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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.
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 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
The Crucifixion is depicted in a stained-glass window at St. Mary of the Isle Church in Long Beach, N.Y. CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)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…
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…
March 4th, 2013
This year I’m not fasting during Lent. Period. Not because I’ve given up on the concept of fasting as spiritually edifying. Not because I’m the worst faster in the long and storied history of fasting (which, by the way, I am). Not because I have a tendency to be rebellious, defiant, and stubborn (me, me, and -- let’s face it -- me).
February 6th, 2013
There are approximately 45 women’s colleges in this country. A great many of them are Catholic institutions founded principally by religious orders. The Church has a long history of supporting the education of girls and women. As Catholics, we possess a rich legacy of great woman-philosophers, theologians, and saints. The truth is I’ve been thinking a lot about women’s education lately. A few weeks ago, those at the administrative helm of my alma mater — Wilson College — decided to end her days as a college for women by admitting men into all of its academic programs. This decision (as I understand it) was made in an attempt to dramatically increase enrollment in hopes of bolstering the college’s…
January 28th, 2013
Holy controversy, Batman! I had no idea that so many people had such impassioned opinions about what other people wear to Mass. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to those who took the time to respond to my last post via the comments section on the Convert-sation blog and also on Busted Halo’s Facebook page. I decided it would be easiest to respond to your questions and thoughts in another post. So here we go …
January 20th, 2013
Once upon a time there was a Mary. No, not that Mary. A different one. This Mary lived in Egypt at the end of the fourth century. She made her way across the better part of the ancient near east by trading sexual favors to pilgrims for food and lodging. She boasted heartily about her ability to seduce and, if legend bears any truth, her licentiousness knew no bounds (seriously). Once she followed a procession of pilgrims bearing a piece of the True Cross through Jerusalem to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Donned in clothes meant to advertise her sexual availability, she sauntered among the pilgrims in search of her next conquest. When the procession reached the door of the church, she was barred from entering by a powerful…
January 9th, 2013
If I ascend to the heavens, you are there. If I fly with the wings of the dawn and alight beyond the sea, Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast. Psalm 139: 8a-10 In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. At a press conference on the eve of her historic flight, reporters asked her what effect space travel would have on her reproductive organs and whether she was prone to weeping when things didn’t go according to plan. I find it difficult (OK, actually incredibly amusing) to imagine the same questions being posed to Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin. Ride handled these questions — the content of which ranged from insultingly silly to profoundly sexist — with grace,…
December 31st, 2012
Attention! Christmas is NOT over! January 1, we celebrate the second most significant feast of the Christmas season: The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. New to this feast/season/faith? Come along with this convert as she explains the ins and outs of this celebration of Our Lady as the Mother of God. T — Theotokos: This Greek word means ”God-bearer” or “God-birther” and has been used as a title of honor for the Blessed Virgin Mary since the earliest centuries of the Church. It is this title that is translated into Latin in liturgy and prayers as Mater Dei (Mother of God). Whenever we proclaim Mary the Mother of God, we are proclaiming that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate. Every Catholic doctrine pertaining…
December 18th, 2012
Mourners gather at St. Rose of Lima Church for a vigil service in Newtown, Connecticut. (CNS photo/Andrew Gombert, pool via Reuters) Enough. This is enough. I look at the faces of our three children — our son the same age as the youngest victims of Friday’s tragedy — and I declare that this is enough. It is Advent, the season of hope. It is the season of making ourselves ready for the coming of Christ. We … our grieving sisters and brothers in Newtown, Connecticut, and all of us who keep watch with them and pray with them and weep with them … have witnessed a dark shadow descend over this season of light. We have seen the hopes and dreams of little children and the selfless adults charged with…
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