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Vanessa Gonzalez Kraft :
104 article(s)

Vanessa, a Notre Dame grad, loves the Catholic Worker Movement, Catholic education, and overbearing Mexican mothers, which she may or may not be. She lives in Austin with her husband and three daughters and is a freelance writer. You can find Vanessa at v.kraft.im or follow Vanessa on Twitter @laluped.
July 21st, 2010

Not that I base all my decisions on this, but I frequently find myself wondering if my choices make me more or less “Mexican”. I think it stems from when I was 12 and my parents and I moved from El Paso to a suburb of Houston. We visited El Paso six months later for Christmas. My cousin told me I sounded weird when I spoke. I asked her why and she responded, “I dunno, you kinda sound like a white person.” Silly but it was just one of those life events that stuck with me.
As I grew up and grew into my faith more, I didn’t only wonder if my actions seemed “Mexican” but also if they seemed Catholic.
My latest dilemma has been looking to buy a house. My husband has started a job that requires him to work from home which has quickly…

July 14th, 2010

Everything seemed to be going according to plan.  La Lupe’s plan for my life was chugging along without a hitch.
I got through high school without any problems.  I started college.  I graduated from college.  I still went to Mass.  I still spoke Spanish.  After graduation I went to work at a Catholic Worker House.  She was proud of me and was always very vocal about it.
I had taken a pretty different path from most of my cousins and she was happy about it.  Most of my cousins graduated from high school, some went on to college, most left the Church.  Children and marriage did not follow any particular order.
I think what makes La Lupe proudest of me, though, is that I am still Catholic and faithful.  She can…

July 9th, 2010

There may be a lot of things I would question about my husband: his taste in ties, his organizational skills, his ability to shoot a basketball. But I would never for a moment question his faithfulness to me. Socks making it to the hamper are one thing but when it comes to the “important stuff” Brandon is a rock solid husband. This is why it was strange to me that La Lupe — my grandmother — would doubt this.
When I was eight months pregnant, one of Brandon’s college buddies was having his bachelor party in Las Vegas. It never crossed my mind to worry about them doing the whole “Sin City” thing. I knew they were just going to play blackjack, eat at cheap buffets, and drink beer as…

May 6th, 2010
My Identity, My Culture, My Faith

I guess I wasn’t all that different from most college freshman who get swept off their feet. Every year, scores of first-year collegians return home for Christmas break itching to try out all of their newfound wisdom on the folks back home: psychology majors suddenly become experts in diagnosing their families’ dysfunction, philosophy majors proselytize about existentialism with a new convert’s zeal. 
After finishing my first semester as a theology major at Notre Dame I returned home to my Mexican-American family in El Paso, Texas, poised and ready to judge the religiosity and spirituality of any relative I came into contact with.  Armed with words like hermeneutics, eschatology and praxis,…

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