Busted Halo
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October 30th, 2012

What do Adele, January Jones and Snooki have in common? If you answered “Absolutely nothing,” I wouldn’t blame you. But these three celebrities, along with countless others, are part of a growing trend of women having children out of wedlock.
Everyone knows that a child is a gift from God (and arguable the cutest… gift we can receive) but why does it seem like Christmas is coming early for so many single women? The statistics surrounding out-of-wedlock birthrates are staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2010 40.8 percent of all birth mothers were unmarried, a rise from 38 percent in 2002 and 11 percent in 1970.
What’s with this steady increase

October 23rd, 2012
Rituals to mark transitions that enrich your everyday life

I have always had a hard time with change. My family moved a lot throughout my childhood, and since then, change has me frightened more than excited. While I love to watch the changing seasons, especially from summer to fall, I am always a little wary of the transition. Whether I’ve had a full-time job, or been a student, as I am now, I’m always excited and nervous. Excited to apple pick, leaf peep, and to curl up with a blanket, a book, and tea. I’m especially nervous because I’m graduating this coming spring and thus am anticipating the pressure of a job search in addition to the usual stress that schoolwork brings. I know that I will find peace as fall settles upon me. In the meantime, I’m…

October 17th, 2012

It was 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and I had spent the last seven hours with three older ladies: Marilyn, Kathy and Irene, who descended from the Irish, Slovak and Polish people respectively. I was learning to make pierogi, which, for the uninitiated, is a Slavic sort of ravioli. At the soup kitchen where I have worked for almost a year, my supervisor Monsignor Joseph Kelly had sent me to his older sister Marilyn that I might learn to cook from her Polish friend, Irene. “Be sure,” he added, “to ask Irene about the trip she took to Ireland.”
“They were all Irish like Marilyn,” Irene said, laughing, “I was the only Polish girl on that whole trip, and I was the only one…

October 1st, 2012
Clearly hearing and figuring out God's call in your life

From as early as I can remember, I wanted to be a pediatrician. I had a righteous inclination that God wanted me to be the person to heal others through medicine. This vision persisted until my sophomore year of college, at which point I had to admit to myself I really was not destined to be a pediatrician after a year of struggling through chemistry courses.
During that first year of college, I kept thinking to myself that it didn’t make sense. I was putting so much effort into chemistry — studying for all my quizzes and tests, doing countless practice exercises, attending office hours when I didn’t understand a concept, never missing a lab. My grades weren’t a reflection of the hard work.…

September 24th, 2012
Growing up with a sibling who has autism

“God, why can’t I have a regular sister?”…
That’s a question I asked God a lot in my childhood prayers. The question encompassed all the bitterness, anger and resentment I harbored from being a sister to someone with autism. I knew I loved my sister, but why did she have to be different? When I was 7 or 8, I realized that I would not have the “typical” older sister, as seen on TV. The older sister that would take my side with mom and dad. The one that would give me advice on boys. The one who would teach me how to apply makeup or commiserate with me about the let downs of life.
Growing responsibility
In my early years, I was the happy-go-lucky child who dragged her sister along in mischievous

September 12th, 2012
How to buy wisely by letting your spiritual side help make economic decisions

Most of us don’t like to think of ourselves as consumers. I know I’d always hated the term. I’m a human being, after all, not just a buyer of things. I disliked the word “lifestyle” for similar reasons; I live a life, not just a “style” that naturally requires buying more things.
Then a magazine story I was editing about Rob Walker, a consumerism critic for The New York Times, called me out. He was explaining why the Times… needs such a thing as a consumerism critic.
“People constantly tell me that they’re ‘not much of a consumer,’” he said. “That’s the mindset everyone comes to this with. Everyone thinks they’re sharper, less greedy, and more virtuous

September 10th, 2012

Moving is not fun. I’ve been at it for two weeks. I’m tired. I’m cranky. My back hurts, and my hands are torn from ripping tape and hauling moving box after moving box. In lieu of my college-age brother, I have become the go-to heavy-object lifter, and I’m still upset about my favorite basketball shorts ripping on a particularly aggressive nail in the garage. Moving turns me into a short-tempered, irritable human being with a really short fuse, and I resent it because that’s not who I am in real life.
There’s absolutely nothing that makes you prioritize what you need and don’t need quite like moving. When you live in one place for a long time, decluttering and getting rid of things you don’t need requires…

September 4th, 2012

If you’re a student entering a new academic year you may be excited for the opportunity of new beginnings, a chance for new friendships and learning new things. But you might be wondering how your spiritual life fits into a new school year — or even the search for a new job. Some may find that their spiritual life is lacking, or not even close to a top priority, as they work to earn a degree. For everyone, though, spirituality plays some kind of role in his or her academic or professional career.
While most enter university studies to earn a degree that will lead to a career, there is another layer that motivates us to pursue and endure long hours of work and study: a search for meaning and truth. God is ultimately the…

August 22nd, 2012

Transitioning to college or graduate school for the first — or third — time can uproot you physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s important to remember the things that will help you stay grounded and make these life changes some of the best experiences of your life.
Church. …Before moving to college, I had always gone to church with my parents, every Sunday without missing a beat. Now you’re on your own and it’s up to you to maintain that connection. When I started college, finding a church came easy because I go to a Catholic university with the physical church itself located less than a stone’s throw away from the dorm where I live. Find a nearby church and connect with the

August 7th, 2012

Penn State was a place so honored and revered that it became known as Happy Valley. The entire university built up an image of unfaltering prestige and loyalty. “Success with honor” was the football program’s slogan. That image has been destroyed.

