock on squirmy little bodies and finding a swimsuit that works for my nine-month pregnant body and keeping a wary eye on the aforementioned little bodies as they dare closer and closer to deep water and navigating a veritable sea of bodies in pursuit of the good spot under the big tree has got me thinking. About (surprise) bodies.
Our bodies are vulnerable. They unabashedly announce our fragility and dependence and glory all over the place. They are truth tellers. Like the slightly drunken family member at every Thanksgiving table everywhere, they tell pointedly personal stories about us. Our bodies…

June 22nd, 2013

The world’s major religions share a common commitment to promoting peace and justice for all people. Many have humanitarian organizations that provide relief services to countries ravaged by war. For instance, in the Catholic Church, Catholic Relief Services and Caritas offer humanitarian aid all over the world, including Syria. Throughout history, the pope has served as an arbitrator between nations caught in conflict. Because there are Catholics of every race and on every continent and in every nation, the pope is able to be impartial in encouraging the disputing countries to arrive at a peaceful and equitable solution that promotes the human dignity of all parties involved.
from Caitlin Kennell Kim…

June 21st, 2013

While the Church doesn’t have an official teaching on this topic, it is the policy of Catholic Charities to place adoptive children with single adults. Criteria taken into account include a person’s physical and mental health, ability to provide a stable and loving home environment, personal references, and extensive background checks. Although a two-parent home is the ideal, the Church recognizes that single people can offer children in crisis the love, stability, and support they need to flourish. Single folks willing to raise an adoptive child deserve our respect, encouragement, and prayers! If you are single (or married) and interested in learning more about Catholic adoption, check out Catholic…

June 10th, 2013
A convert’s guide to the month of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Church dedicates the month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, one of the most popular Catholic devotions throughout the world. So what is the Sacred Heart, anyway? When Catholics talk about the Sacred Heart we’re referring to the physical (yes, blood and ventricles and valves … this is an unabashedly embodied faith, y’all) Heart of Jesus as a representation of his Divine Love for humanity. Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus’ Heart was moved by compassion for the poor, the sick, the forgotten, and the grieving. Pierced by a sword on the Cross as an act of self-giving love and enthroned in Heaven for eternity, this same Heart still beats for us and yearns for us and overflows with mercy for us…

June 3rd, 2013
Swollen Feet and the Kingdom of God

Last Friday, amidst early morning preparations to get The Dude (i.e. our 5-year-old son who, to this point, has been known to Convert-sation readers as Sassy McSasspants) ready for preschool, it occurred to me that I couldn’t tie my shoes.
OK. That’s not completely accurate. It occurred to me that tying my shoes would involve balancing my enormously pregnant self against the footboard of the bed and hoisting my legs onto the bookshelf all while making a series of loud and unbecoming noises. I glanced at my sandals knowing full well that succumbing to their beaded and completely impractical siren song would cause my feet to swell beyond recognition. I glanced at my sleeping husband knowing full well that this…

May 19th, 2013
A Convert’s Guide to Celebrating Pentecost … Today and Every Day

The Church is alive. We — you and me and all of us who dare to call Jesus “Lord” — are the living Body of Christ on earth. We are the hands of Christ reaching out to comfort, to heal, to feed, to sacrifice for those in bondage.

May 6th, 2013
Thoughts on abortion in light of the Kermit Gosnell trial

Let’s engage in a thought experiment.

Picture two men. Both have been convicted of a crime they did not commit. They are innocent. Can you imagine them?

April 30th, 2013

“Stabat Mater” generally refers to a 13th century Latin hymn entitled Stabat Mater Dolorosa (the sorrowful mother stood) though it can also refer to another Latin hymn from the 15th century entitled Stabat Mater Speciosa (the beautiful mother stood). Stabat Mater Dolorosa, the more well-known and widely utilized of the two hymns, recounts the experience of the Mother of God at the foot of the cross. It offers a glimpse of Mary’s grief at the crucifixion and asks that the faithful—in imitation of Mary’s fierce and holy love for her Son—be allowed to share in the depth of her grief as we contemplate the Cross. Catholics often pray or sing this hymn during Lent and Holy Week and it is also part of the liturgy…

