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Leanna Cappiello :
8 article(s)

Leanna is an aspiring storyteller from Caledon, Ontario. She has a bachelor’s degree in drama in education and community, is a certified teacher, and has served as an intern with the Holy See Mission to the United Nations in New York City. By day: She works as the social and community coordinator for St Basil's Parish in Toronto. By night: She is a master's of theological studies student at Regis College.
November 18th, 2014
Some of us don't have family to spend the holidays with -- but that doesn’t mean we need to go it alone

The holiday season is upon us — a time of great celebration, family gatherings, feasting, laughter and storytelling. It’s a time to revisit memories and make new ones. It gives us a chance to be mindful of how much we have to be thankful for.
But for some of us, the holidays remind us of how alone we feel. Friends traveling home, spending time with their families, eating turkey and being merry can trigger feelings of isolation and exclusion from the holiday hype. Some of us don’t have family to spend time with — they might be too far away, emotionally distant, or just not in the picture at all. What’s a person to do?
In Brené Brown’s revolutionary TED Talk on “The Power of Vulnerability,”…

October 15th, 2014

“Active waiting.” Isn’t that an oxymoron? We associate the word “active” with movement and energy. And isn’t “waiting” a passive term? Can we really simultaneously do both?
Consider the Serenity Prayer:
“Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
It challenges us to practice a healthy balance of action and contemplation. But how exactly do we discern when to step up and when to stand down with each new decision?

Have a conversation with God. 
Turn to God first. Not only because God knows our inner workings, tics, desires and weaknesses, but also because God just “gets it.” In…

April 30th, 2014
How my prayer life changed my view on expressing emotion

I used to curse my emotions. The chill of fear, the pang of disappointment, or being momentarily happy only to eventually fall from cloud nine — these emotions become exhausting after a while.
Characters on TV who show no emotion, who happen to be really smart, and who have demeaning emotionless humor (Dr. Gregory House, Sherlock Holmes, Sheldon Cooper) are hailed as the cool kids. Characters who are overly emotional (Jess Day from New Girl, Lily Aldrin from How I Met Your Mother) are made into ridiculous caricatures. Nobody wants to be called the fool. So, emotions must be the problem.
I often catch myself suppressing emotion to make it seem like I have my wits about me. Now, let me clarify what I mean by “emotion.”…

April 16th, 2014

Every night, before I go to sleep, I open up my Q&A a Day Book and answer the daily question. Q&A a Day is a trendy five-year journal that prompts the writer to record one line each day, and has 365 questions that you answer annually. They range from “What did you have for breakfast today?” to “Are you the original or the remix?” I like musing over the memories of where I was a year ago, and cultivating curiosity over the empty space of next year. After writing my answer for March 27, I peeked to the next page for March 28. The question of the day was, “What did you remember most about today?” It just so happens that March 28 last year was Holy Thursday. I knew this because my scribble revealed my answer, “The…

March 18th, 2014
A reminder of why we're doing Lent

You might have heard the phrase during a typical Catholic high school dance. The chaperone would diligently separate hormonal teenagers on the dance floor by yelling, “Make room for Jesus!”
Now, I’ve never experienced this firsthand, but the stories from my friends have stuck with me. And it has occurred to me that this phrase might help challenge us during our Lenten journeys.
A typical question this time of year is “What did you give up for Lent?” Loosely translated: “How will you be depriving yourself this season?”
Unless there is real meaning behind what we’re doing, it can just sound silly. The purpose of Lent is not to further our fitness goals with Hail Mary sit-ups or to lose weight by giving…

January 14th, 2014
An examination of letting go and surrendering to God even when you’re terrified

Imagine a moment of complete free fall.
If you have ever experienced that jolt in your gut, that razor chill throughout your body, that overwhelming instant when everything pauses in a moment of pure terror as you let go of the edge … you know what I’m describing. This is the body kicking into survival mode. I feel it when I go cliff-jumping in Muskoka, ride the Drop Zone at Wonderland, and every time I endure a major life transition. Can I reasonably compare a physical free fall to an emotional one? Yes. Yes I can.
Recall a moment of surrender of your own: waiting for that phone call, letting go of a breakup, not knowing if you’ll pass a class, finding out you or a loved one is ill, wondering where your life will go…

December 16th, 2013

As children, my little sister and I took pleasure in watching seasonal movies in anticipation of Christmas. Among our favorites was a stop-motion animation feature based on “The Little Drummer Boy.” I have fond memories of watching Kara imitate the cartoon boy in the film, playing “pa rum pa pum pum” on her own little plastic drum. As children, I saw things so simply — a little boy played the drums for baby Jesus! As an adult, I see profound meanings in the lyrics. So, allow me to be an adult for the moment while I analyze the heck out of this song.
“Come they told me…”
In the song, the birth of a new King brings a quiet curiosity to Bethlehem. At the time of Jesus’…

November 22nd, 2013

In light of Thanksgiving, I’m sure we’ve all learned numerous ways to be thankful, especially in this season that outwardly reminds us to be. As in, “Just in case you forgot to express gratitude the rest of the year, here’s a seasonal reminder to say, ‘Thank you!’”
In a lot of ways, we shy away from our natural desire to show our gratitude. Sure, it’s great to be thankful in our own minds, but have we forgotten how to reach out, say it aloud, or write a thank you card?
Yes, prayerful thanksgiving is important. But it’s not the only way to show our thanks. Gratitude isn’t private; it’s lived out loud.
Think of it this way: Gratefulness is one of the ways we express love. It can go under the “love”…

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