August 6th, 2012

Religion has been a part of the Olympic games since, well, always. The first Olympic games trace back to 776 B.C. when events tied to festivals celebrating Zeus, the most important Olympic god and father of humanity.

July 25th, 2012

Alex’s Pick: “You’re Turning Into John Wayne” by Twin Atlantic
Twin Atlantic is an alternative rock quartet hailing from mighty Scotland. At first listen the song seems like an attack on American culture, when in fact the group is preaching a much different message. The band speaks about staying true to where you came from and not imitating something else — “Now here’s a great Scottish theory / Have you lost your latitude and longitude?”… This message is reflected in the music video as well. The band had just been signed to a major label and was being sent to America to tour for a year. In the video, they are trapped inside of a display window — an act for everyone

July 24th, 2012

An old saying goes, in order to experience Easter you must go through Good Friday first. According to The Dark Knight Rises, the third installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman… trilogy, even superheroes aren’t immune to this tenet. The film provides a thorough examination of the themes of sacrifice and resurrection, two of the fundamental principles of the Christian life.
As followers of Jesus, we are continually invited to participate in his sacrifice on Golgotha in multiple ways, while regularly encountering the joy and glory of the resurrection in our daily lives. These two principles — irrevocably linked to one another through the events of those three days in Jerusalem long ago —

July 20th, 2012

As an obsessed fan of professional sports, I’ve noticed an alarming trend over the past few months. There seems to be a new instance of professional athletes not being… well, professional, almost every week.
In the NFL, the New Orleans Saints have suffered the consequences of secretly running a “bounty program” for the last few years. This means that players and coaches would pay players for knocking members of the opposing team out of the game. For example, when the Saints were preparing for a playoff game this past season, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said, “We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill [San Francisco running back] Frank Gore’s…

July 11th, 2012

I hate moving. I have moved seven times since I graduated from college. This August, we are moving again. I am vexed. Terribly vexed.
I know that moving can be an adventure. I know that a change often does me good. But, to be perfectly honest, I am anxious. I didn’t realize just how anxious I was until a few weeks ago when our 4-year-old son (the oldest and the self-appointed spokesman/chieftain of the tribe of little ones that inhabit our house) stomped down the stairs into the living room with his arms folded across his chest and proclaimed with unadulterated sass that he is NOT moving to Ohio. This was followed by an emphatic “Hmmph!” as he threw his head to the side in an Oscar-worthy demonstration of defiant indignation.…

June 22nd, 2012
Discerning not to take a job and trusting God with the future

I don’t know too many people who get really excited about job hunting. As a new graduate, I certainly do not look forward to curling up with my laptop on a Friday night to rework my résumé.
I’m in my mid-20s. I have two degrees, and I’m nearing the end of a one-year internship. When my internship ends, I will join countless new graduates searching for their perfect career while trying to be realistic about paying bills.
Recently I was offered an awesome “grown up” job and surprised myself by turning it down even though I have no idea where I’m going to live or work in six weeks. And that’s totally fine with me.
Big decision
A while back, I heard that a great nonprofit organization was hiring. The position…

June 19th, 2012

I’m a guy who needs breaks.
Take this article, for instance. Before typing this sentence, I checked Facebook, Twitter, Google News, and strolled by Time magazine’s website, which I haven’t done in ages. Then, on a whim, I decided to try and make iced coffee out of regular drip coffee, which, after tasting it, made me really appreciate places that do that professionally. Then I thought about making a Pinterest account, decided against it, and paid some bills instead — which of course required my downloading a bill-organizer iPhone app. Which required reading up on the best bill-organizer iPhone apps.
Actually, that sounds more like procrastination than break-taking.
But that’s how I operate.…

May 25th, 2012

Sarah had hit rock bottom. She was 31 years old and had been charged with her second DUI. A mother of two and engaged to be married, she was separated from her family and spent 20 days in jail before entering treatment.
“I went into treatment May 31, 2011,” Sarah said. “I was thinking of that last night as my last hoorah. Hoorah it wasn’t. I was given the breathalyzer when I got there and went straight to detox for two days before even starting the program.”
Sarah, who has alcoholism on both sides of her family received treatment from Campus for Hope, a program of Catholic Charities of Omaha. The program provided her with a sense of support for all that she was going through.
“I didn’t ask for this addiction,…

May 18th, 2012

Let’s face it. We live in a loud world. Not the kind of loud that breaks the stillness of a bucolic spring day. This loudness emits upward through our iPhones and electronic tablets. It is the glowing screen showing off a friend’s party or Nicholas Kristoff’s Twitter feed announcing his latest column in The New York Times on Anheuser-Busch and Indian Reservations. Or how about the split second it will take to check in to that trendy lounge wine bar where your friends are headed.
We are easily tempted by the social networks that purport to connect us to friends near and far. Not only has it become a need to connect with people via Facebook, Foursquare, or Twitter but it comes seconds after we greet our friends with…

May 15th, 2012

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. — 1 Corinthians 12:12…
Farmers have a hard life. All that work, and a dry summer or a plague of locusts or a freak hailstorm destroys the entire crop. What’s brilliant about CSAs is that the community takes the hit along with the farmer. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, but to anyone under the age of 12, you’d think the word was a synonym for “farm.” Farms offer a number of shares every year, and members of the community buy these shares, then show up once a week to gather their part of the produce.
I first encountered CSAs through my great aunt Sally,

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