April 29th, 2013
Thoughts on mindfulness in the wake of tragedy

I hate washing dishes. H-A-T-E.
About two weeks ago, our dishwasher made a horrid gasping, gurgling sound and ceased to work. I cursed, begged, and prayed. I may have kicked it (read: I did kick it … mercilessly, I’m afraid … while my children looked on in silent bemusement. Parenting fail.). I sent the extraordinarily handy moral theologian to the hardware store for a star-shaped Allen wrench. He took it apart. He put it back together. It was a lost cause.
For the few days between the untimely incapacitation of our dishwasher and the next available service call from our local appliance repair guy, the dishes required hand washing. I know there are probably a billion people who do this every day. I know —…

April 23rd, 2013

Great question and it sure did take some sleuthing! Pope Francis (formerly Cardinal- Archbishop Jose Mario Bergoglio) has written many beautiful homilies and addresses extolling the faithful to an ever greater love for and imitation of Mary. In a particularly moving lecture given in 2010 at the 49th International Eucharistic Conference, then-Cardinal Bergoglio writes about Mary as model for all followers of Jesus. Receiving Christ with trust and hope, she teaches us how to receive the Eucharist and how to live in perfect friendship with God. Many of our new Holy Father’s earlier homilies have yet to be translated from Spanish into English, but they can be accessed here. We can also garner from his entrustment…

April 16th, 2013

The “Seven Sorrows of Mary” refers to the seven feats of “spiritual martyrdom” (suffering spiritually through experiences) endured by the Mother of God in loving solidarity with her Son. They are:
1) Mary’s sorrow at the prophecy of Simeon
2) The flight into Egypt
3) Having lost the Holy Child in Jerusalem
4) Meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary
5) Standing at the foot of the Cross
6) Jesus being taken from the Cross (Depicted in art as The Pieta)
7) The burial of Christ.
The Seven Sorrows are all rooted in Scripture. Devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary stems primarily from the Order of Servites (The Servants of Mary) and has given rise to the Seven Sorrows Rosary as well as many other devotions to the…

April 9th, 2013

Question: Where is the house of the Virgin Mary? Can I visit it?
Yes, you certainly can visit the House of the Virgin Mary! It is located in Turkey in the hills that dot the landscape between Seljuk and Ephesus. Scripture tells us that Jesus entrusted his mother Mary into the care of his disciple John (and, likewise, John was entrusted into her maternal care). Tradition tells us that John travelled to Ephesus after the Resurrection to preach the gospel and Mary came with him. It is said that John had a simple house built for Mary in the peaceful hills where she lived out the rest of her days.
The house is a place of pilgrimage for both Christians and Muslims (they honor Mary as the mother of a prophet and believe in the virgin…

April 4th, 2013
Thoughts on the Octave of Easter

The tomb is empty. The stone has been rolled away. Jesus is not there. A vacant grave in the dim light of morning. This is the height and summit of the story of Jesus the Nazorean.

Except it’s not.

This year’s Easter reading from the Gospel of John gives us the account of a grief-stricken Mary Magdalene seeking the tomb of her Rabbi, Master and friend…

March 28th, 2013

On March 7, 2008 at approximately three o’clock in the afternoon Theodore Xavier Kim had his first shots … four of them. Now, it should be noted that I love my son’s pediatrician. I’m using the word LOVE here. But when she stuck four very big needles into my very little baby as he screamed and cried so hard that his perfect little inny bellybutton became an outie, I had several thoughts:
#1: The part of my mind hard-wired like that of any self-respecting tigress screamed: “This little 90 pound … witch … is hurting my son. It is incumbent upon me as his mother to hurl her like a javelin into the waiting room, grab my poor half-naked shrieking baby, and run screaming through traffic, half ambulance…

March 19th, 2013

I want to talk about fathers. I want to talk about fathers because — despite what one might garner from nearly every aspect of popular culture — they matter. They matter profoundly. I want to talk about fathers today because it is the Feast of St. Joseph and the day in which our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, will celebrate his installation.

March 11th, 2013
A Lenten Call to Action for Catholic Institutions

This is a call to action. Catholic institutions, I’m talking to you.
January 1, 2006, 31-year-old Lori Stodghill was admitted to the emergency room at St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City, Colorado. She was complaining of nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. Lori Stodghill was seven months pregnant with twin boys. As she was being wheeled into an exam room, she lost consciousness. ER staff desperately attempted to page her obstetrician. He never answered. She passed away a mere hour after arriving at the emergency room. The Stodghill twins died in their mother’s womb. It was later discovered that Lori Stodghill had suffered a pulmonary embolism.
Jeremy Stodghill lost his wife and two children…

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